One of the joys of being a wedding minister in the Madison, WI and South Central Wisconsin area is having the ability to travel to a number of unique and different types of wedding venues around the state. One of my favorite is the Wisconsin State Capitol. Not only is the Capitol beautiful, it is also a fantastic deal. In other words, it is free to get married in the Rotunda. Afterwards, the couple had a small reception at Harvest, a restaurant located on the Capitol Square.
Here are some photos from Heather and Michael's wedding on July 12. Thank you Adam Tyksinski Photography for sharing these BEAUTIFUL photos with me.
"Kids say the darndest things." (Art Linkletter) Not much has changed over the years. These are the responses from a group of young kids who were asked how to decide who to marry. Their answers are pretty amusing.
HOW DO YOU DECIDE WHO TO MARRY?
(1) You got to find somebody who likes the same stuff. Like, if you like sports, she should like it that you like sports, and she should keep the chips and dip coming.
- Alan, age 10
(2) No person really decides before they grow up who they’re going to marry. God decides it all way before, and you get to find out later who you’re stuck with.
- Kristen, age 10
WHAT IS THE RIGHT AGE TO GET MARRIED?
(1) Twenty-three is the best age because you know the person FOREVER by then.
- Camille, age 10
(2) No age is good to get married at. You got to be a fool to get married.
- Freddie, age 6 (very wise for his age)
HOW CAN A STRANGER TELL IF TWO PEOPLE ARE MARRIED?
(1) You might have to guess, based on whether they seem to be yelling at the same kids.
- Derrick, age 8
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR MOM AND DAD HAVE IN COMMON?
(1) Both don’t want any more kids.
- Lori, age 8
WHAT DO MOST PEOPLE DO ON A DATE?
(1) Dates are for having fun, and people should use them to get to know each other. Even boys have something to say if you listen long enough.
- Lynnette, age 8
(2) On the first date, they just tell each other lies and that Usually gets them interested enough to go for a second date.
- Martin, age 10
WHAT WOULD YOU DO ON A FIRST DATE THAT WAS TURNING SOUR?
(1) I’d run home and play dead. The next day I would call all the newspapers and make sure they wrote about me in all the dead columns.
-Craig, age 9
WHEN IS IT OKAY TO KISS SOMEONE?
(1) When they’re rich.
- Pam, age 7
(2) The law says you have to be eighteen, so I wouldn’t want to mess with that.
- Curt, age 7
(3) The rule goes like this: If you kiss someone, then you should marry them and have kids with them. It’s the right thing to do.
- Howard, age 8
IS IT BETTER TO BE SINGLE OR MARRIED?
(1) I don’t know which is better, but I’ll tell you one thing. I’m never going to have sex with my wife. I don’t want to be all grossed out.
- Theodore, age 8
(2) It’s better for girls to be single but not for boys. Boys need someone to clean up after them.
- Anita, age 9
HOW WOULD THE WORLD BE DIFFERENT IF PEOPLE DIDN’T GET MARRIED?
(1) There sure would be a lot of kids to explain, wouldn’t there?
- Kelvin, age 8
And the #1 Favorite is……..
HOW WOULD YOU MAKE A MARRIAGE WORK?
(1) Tell your wife that she looks pretty, even if she looks like a truck.
- Ricky, age 10
Since Etsy.com launched in 2005, the online marketplace featuring over 800,00 vendors selling their handmade wares has become a go-to resource for couples looking to elevate their nuptials with one-of-kind, DIY touches (there's even a dedicated section of the site just for weddings). Here are a few of my current favorites.
Click on the picture to be taken directly to the Etsy site of each artist.
This sweet chalkboard print by Lily And Val features an amorous quote by Edgar Allan Poe. Perfect for a newlywed couple! Says the designer, "This piece is entirely hand lettered on a chalkboard surface. I then took a photograph of the artwork to produce the print. This method truly provides a realistic chalkboard appearance minus the dust. I absolutely love offering a temporary medium like chalk in a form that is lasting and permanent."
