Monday, December 13, 2010

AnitaWeds Giveaway: A Few of my Favorite Things!

NNOUNCING the first ever AnitaWeds GIVEAWAY!! (Yay! Hooray! Woo hoo!)

As a Celebrant, I feel it's important that your wedding is a reflection of YOU. From the ceremony to the flowers to the dessert - your guests should feel that your wedding is uniquely yours. So, I want to know how you are planning on including your favorites on your special day!

One lucky winner will receive A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS!

How to enter:
Send me an email at with the heading:
"A Few of My Favorite Things Entry."

Tell me how your wedding is going to be ALL ABOUT YOU! How will your ceremony reflect your personality? Which of your favorite things will be seen at your reception? I want to know that fabulous, unique details!

This contest is open to all couples getting married or having a commitment ceremony in the U.S. in the coming year (2011).

Be sending an entry, you are agreeing to allow me to publish excerpts from your story on my blog and/or Facebook page.

Entries must be received by Monday, Jan. 3rd. The winner will be notified by email.

Please include (1) your name, (2) wedding date, (3) city where the wedding is taking place, and (4) another way of contacting you (phone # or alternate email) so I can get your address to mail your prize!!

The winner will be announced here on the AnitaWeds blog on Monday, January 10th!

I will be posting my favorite entries on the AnitaWeds blog and on my Facebook page after all entries have been received.

This is your chance to win A FEW OF MY FAVORITE THINGS!
The prizes include:
So, hurry up and email me your entry now!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Celebrating Good Deeds and Great Talent!

I just heard some great news and had to share. I'm all about CELEBRATING, you know!

First, I need to introduce you to Kate Diaz. She is a local singer/songwriter that you will definitely be hearing about in the future! I had the good fortune of meeting Kate and her mom earlier this year at our homeschool Co-Op. I had the great pleasure of hearing her play guitar and sing - such a wonderful, rich voice!

So..... I was really excited to hear that Kate was invited by the band Sister Hazel to perform on stage with them at House of Blues earlier this year. Kate had done a cover version of "All for You" which the band saw (and liked!) on YouTube. They admired her talent as well as her generous nature. You see, Kate has been performing at Potbelly's on the weekends, saving her tip money to donate to a charity which supports families dealing with cancer. Sister Hazel knew that Kate was someone who deserved celebration!

Here she is performing with the band at House of Blues. This was so fantastic - it had to be shared!

And, the story doesn't end there! Kate has written a wonderful Christmas song called "Christmas Smiles." The song can be downloaded at iTunes. All proceeds form the song will be donated to CureSearch for Children's Cancer. Download it now! You'll get a great song and you'll be donating to a great cause.

Here is an acoustic preview of "Christmas Smiles":

This just shows that one person can make a difference. Thanks for the inspiration, Kate!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Bring a Little "Nerd" to Your Wedding!

Attention fellow nerds! Check out this post from Offbeat Bride if you're looking for a unique way to get the word out about your upcoming wedding.

Don't make your Save the Dates the same old boring note that everyone else sends. Embrace your inner nerd and make them us funky as you are!

Check out all the fun examples featured in the article. This should really get those creative juices flowing!

Being a book nerd, I really love this library due-date card as a Save the Date. What a fantastic idea! I just adore all the crafty folks out there who think up this stuff!

These are two of my favorites. The vintage comic book cover design is available at etsy and is created by Team Welser, which also has some funky artwork you should check out.

Just do me one favor - please stop referring to them as STDs. That is so not cool.

Friday, December 3, 2010

It's Time for BEADS!! Stop by at my Bead for Life Open House this Sunday!

If you're considering Bead for Life jewelry for your wedding (for your bridal party, or as shower favors), or if you're just wondering what it's all about - I have good news for you:

I'm hosting a Bead for Life Open House this Sunday!

You can come by and see the beads in person - and learn more about the amazing work done by Bead for Life. Here are the details:

Bead for Life Open House
at Caribou Coffee at 90 E. Northwest Hwy. in Mt. Prospect
(across from the downtown Mt. Prospect Metra station, just east of Elmhurst Rd.)
Sunday, Dec. 5th from 1:30 until 4 pm.

I'll have a display of the gorgeous bead jewelry, as well as information about Bead for Life. The pieces really are beautiful and make great holiday gifts. You can leave with a beautiful present, and fell good about making a difference in the lives on women in Uganda.

