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Archive for the ‘Ceremony’ Category

Truffles from chocolate-earth.com.If you are a regular reader, you know how much I love chocolate. When New Jersey Wedding Ceremony Officiant and Minister Celia Milton suggested that chocolate could be a part of a wedding ceremony, I asked her to share more details. Thanks, Celia, for these great ideas!

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Many couples include unity rituals in their wedding ceremonies to signify  the joining of each partner into a relationship that brings them to fullness,  allowing them to grow as a couple even as they grow as  individuals. 

Elements like unity candles and sand ceremonies are fairly well known. But if you’re designing your ceremony to reflect your personal histories and future, why not include something that is especially  significant to your  relationship. That’s where the fun begins!  I’ve had couples who shared Tequila; couples who’ve braided colored cords, couples who have planted tree saplings  together, and couples who have fed each other sushi,  but my favorite new unity  ritual is a chocolate sharing. 

I first created a chocolate sharing ceremony for a couple I married last year. The groom is a chocolate sommelier who creates tastings  and walking tours throughout New York City. The bride met him at an event she attended with several of her friends.  Since chocolate figured so prominently in their first encounter, and then became a star player in their reception, (of course, they had a chocolate wedding cake…) it only made delicious sense that we include it in the ceremony itself! 

I asked the groom to supply two of the same truffles they tasted during their first meeting, They were displayed on a crystal platter for the ceremony. During the “love story” part of their wedding ceremony, I talked about  how they met, and made  were several other references to chocolate. Then they fed each other.

The actual chocolate sharing was placed after the vows and the ring ceremony.  (My idea here is that the “formal” vows should come before any informal, “common law” promises like handfastings, wine sharings, or the chocolate.)  It created a nice contrast and made it easy for their  photographer to capture each other. 

I began with a reading before the actual “sharing”. Here are two for you  to consider.

1.  “Chocolate has long  been considered the food of the gods; been used as a metaphor of life. A simple box of chocolates is the perfect representation of what life is like as a married couple. Sometimes you are given sweet moments, so perfect they overwhelm your senses, your emotions. Other times you are given dark and bitter moments, a start contrast to the sweet ones. There will be times that one of you will need to be strong for the other, to nourish the others spirit, and at other times, you will both share joys that will take you above the clouds. Now, you will use the sweetness of chocolate to nourish each other, for chocolate is one of the few foods that feeds, not only the body, but the heart and soul.”  (This is courtesy of my colleague Kelly Hunt,   from Heartfelt Wedding Ceremonies in Wisconsin.) 

Chocolate Ceremony #2  “Now, sometimes, at this point in a wedding ceremony, we might light a unity candle, or pour different colors of sand into a family vessel, but since John and Alicia are such a unique couple, we wanted to celebrate this moment of sharing in a completely unique way. With two delightful pieces of  dark chocolate from the rain forests of Brazil. 

Chocolate is  a delightful metaphor for love and life!  The possible flavors and textures of chocolate are endless. Each truffle, each sliver,  or kiss  promises the discovery of  new treat for the palette. For a chocolate lover, navigating  the world of chocolate is as exciting as a lone  explorer discovering new and uncharted territory.  So too, should be your relationship with each other. Your uncharted territory is the coming years that lie ahead, years that will present so many opportunities to learn and grow, to challenge each other and comfort each other, to revel in the new and find comfort in your history, a history you create every minute of every day.

Your  life together will certainly mirror the experience of tasting  chocolate.  There will be  times that are sweet, filled with cream and honey, and times that are dark and bittersweet.  And probably some times that are really nutty!  But every experience will  nourish your body, heart and soul. By sharing  this chocolate with each other,  you promise to always be present for each other, in darkness and light, in sweet and bitter,  in dismal and delicious.” 

I encourage all my couples to think outside the box (even if it is a heart shaped, satin covered one!), and work with their officiant to wedding ceremonies  that reflect their personalities and tastes!  And if you love chocolate (is there anyone who doesn’t?) , this may be just the perfect sweet note for you. .  You could even have all your guests share in the moment!  (But no milk chocolate please; we don’t want any fingerprints on the wedding gown!)

 

 For more words of wisdom, check our Celia’s blog.

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Family reading personal cardsTable settings with individual cardsHillary Dorwart and her groom handwrote a card to every single guest at their wedding. Each individual card addressed something about their individual relationship. Wow! I asked Hillary to share her experiences with us. I think you’ll be as touched as I was to read this story.

 


A minute to say hello, a card to last forever. How to address everyone at your wedding.

My husband, Jon, and I knew we’d at least be able to say hi to everyone who attended our wedding and anything beyond “Hi, thank you so much for coming. It’s wonderful to see you,” would be icing on the (wedding) cake. But we knew that at some point during our rotation around tables, some guests would be up for another drink or headed for the dance floor. How were we going to tell our guests exactly how much it meant that they traveled in for our special day? We also wanted to convey the message of love, appreciation and perhaps impart a memory or two. 

The writer in me, who appreciates writing and receiving hand-written letters, thought of the perfect way to relay messages to everyone. Why don’t we write all of our guests hand-written cards? Jon and I wrote cards individually or as a couple – depending upon who we were addressing. Friends or family of mine that Jon had never met or did not know as well, were written by me and vice versa. Family or friends we knew equally as well were written together. 

