Archive for the ‘Ceremony’ Category


X-Files love

February 26, 2011

One of the questions for our ceremony homework was, “Would you like to include any particular readings?”

I’ve already written about one.

The other is a bit unorthodox.

You see, I have a mild obsession with The X-Files.

During a high school speech class, we had to give an award to another classmate. Guess what mine was? The Ultimate X-Files Fan. When I think about that day I have to shake my head.

We weren’t supposed to wear shorts when giving a speech (an attempt to look professional, I suppose); however, the guy presenting my award NEVER wore pants. In an effort to not get docked points, he asked me if there was ever an episode where Mulder wore shorts. I remember rattling off the name of an episode – which one, I don’t know – and he used it in his introduction.

I’m such a nerd. 😛

Anyway …

Given The X-Files was home to several fantastic writers – and one of the best will they/won’t they relationships on television (they DID, BTW ;)) – I can’t believe using something from one of the scripts never entered my mind.

Feeling lovey dovey, I Googled “love quotes” on Valentine’s Day and stumbled upon this LiveJournal post. Within the comments, someone posted this quote:

Well, it seems to me that the best relationships– the ones that last– are frequently the ones that are rooted in friendship. You know, one day you look at the person and you see something more than you did the night before. Like a switch has been flicked somewhere. And the person who was just a friend is… suddenly the only person you can ever imagine yourself with. -Scully, “X-Files”

Bonus points if you can tell me which episode (without Google!).

That couldn’t describe my feelings toward Randy more accurately.

For those of you who don’t know, Randy and I worked together at Domino’s Pizza while I was in college. In a testosterone-filled work environment (until Becky was hired I was the only girl), Randy treated me with respect and really valued my work ethic. And, I can say, the feelings were mutual. I LOVED working with him and actually enjoyed coming in when I knew he’d be the manager on duty.

He was funny and carefree.

I liked talking to him – even if he was REALLY into cars. 😉

For almost two years, I had a great colleague and friend. I was dating someone else at the time, so I didn’t really see much beyond that.

Then one day it hit me.

I was dating the wrong guy.

I remember calling my Mom crying about wanting to break up with my then-boyfriend, but I didn’t tell her why. Heck, I was still working through the feelings myself.

The weeks following that discovery were both painful and exciting. It certainly made me realize I’m stronger than I thought – and you have to go after what you want.

He’s my Mulder. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. 😀


Holy homework!

January 7, 2011

I haven’t had homework in several years, but that changed today.

These aren’t traditional school assignments either …

It’s ceremony writing homework!

Since we decided to ask a friend to perform our ceremony, we enlisted the help of Jessie Blum of Eclectic Unions to write our ceremony. After exchanging several e-mails and signing a contract, Jessie gave us “homework” to get the ball rolling.

The packet includes options for our vows (or starting points to write our own), reading suggestions, ring vow options (“With this ring, I thee wed”), The Asking options (“I, Lindsay, take you, Randy …”), and a form to list our wedding party, songs, etc.

But that’s not all.

There is a two-page questionnaire about us, our relationship, our views of the wedding, etc. that we have to fill out … separately.

No group work for you! 😛

With that in mind, I have a confession …

I underestimated the amount of work it would take to create a personalized ceremony. After first reading the document, I was overwhelmed. There were questions I never considered (“What do you hold sacred?”), and questions I could answer with paragraphs (“What does your partner do that always makes you laugh?”).

Don’t get me wrong; I’m all kinds of excited to get started. I’m even more excited to read the final product and, more importantly, actually say our vows in front of friends and family. I even think answering the questions – and then comparing them – will be great for us. In its own unique way, it’s our pre-martial counseling.

But, wow! I guess it’s true:

“About the only thing that comes to us without effort is old age.”

~Gloria Pitzer



Play a song for me

January 4, 2011

Not our guitarist


Ya’ll, I love the musician we picked for our ceremony.

Like, a lot. It makes me want to do a little jig.

I haven’t felt this way since hiring Amberlee. 😀

We met Kevin last night at The Blue Moose Cafe. After a bit of chit chat, I learned he’s not only a musician but a writer as well. He’s also a fellow P.I. Reed School of Journalism alum. Bonus points for you, sir. 😉

He readily described his musical style (Jack Johnson-esque) and said if we were looking for non-traditional ceremony music, he could be our man.

Umm … yeah. That’s exactly what I had in mind. Tell me more.

He is, first and foremost, an original artist; however, he’s willing to learn whatever songs we’d like him to perform. If a song or two isn’t working out, he’ll let us know well enough in advance so things can be switched around. When asked if he had original songs that would fit a wedding, he answered affirmatively – and then offered to do rough recordings of them so we could have a listen. Sweet!

In the end, we settled on 30 minutes of prelude music, music for the entrances, and then 15 minutes of recessional music with the understanding we had plenty of time to switch things around. I’m also all about mixing covers with his original music.