Personalized Ribbon- You can keep the 'I love you' or put your names or wedding date or your favorite expression. This ribbon just oozes romantic rustic goodness that is perfect for all styles of weddings & special occasions. This ribbon is hand torn by the artist. She frays each side to imperfect perfection, & then hand stamp it with your choice of words!
These customizable wedding bands from Monkeys Always Look can be stamped with the latitude and longitude of where you and your spouse first met, or any other text or quote that's meaningful to you. Says the designer, "Couples thank us for creating such a unique piece. Only the husband and wife would know exactly the meaning behind each latitude/longitude."
These custom guestbooks are handcrafted by Lorgie, and made from timber and vegan leather. Says the designer, "The custom messages on these timber books are carefully designed in collaboration with clients before being laser engraved. The timber covers are sanded and coated with an eco varnish and the paper inserts are hand torn and cut to size before being bound together with coloured vegan leather strips and quality hardware."
These personalized clutches by Allisa Jacobs are the perfect gift for your bridesmaids. Says the designer, "These bags are excellent for weddings because I'm able to customize the colors to a bride's request, monogram each bag, and even include an individualized message printed on the fabric inside - creating a one of a kind, handmade, personalized gift."
a southern bucket introduces our newest addition....... monogrammed burlap runners. These are the WOW factor for your white linen covered tables at your wedding event. Single initial, double monogram and triple monogram designs will be available. We also are using our very popular design with last name initial and Est. year. Great way to incorporate trendy burlap trend for weddings of any style or venue. Absolutely charming for weddings, parties and home decor.
These eco-friendly wedding utensils from Apropos Roasters are made from sustainable wood and come with a custom monogram stamp that you can use on other design elements at your wedding. Says the designer, "I wanted to offer custom table settings but don't like to use plastic. Brides tell me later that they get lots of compliments on the tableware, and, when it's time to write thank-you cards, they get to use their custom stamp for a finishing touch."
This handmade wool felt corsage from Handmade Colectibles will last a lifetime. Says the designer: "Each rose is made out of wool felt which makes it long-lasting and something that they won't have to worry about it wilting the next day. Because of the longevity you can save your wedding flowers and treasure them forever. There are hundreds of felt colors to choose from so you can customize your roses any way you like."
These large tree-print posters from Personalized Prints offer a unique alternative to the traditional guestbook: each guest signs a leaf on your tree, which can then be displayed long after the wedding is over. Says the designer, "Each guest signs a leaf to fill the tree with happy memories. Traditional guestbooks often end up stored in a closet, never to be seen again. We thought it was time to update that tradition."
Photo of Benjamin and Amanda Farrow's wedding at Grace Episcopal Church. No regrets from this couple about their wedding day. They have been happily married for more than 5 years.
Check out this article from the Huffington Post about regrets brides had about their big day. This article originally appeared in Wedding Ideas magazine
Your wedding day was perfect and you wouldn't change a thing, right? Wrong! These real brides reveal what they would have done differently if they could have their time again...
