Manakiki Golf Course's Wedding Grove was the incredibly beautiful setting for the wedding ceremony of Adam and Meghan. Even though it was 91 degrees, The Grove was in a wooded area of tall trees that offered shade and even an occasional, and much appreciated, breeze. Meghan was radiant in an attractive, form-fitting long gown which was accented by her beautiful red hair and blue eyes. Very tall Adam looked the ever-handsome groom in a stylish, black tux with a burgundy tie that matched the Fall colors in Meghan's bouquet. The 16-person wedding party easily filled out the stage of The Grove. And, Frankie, Adam and Meghan's little dog, was a hit as she pranced down the aisle alongside the flower girl with a collar of flowers and ribbon. Wishing this lovely couple much love and happiness in their new life together.
Dan and Roberta were married in Brecksville Square in front of the beautiful gazebo. This was my first wedding in what is now my hometown. So fun! Especially with well wishers shouting during the ceremony as they sat waiting for the light to change!
This spot was particularly special for Roberta whose father is memorialized there with a plaque and tree planted in his honor. I customized the ceremony to note that just for her and her family.
Roberta was beautiful in a deep coral dress and Dan looked happy and relaxed in shirt and khakis. This sweet couple declared their love for one another in front of about 25 family and friends including their four adult children.
Again, as with so many couples who are getting married for the second time, these two listened intently to my wedding message and repeated their vows and ring exchange with such love and devotion. I was so honored to be a part of this lovely couple's wedding ceremony. Wishing them so much love and happiness together!
Another lovely blending of families happened on Saturday when George and Angelique professed their love for one another in front of about 80 of their family and friends. George and his sons looked striking in their tuxedos with blue and pink cummerbunds and bow ties with matching sneakers. Angelique was gorgeous in an all lace gown. Angelique and friends created all the decorating and silk flowers themselves and the hall looked lovely with every other chair in blue or pink to match the theme colors.
All five children came up for the Unity Sand ceremony. While George was helping little Evelyn, their adorable three-year old, George accidentally hit the very large arch they had made. Rev. Shirley jumped into action and grabbed it before it toppled over off the stage and into the guests. I'm not usually that fast on my feet but all was well after we set it up again.
George and Angelique recited their vows and ring exchange with such sincere love for one another. I love it when the bride and groom are really thinking of the words and meaning them as they lovingly look at each other. No doubt that this is a marriage that is going to last. Love them both and wishing them only the best.
Sunday was a picture-perfect day on the beach of beautiful Lake Erie. This is where Jose and Kim picked to exchange their wedding vows. Lake View Beach in Lorain has wide steps down to the beach as well as a tiered hillside that works really well for seating wedding guests.
Kim looked stunning in an ivory lace dress and Jose was handsome with a casual, Caribbean look. These two are obviously crazy in love and it showed in their sincere, sweet reactions to the vows and ring exchange.
This is another lovely blending of families. They each have a girl and boy that are very nice, respectful young adults. The kids happily stood up with their parents and joined them in a Unity Sand ceremony.
This was the right place to get sand. Remember that if you are planning a wedding on a beach that it is almost always very windy. Sand worked well to hold down several vases of flowers from blowing over.
All in all, a lovely wedding with lovely people. This is one of those couples that I am sure will have a beautiful life together. Wishing them much love and happiness.
What's the most beautiful place to get married in Cleveland? I would say the patio of Pier W overlooking the expanse of Lake Erie and one of the very best views of the Cleveland skyline. Not only did Tom and Kelley pick the most beautiful place but also the most perfect day - 78 degrees with low humidity and lots of sunshine.
This was a lovely, intimate wedding with about 60 guests enjoying the love they were witnessing with the blending of two families. Tom and Kelley's children were the wedding party with Tom's son escorting his sister and Kelley's daughter down the aisle.
Kelley looked amazing in an all lace dress with a slight train. Her hair and makeup complimented the dress perfectly. Both bride and groom were a bit nervous to start but they soon focused on each other and the words they were speaking so sincerely.
Tom's lovely young daughter, Bianca Sophia, sang "Marry Me" by Train while the couple filled the Unity Wine Box with their love letters to each other. How very special for the bride and groom as well as the guests. There is nothing that matches live music for such a special day.
I always enjoy officiating at second marriages. These are people who know what they want in a marriage and are so happy to have found the perfect mate. That was certainly the case with Tom and Kelley. I know they will live happily ever after!
Kim and Jeff blended their two beautiful families at their wedding this past Saturday. Their adult children were more than excited to be part of the ceremony and see their parents so happy. The wedding took place at Weymouth Country Club on the back patio and lawn area. Some people had never been to a wedding on a golf course and told me they were waiting to get konked in the head by a golf ball!
Fortunately, all the bride and groom and I had to deal with was an uninvited guest - a pesky yellow jacket that decided to try and interrupt the beginning of the service. But it soon got tired of us swatting him out of the way and left us alone for the rest of the ceremony.