Below is the list of songs I presented him. Although I wouldn’t say I’m musically inclined, I tried to pick songs with a strong guitar base. I think I did a decent job:

Throw some others my way, if you have them! I’d rather have more options than not enough.


I now pronounce you …

December 17, 2010

Here’s the deal: This is the happy post I alluded to on Wednesday. I promise it’s likely only exciting to me; however, I hope you all can appreciate my school-girl giddiness. With that said, consider this advance warning of the religious topics I discuss below. If that makes you uneasy, please bow out now. If you decide to read on (and I hope you do), know that I judge no one for his or her beliefs and expect the same respect in return.

Visit any wedding website or read any magazine and you’ll likely find this piece of advice:

Prioritize, prioritize, prioritize

I’ve tried my best to do that, but everything seems SO important. From the venue to the invitations to the place cards, I had a very difficult time crowning one thing King Priority. When all was said and done, I ended up with three numero unos.

Everything else, of course, is tied for second. 😛

You already know I snagged an awesome venue – and an amazing photographer – but my third number one may seem a bit out of place.

It’s not our cake vendor.

It’s not even our florist.

It’s the person who will marry us.

I was raised Catholic and attended Sunday School on a regular basis until I graduated high school. I was active in my parish’s youth group and the regional youth ministries for years. I still have a very dear friend who I would have never met otherwise.

However, as I matured and became more worldly (as worldly as someone can become in West Virginia, I suppose), I came to realize my belief system did not align itself with the Catholic Church anymore. For awhile I attended with my parents when I stayed with them, but I gradually eased myself away from even that. I still attend on Christmas Eve more so out of tradition and respect for the meaning of the season than anything else.

On the flip side, Randy’s religious background is Church of God and Pentecostal. He attended church every Wednesday and twice on Sundays growing up. His mom had very strong beliefs when it came to church, The Bible and the meaning of the passages within.

Randy and his sister never celebrated Halloween. Not even in the modern sense of dressing up in cute costumes and asking people for candy. The symbolism of the day conflicted with his mom’s (and probably his to some degree) convictions.

Although he doesn’t talk about it much, I get the sense he’s grown apart from his religious upbringing over the years. I believe we both have maintained some of the core values even though we may not claim a particular religion as our own (together or separately). To this day, neither of us has sought out a church in town – and we’re okay with that.

We said from the beginning we wanted our ceremony to be unique to us. We want an officiant who is flexible and willing to work with us. We want to say vows meaningful to us as a couple.

I was plagued for months, however, by not knowing where to find someone willing to do that – and Google provided little help.

I looked at my to-do list last month and saw two red (overdue) entries:

  • Hire ceremony officiant
  • Hire ceremony musician

It was then I realized … Oh crud! We can’t get married without someone to perform the ceremony, you silly bride.

I had dinner with Bridesmaid Alicia shortly thereafter and she listened to my story. She then reminded me her brother-in-law (who is a former co-worker of mine) had once thought of becoming ordained to perform his friend’s ceremony.

Ooooh! Could it be the right person was under my nose all along?

I casually mentioned it to him – explaining what we’d want – and asked if he’d be interested. He said yes, but asked me to check into the requirements he’d have to fulfill.

Did you know there are plenty of organizations that offer online ordination?

I figured that’s what he would do (picking whichever organization he likes best), but after reading West Virginia laws I briefly worried it wouldn’t be possible.

§48-2-402. Qualifications of religious representative for celebrating marriages; registry of persons authorized to perform marriage ceremonies; special revenue fund.
(a) Beginning the first day of September, two thousand one, the Secretary of State shall, upon payment of the registration fee established by the Secretary of State pursuant to subsection (d) of this section, make an order authorizing a person who is a religious representative to celebrate the rites of marriage in all the counties of the state, upon proof that the person:

(1) Is eighteen years of age or older;

(2) Is duly authorized to perform marriages by his or her church, synagogue, spiritual assembly or religious organization; and

(3) Is in regular communion with the church, synagogue, spiritual assembly or religious organization of which he or she is a member.

When I read the words “church,” “synagogue,” “spiritual assembly,” and “religious organization,” I took them at face value. Would his ordination through an online organization be recognized?

I called the Secretary of State’s Office to inquire, fully expecting the answer to be, “No.”

I was pleasantly surprised! Yes, my friend can become ordained online and perform our ceremony – as long as he fills out the application and sends the required documents (proof of ordination, letter of good standing, etc.).


I’m over-the-moon happy everything turned out the way it did.

Now I have to find or write a ceremony. Or I could have someone else write it for us.


‘Blessing for a Marriage’

October 27, 2010

Hello, fellow readers!

I intended my next post to cover a topic that is often divisive (religion and our search for an officiant), but I decided I couldn’t have two serious posts in a row. Although you could argue these serious topics are proof planning a wedding isn’t always a bed of roses, I’d rather focus on lovely wedding things (with serious occasionally making an appearance).

