This past weekend I had the honor of officiating at my nephew Dan's wedding in Sarasota. He married the loveliest woman, Betsy, at The Founder's Club. It was outdoors under huge live oaks with beautiful Spanish moss. It couldn't have been a more perfect day - 73 degrees and sunny. Betsy looked stunning in a gorgeous classic gown and Dan, also known as Wes, looked as handsome as ever. Dan didn't seem nervous at all but I know he was a little and Betsy just wanted to make sure all the details were taken care of. My brother and sis-in-law, Jim and Barb, did an incredible job of helping to plan the wedding and the party before and after the wedding. Three parties in a row - it was great fun! And so wonderful to have our whole family all together for this very special time. I know that Dan and Betsy will have a joyous and fun-filled life together. Wishing them all the love and blessings in the world!
A surprise wedding! How many of you have ever attended one? This was my first! Katie and Dante came to me to say that they wanted to surprise their family with their wedding. They told everyone that they had gotten married several weeks prior when they were on vacation in Oregon. So the guests on Nov. 25 thought they were going to a wedding reception at Chenoweth Country Club in Akron - one of my favorite venues. I was hidden in the manager's office until showtime. Katie went into the reception and told everyone they had to go around the corner to the next room over for their wedding. I could hear everyone saying "Awwwwwww!" So sweet. So they all came over with glasses of wine and beer in their hands. That was another first. I've never had drinking during one of my weddings before! :) Katie and Dante have been together for nine years so the family and guests were quite happy that they finally got married. Sending lots of love and happiness to this wonderfully unique couple!
In the midst of a torrential rainstorm, Kerry and Evelyn were married at the Doubletree Hilton in Westlake on Sat., Nov. 18. While I was waiting for the bridal party to come down from their hotel rooms - minutes before the ceremony - the power went out and we were in complete darkness. The groom's mother grabbed my arm in a bit of a panic. I tried to console her and, fortunately, the power came back on in a few seconds. Whew! Now that would have been a first for me. I might have had to perform the ceremony in candlelight - how romantic. But the ceremony went perfectly with an absolutely stunning bride. Evelyn is from Peru and she is beautiful inside and out. Her handsome brother, who is serving in the Marines, was in his dress uniform and read Corinthians 13: 4-8 in English and Spanish. It was very special to hear it in Spanish. When planning your ceremony think about how you can make it special and meaningful to who you are. This was a large wedding with everyone dressed to the hilt - a lot of beautiful, sparkly dresses. So very lovely. This is a couple truly in love. I know that they will have a very special life of love and happiness together.
Wedding season is slowing down but I still have a few weddings this year. This past weekend I married Shawna and Jon in Mentor at a beautiful new venue called Noah's Event Venue. It is really made for weddings but other functions as well. This was a really fun wedding because Jon and some of his groomsmen are full of life and craziness. Most weddings are all about the bride. Not this one. Jon waltzed down the aisle flaying his arms greeting his guests with great fanfare which caused surprise and laughter by all. Shawna looked stunning is a form-fitting gown laced with feathers on the lower portion. Very unusual and she wore it well. This couple decided to write their own vows and is not done all that often. They both did a wonderful job and delivered them with great love. They had a wonderful soloist for the processional but, unfortunately, his mic was not turned up high enough. Be sure to make a sound check before the service. Wishing Jon and Shawna the best in their new life together!
Renee and Lizzie had the most beautiful fall weekend they could have possibly asked for this past Saturday. It was 78 degrees and sunshine. This perfect wedding was held at White Birch Barn and Vineyard, a new wedding venue in Medina. It has been a family dairy farm for years that has been exquisitely transformed into a top notch event center. I married this lovely couple in front of over ahundred of their enthusiastic family and friends. They both looked incredibly beautiful and so happy. It was wonderful to see how many people embraced this same sex marriage. Love has no gender limitations. Wishing them love and peace in their new life together.
What could be more wonderful than a baby blessing? A baby blessing for a couple that I married a few years back! Sklar Rae Webber is the adorable baby girl of Leesa and Frank. Leesa had her dressed in a lace onesie with little lace bootie wraps on her tiny feet. She was smiling and calm until I got to the blessing where she fussed just a bit. Most babies don't like the water part. I do my baby blessings with rose petals in blessed water and lay the wet petals on the top of the head, forehead, heart, hands and feet. It's a beautiful, moving servicing welcoming the baby into the community and dedicating her life to God.
The weather held out although it was very windy which blew out all the candles. I didn't even bother to put any rose petals on the table knowing they would blow away. A baby blessing is a lovely way of acknowledging the incredible gift from God a baby is to a family. Leesa and Frank are so blessed and will make wonderful parents. I am so honored to have been a part of this special time in their lives.