Kim was glowing while Jeff did his best not to be too nervous. So sweet! We all tried not to sweat too much in the blistering heat but it was a really hot one.
This is a couple who know each well and I'm sure will have a very happy marriage. Wishing them only the best.
Busy weekend of weddings - still reeling from the celebrity wedding last night. This morning I am off to North Ridgeville for a house wedding. This sweet couple, Mike and Jaime, are so much in love. This was a lovely, intimate wedding with just his son, her mother and the son's girlfriend. Jaime looked beautiful in a pink dress and a magnificent bouquet. Both got emotional during the ceremony showing how much they love each other. I love the ceremonies when the bride and groom a bit older and truly understand the seriousness of the commitment and show it. They seem to say the vows with so much more feeling. This is a couple that will certainly be married for a very long time. Wishing them so much love and happiness.
So I booked this wedding less than a week ago. I did not meet with the bride and groom like I usually do and just talked to the bride on the phone and via email. She said that she and her fiance had been together five years and just built a new home in Medina. They were having a housewarming party and wanted to surprise their family and friends by turning it into a wedding party. So they wanted me to marry them at the party. This sounded like a lot of fun so I was happy to do it. She gave me the information I needed and she told me that they wanted the ceremony to be short and casual. So I took my ceremony and cut it in half and customized it with the surprise aspect. I was to be there at 9:00 p.m., well after the party had started.
Well, I was the one who the most surprised! When John and I arrived we were first met by police partially blocking the street. They had a guest list they were checking off and we were allowed to continue down the road. We now see many, many cars lining this neighborhood of huge houses. As we are walking up their very long driveway, we are approached again - this time by security with another guest check list. And then I see security guards all over the place. John and I have no idea what I have gotten myself into.
As we are met by Shane and Brittany, the bride and groom, a huge Mercedes van comes up the driveway. I was asked to wait while they went off to the van. I find out that the rapper, Lil John, is in the van and he is going to do a surprise performance. I, of course, have never heard of this young man but I am quite intrigued with the whole thing. So while we are waiting, John googles Shane French only to find out that he is also a celebrity - Rover French, shock jock on WMMS, and has a nationally syndicated show. Wow! Was I ever surprised. My first celebrity wedding!
Shane (aka Rover) tells me that he wants me to improvise the ceremony with him. I'm going - what? I can improvise when need be in a ceremony but not the whole ceremony! YIkes! But that;s what we do. I go up on the stage that they have erected in their huge backyard and Rover tells everyone that there is going to be a wedding. The crowd goes nuts and we are off. I pretty much threw my ceremony away and went right into the vows and ring exchange. We pulled it off and it was great fun. What a crazy, fun couple they are. We were laughing through most of it. It certainly was the most "unique" wedding I have every performed - one for the book I am going to write someday for sure!
Rover and Brittany were thrilled with the ceremony. I must have done well because I had numerous people come up and say I was did a great job. Everyone thought that the fact that I didn't know who Rover or Lil John were made it just the more fun. I know these two are in for quite an exciting ride. I am definitely going to listen to his show and I may even have to call in. :)
Now I was off to the second wedding on this very hot day. Fortunately, my sweet husband played chauffeur and valet. Joe and Hilary were married at the Fairlawn Country Club - a very lovely, upscale venue. Because of the heat and humidity I had sprayed my hair solid knowing that two weddings in the heat were going to play havoc with my hair. Fortunately, it worked. At this second wedding of the day, I wore a long robe with a blue stole that matched the bride's colors. It was 92 degrees by this time and I was HOT - and not in a good way. :) I could feel my bangs starting to stick to the side of my head!
Hilary looked stunning in a beautiful gown with intricate lace and Joe was quite handsome in his tux. The bridesmaids and groomsmen were in navy blue. They are both very tall and make quite a striking couple. The groom was the one who showed more nervousness at this wedding during the vows but quickly recovered. So sweet.
Even through the heat, the guests managed well during the ceremony and into the cocktail hour after. There was a beautiful bar and wait staff handing out hor d' oeuvres. Very classy and very, very nice. Lovely couple and lovely family.
Benjamin and Joanna were married at the Wade Park Lagoon in front of the Cleveland Art Museum on a scorching hot day last weekend. This was the first of two weddings for me on that day. These two were just as cute as can be. Benjamin had the Unity Sand Ceremony all set up on a bench awaiting his beautiful bride. Joanna arrived in a bouffant dress almost as wide as she is tall. She is a little tiny thing and looked just like a fairy princess. The ceremony, fortunately, was in the shade under a huge tree which made it much more comfortable. There were about 10-12 family members witnessing this special ceremony. At the end, the guests threw rose petals. The geese that frequent the lagoon mistook the petals for food and a good 20 geese rushed toward us. Needless to say they were quite disappointed with the ruse. I know that this couple's love will only continue to grow and they will have a lovely life together.
Jim and Jessica both work for hotels (one in Miami Beach and one in Grand Cayman), so it was natural for them to pick a hotel for their wedding in Cleveland. And what a hotel - the Tudor Arms in University Circle! Built in 1931, this beautiful hotel exudes old world class and grandeur.