And what you’re about to read is indeed lovely. I found it on Weddingbee courtesy of Mrs. Stiletto and I will do everything in my power to make sure it’s included in our wedding ceremony …

Blessing for a Marriage by James Dillet Freeman

May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring, and may life grant you also patience, tolerance, and understanding.

May you always need one another – not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you to know your fullness. A mountain needs a valley to be complete; the valley does not make the mountain less, but more; and the valley is more a valley because it has a mountain towering over it. So let it be with you and you.

May you need one another, but not out of weakness.

May you want one another, but not out of lack.

May you entice one another, but not compel one another.

May you embrace one another, but not out encircle one another.

May you succeed in all important ways with one another, and not fail in the little graces.

May you look for things to praise, often say, “I love you!” and take no notice of small faults. If you have quarrels that push you apart, may both of you hope to have good sense enough to take the first step back.

May you enter into the mystery which is the awareness of one another’s presence – no more physical than spiritual, warm and near when you are side by side, and warm and near when you are in separate rooms or even distant cities.

May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy.

May you have love, and may you find it loving one another.


It gives me warm fuzzies and makes my eyes misty at the same time.


Bubbles or Ribbon Wands?

July 20, 2010

Since our ceremony and reception are at the same location, I figured we’d have to sacrifice the traditional greeting of the newlyweds (rice, birdseed, bubbles, etc). At every wedding I’ve attended, the ceremony was indoors with the receiving line in the church entry way. The guests greeted the families as they left the church and then waited outside for the new Mr. & Mrs.

For the life of me, I could not figure out how something like that would work when we’d be transitioning outside to inside. Then the light bulb came on.

Why not do something like that as we’re walking down the aisle after the ceremony? 😀

Since I liken birdseed to sand (you’re still cleaning it up days later), I figured we’d just use bubbles. They’re fun, carefree and often remind me of summer days as a child. They also make pretty cool pictures:


My brother and sister-in-law


Random couple

They also happen to be budget friendly.

But then I found cute pictures of people waving ribbon wands:

How cute are those? They almost make me want to take up rhythmic gymnastics. Almost. 😉 Since I’m not normally a DIYer, I’ve decided I to limit myself to two projects (and one for Randy :-P) outside the normal place cards, programs, signage, etc. I already have one (read about it later this week!), but these ribbons could be the second – especially after  finding this simple tutorial on Style Me Pretty. Even I can’t mess that up.

I like both ideas for different reasons. The bubbles because they’re easy, the ribbons because they’re different. But I can’t decide. So … I’m taking a poll:

Up Next: Candy, candy everywhere



‘Mom, I’m getting married here’

July 8, 2010
Erickson Alumni Center

Personal Photo

That title sentence  adequately summarizes how the Alumni Center (AC) came to be the chosen one.

I toured the new venue after a meeting in late 2008 – several months before Randy popped the question. I couldn’t get over how nice the place was! More importantly, with the exception of the Club Room which has red and gold tones, the entire facility is a blank slate with almost endless decorative possibilities. Likewise, the courtyard and fireplace are amazing.

After the tour finished, I called mom while walking to my car. I don’t think I let her finish “Hello” before I blurted, “Mom, I just toured the new Alumni Center. I’m getting married there one day…”

We oohed, aahed and shared exciting ideas, but the information was tucked away for future reference at the end of the conversation. “One day,” I thought.

That one day was Feb. 27, 2009.

I didn’t immediately book AC, however. I researched other venues like I felt I should, but I knew deep down nothing would compare.

I got price lists for the Waterfront Place Hotel and Lakeview Golf Resort and Spa since they best fit my two main requirements for our wedding – outdoor ceremony space and the ability to host the ceremony and reception.

I’ll be honest; I nixed Lakeview right away. My parents were not impressed when they attended a wedding there, and I never really pictured myself getting married on a golf course. I knew if I couldn’t, there was no way Randy could. 😛

WPH was a contender, but, again, the ceremony location (concrete patio overlooking the Monongahela River) wasn’t ideal. In the end, though, the ornate décor was what pushed me away. I’m scared of color, you see, and the idea of mixing pink, orange and green flowers with blue, gold and brown décor was too much for me.

In June, I attended a meeting at the AC and popped my head into the director’s office afterward.

“Hi! Can you tell me how far in advance you take reservations for events?”

“Well,” she said. “I have some 2011 dates booked already.”

Wha …??

After I regained my composure, I was able to tell her we wanted to get married in June 2011. She already had one Saturday booked during the month, but the other three were open. She gave me a packet of information, told me to read it over and give her a call if I was still interested.

And I did … the next day.

Just kidding.

But it was less than a week.

Randy and I met with her to go over the contract in July; Mom and I met with her when I signed the contract and put down the deposit in August; we’ll meet again later this year to discuss menu options. Yay!

Up next: Another Jun-iversary