Chicago, ILLINOIS :: Cherian & Asha :: Worth The Wait // Real Engagement

:: Worth The Wait ::

Photographed & Submitted by :: Bokéh Studios

Cherian had planned an epic proposal for his girlfriend, Asha, however, she wasn’t going to get just one… She got an elaborate day full of engagement hoaxes that included a dance team, card tricks, Build-A-Bear, an acapella team, drumline and more!

Asha was very patient throughout each (fake) event, but Cherian officially proposed to his girlfriend of four years near the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago, where she was finally able to scream, “YES!”

DISTINCTIONS

Engagement Hoaxes. Fun-filled. Worth The Wait.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: Bokéh Studios

LOCATION

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Top Five Friday :: Top 5 Ways To Make Your Wedding Reception Fun!

:: Top 5 Ways To Make Your Wedding Reception Fun! ::

CONGRATS! You and your loved one are getting married and having a celebration with friends and family in order to share the joy. Most weddings have music and dancing. Some wedding parties even perform a dance to entertain the guests. Of course, many celebrations serve alcohol – always a party pleaser, but you two might want to consider some other ideas to make your reception even more fun and bring in some more interest than just the traditional. Here are our top suggestions to make your reception fun (besides what we’ve already mentioned):

1 :: Create a board and/or lawn game area :: Not everyone likes to dance and if kids are coming to your party, you need to plan fun things for them as well. You can supply board games, cards, guessing games, and even a craft area that you’ve supplied with paper, crayons and other craft items for the kiddos… (or others!). For outdoor activities you can supply lawn darts, horseshoes, or even a ping pong table. Try to gear the games to what you can reasonably expect your guests to enjoy, but overall they will appreciate that there is something else to do besides dance, especially if you aren’t a dancer!

 

2 :: Have a contest and a prize :: Ask guests to write their best marriage advice. Gather the papers and have you and your spouse (or ask a couple of wedding party members) to select the top five answers and read these aloud. Ask the guests to vote on the best advice by virtue of applause, and consider offering a prize to the winner. Maybe that prize is a toaster from your wedding registry! 😉

3 :: How about a photo booth? :: Today’s photo booths have fun and interactive props for your guests and create an instant memento. Check out our previously posted blog on these fun additions to your celebration by clicking here.

4 :: Put on a skit :: Engage your friends in creating a skit about the two of you. It can feature stuff like how you met, how the proposal was asked, what will life be like in fifty years. Assuming you have creative friends, this can be a fabulously funny show!

5 :: Schedule an entertainment event :: I recently attended an event that featured Spanish dancers. Not only was it great fun to watch them, but they offered Spanish dancing lessons afterwards. It was really funny to watch some of the guests try the moves and watch a few build some confidence with their Spanish skills! Another event featured a comedy team similar to “Whose LIne is it Anyway?” that was totally entertaining. You can call a local booking agent and find out what talent is available in your area.

Well there it is, dear readers. MRSter would love to hear your ideas on wedding reception fun. What have you seen or have planned for some extra fun at a wedding?

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: Religion, Spirituality, & The Modern Union // What They Mean For Your Ceremony

:: Religion, Spirituality, & The Modern Union // What They Mean For Your Ceremony ::

It is indeed a sacred event when two people unite in matrimony. You two are pledging your love, respect and commitment to one another, and desire to share the celebration of your oneness with your family and friends. Whether or not you base your ceremony on a specific religion or your own sense of spirituality is entirely up to you. Or perhaps you want to add an element of sacredness to your ceremony. These days, with many couples already sharing a household, the increase in legal LGBT unions, and with many interfaith marriages, the traditional church wedding is not as popular as it once was. So the question remains on how to interject religion and spirituality into your ceremony if you choose to do so.

It is essential to find the right officiant. You need to connect with an officiant that cares about the two of you, and is sensitive to your desires. She or he can certainly help in large part to create the ceremony that is perfect. And perfectly designed to represent your union. Just be open about your vision with the officiant.