“I should have hired a wedding planner. We had a marquee wedding at home and had to organize every little detail ourselves -- not good!” - Rebecca
“I wouldn’t worry so much about my dress getting dirty. We got some pictures taken underneath a blossom tree. They are our favourite photos from the day!” - Helen
“I wouldn’t be so hung up on color schemes. I thought about colors for so long but was worried I would put something hideous together! So in the end I just chose colors I liked and went for bright and bold!” - Shelley
“In terms of budgeting I should have tried not to get so carried away in the couple of weeks before the wedding -- it’s so easy to! You’ve done so well so don’t spoil it with last minute expensive impulse buys!” - Lintilla
“I would have listened when the dress designer told me how to attach the train to my dress. We spent 30 stressful minutes trying to work it out!” - Jenni
“If we did it all again I might not have done so much ourselves, as although we had a lot of help, I organized everything pretty much from scratch and it did end up being more stressful for us.” - Sarah
“The only thing we’d change about the wedding was our DJ. The prices do reflect the quality, so if you think you’re getting a really good, cheap deal -- there might be a reason for that!” - Esme
“If we could do it all again we’d try harder to take it all in. It’s a magical day, but very surreal and it’s easy to get carried along and lose hours of time in what feels like minutes. I’m not sure it’s possible, but listen to people when they tell you to take a minute to savor it all!” - Sophie
“I’m glad we planned indoor activities. Even though we were lucky with the weather, it was less stressful knowing we had a back-up plan just in case.” - Donna
“We didn’t think about a videographer until it was too late. I wish I had someone capturing the speeches!” - Victoria
“I should have asked the photographers to stay longer so I had more shots of people dancing at the evening reception.” - Karen
“We didn't assign seating and probably should have because everyone seemed reluctant to meet the other side of the family.” - Jenny
“I would definitely remember to have some tissue ready on the top table -- those speeches are going to make you cry!” - Hannah
One of the advantages of being an officiant and wedding planner is being able to use some of the ideas swirling around in your head for your own daughter's wedding. When Kyra and Mike got married last September it was a complete DIY (Do It Yourself) style of wedding. Not only did we do all our own decorating and flower arranging, we even cooked the meal for 200 guests. (One of my sons is a private chef and my husband is also a fantastic cook.) The ceremony was a Grace Episcopal Church, our home parish where Kyra was baptized and confirmed, and the reception was at a private farm. It was a lot of work and as they say "it took a village". But we saved tens of thousands of dollars by doing all the work ourselves and in the end we celebrated a delightful day surrounded by family and friends.
Here are photos of a few of the wedding details and a link to a video montage our photographer Lori Compas together, so you have a brief glimpse of how it all came together.
Most of the photos below were also taken by Lori Compas and a few were by our friend Mary Prior.
One of my favorite vendors is A La Crate Vintage Rentals. Here is what they say about their business: "We are a vintage, reclaimed and custom rental warehouse stocked with large collections and one-of-a-kind props to complete your wedding, event, design project and photo shoot needs with personality and style. Our goal is to alleviate the legwork of finding and reselling vintage items for one-time use. We want to promote a culture of do-it-yourself (D.I.Y.) creativity that appreciates the quality and value of the past, breaking the cycle of buy-use-waste. Together, Sarah and Jeff Mullins created A LA CRATE to share these collections with you."
Be sure to check out their photo gallery of some of the amazing props they have for rent. We used them for my own daughter's wedding (umbrella in photo) last September.
Last weekend I was the officiant for Jackie Wallin and Alex Kirchner's wedding at Pres House. Check out this terrific video Gabe Erickson from My Lens Your Story Productions put together for the wedding couple.
In addition to being a wedding officiant, I am also the wedding coordinator at Grace Episcopal Church. Grace has been our home parish for almost 30 years and I have been the wedding coordinator since 2005.
This week the Monday post from This Week at Grace featured weddings. In addition to giving a little information about why couples like to get married at Grace, it also featured a great video from a recent wedding.
If you are interested in more information about weddings at Grace, be sure to check out the Grace Church Wedding Page or the Grace Church Madison Wedding Facebook Page where you will find photos from previous weddings. Or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 608.213.7558.
KORU (kor roo) is the Maori word for “loop.” I was introduced to this word when my daughter lived in New Zealand. To the indigenous people, the koru spiral represents the new shoots of the fern frond as it begins to unfurl, symbolizing new beginnings or a new phase of life. Koru also means positive change, personal growth and hope for the future. It embodies one’s spirituality, working together in harmony and being mindful of the good things in life. At Koru Ceremony I strive to embody these ideals that honors new beginnings through ceremony.
Here are some photos I have taken of ferns unfurling or koru over time. Most are from our backyard, and my travels to New Zealand and Costa Rica.
Hello Everyone! Welcome to my blog! I didn't realize I had the capability to blog on my website and only just recently discovered it. So my first post is a few of my favorite photos I posted today on Facebook from Rebecca Soares and Adam Rigoni's wedding I officiated at Pres House on June 29. What a lovely couple to work with and Lisa Mathewson did a wonderful job of capturing their wedding day.
Welcome to our blog. As an officiant and wedding coordinator I delight in assisting couples celebrate one of the best and most memorable days of their life. I hope you find this blog to be a source of inspiration and joy.