This was a very busy weekend with a wedding and a baby blessing. The wedding was at LaCentre, what I consider to be the premiere wedding venue in the Cleveland area. The lovely couple was Mike and Amy who had a wedding party of 17. It was a big and beautiful. The ceremony started with a baby of one of the bridesmaids deciding that he most definitely didn't want to be there. So, the mother had to take care of him and her husband walked down the aisle alone. I'm sure she was disappointed but she was very needed by her infant son. It's always good to have a Plan B with babies and young children.
Then the best flower girl I have ever seen who was about 8 years old came out in great flourish. Instead of tossing the flower petals on the runner, she threw them up in the air not only in the aisle but also on the guests! She was just a little spit fire. So cute! The bride was extremely calm and sincere as was the groom except for some sweating of the forehead during the vows and ring exchange. Very endearing. Wishing them so much love.
Have to mention my sparkly shoes that were a big hit. They are gold but also look silver as the light changes. Who said that the minister can't wear sparkly shoes?
This week's wedding was on Friday with a beautiful young couple, Tyler and Niki. Planning an outdoor wedding in October is risky but the weather held out for them although it was a bit cloudy. At 68 degrees it was a perfect temperature for a 6:30 p.m. wedding. The bride and groom chose to write their own vows - something that the majority of the couples I marry don't do. They were nervous but both did a wonderful job. They have been together for six years and their vows were sweet, honest and very heartfelt. Their family was very warm and gracious and made me quite comfortable and honored to be officiating. I wish them all much love and happiness.
When planning a wedding always plan to start at least 5-10 minutes late. Even though we started this wedding 10 minutes late people still came in during the ceremony. It never ceases to amaze me that people do not understand that they should arrive on time for a wedding. Latecomers happen at EVERY wedding I perform. So since it is a reality - plan for it.
The second wedding for last weekend was for Tyler and Terra at Mill Hollow Amphitheater in Vermillion. It was another beautiful, very hot afternoon. This venue was in a public park and quite unique. I married the groom's brother and best man in a wedding last year during what turned out to be hurricane. That was one I will never forget. It was great to see Mark and Mandy again. Wishing the very sweet bride and groom much love and happiness.
Dale and Ellen were married on the rooftop of the Ariel International Center this past Saturday and this was the view the guests enjoyed. It was beautifully clear but just a bit chilly with the wind coming off the lake. Thankfully, the reception was one floor down inside. I didn't get a photo of the bride and groom because they quickly took off after the ceremony to have photos taken. It was a wonderful ceremony with two people doing readings and a special musical performance by several members of Ellen's family with guitar accompaniment.. Her brother-in-law wrote a special song just for the wedding couple and it brought tears to the bride's eyes. What a wonderful gift! I love performing weddings for mature adults - usually second marriages - because they really listen to the words of the ceremony and sincerely mean their vows. Maturity gives them a better understanding of what a marriage is. Such a loving and warm couple. Wishing them all the best.
Yesterday was the wedding of Shane and Desiree at Springlake Party Center in Lakemore. What a wonderful surprise venue right on the lake. The bride and groom couldn't look more perfect - both a bit nervous and so sweet. In front of 200 plus guests, they said their vows. It was in the upper 80s but there was no humidity so it was just about perfect.
Shane is the drummer in the Michelle Romary Band and the band played at the ceremony as well as at the reception. Michelle sang "At Last" by Etta James as a solo in the middle of the ceremony. What a treat to have live music and such an accomplished performer. When planning the music for your wedding, consider live music versus a DJ for the ceremony. It really adds a very special touch and makes weddings even more memorable.
My "assistant" (my husband, John) accompanied me so I have more photos than usual. Check out the very sweet flower girl and ring bearer. They did a great job.
Wishing much love and happiness to this special couple.
It was an absolutely perfect day for a wedding with beautiful Lake Erie in the background. I married Tony and Emily at Mentor Beach Park in Mentor-On-The-Lake. The beautiful bride was pretty nervous but her groom was as calm as could be. What they both knew was that this was going to be the best day of their lives.
For those of you thinking about an outdoor wedding, remember that we have yellow jackets in Northeast Ohio and they sometimes like to be part of weddings. I once had two yellow jackets somehow get inside my robe and proceeded to sting me five times. I actually had to stop the wedding to get them out and then continued on with a smile on my face. :) Yellow jackets decided to swam around the bride during her vows at this wedding. We just stopped for a second to shoo them away. Bad timing though - they seem to like vows!
Wishing this very nice couple much love and happiness.
This was the wedding of the daughter of a childhood friend of mine. It was a blending of two beautiful families - Jim and Christen Curtin. They both have a girl and boy from previous marriages and the children are thrilled to have new brothers and sisters. It was Gerevasi Vineyard in Canton - what an incredible venue. The ceremony was in The Conservatory which looks like a greenhouse except that is air conditioned. The children and I walked in fist. This is the photo of us waiting for Jim and Christen to enter together which is something that is becoming more common. You see from the faces of the kids that they are very happy about this union. It was quite an honor for me to officiate for the daughter of a friend I have had my entire life. We lived across the street from each other and our mothers were best friends as well. Lovely memories.
