Bright Path Ceremonies

News and Insight on Wedding Officiants

Bittersweet Wedding

Published 03/20/2016

Did you know that on March 20, 2016 it was not only the first day of spring but also the International Day of Happiness, that is a global celebration? Well that is something I didn’t know about, but I found that out when I met Laura and Andrew. I just married them yesterday on March 20th and they told me about the International Day of Happiness. It was the perfect day for Laura and Andrew to choose that day, because they are a couple filled with hope and gratitude to live a full and happy life.

They chose Bittersweet Farm in Westport, MA for their location. This farm is appropriately named and appropriately named for this couple. It felt Bittersweet for me, knowing their story. When a couple chooses me as their officiant, I send them 25 questions for them to fill out. I’m always amazed how well I get to know them by their answers. They share with me their personal thoughts on love and marriage and I take that very seriously. This is how I personalize my ceremonies and this is why my ceremonies are filled with warmth-it’s each couples love that fills my pages-I just tell their story.

Laura and Andrew met in college and became instant friends. After graduation they went their separate ways and stayed in contact from time to time and were always able to pick up right where they left off. After many years of experiencing their lives they came full circle and re-connected, this time their friendship turned into love. I love their story because they became two complete people that chose to be together because they were ready for love.

It felt “Bittersweet” to me to witness their day. As I looked at them and at their parents, friends and family, I felt a warmth that I will never forget.

Boutique Weddings

Published 03/11/2016

There seems to be a new movement lately to describe certain businesses “boutique”, such as boutique hotel, boutique banking, boutique clothing store and in my industry, boutique weddings. The original word is french for “shop”, and it was used often in describing a property or item in the independent sector in order to distinguish itself from larger chains. The boutique shop was aimed to convey the idea that their operation is small, elite and highly specialized, selling fashionable clothes or accessories. When I was in my twenties almost 40 years ago, I traveled to Europe and noticed “boutiques” all over the cities. This is when Malls and chain stores were sprouting up all over the United States. It was the way to shop, big stores all inside a space with no windows. It could be raining or snowing or cold and you still could go shopping and find everything you needed from a selection of about 100 stores all under the same roof. It was great but once I experienced shopping in Europe I hated the malls. The boutique shops in Europe each had their own flair, trendy styles you couldn’t find anywhere else. I loved the idea how each shop had it’s own style, the stores were small but had lots of personality. So what does the word “boutique” mean today? I guess it’s who you ask and your perception of it.

This is my idea of what a “boutique wedding” is: intimate in guest attendance (between 5 to 25 guests), modern with quirky, ultra personal and creative touches; not generic-blah or bland-not traditional; independent attitude from couple – that smaller is better; the wedding tends to be more relaxed because less logistics are involved; cost efficient, and less time planning. If this describes you, then maybe a “boutique wedding”, is for you!

Surprise Wedding for a Groom

Published 02/26/2016

So far my 2016 wedding ceremony season has started off with lots of surprises. Literally-every year brings something new and this was a first for me. I have performed ceremonies where the couple held a party but didn’t tell their guests it was for their wedding, but I have never officiated a wedding where the groom didn’t know about it. I must admit I was apprehensive to accept this request from the bride, but once I met with her and her soon to be sister in law for the initial consultation, it was very clear to me that this was no ordinary couple. I had nothing to loose and found it very interesting designing the ceremony without the groom knowing about it. The bride was very clever in keeping it hush-hush. I did all my correspondence through her sister-in-law and periodically would meet her in person to go over the particulars. Since all of my ceremonies are one of a kind the challenge was being able to keep the ceremony true to the couple, but without the groom’s input I had to find a way to include him. Luckily this groom wrote love letters to her on a regular basis so she shared with me a few of them. Through his language I was able to write in his voice and develop the script that he would be comfortable with as well.

After several months their ceremony was about to come to life, and my concern was how would the groom react. Would he run away, would he flip out, would it be to embarrassing for him-the potential for this to back fire was making me nervous.  The wedding was taking place in the back room of a restaurant. Only very close family would be attending. The bride instructed the groom to wear his suit and meet her at the restaurant at a certain time. Oh, by the way it was Valentines Day so he just thought it was her way of planning the day for them. When he arrived the sister-in-law and myself were waiting for him at the front desk. We took him into the lounge and sat him down and presented a letter from the bride explaining what was about to happen. He started to tear up and looked at both of us, as to say is this for real. He was very quiet, taking it all in as I explained to him what was going to happen and if he was OK with it. He said he understood and agreed to it. He also said he had a necklace for her Valentine’s present and if he could give it to her before the wedding started. I suggested I give it to her, not him so they didn’t see each other yet, and she could wear it with her wedding gown. Again he agreed-we gave him a drink and he went outside with his sister for a smoke to gain some composure. He was so calm and sweet about it all.

I’m a big believer about creating the space for a ceremony even if it’s just several people attending or even if it’s only the couple. So the family created that space with chairs lined up to form a aisle for the bride to walk down to a table filled with flowers and twinkly lights where they stood in front of. After a few minutes the groom came into the room, everyone hugged him and he was ready to get married. There was a processional song for the bride to walk down to, then met her groom and I continued with the ceremony that was heartfelt, warm and true to this couple. After I pronounced them husband and wife, they danced to their favorite song.

The element of surprise is no stranger to this couple. Their relationship is based on delighting each other’s senses and keeping it fresh. It turned out to be exactly what they needed!