Wednesday, August 29, 2012

This post originally was in my other blog on life, love and the music business

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Love is hard to find

We all live in the hope of loving and being loved. There it is....very simple statement that is so true.

Years ago I went into business for myself, and I opened a dating service. It was different than anything out there at the time. Now there are systems built on the path that we established and research that we accomplished. Services like and with Dr. Phil. But then the concept that I put forward was totally new.

I got into it because I had gotten divorced and was having a tough time figuring out the dating game. I did a lot of research and the more I read and learned the more I found out that it is a miracle if anyone finds anybody.

And so it is today. Even when you think you have found may be wrong. And then another great truth I learned is reinforced. There is no love without pain. 

Interested in a million musings ? click on this link: 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Officiate Pre Planning Part 2


a service of the Spiritual Growth Fellowship
a  church of The Sovereign Holy Order of Saint Raphael

Our Mission:
Romantic Personal Wedding Ceremonies You’ll Remember Forever
Beautiful, Meaningful & Memorable

The Most Reverend Doctor Charles E. Million, D.D.
13001 Dieterle Lane Saint Louis, MO 63127

 Phone: 314-965-5648 Toll Free: 888-521-8146
Cell: 314-503-4727 Fax: 314-984-0828

Let's start part two of Questions and Answers to Help The Officiate with a quick review of Part One.

So far we've given the officiate all your contact information, the location, day and time of the ceremony and if there is a rehearsal, it's day, time and location.

We've let the officiate know the ages of the couple and whether it's their first marriage or they have been married before. Why is this important? It is my philosophy (as I mentioned in part one) that weddings should not be "one size fits all." So the message and tone of a wedding for a twenty something couple both getting married for the first time is a different message and ceremony than I would write for a couple in their 40's who have been married before and have grown kids.

We have determined the style of the ceremony Traditional Religious, Non Denominational Religious, Spiritual (A non religious ceremony with quotes from poets, philosophers and great writers,)  Civil (Secular,). Blended (a service that is a blend of two of the above.  Other officiates may call them something else.

Last thing we covered in part one was the overall tone of the service. The feel of any of the styles listed above can be varied by tone selected.  

There are exceptions but I recommend that ceremonies last about 25 minutes. Longer than this and people get fidgety. Much shorter than 25 minutes  the ceremony doesn't seem  significant to the life event that is a marriage.

 21. Is 25 minutes acceptable time for you? ____Yes ____ No ___________________________________________

22. Do either the bride or groom have children from a previous relationship?  ______ If Yes, are they attending?
23. Do you want to include a "Blending of Families" ritual to include the children in the service? _______________
If so, what are the names of the children and who is the parent? ________________________________________________________________________________________
24. Are the children playing any other part in the ceremony? If so, what? ___________________________________
25. Do you wish to honor and acknowledge anyone in the text of service? People often honor their parents or grandparents or someone significant in your life, perhaps someone who introduced you?  ________ If so ,
Name                                                       Relationship / Reason to Honor                                      Alive/ Deceased
Example Name___________      _Introduced us__              ____Alive____________
_____________________       ______________________________________________________________
26. Do you also want to honor the mothers (alive)  with presentation of flower? ______________________________
27. Of those listed above for Honor and Acknowledgement who are deceased:
_____Mention only   ______ Flower on empty chair ______flower on table/altar _____ photo on table/empty seat.      ______ Candle on table/altar  ______ Candle at reception /head table _______ Other
       28. Will there be an exchange of rings?  _______  29.Will both of you be exchanging rings?  _______

30 There are two different TYPES of  vows. The traditional way is to have vows and then ring vows. Some people prefer to combine the vows and ring vows into one. Which do you prefer?  ________________________

31. There are three different ways to do the vows.
The first way is to write your own vows to each other. This sounds great but is harder than you think. Over the years ahead media hundred couples tell me that they were going to write their own,  only four have actually done it.

The second type is where I say everything and you guys just say I do. Some people like this because they are afraid they'll mess up the vows it's really nothing to fear but some people do

The third type of vows is where I say the vow is in small phrases and you repeat them. This is the prettiest type and there is nothing to fear as we are the only ones that know what you're supposed to say.

Which type of the vows  would you prefer?   _____Write Own _______ "I do" only _____Repeat vows

What tone would you like the vows to have?   _____Traditional and Serious
       _____ Religious Vows    _____      _____ Pretty and Meaningful

     32.  Special Touches. These rituals provide beauty, symbolism , your own personal style and/or tradition (ethic, religious, or family.)  You can add as many as you want, but we recommend using no more than two, one before and one after the vows. There are many to choose from, only a portion are listed here.

These descriptions are basic. It is better to discuss these, but we will try to describe the ones listed as best we can. Feel free to contact us for more descriptions and discussion of these special additions.

