April 2009


I’m super excited to be blogging at one of my favorite wedding websites, Weddingbee PRO!  You can go over there to read my introductory post!

Weddingbee is an endless source of entertainment and inspiration for me, and I hope that I can do the same for brides and grooms working with their officiants or writing their own ceremonies!  There’s so much out there to be inspired by in your wedding, and the ceremony is certainly no exception.

Of course, there will still be blogging here… wedding season is just starting up (May is going to be so busy!), so there will soon be even more ideas, plans, vows, and wedding pictures, don’t worry 🙂

I’ve noticed, in my Google stats, that I get an awful lot of hits for “Eclectic Wedding Readings” – so I thought I should try to help those Google-ing brides out by sharing some of my favorite places to find (awesome) readings for your wedding.

You can always check out my post on incorporating readings into your ceremony, as well, if you’re not sure where to stick that fabulous reading you HAVE to have into your ceremony!

My go to wedding reading depositories are this Offbeat Bride post and this thread on Indie Bride.  They both take a little bit of digging, but it’s worth it.  Go through them, and copy and paste anything out to save it for later, in case you want to use them!

For some more “traditional” ideas, check out this site or this site.

Look to your favorite books – maybe a book you’ve both enjoyed, or a poet or artist that you admire.  And don’t think that these all have to be about love!  Look for some good wedding themes – commitment, togetherness, or anything else that really represents what you want your wedding to reflect.

As you browse the internet, combing through pages and pages of love poems, here’s a suggestion: start a Google Notebook to collect your “clippings.” Kind of like an easily maintained internet scrapbook, you can copy and post love quotes, poetry, and readings you are considering into it, as well as links (for when you find a good sight of readings you may want to share).  I have a Google Notebook I use to collect wedding readings and quotes that I may want to use at a later point – I also like that you can make them public, to share with anyone you’d like, or leave them there just for you to access.
So, Eclectic Wedding Reading Searchers, I hope this helps you out.  Best of luck on your wedding journey!

My lovely fiance comes to many of my weddings with me – as I always tell my couples, he sits in the back, he’s very quiet, he wears a tie, and he takes pictures for me. Afterwards, I thank him profusely and buy him dinner (it’s a business expense, right?).

There are occasions when he cannot come to my weddings, and I’m always a little sad, because I love having photos to share and look back on and talk about!

And this was one of those weddings – back in November, Jaseem & Genevieve got married at the Oakeside Mansion, in Bloomfield, New Jersey – a beautiful old house, with gardens in the back, where the ceremony was held.  They had a sweet ceremony, with some wonderful traditions and rituals included, that I’ve been telling people about, and I was so excited when I saw their professional photos were up, so I could share them!

They each chose the same vows to read, one of my favorites:

I, Genevieve, take you, Jaseem, to be my husband,
my friend, my love, and my lifelong companion.
To share my life with yours,
To build our dreams together,
to support you through times of trouble,
and to rejoice with you in times of happiness.
I promise to treat you with respect, love and loyalty
through all the trials and triumphs of our lives together.
This commitment is made in love, kept in faith,
lived in hope, and eternally made new.

And they also had a sand ceremony, and a garland exchange, to honor Jaseem’s Indian heritage.  Genevieve’s parents came forward to present the garlands to the bride and groom, who then passed the garlands over one another.  This ritual symbolizes the mutual acceptance, of both the bride and groom for each other as husband and wife, but also for the parents, welcoming their new daughter or son into the family.

It was one of my last weddings of the fall, just after Halloween, and they had a beautiful, clear fall day.

Nearly six months later – congratulations again, Geneveieve & Jaseem!  I know you both will spend the rest of your lives making each other happy.

Photos courtesy of Jaseem’s Flickr.

My friend Lindsey does an Etsy Friday every week on her blog – she takes a theme, and finds fabulous stuff on Etsy that fit within the theme.

I was going to do a straight wedding ceremony Etsy Friday, but then I started looking up the first item on my list – Ring Bearer Pillows/Bowls/Etc – and saw SO many great options that I knew it was going to take a few Fridays to hit them all!

So here’s the first installment – Ring Bearer Props!  And you don’t have to have a ring bearer to take advantage of these lovely details… if you have a table at the front with other props for the ceremony (unity candle, sand ceremony, wine, etc), you can add a ring pillow or a ring plate on there to store the rings until their big moment – and not have to worry about them!

