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 Ban.do 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!