The story I often hear from the engaged couples I meet goes like this: Two people fall in love and from that moment on, they go everywhere and do everything together. They are, of course, a perfect match, and their interests and values coincide in every respect. This is the myth of togetherness: two lives merge into one melded front. But it’s a story fraught with perils, for it most often leads to exactly the opposite of togetherness: one partner feels smothered and withdraws. The other feels rejected and abandoned. This push-pull dance of too much closeness or too much distance sets up a high level of anxiety for both partners and too often ends in heartache and separation. Another story I’ve been hearing a lot recently is about the friends of couples who got married only two years … [Read more...] about Rewriting the Myth of Perfect Togetherness
Last summer my husband and I were having breakfast at Wanda’s, a local hot spot in Nehalem, the morning after I had officiated a lovely wedding on the beach in Manzanita. A couple asked me to take their picture and told me they had just gotten married the day before at Cannon Beach. After I said I officiated weddings, they told me the sad tale about their wedding. They both had children and had finally found a weekend they could get away. They hired a minister they knew in Washington and told him they wanted a short ceremony, and even paid his way down. Their ceremony was so brief that it held no meaning for them. They were devastated and spent the rest of the day trying to create their own meaning, including drawing hearts on the beach and buying flowers. This story … [Read more...] about Top tips for creating a personal wedding ceremony
One of the couples I'm marrying this summer has chosen a glass unity ceremony, an idea I love as an alternative to a unity sand ceremony. This is the second marriage for both, and each has two children from previous marriages. They wanted a different way to symbolize uniting their families that would create a something of lasting beauty to display in their home. The couple settled on a glass ceremony using glass crystals from Unity in Glass, www.unityinglass.com. Instead of sand, they'll combine their color selection in the form of glass crystals that are specially formulated for glass blowing. After the ceremony, the crystals will be shipped to the company's glassblowing studio in Lubbock, Texas, where they will be turned into one-of-a-kind art piece, choosing a unity … [Read more...] about Glass unity ceremony: a beautiful alternative
Last week I met with new clients who were both working 60 hours a week so they can pay as they go for their late summer wedding. They were both exhausted from working so much. On top of the long work hours, they are planning a wedding with 125 guests and remodeling their house. When your to-do lists are longer than hours in the day, you can easily become overwhelmed. Then you may not be capable of thinking clearly, and stress can lead to exhaustion and keep you from enjoying the process of planning your special day, not to mention enjoying your day. Here are five tips for finding more peace in the planning process: 1. Listen to what you want. Many brides are besieged with advice from well-meaning family and friends, not to mention suggestions from wedding vendors. Finding quiet … [Read more...] about 5 ways to beat overwhelm in wedding planning
I love this photo of the arch Matthew Morris and his brother built for Matthew’s marriage to Cory Byers on the beach near Florence, Oregon last August. They used vines and wood from the land where Matthew and Cory built a Thai-inspired tree house, land shared by Matthew’s parents and brother near Fern Ridge Lake. Appropriately, since Cory loves ferns and hearts, Matthew wove ferns into the arch and placed a heart on top. It was a beautiful labor of love. Ever wondered why arches are often used in wedding ceremonies? The arch represents the threshold to the couple’s home. An arch, or threshold, is a universal symbol that represents leaving one way of life and moving into a new place. Joseph Campbell, author of The Power of Myth, said the threshold symbolizes “a mystery of … [Read more...] about Crossing the threshold
I often tell the couples I work with that their wedding ceremony can form the foundation for their marriage, and the vows are an important part of this. A conversation with a woman I met at a meeting the other night brought this to life for me. After asking about my work, Paula said she and her husband had been married for 23 years, the second marriage for both of them. They wrote their own vows, which they repeat to each other “all the time”. Intrigued, I asked if they did this on particular special occasions. “No,” she replied. “We surprise each other all the time.” A few nights before, she had gone up to him and whispered in his ear, “I cherish you.” His eyes lit up. “You just beat me to it!” They’ve created a simple ritual of letting each other know the importance of the … [Read more...] about Vows that stick
Here are my top tips for couples planning a destination wedding on an Oregon beach: Make sure you have a sound system so your guests can hear the ceremony over the sound of waves and wind. Advise your guests how quickly weather can change on the coast and to wear layers. (For that matter, remember this yourself when you're shopping for your wedding attire. A bride I recently married on the beach in Florence very smartly added a lovely cardigan over her strapless dress.) Plan ahead. Summer and early fall are high season on the Oregon coast. Rent an indoor venue (or a nearby sheltered campground site) for your reception. Reserve a block of rooms for your guests well ahead of time, if possible. Consider renting chairs for your guests, especially if they include people who … [Read more...] about Tips for Oregon beach weddings
Ever wondered where the traditions of something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue came from? Many people still include these as part of their weddings, without knowing why. Here's the short version of what these traditions mean: Old ∼ signifies your ancestors, or your lineage, your families of origin. New ∼ a symbol of the new family you're creating together. Borrowed ∼ fertility, coming from Celtic tradition. Brides used to borrow something from the most fertile woman in the village for good luck. If you're not planning to have children together, this can be used to symbolize fertility in creativity and projects. Blue ∼ spirituality, or the feminine face of the divine, a uniting of souls. When you do these traditions with intention, they can … [Read more...] about Something old, something blue?