Wedding Officiant

Photography :: Bethany Meister

Consider how the venue will complement the ceremony. A lovely meadow, a woodsy area, a place near a body of water, a chapel, church or garden can all add significantly to the sacredness of the ceremony. You would do well to select a place that has a special meaning to the two of you. I know of a couple who married at a park where they first both expressed their love for one another.

Acknowledge your love as well as the religious or spiritual significance of your union in your vows. Whether you write them yourself or the officiant writes them for you, make sure your vows are sacred to the two of you and represent your belief system. Don’t rush the writing of the vows, and don’t wait until the last minute. The vows you make to one another are perhaps the most important part of the wedding.  

Wedding Vows

Photography :: Melissa of Rivets and Roses

Likewise, the reading you select should celebrate your belief system. This is also true for the music played during the ceremony. Here as well, take your time in selecting the ceremonial readings and music. These can readily and easily accommodate your expression of spirituality and can significantly impact the sacredness of the ceremony.

MRSter would be delighted to hear your stories about how you incorporated religion/spirituality into your wedding ceremony!! Let us know in the comments below!!

St. John, USVI :: Mark & Mike :: Sunset Ceremony // Real LGBTQ Wedding

:: Sunset Ceremony ::

Submitted by :: Mary Bartolucci of Island Style Weddings
Photographed by :: STJ Creative Photography

Mike and Mark wanted a simple tropical ceremony and they had the beach all to themselves as they exchanged touching vows at sunset. Trunk Bay beach was the perfect backdrop for this memorable ceremony. They were the first lucky couple to legally marry on St. John… Which was a huge honor for Mary Bartolucci who officiated the ceremony. With such breathtaking views, there really was no need for anything other than themselves and simple white boutonnieres.

After their ceremony, the couple and their guests enjoyed a delicious dinner at Asolare, an intimate restaurant overlooking the beautiful Caribbean sea.

DISTINCTIONS

Sunset Ceremony. Making History. Ocean Views.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: STJ Creative Photography
Event Planning :: Island Style Weddings
Officiant :: Mary Bartolucci of Island Style Weddings
Reception :: Asolare
Floral :: Roses Too Flowers

LOCATION

St. John, United States Virgin Islands

COLORS

 

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: Last Name After Marriage // To Change Or Not To Change - That Is The Question

:: Last Name After Marriage // To Change Or Not To Change – That Is The Question ::

Much has changed. I remember attempting to buy a car back in the 70s. (Yes, I’m an old broad.) The salesman advised me to come back with my “husband.” I was totally insulted! The nerve of that guy!!! As if I wasn’t equipped to make such a big decision on my own. Grrr. It still irks me when I think about it. Needless to say I bought my car elsewhere.

The tradition of the “wife” taking the last name of the “husband” stems from the days when wives were considered property. The woman moved from her father’s home to her husband’s home and thus took his name because she now belonged to him. Historically, most cultures were founded on a patriarchal system. Consider the fact that even in America, woman have had the right to vote for less than 100 years so although we have evolved, we still have a long way to go.  

Yes, much has changed, and now that same-sex marriage is legal nationwide, the question again arises of what to do about a last name for the newly created family unit. There are several schools of thought on the issue of adopting the name of your partner.  

Love Is Love

On the pro side, sharing the same last name creates a feeling of family unity and makes the two easily identifiable as a couple. If there are or will be children in the mix, sharing a common last name identifies the family as a whole. Also, there is something that speaks of commitment and honor to be willing to take on the name of your partner.

On the con side, there is still that element of possession, loss of personality identity, and somehow being a less important person than the one whose name you take. Then there is the element of traditional male roles versus traditional female roles which society at large still finds confusing in relation to the LGBTQ community.