____The Unity Candle.  Bride and groom take two individual candles and light a center, larger candle symbolizing the joining of two individuals into one life. This can be done as a one step where bride and groom individually light the smaller taper candles then together light the bigger one, generally a pillar candle. As an alternative, the two step Unity candle ritual the mothers light the altar candles after they come down the aisle at the beginning of the service. The bride and groom light their individual tapers from those candles and light the large prior to the vows.
____Sand Ritual - Similar to Unity Candle. There are two smaller glass containers each with a different color sand that are poured into a larger container. This is very visual and if the large container can be capped it provides a keepsake of your wedding.
____Wine Ritual- (Can be done with grape juice for non drinkers) We have two bottles of wine, one red and one white. Bride pours for groom and groom pours for bride. They drink a toast to the person they met and fell in love with. Remainder of each glass is poured into a center chalice. The couple holds the chalice and they drink a toast to the coming life together in marriage. This is a very pretty ritual. The Ritual can end here or can be combined with the Time Capsule.
____Time Capsule. In advance a wooden box is prepared that will hold a bottle of blush wine and the two glasses used in the wine ritual. The couple writes letters to each other of what attracted them to each other, why they decided to marry and their hopes and dreams. They do not show the letters to each other but put them in envelopes. During the ceremony the box is closed with the letters, wine glasses and bottle of wine. On their ten year anniversary the couple opens the box, drinks the wine and read the letters to each other.
____ Ethnic Rituals. If you come from an ethnic group that has marriage rituals (e.g. Hispanic, Irish, Polish, African-American, Jewish ) include those here. __________________________________________________________________________
____Other Rituals. If there are other rituals that you know of that you would like to include please note them here ____
____Rose Ritual. This is a very pretty ritual. It is popular among couples that I marry because:
1. It is very pretty and romantic
2. If the guests have not been to a wedding I have officiated it will be new to them as I wrote most of this ritual myself.
3. It gives the couple something easy to do on their anniversary to say "I still love you."
The ritual involves the groom giving the bride a single rose and the bride giving the groom a vase of water. I discuss the symbolism.
33. If you would like to include some text about how you met, personal details of your relationship to include. note it here_____________________________________
34. Any other information you would like to include in the text _______________________________________________
35. Will any guests , family members, or hired performers be playing music, singing, doing a reading or otherwise taking part in the ceremony? ________________________________________________________________________________

36. Are you interested in other services? Note: Most officiate services do not offer these.

Translator:  Do you need someone to translate the service into another language during the ceremony? Do you want to provide an interpreter for the hearing impaired?

Streaming Video: Would you like the entire service to be seen in real time by those who can't attend? This can be a wonderful addition to the service. As an example....perhaps a relative (in this case let's say the Father of the Groom) who can't attend because they are hospitalized who would otherwise be forced to miss the event, can watch it as it actually happens.

2 minister wedding: A beautiful touch is to have more than one minister perform the ceremony. Sometimes the combination of a male and female minister is just the right touch.

36. Counseling and Testing. Are you interested in testing and counseling to improve your chances for a successful marriage? We will talk about this service in the blog in the near future.

This is not a requirement for us to perform your wedding ceremony. But we recommend marital counseling to all our clients….even if you choose to get it elsewhere.

37. Do you have Need for a PA?

38. Music Do you want assistance in picking the music, musicians, play the music?

Every officiate puts together the information in a different way. If you follow the guidelines noted here you will be prepared to meet with the officiate, no matter how they put the information together for your ceremony.

Don't hesitate to contact me if you have questions.

Charles Million

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Officiate Preplanning Part 1

a service of the Spiritual Growth Fellowship

Beautiful, Meaningful & Memorable
Romantic Personal Wedding Ceremonies You’ll Remember Forever

The Most Reverend Doctor Charles E. Million, D.D.
13001 Dieterle Lane Saint Louis, MO 63127  Phone: 314-965-5648 Toll Free: 888-521-8146 Cell: 314-503-4727 Fax: 314-984-0828

Every officiate has a different way of collecting the information they use to write your ceremony. That is, if they write a different ceremony for different couples. Not everyone does.

Our opinion is that wedding ceremonies should  not be "one size fits all."  Our mission  is to provide you with a ceremony which is Beautiful to hear or read, Meaningful to  the bride, groom and their guests,  and Memorable to all who participate or witness it.

I am dividing the questions into two parts....Part 1 is this week. I'm told all the time that I have to keep things short on the net because many folks have short attention spans. 


Charles Million

Remembrance Weddings
Preliminary Ceremony Planning Questions Part 1
© 2009 Million Dollar Ideas, Inc.
  Our preferred method of planning your wedding and determining the cost,  is talking with you as we can get a more clear "feeling" of what you want your wedding to be, by hearing you talk about it.  This has been prepared for helping you think about the answers to these questions so that you get the kind of wedding you are looking for...if you have chosen the right officiate.