I did a wedding in January that used these lovely little ring bowls from Paloma’s Nest.  I just love the simple elegance of them, and you can even get custom sayings printed!  Afterwards, it’s a sweet reminder of your wedding day, hung on the wall, or set up with a little plate frame on a shelf. [via Paloma’s Nest]

Lovely little love birds on a ceramic leaf, with ribbons to hold the ribbon on.  There are a ton of other bird inspired wedding accessories (including some adorable cake toppers!) in her shop, too! [via Rain’s End]

These pillows come with a matching tie!  And in her shop, you can get more ties for all of the men in the wedding can coordinate! [via Me and Matilda]
These plates are customized with a your name and wedding date.  Her shop has some more very cute options too (including “The Perfect Pear” with a little pear icon!). [via Just Wright Boutique]

I love that you can choose the colors and little flourish in the corner to match your wedding colors.  I also loved this one by the same seller, with a beautiful gathered purple velvet rose! [via Artful Beginnings]

This little ring nest is just so adorable! It would be perfect for a wedding in the woods! [via LuckeyU]

If you’re a little worried about your ring bearer losing the rings – keeping them safe in a box is a great option! [via Details! Creations]

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=22615145I just love that this ring pillow is made from a vintage quilt.  If you have any sewers or quilters in your family or circle of friends – having them whip up a small quilt square to use as a pillow is an easy way to get a beautiful, personal pillow, imbued with some nice love! [via Sew.. That’s It]

I just love the colors of this pillow.. the bright green and teal contrast really beautifully with the textured pillow! [via Maihar Design]

Just a few of the many options to have your ring bearer carry on your day.  If you want to have a beautiful accent with these, but have a younger ring bearer or are scared that the rings may be lost – many people will tie fake rings to the pillow/bowl, with the best man and maid of honor holding the real ones (just in case).  That’s always an option to help alleviate last minute wedding jitters!

I went down to the Abraham Staats House,  in South Bound Brook, New Jersey, this past weekend, for the wedding of Stephanie and Gordon (you may remember their awesome wedding invitations!).  They were married in this amazing historic home, built c. 1740.  The Staats House doesn’t normally do weddings, but for Stephanie and Gordon, two history buffs and members of the Friends of the Abraham Staats House, were able to pull it off!

Photo courtesy of the bride & groom

Photo courtesy of the bride & groom


It was a very intimate wedding, with only about 25-30 people there.  There was no bridal party – Gordon and I entered first, then Linda Russell played as Stephanie entered, wearing an amazing black cocktail dress and a beautiful birdcage veil!  They were married in front of the fireplace, filled with flickering (LED!) candles, in the South Parlor.

Gordons Vows

Gordon's Vows

Gordon wrote some more traditional “I do!” vows for them, but the prefaced them with personal vows of their own – where they cited private jokes, and expressed how much they truly love each other.   Though there was a ton of laughter and a light air to their ceremony, there was not a dry eye in the house!  After their vows, they both leaned forward to kiss – and immediately stopped themselves!  But you know what – if you want to kiss during your wedding ceremony – kiss!  It was a sweet, romantic, and spontaneous moment!

I ALWAYS bring tissues... but I had only brought ONE to their wedding.  Thankfully, family members in the front row had some more to share!

I ALWAYS bring tissues... but I had only brought ONE to their wedding. Thankfully, family members in the front row had some more to share!

Stephanie & Gordon’s young friend Lilli was their ring bearer, and brought the rings to the front of the room, tied to a book (the theme of their wedding).   They also incorporated a handfasting, with a bright red ribbon.

The rings, on the ring-bearing book.

The rings, on the ring-bearing book.

The Handfasting

The Handfasting

This was my first wedding of the Spring, and one of my favorites, hands down!

A selection from their Love Story:

On their first date, Gordon decided to do something a little different, and asked Stephanie to attend his monthly amateur astronomer’s club meeting.  Afterwards, they made their way to a blues club, where, with some good music and a few drinks, our couple was able to loosen up and get to know each other.  Stephanie left the next day to go up to Albany for the weekend, but it didn’t take long for her to hear from Gordon – “Instead of following ‘the rules’ and waiting several days to call, I really liked that there was a message on my machine when I came back Sunday night,” she recalls.

Our bride and groom have proved their love for each other in a million tiny ways, every single day.  When Stephanie threw a coat over her pajamas to rescue a stranded Gordon from the side of Route 22 on a rainy Friday night – when Gordon scrapes the ice and snow off of Stephanie’s car on cold mornings – every simple action that they do shows the other how important they are, how treasured, and how much a part of their lives they have become.  It is on that note that we have come together today – not to validate a relationship between these two people, but to expand on the wonderful relationship they already share.

If you’d like to see some more photos, check out Stephanie & Gordon’s extended gallery!

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You may have noticed little blurb updates from me via Twitter on the side bar of this blog.  I’ve been using Twitter for a little over a month now, and tend to post a bunch of links there – the cool stuff I’m reading about weddings online through the myriad of wedding blogs out there.  If you’re a Twitter-er, feel free to follow me over there as well for a daily dose of wedding inspiration!  You can find me @EclecticUnions

2a8c1885-73ce-4969-8016-c30f66f4e230rp420x400The Iowa Supreme Court has decided that a 1998 law limiting marriage to a man and a woman was unconstitutional!

From the New York Times:

The decision was the culmination of a four-year legal battle that began with a suit filed on behalf of six same-sex couples in the lower courts.

The Supreme Court said same-sex marriages could begin in Iowa in as soon as 21 days, making Iowa only the third state in the nation, along with Massachusetts and Connecticut, to legalize gay marriage.

Yay!