The wonderful bangle bracelets are only $5! But, I'm warning you - it's be hard to pick just one. That's why I'm always wearing at least three at a time! I've been hosting these Open Houses for the past five years, so believe me, I've purchased lots of them!

So, come on by and say hello!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Illinois House Passed a Civil Unions Bill!

It has just been announced that the Illinois House of Representatives passed a Civil Unions bill. The bill now moves on to the Senate.

Please be sure to contact your IL state senator and express your support for the bill!

If you're not sure who to contact, you can go to the Illinois State Board of Elections website and type in your address to find out.

Go, Illinois!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Beautiful Corsages for Your Wedding

Okay, I admit that, up until recently, the thought of a wrist corsage made me cringe. But that probably goes back to an incident a long time ago, when I went to a dance with a friend (I didn't think it was a date - we were going with a group of friends) and he presented me with a wrist corsage. I wanted to die. It didn't help that it was a big purple orchid and wearing it made me feel like someone's grandma.

Oh well, the night was a disaster and thus, my disdain for the wrist corsage was born.

But....... that ended when a couple I married last year ordered a corsage for me to wear when I officiated their wedding. I was really flattered - and it was a beautiful corsage!

Then, a few months later, another couple gave me a wrist corsage. Wow! These sweet gestures changed my mind.

And then - I just checked out a post on Martha Stewart Weddings. She's done it AGAIN! Check out these luscious corsages!! The article even gives you ideas for sweet little guest corsages, delicate crepe paper flowers, even flower rings for your bridesmaids! Most of these ideas include instructions to make them yourself, so they won't cost you a fortune.

And they're so pretty!!!

Okay, I admit it - I was wrong for a long time. I encourage you to get corsages for everyone! And don't forget me. =)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Shoes That Make You Want to Dance!

I really enjoy the Rock N Roll Bride blog and happen to be a follower (stalker??).

In any case, she recently featured shoe clips in a recent post and I thought they were fabulous!

But.... it also sent me on a hunt at etsy, to see what lovelies may be hiding there.

Oooh.... I found lots of goodies!

Here are a few you should definitely check out:
And for my crafty pals - I found an ebook tutorial to make your own flower shoe clips!

So, get some clips for your shoes - and then go kick up your heels!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Q: What type of research do you do for ceremonies?

When discussing my work recently, I mentioned that I love having the opportunity to do research on a wide variety of topics. I was asked to describe the types of research I do for ceremonies.

So, in response to that question, I thought I'd first explain why I do research.

Couples that work with me complete questionnaires, with questions about their relationship (how they met, what they love about one another, etc), what they want in a ceremony, and their own likes/dislikes and interests. I take that information and get to work on creating a ceremony that reflects the couple - as individuals and as a pair - and tells their story.

So..... I do lots of research. Which I really enjoy (the library is my friend!) Some of it has to do with topics you would expect, some may be a little surprising.

Here are some topics I've researched for ceremonies:
  • Chinese legend of the Red String
  • Song lyrics from different artists, including Bjork, U2, Leonard Cohen, Beatles, Deathcab for Cutie, Frank Sinatra, Counting Crows & Journey
  • Legal decisions
  • Mongolian wedding customs
  • Sports lingo - especially baseball
  • Pagan holidays
  • Verses from the Koran
  • Cherokee blanket ceremony
  • Secular versions of the traditional Jewish Seven Blessings
  • Comic book couples
  • Dialogue from movies, such as Twilight, Harold & Maude, Princess Bride, Star Wars & Reservoir Dogs
  • Symbolism of flowers
  • Vietnamese wedding traditions
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Korean wedding rituals
  • Disney characters & lines from movies
  • Quotes about coffee
  • Military language
  • Impressionist painters
  • German folk songs
  • Capoeira, an Afro-Brazialian art form combining dance & martial arts

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Julies Get Married!

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of officiating the ceremony of Jule G. and Julie S. at Casa Royale in Des Plaines. But, to keep track of who we were talking about, they were known as Julie and Julene for the ceremony.

I've lived in Des Plaines for over 10 years, and I'm probably the only person in town who hasn't been to Casa Royale. I was always curious as to what it looked like inside, and I have to say that it was lovely. But, by far, the best part of it was the fantastic staff. From Lynn, the friendly and helpful wedding coordinator, to the wait staff who made sure everyone was taken care of, the service was really fantastic!