Jessica was stunning in a simple, very elegant gown with the bridesmaids in one shoulder, navy blue long gowns. The groom and groomsmen were all stylish in navy blue suits with brown shoes.
Jessica got her jitters out at the rehearsal and both said their vows and ring exchange with love and sincerity. They are obviously very much in love and will live in Grand Cayman where they can be on their honeymoon every day! Wishing them so much love and happiness in their new life together.
Could this bride look any more radiant? Amanda was beaming after her wedding to Joe at Rustic Hills Country Club in Medina. What a joyous couple. They have much to be joyful about - especially their adorable two-year old daughter. Olivia decided to join her mother while Amanda was saying her vows to Joe. Usually, that would have been a big disruption but Olivia just stood and watched until a groomsman coaxed her to come to him. It was a very sweet moment.
One word of warning, if your venue does not offer a wedding coordinator, make sure your officiant can pitch in and run the rehearsal. I have performed several weddings at Rustic Hills so I had no problem. But this venue has an unusual set up. And inexperienced officiant could have had trouble coordinating a large wedding party like this one at this venue. If your officiant doesn't run rehearsals like I do, you can always ask a friend to help out.
As it was, Joe and Amanda and their entire wedding party performed flawlessly and the ceremony went on without a hitch. I know that these two lovely people will have a wonderful life together with their sweet daughter. Wishing them only the best!
There couldn't have been a more idyllic place for the wedding of Jim and Heather. Both of them are avid runners and them met in Sand Run Metro Park while running years ago. So they decided to get married at Shady Hollow Lodge in the park. This is a brand new lodge and it is just lovely for a small to medium-sized wedding.
Jim and Heather could not be more in love. What a special wedding this was with immediate family. Heather's beautiful three children stood with the couple. It was easy to see how much Jim loves these kids and will be a great step-father.
Jim's emotional speech before the wedding set the loving tone for the ceremony. It looked like everyone was tearing up a bit - even me! I find that when I marry mature adults they are more emotional when they are saying their vows because they are truly feeling the words. It is so very touching.
This is a loving, sweet couple with a beautiful family. There is no doubt that they will have an exceptional life together. Sending them much love and many blessings.
The main lesson from this wedding is to have a Plan B. Bobby and Nicole planned their wedding to be outside on the golf course green at Fowler's Mill in Chesterland. True to Northeast Ohio weather it was freezing for the rehearsal and then rainy for the wedding. Fortunately. their reception was also being held at Fowler's Mill so it was easy to take the wedding inside. That made it not as traditional as planned, since the guests were sitting at tables, but beautiful none the less. Nicole looked stunning in an elegant layered dress while her handsome groom sported a large grin on his face the entire ceremony. These are two people very much in love. As cold as it was for rehearsal that's how warm it was inside. My bangs curled up from sweat and even the bride actually said "Could someone turn the air conditioning on?" during the ceremony. They must not have had it on because it was cool outside. But with 150 people in the room it got really toasty! They spared no expense with fun extras for their guests like a donut bar and a unique guestbook of wooden hearts to write on. Wishing this beautiful couple love and blessings in their new life together!
On Tuesday, April 17, 2018, I married Jesse and Katelyn at their beautiful home in Wadsworth. Why Tuesday, do you ask? It was their six-year anniversary. Their guests were happy to be spending a Tuesday night partying with this fun couple. What a loving family! They welcomed me in as if I were one of their own. Jesse was in tails and boots and Katelyn looked beautiful in a jewel-studded formal wedding gown. It just goes to show that you can make your wedding anything you want - there are no more rules. I was happy to assist in giving them the wedding of their dreams. The ceremony went beautifully with nervous laughter and sincere vows. They were both so anxious for those final words - "I know pronounce you husband and wife." The room burst into applause and hooting! What fun it was! Afterwards they surprised me with an extraordinary gift - a piece art with two carved African heads on it. When we met at my home, they noticed the African mask collection we have. I was overwhelmed! How incredibly thoughtful and sweet. I have already hung it and will treasure it forever. And I will treasure the memory of this very special wedding.
Yesterday afternoon at 3:30 p.m on 3/30/18 I officiated at the wedding of Matthew and Kaylie in Canal Fulton. It was just the two of them in the living room of their beautiful home. This wedding was so sweet and intimate. All they wanted was to be together and share their special relationship. I was privileged to be a part of it. Wishing them so much love and happiness.
I was honored to perform the wedding of Kelsey and Paul at Windows on the River in The Flats. Although all weddings are unique and joyful, this one was exceptionally so.
The love that radiated out of these two was just incredible. And such joy! Not only between them but also between their two lovely families. This is the way all wedding should be. Their beautiful energy spilled over to me and made it a very special experience. I have performed hundreds of weddings and this is one that I will never forget. I grew very close to them in a short amount of time and wish them so much love and happiness. There is no doubt that this is a marriage that will last and their love will only grow and blossom.
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.