As always, you have the right to do what you want to do in this country, as long as you are not a danger to yourself or others. So our position here at MRSter is to do what is right for you as a couple. We would like to add that we think the idea of combining both last names into one brand new last name is an exciting and compelling alternative, and speaks volumes of the commitment to the new family unit. This idea affords a lovely way to merge your identities in a creative, committed way.  

What are your thoughts? To change or not to change your last name after marriage?

Happy 4th! :: Thoughts on Independence

:: Happy 4th! // Thoughts on Independence ::

As our readers know, MRSter is all about marriage equality. We work really hard to not lump people in to categories like “straight”, “lesbian”, “gay”, “bisexual”, “queer” or “questioning.” Come to think of it, we can also separate people by labeling them disabled, ie; a “disabled wedding”. Or elderly, as in, an “old folks wedding” or an “interracial wedding”. It happens. Come to think of it, we can say a “Jewish Wedding” or a “Mexican Wedding” or an “African American Wedding” or an Interfaith Wedding”, et cetera and so forth.

Gay Wedding

Photography :: {MRSter Approved} Mod Wed

While these labels may be true, and while some of these labels may be perceived as offensive while others are not, the fact of the matter is that the human race has more similarities than differences. We just have subtle nuances that make us unique; little differences in shade and tone that make us who we are. The world would be a boring place if we were all the same.

I understand the need for labels when we are expressing an idea, so that others can get what we are trying to express. If I told you I recently went to a Jewish wedding, it may bring to mind the smashing of glasses, or a canopy, or men wearing yamakas, but what do you think of when I tell you I attended a gay wedding? Was everyone there super happy? I mean really, what does that mean? And how does the freedom to marry the one you love enter into an independent life? 

With Independence Day just around the corner, it got me thinking about freedom. I thought about the fight of African Americans to be able to vote. I thought about the fight of people with disabilities for the right to enter a building in a wheelchair. I thought about the fight of Native Americans to get back that which was stolen, and I thought about the words of Nelson Mandela:

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

Independence Day

Photography via Sian Clark

Really, the freedom to marry the person you love is, or should be, an elementary right in every state of the nation. I’ve heard all the arguments for and against, and agree that everyone has the right to their opinion. However, no one has the right to belittle, deny or otherwise cause harm to other individuals because they don’t approve of a certain lifestyle (or race of people, or religion).

We are a nation of diversity. Unfortunately however, unless we ever achieve a perfect society, there will always be bigoted, ugly, hateful people in the world. So, and focusing on the area of equality in marriage, MRSter celebrates diversity and tries to bring our equality to the community of humans. Viva la difference!

Love Is Love

We wish you a safe and joyful Independence Day. May our nation continue to be a place where freedom is embraced and celebrated! How will you be celebrating this Holiday weekend?!

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: Seating Chart Stress? Try These Ideas!

:: Seating Chart Stress? Try These Ideas! ::

Yup. Creating a seating chart can be one of the most, if not THE MOST, stressful part of your wedding. You can’t put Richard next to Sara because they greatly dislike (aka hate) each other, but if you move Richard, then where can you put Aunt Joan and Uncle Sal? Even if you have a wedding planner (and I hope you do), this is something you pretty much have to do on your own because your planner doesn’t know your guests and could wind up putting Richard next to Sara, which could lead to a genuine calamity. So, let’s make this simple and start with you and your partner.

:: Table Placement :: There are quite a few variables that need to be considered and your venue should be able to assist with the table layout. If you are having a sit-down dinner with round or rectangular tables, consider placing your table in the center of the room with your most cherished people at hand, or have a smaller table just for the two of you if you don’t have enough room for all your favorite friends and relatives, and/or the wedding party (which is assumed to be your favorite people).

:: Mix It Up :: With the exception of a small number of wedding guests (say around 50 or so), you should assign guests to specific tables – Table 1, Table 2, and etc. Assigning guests to specific tables should take into consideration their relationship to one another. Also, it can be fun to mix people who know each other with people who don’t for the sake of added interest, instead of for instance, putting all the “old buddies” at a table. Mix it up a little.