 After all,  in those critical minutes of your ceremony all eyes will be on three people, the bride, the groom and the wedding officiate.

Basic Info:
1.What Is the name of the bride________________________________________________________________
2. What is the name of the groom?  ________________________________________
3. What is the address of the bride?  _________________________________________________________________
4. What is the address of the groom ? ________________________________________________________________
5. What is the phone number to be used for contact ?___________________________________________________
6. What is the email that is to be used for contact? _____________________________________________________
7. Is this first marriage for the bride?  ____Yes  _____  No  # _____
 Is this  first marriage for the groom? ____Yes  ______NO  #______
8. What is the time, date of and day of the wedding ? Day_____________Date___________________Time________
9. What is the location of the wedding ?______________________________________________________________

10.. If the location is outside what is the backup plan if the weather is bad? _________________________________

11. What is the age of the bride?  __________  What is the age of the groom? _________

Ceremony Information:
12. Is there going to be a rehearsal   for the  ceremony?  ____ Yes ____No.

Unless your wedding party is experienced at being in wedding ceremonies we recommend a rehearsal. All weddings go smoother when there has been  a rehearsal. Note:  Mon-Thurs rehearsals are more inexpensive than Fri-Sun.

13. If there is going to be a rehearsal, what is the day _________ Date___________ and location _______________?

14. What is the anticipated number of guests that will attend the wedding ceremony? ________________________
15. Do you have anything particular in mind special for the procession? Bridal party  performance,  musicians,  jugglers, or anything other than a traditional procession in mind? ______________________________________________________________

16. Will  the bridesmaids accompany the groomsman down the aisle or will the groomsman enter from the side and  the bridesmaids come down the aisle by themselves? __________________________________________________
17. Is anyone walking the bride down the aisle? _____
18. Is this person "giving the bride away?" _____
19. Who is this person and what is their relationship to you? ________________________________
Let's talk about the type of service that you're looking for.

The first type of service is the Traditional religious ceremony. This type of wedding has readings and quotes from the principal text of the religion of the couple . In a traditional Christian wedding this is the Bible. The ceremony follows closely to the rituals of the denomination. As an example, a traditional Catholic ceremony follows closely the Rite of Marriage of the Catholic Church.

The second type of ceremony is the Nondenominational. This ceremony is still primarily religious but does include some nonreligious quotes or readings. Also this ceremony is not focused on a particular denomination.

Next type of ceremony is the Spiritual. This is a very pretty, and the most romantic ceremony with readings and quotations from famous poets, great writers and philosophers. Although it does talk about higher power is not heavily religious in nature.

A Civil Ceremony is short and pretty dry. It gets the job done but is not as meaningful or pretty as the other types of services.

Last we have the Custom ceremony. If you want to get married to Limp Bizkit lyrics,  if you want a service that encompasses two different religions (Buddhist and Christian for example,) or want a themed wedding, e.g. "60"s",  "Cowboy," "Knights of the Round Table," etc.  . These are custom ceremonies. A custom ceremony  generally will cost more because it requires more time to  research and write it. If costuming is required for a themed wedding this cost will be added.

Blended A blended ceremony mixes a Non Denominational or Traditional Religious Ceremony with quotes and readings blended in from poets, philosophers and great writers from a Spiritual Ceremony.  This gives a religious ceremony that is a little lighter in tone and mood.

20. Which type of ceremony are you most interested in? _______________________________________________
21. What tone would you like overall for the ceremony text? _______Traditional Serious   _________ Lighter tone - Pretty   _____ Humorous and Fun. 

 Next week we'll complete the rest of the questions. Have a good week. 

Call us if you have any questions.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

General Guidelines for Rehearsal Traditions

This week we're going to talk a little about rehearsals. Later I will talk specifically about how I do a wedding rehearsal. Today's blog is about the traditional guidelines for the procession, where everybody stands during the ceremony, and the recession. Much of this material I gathered years ago from someplace on the net so I don't claim this is all original. I should credit someone but its been years since I gathered the info and I don't remember where I got it.

Whether you have a rehearsal is really up to you. I certainly wouldn't try to strong arm you into having a rehearsal if you don't want one. If you have a very simple wedding, no bridesmaids or groomsmen....or your bridesmaids and groomsmen are very experienced at weddings and already know what to do, you can get by without a rehearsal.

My personal opinion is that a wedding is a significant event in your life and a rehearsal always makes a wedding go smoother.

What I am outlining is the general guidelines for traditional way of doing things. I want to state up front, and will reiterate throughout, this is your wedding and you can change any of the following to suit what you want and need on your special day.

