Thursday, January 31, 2013

Wedding Rituals...The preliminary ritual possibilities

Wedding Rituals...The preliminary ritual possibilities

Wedding at Graham Chapel
This week we're going to talk about wedding rituals. Rituals allow you to add beauty to your wedding with rituals that symbolize the events of the day in a memorable and meaningful way. There are rituals special to nationalities, ethnic groups and more.

There are religious wedding rituals which we will not discuss this week. We'll concentrate on the non religious rituals. There are a lot of rituals to cover even if I only stick to the main ones so expect this to run over the next couple of weeks

You can have as many rituals as you want in the ceremony. I generally advise that two to four should be your maximum, depending on which rituals we are talking about. You have to be careful that too many rituals could lead to the three ring circus effect.  So let's get started.

 Preliminary Possibilities
Presentation of the Bride/Blessings of the Family.
This ritual is often referred to as "giving away the Bride," which denotes the Bride as property. A more modern thinking on this ritual is that the Bride is "presented" to the Groom by a family member denoting that the Groom has the blessing of the family for the marriage.  This ritual starts with the Bride being escorted down the aisle.

The most traditional way this is generally done is the Bride being escorted by her father. But I've done weddings where the bride was presented by:
                Father and Stepfather
Wedding at Ameristar Casino
           Mother and Son
               Family Friend.

I've had the traditional walking down the aisle the most but I've done weddings where Bride and Presenter danced a simple step down the aisle, another did a dance routine and surprised everyone including the Groom....grabbed and incorporated at the end of their routing.

You can be as traditional or creative as you want.

Honor and Acknowledgements
This is generally used to honor and acknowledge families. I can talk about families in general or I can mention the names of your parents, grandparents.

I talk about the family as foundation that led to where the two are you are today. 

As an option here you can have the Bride give the Groom's mom a flower and the Groom gives the Bride's mom a flower.

Another option is to use this section to mention important folks that are deceased. This can be done without bringing down the tone of the ceremony by a quick mentioning their names and a) put a flower on the alter b)put a lighted candle the head reception table c) put photos of the deceased at the reception hall on a table set aside to honor family.
Joining of Families
We use this ritual as one of the ways to involve the children of the Bride or Groom in the ceremony. The text with this ritual talks about the fact that the ceremony of marriage involves more than just the Bride and Groom, that the marriage also is about the children.

Next week we will talk about the rituals that are symbolic of the two lives of Bride and Groom embarking on a shared path.

The Unity Candle, Sand Ritual and the Wine Ritual are just a few of these.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Pretty and Planned

You learn new lessons every week. Usually I write this blog in Word then copy it to the blog for final tweaks.  This week I decided to write it on the blog....big mistake.  I got most of it written and hit the wrong button and like magic it disappeared.

Last week I talked about the Short and Sweet wedding option for those folks who are looking for something quick and simple. This week I want to talk about the Pretty and Planned option. 

Before I get into that in more detail I want to say that the Short and Sweet wedding is pretty too. When we set up Remembrance Weddings we made it our mission to provide our clients with a ceremony that is Beautiful....Meaningful....and Memorable. For a long time we only provided a full service wedding. But as we got more experience we learned how to fulfill our mission for you in a shorter service.
Catholic Wedding at Saint Stanislaus Catholic Church

As we stated last week the Short and Sweet wedding is prewritten with limited options. If you tell us you want a non religious wedding with a ring exchange you'll get a pretty, meaningful and memorable wedding between 7-10 minutes long. It will be the same wedding that the last couple who chose a non religious wedding with a ring exchange. It is a far nicer wedding that you will get at the courthouse...but it is not custom written for you.

In the Pretty and Planned wedding option we work together to plan each step in your wedding. Whether you have a vision of what you have in mind for your wedding ceremony or don't have a clue as to what you want, you'll benefit from my 20 years experience of marrying couples and seeing what works and what doesn't.

Wedding at the 9th Street Abbey
Your wedding ends up reflecting who you are and what you want family and guests to take away from your special day. Although we are concentrating here on the actual ceremony we often provide couples with insights on photography, wedding venues, gifts and a whole lot more.

We cover the basics with all their options about: The Procession....Who stands where?.... Is the bride to be "given away?.....Ring Bearers and flower girls (animals?); Tone of service, types of vows, Possible rituals to add. Types of readings, and all of the basic things. We also cover types of things you might not get elsewhere like multi-celebrant ceremonies, video streaming, translators and a whole lot more.

Usually we can do this in about a half hour and the majority of couples do it by phone. If you want to see I don't have a third eye in the middle of my forehead I also do the planning by Skype.  I will meet with you in person if you prefer....but because it takes more of my time....this is an extra charge.

As always, if you have any questions or would like to talk with me about scheduling your special day please call me at 314-965-5648


Charles Million


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Short and Sweet Weddings

This week and next I want to talk about the types of weddings that we offer at Remembrance Weddings. The first type we refer to as Short and Sweet. The second type we refer to as Pretty and Planned.

Wedding in Tower Grove Park
Pricing on the two types is directly related to the amount of time that is required to prepare the wedding materials and perform the wedding ceremony.

From previous blogs you may already know that it is my personal belief that all couples deserve the Pretty and Planned wedding which usually runs between 20-30 minutes. My reasoning is simple. Marriage is a significant event in anyone's life. To me, the ceremony that goes with it should be significant as well....representing the significant event that it is, and customized to reflect the bride and groom. 

But not everyone wants that kind of wedding. They don't have the time, the patience, the money to have the Pretty and Planned Wedding. Or they've been married before, are military getting shipped out, folks finalizing immigration status....there are many reasons.

Our "Short and Sweet" wedding is a better choice than a courthouse wedding for many folks. First of all weddings at the courthouse are done once a week or once a month depending on the county and are often backed up so you must wait to marry. But the courthouse wedding is pretty basic and can feel like an assembly line process.

Our "Short and Sweet" wedding is a pretty 7 to 10 minute ceremony. It is pre-written without any input from the bride and groom. We offer this ceremony in both religious and non religious versions. The other choice for this wedding is with ring exchange or without. 

All you need is a Marriage License (from the state where the ceremony will be held,) two witnesses and a couple of hours notice. We will do this ceremony at the location of your choice or we can suggest locations. 

We prepare for you, as part of our service, a personalized bound copy of your wedding ceremony text and a color Certificate of Marriage. 

We also refer to our Short and Sweet weddings as WedXpress weddings and we have a whole website devoted to them. Click on this link to be taken to

For more information on either a Short and Sweet" or Pretty and Planned ceremony call 314-965-5648.

Charles Million