Weddings at Home: Part One
Throughout the year, Bill and I perform weddings not only in particular public venues but also in private homes and residences. It could be the bride’s or groom’s home, the parent’s home, a grandparent’s condo or a rented house in the Hamptons. Weddings in a home are among our most memorable. I will write another blog on this topic, but at this time I would like to describe two theme weddings that Bill and I performed in the homes of couples we married.
In this first wedding story the bride and the groom were both divorced and between them they had six children. It was Halloween, the perfect day for a theme wedding! The inside and outside of the house were decorated appropriately, from real jack-o’-lantern to ceramic ghosts and goblins. The bride had amassed a huge collection of Halloween over the years.
The bride and groom, costumed as a corpse bride and as a zombie set, the mood for the evening. For me, the black roses in the bride’s bouquet were absolutely stunning. The scene was hectic with guests in fantastic costumes arriving at the suburban home, the caterer delivering platters of food and lots of kids in ninja and princess outfits running around.
The ceremony was delayed until we could figure out just exactly where the wedding should be performed. This was a “plan as-you-go” wedding. After rigging a little light fixture to the railing at the front entrance, I found a perfect spot above the steps where I could stand and pronounce the scary pair “husband and wife.” A small table for the special sand ceremony was set up. We placed a big glass salad bowl in the middle and surrounded it with eight glasses of sand: black for the groom, white for the bride and blue, red, green, purple, yellow and orange for the children.
The guests were invited to gather on the lawn. I took my place, and the bride and groom soon came out of the house and were standing before me. I looked out and down at the all the guests. What a sight to behold: there were at least a hundred men, women and children in the most delightful, crazy-fun costumes. The “spirits” of the occasion were palpable.
The ceremony was traditional, dignified and beautiful. The sand ceremony was the part of the wedding that everyone loved most. The bride and groom poured a portion of each of their glasses of black and white sand into the big salad bowl, and then each of the children poured their glasses of sand into the big bowl. Then the bride and groom emptied their black and white glasses of sand to further symbolize their bond of marriage and the unity of the family. The moonlight struck the glass bowl making the multicolor layers of sand sparkle. I ended the sand ceremony by saying, “Just as these grains of sand can never be separated so will your marriage and your family be.”
I have another story about a memorable home wedding with a great theme; this wedding was performed by my husband in a local home. Bill was asked to marry a couple on New Year’s Eve in a home not far from our own home. The bride and groom wanted to be pronounced husband and wife at the stroke of midnight, which would coincide with the beginning of the new millennium.
Bill and I went to dinner with friends, and then we all went to the couple’s home, which was beautifully decorated for the holiday season. The guests were gathered in the living room and dining room; all were in a nostalgic Auld Lang Syne mood!
Midnight was approaching, and Bill found a nice spot in the living room for the ceremony. Minutes before midnight, the groom and best man stood next to him, and the guests gathered around them. Everyone could see the TV. The bride wore a lovely wedding gown and was smiling as she entered. Cameras were flashing. Bill performed the ceremony, and yes, at the stroke of midnight he said, “And now with the powers vested in me by the State of New York, I pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss your lovely bride.” Simultaneously, the “Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball” completed its descent. After the wedding kiss, champagne glasses were raised for a toast to the bride and groom, and everyone began to sing “Auld Lang Syne.” We celebrated the beginning of a new year full of hopes, challenges, changes and dreams and wished the newly married couple much joy and happiness all the days of their lives together.
A photo of Bill and the Happy New Year wedded couple appeared in the local newspaper. We keep the clipping in one of our many albums of weddings we have performed.
Popular posts from this blog
On occasion Bill and I officiate at a wedding ceremony together, each of us assuming different parts of the ceremony. At one of our weddings I began to introduce the guests to the “heart” of the ceremony, saying “In a moment the Bride and Groom will exchange their wedding vows. No other vows are more sacred or important!” Bill and I noticed the Maid of Honor slipping the Bride an iPhone. Ignoring this, I proceeded to ask the Groom if he had special words for his Bride. He said his vows eloquently. He looked into his Bride’s eyes and promised eternal love and devotion. As I began to pose the same question to the Bride, I saw her searching for her vows on her phone. Gradually, the guests began laughing and chattering. Once she found her vows, she began to read them, beautiful words of love and devotion. Both of us stored this awkward moment for the Bride in the back of our minds. Now when we meet with couples, we always emphasize that we believe the vows are the heart of the wedding ce
The Wedding Rehearsal Bill and I have performed thousands of weddings. Now and then a couple will ask if we are available for a wedding rehearsal a few days before or on the wedding day an hour or so before the ceremony. Some couples have a rehearsal dinner following a rehearsal. They invite members of their families, the wedding party, and out of town guests. In reality, few couples need an officiant at a wedding rehearsal. An exception to this has been when we have been asked to co-officiate a marriage ceremony. It makes sense for us to be part of the rehearsal when a friend or relative (online officiant), out-of-state minister and others with uncertain credentials, has been asked by the couple to share in the performance of the marriage ceremony. Bill or I, in these cases, are responsible for the “legal” pronouncement of marriage which is a safeguard for couples particularly if down the road the marriage turns sour. Nonetheless, most of the time it is is absolutely unneces
It is an Honor to Perform Your Wedding Ceremony Bill and I, as Marriage Officiants, have the honor of performing weddings in New York State and New York City and beyond. Bill is a Retired Judge and I am a Former Village Mayor, but we are also recognized as Ministers, qualified to perform religious and faith-based wedding ceremonies in addition to civil wedding ceremonies. When the Bride and Groom surf the Internet to find a qualified Marriage Officiant to perform their wedding ceremony, they encounter a variety of titles and positions, including justice of the peace, judge, justice, town/county clerk, mayor (government officials), commissioner, minister, celebrant, clergyman or clergywoman, rabbi, nondenominational, interdenominational and interfaith minister, priest and more. Note that marriage laws spell out the requirements to qualify to be a Marriage Officiant, and these vary from state to state and city to city nationwide. No, Bill and I did not go on the Internet and magi