Archive for the ‘Traditions’ Category


Christmas traditions

December 23, 2010


I’ve been thinking a lot about holiday traditions lately and how they often change when two people get married.

Although Randy and I have been together for eight years, we’ve always spent our Christmases apart. It’s not because we don’t WANT to be together (I’ve shed many tears over the years, trust me), but working out a schedule is virtually impossible without one of us spending the majority of the holiday driving.

I made the comment Tuesday night we might have to change things around next year since we’ll be married (and he agreed).

As the words were leaving my mouth, though, I thought, “Why?”

We’re not changing who we are. We’re not moving or changing jobs. We’re not drastically altering our relationship.

Why change what we’ve done for years just because we’re getting married?

It seems silly to me … for us … for our relationship.

(FYI: Having a baby counts as a drastic relationship changer. I fully expect traditions to morph once we have kids. Which, let’s face it, are a few years away yet. :-P)

Tell me …

What holiday traditions changed when you got married? How did you reach a compromise? How did your families deal with the change?

P.S. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from me to you! For the Mountaineers out there, Happy Holidays from WVU too.


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.


To toss … or not

July 9, 2010

Although my friend Stacy commented she likes the “Up Next” feature, I need to break from that for a post.

After reading this entry on Weddingbee, I feel I must confess:

I’m not tossing my bouquet.

Photo Credit:

Randy will not be tossing the garter.

Photo Credit:

I told several friends and family members about our decision to nix this part of wedding tradition and the reactions ranged from “What!?!”*** to “We didn’t toss anything either.”

My response is always the same, “The majority of our guests are already married.”

True story.

Besides, we’d rather incorporate something more fun:

P.S. Do you know the history behind the garter and bouquet tosses? Who knew men and women used to tear pieces of the bride’s dress because it was considered lucky? Brings new meaning to Trash the Dress!

***A surprised “What?!” I’m not implying they had a problem with the decision. 🙂

Up Next (again): Another June-iversary