Personally I love those folks who get creative at their weddings. Dancing down the procession aisle, masks et al. adds to what makes your wedding unique to you and fun for the guests.

Purpose of a Wedding Rehearsal and General Guidelines
A Rehearsal Answers Multiple Questions and Has Goals:
 Everyone in the wedding party knows where the venue is and when they are expected to be there.
A.     Everyone learns what their role in the service is, and gets to practice that role.
B.     It answers the Rehearsal 4 Questions.
1.     How and from where do the bride, groom, bridesmaids, groomsmen, ring bearer, flower girl and the rest of the wedding party and family enter the wedding site and get in front of the guests?
2.     In what order do they arrive?
3.     Where do they stand?
4.     In what order do they leave?

It’s Your Wedding. We don’t have to follow the traditional ways of doing things!
1.              How and from where does everyone enter and get in front of the guests?
The answer is dictated by your preferences and the physical attributes of the wedding site. Here are the possible options:

The Groom's Entry: Grooms traditionally enters in one of five ways:       
             a. The groom is already out mingling with the guests and, at ceremony time, he simply stands at the pre-designated spot in front of the guests.                                                     
b. After the guests are all seated, the groom escorts his mother (sometimes also        the bride's mother) or both mothers to their seats, and then simply steps up his pre-designated spot in front of the guests. (This is the recommended entry option for the groom.)
c. After the bride and groom’s mothers are seated, the groom, the best man and minister enter from  the side and take their positions. 
d. The groom accompanies the minister down the center aisle. 
e. The bride and groom enter together by walking down the central aisle.
The Bride’s Entry: Brides traditionally enter in one of three ways:
a.     Traditionally, the bride is the last person to reach the pre-designated spot in front of the guests.
Most often, she walks down the central aisle, either by herself or accompanied by a friend or family member. Most often this is the father if he is available. It can be the father and the mother.
b.     The bride and groom enter together by walking down the central aisle.
c.      The bride and groom are already mingling with the guests and at the ceremony time they simply stand at the pre-designated spot in front of the guests. In more informal weddings the guests are invited to gather around.

Entry of the Bridesmaids and the Groomsmen
This is the simplest of all, if both are walking down the aisle. If you are male, you walk down the central aisle and go to the right. If you are female, you walk down the aisle and go to the left.
Exceptions:  a. if you are female and are an attendant for the groom, walk down the aisle and go to the right.                                                           
                                    If you are male and an attendant for the bride, walk down the aisle and go to the left.
                        b. Brides go down by themselves. Grooms enter from the side.
2. In what order do the members of the bridal party enter the wedding site?
The answer is…. Any way you want them to.
Here is the traditional entry order: Guests are seated.
·       Mother of the groom is seated in the front row on the right.
·       Mother of the bride is seated in the front row on the left.
·       Minister
·       Groom
·       Best Man
·       Groomsmen
·       Bridesmaids may enter separately or walk with Groomsmen.
·       Maid (matron) of honor.
·       Ring bearer
·       Flower Girl
·       Bride (with or without escort.)
3.    Where does everybody stand?
Again the answer is anywhere you want them to. The traditional positions are:
·       Minister – Front facing the guests
·       Groom – to the right of minister facing the guests until bride arrives. Then he turns and is in profile to the guests, facing his bride.
·       Best Man – on right closest to groom
·       Groomsmen – The first groomsman to enter stands the furthest away. The last to enter stands closest to the Best Man.
·       Bridesmaids – The first bridesmaid t enter stands the furthest away from the Bride. The last to enter stands closest to the maid (matron) of honor.
·       Maid of Honor- on left closest to the Bride.
·       Ring Bearer – On right between Best Man and the closest groomsman (unless too young and fidgety, then have them go to someone in first row. This is usually best)
·       Flower Girl – On left between the maid of honor and the closest bridesmaid.(again I recommend that if the flower girl is very young it is best if they are seated)
·       Bride – On left – in profile to guests – facing her groom.
·       Bride’s escort – Usually takes a seat in the front row on left.

As I noted above, my personal feeling is that with rare exceptions the flower girl and the ring bearer should be seated once they have come down the aisle. During the ceremony you want everyone to be looking at the bride and groom....not the cute antics of the ring bearer and/or flower girl standing up front.

4.    In What Order do the people leave? Again, any way you want.
Traditionally: Everyone walks out by going down the central aisle.
·       Bride and Groom Together
·       Ring Bearer and Flower Girl (Alternative is to have them walk out separately or if they are seated in the front row, the leave with those folks.)
·       Best Man and Maid (Matron) of Honor
·       Bridesmaids and Groomsmen (together or separately.)
·       Parents of the Bride
·       Parents of the Groom
·       The remaining guests
·       Minister

I hope this is helpful. Until next  Wed News Day.