As for Julie & Julene's wedding, the ceremony began with them each being escorted down the aisle - Julie by her parents and Julene by her son. The bridal party followed, which included Julene's daughters. All three participated in the handfasting later in the ceremony.

Julene and Julie's story was sweet and romantic, reflecting how deeply in love they are, and the strong bond they share.

They exchanged vows under the Chuppuh, which I explained as follows:

Julie and Julene are exchanging vows under this wedding canopy, known as a Chuppah in the Jewish tradition. The Chuppah represents shelter - the home the couple will build together, as well as the home each has built in their hearts for their beloved.

As you’ll notice, the sides are open, just as their home and arms will remain open to you, their family and friends.

The four poles correspond with the four directions - north, south, east and west - just as their love reaches to the four corners of the world.

At the end of the ceremony, we had planned for the traditional breaking of the glass. The only problem was that the glass that Julene had to step on was virtually unbreakable! She tried several times, and then Julie took a turn. Even Julene's son got in the act, but to no avail. After much laughter, Julene tried again, and the glass broke. Whew!

Julie and Julene, I really enjoyed being a part of your special day. After the struggles with that glass, the rest of your days should be smooth sailing!

I wish you and your family a lifetime of happiness and love!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sarah & Steve's Architectural Affair

Sarah & Steve were married last month at one of my favorite venues, Architectural Artifacts.

This great spot is chock-full of amazing treaures to admire - a real feast for the eyes!

I noticed that, as guests walked in, they couldn't help but wander around, taking in the visual delights. This venue, which is also a store during the day hours, boasts three floors of architectural goodies, ranging from marble statuary to wrought-iron gates, light fixtures to door knobs, and vintage posters to birdbaths.

There is an enclosed courtyard where outdoor ceremonies take place, which served as the setting for Sarah & Steve's ceremony last month. Even though it was the end of November, we were treated with a gorgeous day. One of my favorite features is the red phone booth off to the side. I mean, you never know when Dr. Who may want to pop in for an event.

Steve & Sarah's wedding was so much fun! They picked a fabulous venue and worked with me to create a ceremony that was all their own. While the choice of readings were of the classic romantic nature (Yay for fellow English Lit majors!) their ceremony was anything but typical or boring.

There were lots of laughs - some due to the periodic pauses due to the passing "L" trains. But mostly, the laughter stemmed from Sarah & Steve's funny comments during the ceremony. They really cracked me up! It was such a joy to share the tale of how they met (at softball) and the happy details of their love story.

The place they chose, and their ceremony, were a fantastic reflection of a wonderful, witty, and utterly charming couple.

Congratulations, Sarah & Steve! I loved being a part of the fun!

Friday, November 12, 2010

After the Wedding - What to do With All the Stuff

I just came across this great post at So You're Engayged and just had to share.

The article, After the Wedding: What to Do About Your Wedding "Leftovers" has some great tips for getting rid of all those little extras.

And even better? Suggestions for how to avoid winding up with all that extra stuff!

Be sure to check it out.... before you're buried in piles of tiny vases and other do-dads.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Patty & Jessica- continued

I just realized that I missed a bunch of photos from my last post, about Patty & Jessica's wedding at Byron Colby Barn.

So, here's more wedding eye candy, just for you!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Patty & Jessica's Rustic Barn Wedding

When I arrived at Byron Colby Barn for Jessica & Patty's rehearsal, the bridal party and family members were busily putting up decorations. In fact, some folks were hammering the frame of the canopy when I arrived, while others were hanging lanterns in the trees. This was definitely one cool, crafty DIY wedding!

I have to preface all the details of the big event by saying that Patty and Jessica are one of the most fun couples I've met. After talking to them and then reading their questionnaires, I was really excited to work on their their ceremony.

It turned out to be sweet and funny - and I even got to use Twilight references. Heck, the ceremony started with a quote from the Princess Bride. They were definitely my kinda gals!

But, I have to admit that I adored them even more when I saw all the wonderful details Patty and Jessica had planned for their rustic fall wedding. There are so many delicious tidbits to share, that I'll have to let the pictures tell the story. But, here are a few of my favorites:
  • Buckets of birdseeds for the guests to throw after the ceremony
  • The button bouquet (made by Patty!) and coordinating button-aires for the guys
  • Pitchers filled with citrus fruit as table decor, serving as the table markers
  • Jars of jam as table decor - and guest favors
  • An impossibly cute flower girl and ring bearer duo
  • A wonderful wooden chest with a gorgeous quilt - a wedding gift for the couple!
  • The gorgeous yellow, orange and green handfasting cord - also made by Patty
  • Photo display with lots of great pictures of Patty & Jessica
Congratulations Jessica & Patty! It was such a joy to be a part of your special day. I wish you a lifetime of joy and laughter!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Green Weddings!