These cards were placed at the tables before the guests entered for the reception. The envelopes addressed the person or couple and in this way they acted as the table’s place cards. The cards also acted as our wedding favor. Many guests said they would keep our note forever. Everyone was just stunned by this gesture!

No one could believe we took that kind of time to write them a personalized message. All in all we had 130 guests attend. It took a few late nights, and a lot of focus – but it was easier than people think. We had a wonderful time reflecting upon memories with our family and friends. Nostalgia, excitement, appreciation and love were felt with each note we started and finished. What a wonderful way to celebrate the people in our lives who supported us and our marriage.

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OneWed.ComThanks to OneWed for inviting me to blog about how to find the best readings for your wedding. It is a great site and I think you’ll enjoy the collection of Expert Tips and Advice.

Feel free to comment below on your favorite wedding reading ideas.

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Most weddings involve a merging of traditions, large or small. My friend Christa Verem and her husband Jas helped their friends, an American and a Korean, plan their wedding. When Christa told me about the passport inspired programs that her husband designed, I asked her for pictures to share with you. What a creative and low cost way to invite guests into the couple’s life!

Passport Ceremony Program (outside)

 

Passport Ceremony Program (inside)If you’ve added a creative detail or two to your wedding, I’d love to share it with my readers. Please email me at ChloeMiller(at)gmail(dot)com.

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You’re married. You have tons of odds and ends from the planning and the big day itself.

 

The fun doesn’t have to end.

 

I recently read about a “wedding dress party” in the Ann Arbor Observer. You pull your wedding gown out of its protective covering in the closet and wear it out for a party with other girls dressed the same. What a great idea! Otherwise, what happens? As my Aunt Dora would say, “nothin’!”

 

A friend of mine once told me about a wedding shower she attended. The guests were asked to wear the worst bridesmaid dress they were ever made to purchase by someone who was your best friend before she started dressing you. She said that everyone came super frilly and laughing.

 

If you’re little less nostalgic about saving your wedding gown, why not model for a Trash the Dress photo shoot? The newest thing in wedding photography is to take pictures in your dress doing something a little less, well, neat and tidy. Get dressed in that lovely gown and take your groom to run along the beach, ride horses, hike in the woods, dance in the rain… you get the idea. (Just make sure that you wait until after the wedding.) Here are some Trash the Dress photos on Flickr.

 

I hope you’ll share other fun ideas with us in the Comments section below.

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WordArrangement wants to hear from you. What was the best wedding you ever attended? What was the wonderful detail that stole your heart?

Here are some of my favorite memories from recent years:

I was a bridesmaid for my friend Robin. Standing so close to her while she said her vows was a beautiful thing. I loved being able to see her face while she looked lovingly at her new husband.

At my friends Christa and Jas’ wedding, they had a webcam broadcasting the wedding to his family in Europe. Technology was able to make two worlds one.

Jennie and Matt said their vows in unison. Their “togetherness” was unforgetable. They never stopped looking at each other.

 

Here are Adam Furgang’s thoughts:

The best wedding I was ever at, other than my own of course, was my old bosses wedding. It was held at the Oheka Castle on Long Island.

I have never been to a nicer wedding and eaten so well. There was a lobster bar, a sushi bar, drink bar, tai bar, and just about every bar you can think of. The grounds were so beautiful too.

I was also at a beautiful wedding in Washington DC that took place at the Mayflower Hotel. That was where Eliot Spitzer took his “lady of the night” before he was ousted from office. For all I know I may have stayed in the same room he did. That place was beautiful too, as was the wedding.

 

Here are Elizabeth Schaar Bergan’s thoughts:

The best wedding I attended (aside from my own, LOL) was Kim White Garcia’s wedding at Airlie in Warrenton, VA. Not only was it a complete fairytale,  BUT she flew in the singer Jeffrey Gains as a suprise to her husband. He sang “In Your Eyes” and “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face”. It was like a dream.

Here are Ann Keeler Evans’ thoughts:

Mine was the best! Was it the flower fairies or the dancer? Never sure. The 14 bands? The art work that everyone donated? Amazing. I sure do love making ritual. But the evening wedding along a swedish lake during long swedish night season and the procession through a small mexican town following huge bride and groom dolls were pretty great as well!

 

Here are Celia Milton’s thoughts:

 

Boy,Chloe, that is such a hard one to pick (since I have about 300 to pick from, lol…..) . One recent one stands out in my mind; a wedding in a raw prison, on a damp winter night in Jersey.

Six of us, thoroughly frisked, metal detected, x-rayed and patted down entered through the reels of thorned wire and electrified gates. The backdrop, the ceremony space, was the visiting room. Paintings of tropical landscapes, contributed by other inmates, adorned the walls between the notices of “the rules for visitation”.

I performed the ceremony joining these two amazing partners, with an fellow inmate taking Polaroids of the service, we signed the license and put our coats to leave, but before we die, the groom had us all join hands so he could lead us in a prayer service, asking Jesus, to, among other things, lead me back to the parway. All the miles of tuille, champagne toasts, pasta stations, string quartets…..nothing compares to the emotion &love that I felt in that gritty room.

Please use the comments section to share your thoughts.

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Anita Vaughan, CelebrantChicago based celebrant Anita Vaughan kindly blogged about WordArrangement. Hope you’ll check her blog out!

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