This past weekend I performed two beautiful and very different weddings. Even though the weather looked pretty iffy both times it was beautiful. The first was at Solstice Steps in Lakewood Park. It is just gorgeous! I had never heard of this place right on Lake Erie. What an incredible view! Wendy and Chuck Sinito were married on the steps in front of their parents and aunt - a beautiful and very intimate ceremony. What a lovely couple - and so much in love. The met on match.com and you could tell that they truly are a great match for each other. I particularly enjoy these small, intimate weddings that are usually for people who are past 30 and really know what they want in a partner. And have found it! Wishing them a joyous live together!
The second wedding this weekend was a very large one at Williams on the Lake in Medina. It's an incredibly beautiful venue. This wedding was for Angela and Marcus Kaiser - a young, very sweet couple. The weather held for this one as well. Actually, it was quite warm and I worried for some of the older family and guests. But they had water for them and the groom and his brother walked their grandmother down the aisle to be seated. Very lovely woman. Unfortunately, with all the photo taking after I was not able to get a photo with them.
Lamount and April and their blended family became one at Michaud's Event Center in Strongsville. It was a perfect day - blue sky and 78 degrees. Only one little mishap. The rose petals for the flower girl could not be found at the time of the service. But they were tracked down in ten minutes and all went as planned although a bit late. Lesson here is tohave a check list for the day of the wedding and give your bridesmaids and groomsmen individual tasks so you two don't have to worry about anything.
The bride looked stunning in a gorgeous satin gown and the groom was as handsome as ever - even though he confessed that he hates to dress up! A very friendly group of 200 plus cheered the pronouncement as their children rushed the "stage" at the end. Lots of love flowing! I was honored to be a small part of it.
This weekend was another gorgeous wedding at Springvale Ballroom. What a classic and elegant venue for a wedding. Stephen and Chelsea tied the knot in a wedding in style down to the program which was one of the most creative I have ever seen. Other than the bride and groom, the ring bearer, the groom's 6 year old nephew, stole the show. "Ring security" was dressed in a black suit with black sunglasses and a small metal briefcase handcuffed to his wrist. What a hoot - so cute! They definitely thought "out of the box" for their wedding and made it totally unique and you can, too. Check out the Internet to get ideas. Wishing this beautiful couple a beautiful life together.
I perform a lot of weddings as an alternative to couples going to the courthouse. This weekend I performed a wedding IN the courthouse - the Old Courthouse in downtown Cleveland. If you have never been there you should stop and see the incredibly beautiful Rotunda right in the middle of the building on Lakeside Ave. I married Doug and Brittany Oliverio, two lovely people with lovely families. The bridesmaids and groomsmen entered from an incredible marble staircase. Then the stunning bride with two fathers escorting her. I wish I had taken some photos of the venue but you can see part of the staircase in this photo. It was beautiful and very unique - a wedding to remember for sure. If you're looking for a venue that is classy, unique and architecturally beautiful, the Old Courthouse is one to check out.
This past weekend's wedding was one of the largest and most beautiful I have ever participated in. James and Alyssa are the perfect couple - sweet, polite, kind and oh, so much in love. "She's my girl," said James as I kidded him right before the service saying this was his last chance to run. They had their ceremony and reception at Springvale Ballroom in North Olmsted. Just a beautiful traditional type ballroom. Everything was exceptional - decorations, flowers, champagne for 250 it looked like, photo booth and even an ice cream sundae bar. Wishing them so much love and happiness.
Weddings can be any size - for a price. Some people prefer a huge wedding like this with 18 people in the bridal party and others go for a more intimate approach. Make sure that what you are thinking is what the two of you want - and no one else. Remember that this is your day! It should be all about the two of you.
On this perfect July afternoon, Fred and Candy Lutz said "I do" at the pavillion at Allardale Park in Medina. I don't think I have seen two more in love people. Their vows were so heartfelt and sincere. Plus they are super nice people. Candy looked stunning in a gorgeous, long lace dress. Her hair, by stylist Sherrie Kovach of Salon Evangelene in Medina, was beautiful. Fred was pretty cute, too! Wishing them much love and happiness!
Weddings can be held anywhere. In the summer in Northeast Ohio we have so many lovely parks to choose from. When thinking about a park be sure to remember to pick one that is easy to walkto for your older guests and have bathroom facilities. This wedding was in a pavilion which would alsohave worked if it had rained. Always have a Plan B with our weather being so unpredictable.
This morning I married Ed and Denise Becka in their beautiful home in Brunswick. Such a nice, loving couple. Check out the Best Man and Maid of Honor! So cute! It doesn't matter what size the wedding - all that matters is how much you love each other. And it was certainly apparent that Ed and Denise are meant to be husband and wife.
Pets can work well in a wedding if they are used to crowds and are well trained. These dogs were well trained and there was no problem mainly because there were only a few people at the wedding. I have done several weddings with dogs and they all went off very well. But if you are considering adding your pet to the wedding party be sure to check with your venue. I have no problem with them but some venues do.