There are so many resources available for green weddings, but it's hard to sift through all the information to find practical advice.

Well, here's a way to make your research a bit easier - 50 Ways to Go Green at Your Wedding. This helpful article offers a list of 50 great resources, ranging from Green Wedding Guides to to Eco-Invitations.

Some of my favorites from the list:

#4 - Ecopolitan Bride: a website that offers eco-friendly and unique, non-traditional wedding ideas

#10 How to Reuse it Creatively: Great article for eco-weddings on a cool, crafty website! ( with lots of cool non-wedding DIY projects, too!)

#11 Recycled Bride: a cool wedding re-sale site

# 40 - Carbon Calculators: allows you to measure the carbon footprint of your wedding.

Check out the article for all 50 great tips!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Story of Wish Upon a Wedding

A beautiful video created by Brett Culp for Wish Upon a Wedding.

It tells the story of Wish Upon a Wedding, and includes several of the couples who've received wedding wishes. Beth and Nick's wedding is featured, among others.

Please help spread the word about Wish Upon a Wedding.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Wedding Cakes!

With Halloween just around the corner, I thought I'd share some cool wedding cakes I found.

Just as a side note, I wanted to add that I appreciate the fact that these cakes have a minimum of black frosting. No one wants to eat black frosting when they're all gussied up. Trust me, I speak from experience.

The Corpse Br
ide Cake is courtesy of Pink Cake Box.

The cake with the dancing skeletons is from Cake Central.

The Nightmare Before Christmas cake was found at Halloween Wedding. Not only do I love this cake - based on one of my all-time favorite movies! - I love that there is a website dedicated to Halloween weddings!

Trick or treat!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Aaron & Nicole's Gorgeous Garden Wedding

I had the pleasure of marrying Aaron and Nicole this September in a beautiful garden setting. The wedding took place at Blumen Gardens in Sycamore. This is a large garden center, which doubles as a wedding venue. It was perfect! Except for one thing - it was REALLY cold that day. I wore a suit, so I was okay, but I felt really bad for poor Nicole and the bridesmaids who were freezing. But, they were all great sports and went on to the absolutely beautiful reception - indoors.

Besides being in a gorgeous setting, the wedding had lots of wonderful details, which you can see in the photos here.

Of cou
rse, you know I went crazy when I saw the cupcakes! And look at those darling little birds on top. So adorable!

Each table had fresh flowers and greenery. Plus, questions for the guests to answer. What a great way to get people chatting!

My favorite part
was that they made a donation to Operation Smile, in lieu of traditional guest favors. I just love it when couples give back to others! This definitely illustrates Aaron & Nicole's generous hearts.

Everything was so b
eautiful, especially the bride and groom. Just take a look at those gorgeous smiles! I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

And for
more pictures, taken by their great photographer, Kristin Kasperek, click here. Enjoy!

Monday, October 18, 2010

4th of July Wedding - Cowgirl Style!

I just saw these pictures at So You're Engayged and had to share.

The photos are from the 4th of July wedding of Monica and Tory. I just loved the little touches of country flavor. And check out those boots! Fabulous!

See more pictures and read about the wedding

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Let Them Eat Cake!

I had the urge to share some more cake photos, so please bear with me. After a long day, I turned to one of my all-time favorite blogs, Cake Wrecks. This always provides me with a good laugh.

If you have been living in a cave and don't know about this site, you must immediately go there now!!

Or, drive over to your local book store or library and get
the book. But I'm warning you, I stood by myself at Borders one afternoon, laughing out loud. It was a little embarrassing.

For the rest of you, I direct your attention to some very cool wedding cakes. These photos are from the post,
Sunday Sweets: Fun Wedding Cakes. Check it our for more very fun cakes. I kinda have a thing for c
akes with monsters or cute little ghosts (if you couldn't already tell), so that's what you're seeing here. Don't even get me started on zombie cakes!

And please be sure to visit the site. You absolutely cannot to miss the wedding cakes in the post Wedding Wrecks. These fall into the category of "Not Quite What We Wanted." You'll love the comparisons of the model
cakes and the sad, inferior replicas.