Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Wedding Ceremony - When Sarah marries Sam

So finally Sarah and Sam are engaged. This is an exciting and exhilarating time for a newly engaged couple. It can, however, also be a time filled with concerns and questions about how to plan their wedding ceremony.

Let me tell you a little about Sarah and Sam, my fictional couple for this post. Sarah and Sam just got engaged after being together for several years. They both live in and grew up in Washington State. They are very excited to be taking the step of marriage in their relationship. They are both in their middle to late twenties. Sarah is not very religious but Sam grew up going to church. Some of their family and friends are very happy for them. However there are others who do not support their engagement and upcoming marriage. Sarah’s parents were divorced when she was fairly young and her mom has remarried. Sarah is close to both her step Dad and her father. Sam’s parents have been married for almost 30 years. They are uncertain if they can be supportive of Sam’s marriage to Sarah.

As Sarah and Sam start to think about their wedding day, they have many of the same questions and issues that other couples have. They, as a couple, have never had to consider the aspects of planning a wedding ceremony.

·         Who will walk down the aisle with Sarah or Sam? Will it be Sarah’s Step Dad, her father, or both of them? Sarah now needs to think about what this decision will mean to each of her “dads”. Will Sam walk down the aisle with parents or alone? Maybe Sarah and Sam will each walk down the aisle alone or together and not be “given away”.

·         Will they have friends and family in their wedding party and if so, how many people? Neither of them wants to alienate any of their friends or family by not choosing one of them. Who will stand up for them and support them? Many they will be unique and have a Man of Honor or a Best Woman.

·         Which family members will sit in the first few rows at the ceremony? Will Sarah’s Mom sit in the first row with her husband along with Sarah’s Dad or will this a point of contention? Will family or friends who don’t support them decide not to attend at all? Will Sam’s parents come around and be there for them? How will Sarah and Sam feel about this possibility?

·         Will they write their own vows or go with a more traditional ceremony based on Sam’s religious background? Perhaps Sam’s family, trying to be involved and supportive, will give lots of unsolicited advice about what they should or should not do. How will the couple address this in a strong but loving way so they can have the ceremony that they really want and still be respectful of Sam’s parents?

·         Who will perform their ceremony and marry them since Sarah does not belong to Sam’s church? Will they even be able to marry in Sam’s church or will they need to consider getting married by a non-denominational celebrant at their reception venue instead?

These are a few of the many decisions Sarah and Sam will need to make for their wedding ceremony. Just the same as other couples, they will have some easy and some challenging moments during their wedding planning. They now can plan their wedding ceremony in Washington State and say “I do”. Until now, this was not a legally recognized option for same sex couples. But now, with some family support, love and good wedding planning, all the details will come together on the day that Sarah marries Samantha.

Monday, July 2, 2012

A Mountaintop Wedding

Last summer in July, one of my bridal couples got married on the summit of Crystal Mountain. What a unique location to have a ceremony! The view was beautiful. Below is a link to a video clip from their mountain top ceremony and reception at the base lodge.

This couple was such a pleasure to work with on their wedding planning. She was very creative in her choices for place cards, centerpieces and table markers. He was a fun loving man, very in love with his wife to be. Their video captures their spirit and their love for each other.

A few things that made this wedding interesting and a bit of a challenge:

There was snow still on the mountain that day in mid July. In fact that was their last day of skiing that year.

Guests rode gondolas to the summit for the ceremony. A few of the guests were not aware of this beforehand and found this mode of transportation a little scary. Planning was essential for the logistics of getting 100 guests up the mountain for the ceremony and down for the reception. All this and still keeping on the timeline for the day’s events.

Due to mountain weather being unpredictable and able to change in a moment, this venue has 7 different layers of back up plans depending on the couples’ preferences. My couple was lucky and it was mostly clear with a great view of the Cascade mountain range.

The summit is 7012 feet in elevation. Winds and cold are challenges for the usual wedding wear such a strapless wedding gowns, high heels and updo hairstyles. Some thought should be given to stable aisle markers and ceremony d├ęcor not only because of the wind but because everything has to go up and down on the gondola. These things all worked out for my couple but not without a few challenging moments. They even had a harpist who brought a full size harp up in the gondola for ceremony music. By the way she had to take out an extra insurance rider for the harp under these conditions.

I love working this venue even with my fear of heights in the gondola, the interesting logistics and the multiple back up plans needed for a successful mountaintop wedding.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

How to Be Certain About Your Wedding Choices

Do you find yourself second guessing your every decision?

Are you afraid to pick your wedding day vendors?

Not sure what you really want?

Are others telling you what to choose?

Indecision can hurt you while you are planning your wedding. Being in limbo is very uncomfortable. Some of this is normal and comes from this being a new experience, doing something you have never done before. Planning your wedding is most likely the most expensive “party" you will ever plan. Yes, this can be scary.

Here are some suggestions to tame these concerns:

·         Know that you are not alone. Feeling nervous about making the "right" decision is normal. Believe that you can do this and if you know you need help, hire a professional to help you plan.

·         Get to the root of your indecision. Is there a real reason why you are struggling with making a decision about a wedding vendor? If you feel there is a real reason for your inability to choose, get a second reliable opinion.

·         Honor your budget. Every couple knows deep down what they can afford to spend on their wedding day. From your total budget, spend your dollars on the aspects that mean our most important to both of you. It is tempting to be impulsive and spend on each new thing that catches your attention. Staying within or close to your budget will leave you feeling better about your decisions after the wedding day.

·         Listen to your heart. When you are fairly sure it is right, trust yourself and go with the decision.

·         Sleep on it. Give it a day or two. Don’t let others (friends, family or wedding professionals) rush you into a decision. If it is right for you, I believe it will still be there in the morning.

·         Don't be a sheep. Just because three of your friends did a cake topper or a candy bar at their wedding doesn't mean you have to do so also. Be yourself and only you. Your personalized wedding will mean so much more to you both than chasing every new trend.

·         Keep a long-term perspective. Remember that your wedding day is only one day in the rest of your whole married life. At the end of the day, you will be married to your love, your spouse.

Trust yourself. You made the decision to say “Yes” to the love of your life. The rest is just icing on the cake.

Call me 206-601-6957 or email me  if you want some help getting on track. Your “get acquinted” first consultation with me is complimentary.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

10 Questions to ask any wedding vendor

As a bride or groom, you will be meeting with several different types of wedding vendors like photographers, DJs, caterers, etc. It is easy to forget your questions when sitting in front of a vendor or sometimes it is hard to know what to ask in the first place. Here are ten general questions to ask any vendor you interview:

· Are they available for your wedding date and time?

· How long have they been in business

· Do they have a business license?

· Do they have liability insurance?

· Is the person you are interviewing going to be the person who is there the day of your wedding?

· Has the vendor worked before at your location?

· What is included in the price/package?

· What is the required deposit and is it refundable?

· What are the fees for extra hours?

· Do they do more than one wedding a day?

· What is their back up plan in case of illness or accident?

These ten questions will tell you a lot about a particular vendor. Depending on the answers to these questions, you will probably think of others to ask. Remember this is an interview and you are the one offering the financial opportunity.