Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Eve Beach Wedding

This past Saturday I returned to Chicago after spending Christmas with my in-laws in Florida. It was a rude awakening, coming back to snow and cold after being at the the beach!

Besides having a great time visiting family, I had the unexpected pleasure of happening upon a wedding on the beach!

On the afternoon of Christmas Eve, we decided to head for the beach. As I was taking pictures of the kids, I noticed that there was something going on at the pier. So, I wandered over, and sure enough - it was a wedding!

When we were leaving the beach a while later, my husband noticed
the bride and
groom walking past. He encouraged me (badgered me!) into talking to them. So, I introduced myself and chatted with them for a bit. The bride said that it was her father who married them. Isn't that cool?

They were def
initely a lovely couple - and very sweet. I wish them all the best - and a lifetime of happiness!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice - The Shortest Day of the Year!

Today marks the Winter Solstice - the shortest day of the year. Still celebrated by modern pagans, Winter Solstice has been a day of celebration since ancient times.

The Roman feast of Saturnalia honored the God Saturn as a week-long observation of the Winter Solstice. The day was also honored by the Germanic people of Northern Europe with Yule festivals, which brought us the tradition of burning the Yule log.

If you'd like to celebrate the shortest day of the year.... and thus, usher in the lengthening days, here are some ideas:
Celebrate with a series of rituals, feasts, and other activities, with Winter Solstice Eve and Day as the central focus. Have gift exchanges and meals over the course of several days and nights, as was done long ago.
Decorate your home with Druidic holiday colors - red, green, and white. Place holly, ivy, evergreen boughs, and pine cones around the house, including a sprig of mistletoe above the doorway. Hang an evergreen wreath on your door, adorned with holiday herbs - the circular shape represents the continuity of life.
Enjoy a Solstice Eve ritual where you relish the longest night of the year by meditating or enjoying music in the darkness. Then, symbolically welcome the arrival of the sun by lighting candles. If you have a fireplace (or a fire pit outside), burn a Yule log, saving a little bit to start next year's fire.
How ever you decide to acknowledge the shortest day of the year (or the longest night), be sure to take a moment to celebrate the Winter Solstice.

I have another very special reason for celebrating today - my son's birth 10 years ago today! He has brought joy and light to our lives ever since. Happy Birthday!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Friday Q & A - Why Are You a Celebrant?

Friday Q & A is back! I realized I haven't had this feature in some time, so I thought I'd bring it back with a question that I get asked pretty often....

Question: Why did you become a Celebrant?

Answer: Becoming a Celebrant was something I had thought about for many years, even way before I even heard of Celebrants! About 15 years ago, someone told me that a notary could sign a marriage license in some states. I had no idea if it was really true, but I made some calls and learned that it wasn't an option in Illinois. Darn. Still, it got me thinking...... how cool would it be to be able to marry people?!

Then, a few years later, a local Chicago deejay married a couple on the radio after being ordained on-line. Again, it got me thinking about being an officiant. But, the whole idea of marrying people without any real training just didn't feel right to me.

Then one day, I was paging through a magazine that I've never read before, and saw an ad for the Celebrant Foundation. I guess that was my "Aha!" moment. The rest is history!

Since then, I've come to realize that I'm doing exactly what I was meant to do. I get to be creative and create unique, special ceremonies for every couple. I love doing research, and continually learn about different cultures and rituals. Best of all, I meet interesting people and participate in the happiest time of their lives. I have the best job in the world!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Winter Wedding Wonderland

If you're planning on a winter wedding, my close, personal friend, Martha, has some nifty ideas.
Check them out h
ere at Martha Stewart Weddings.
These are some of my favorites:

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

It's Music to My Ears!

When my friend Veronica got married on Halloween, it was a fantastic experience for me to officiate her wedding. But, it was especially fun to be a guest at the wedding! I realized that night that I hadn't been to a wedding reception in almost 10 years!! I had forgotten how much fun the party could be!

One of the best parts of Veronica & Joe's wedding was the music, provided by Rob and Carl of Checkerboard Entertainment.
Not only are they terrific guys, they kept the party going with great music.

I have to say, they scored big points with me for a set of 80's music. See, I had asked Rob if he had the song, "Every Day is Halloween" by Ministry. I figured it would be perfect for a Halloween event - plus it's a great dance song from my club-going days. Not only did they play the song, but they did a whole awesome set of 80's tunes, including "I Melt With You" and vintage Depeche Mode. That alone earned them my undying devotion. Let's just say I danced so much that my legs were sore the next day! (But, it was worth it!)

In any case, I couldn't recommend these guys highly enough. They were so friendly and highly professional throughout the entire process. They came to the rehearsal to scope everything out and go over details. On the day of the wedding they were there early and made sure the ceremony ran smoothly. They also created an amazing, fun atmosphere for the reception - and got everyone out onto the dance floor!

If you need a deejay, be sure to contact Rob or Carl at Checkerboard Entertainment at 847-322-4469
or email them at booking@checkerboardentertainment.com.
You'll be glad you did - and so will your guests!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Sad Days in New York, but Hope is Alive in New Jersey.....

The New York state Senate voted against the legalization of gay marriage.
A sad day for New York - a sad day for us all......

New Jersey, which has civil unions, will possibly be voting on gay marriage next week.
Let's hope for better results.

Same sex marriage supporters march on the New Jersey statehouse. See the video below.