Wedding Place Cards

Photography :: Largo Photography

:: An Exception To The Rule :: One exception to the place card rule is if you have one long table for all your guests at a smaller wedding (50 people or so), in which case you will probably want certain people near you or across from you. If that is the case, you will need to be super sensitive to your guests and hope you’ll keep everybody happy. You’ll need to ask yourselves who are truly the most important people in your lives and create a seating chart accordingly, remembering that ALL your guests are important to you, otherwise they wouldn’t have been invited.

:: Get Crafty :: There are seating charts online that can help you plan who goes where if you need one. Otherwise, if you’re assigning  guests to tables, have your guest list handy and some paper and small sticky notes as well. Write the names of your guests on the sticky notes, and label each piece of paper Table One, Table Two, Table Three, and so forth. Get yourselves a bottle of wine (or whatever else helps to relax the two of you) and start thinking who of your guests would be comfortable seated together. If you’re going the “one long table” or “extra formal” way, you can still accomplish the job in a similar way, although it might take a bit more thought. Try to make it a fun thing to do. You’ll feel FABULOUS once you’ve accomplished the task.

Have you discovered an innovative way to create your wedding seating chart?! We would LOVE to hear from you!!

Boulder, COLORADO :: Melissa & Eric :: Vintage Vibe // Real Wedding

:: Vintage Vibe ::

Submitted & photographed by :: Amanda Baker Photography

Melissa & Eric shared an intimate day with close friends and family at the Rembrandt Yard in Boulder, Colorado. Melissa wore her Grandmother’s wedding dress, that had had a few alterations to make it a touch more modern. Her wedding party wore simple lavender dresses and the gentlemen were dressed simply in a nice button-up and slacks.

I would describe the wedding as boho-chic with a flare of a vintage vibe. The art gallery was adorned in vintage place settings, with mismatched plates and glassware for the reception. The gallery served as their ceremony site, and reception site. They had a simple dinner and an AMAZING dessert bar.

While we ran into some weather, their spirits never faltered.They laughed, smiled, and got the party started by taking shots of whiskey and vodka!

I felt like part of the family by the end of the wedding.

DISTINCTIONS

Boho-Chic. Vintage Vibe. Grandmother’s Wedding Dress.

THE PROFESSIONALS

Photography :: Amanda Baker Photography
Day of Coordinator :: Kimberly Rose Events
Catering :: Greens Point Catering
Venue :: Rembrandt Yard
DJ :: DJ Perry
Apparel :: Re-designed by Donna Beth Creations

LOCATION

Boulder, Colorado, USA.

COLORS

  

Top Five Friday :: Top 5 Wedding Traditions You Can Pass Along in Your Family

:: Top 5 Wedding Traditions You Can Pass Along in Your Family ::

Didya ever see Fiddler on the Roof”? It’s a musical that focuses on the importance of tradition, and happens to take place in pre-revolutionary Russia. To me, it’s another reminder that we, as human beings, are more alike than we are different – by a long shot!

What is a tradition in your family? I remember at my aunt’s marriage, one big tradition in our Italian family was the money dance, where people danced with the bride and pinned cash to her veil. If you don’t have a family tradition, why not start one? In the meantime, here are MRSter’s Top Five Wedding Tradition ideas that are updated and easily passed on to your family.

1 :: Something old, something new something borrowed, something blue :: This tradition comes from the Victorian era, with old representing old friends, new representing the creation of a new family, borrowed representing something borrowed from a happily married friend, and blue representing purity and modesty. Make this tradition your own by borrowing a family heirloom to incorporate into your bouquet or wearing blue undies, for example. There are many, many ways you can use this tradition to make it uniquely yours.

2 :: Changing the “Bride’s” name to the last name of the “Groom” :: This tradition started because brides were considered the property of the groom back in the old days. Nowadays, people are often hyphenating names to demonstrate their partnership. Consider creating a brand new surname from the last name of each of you. In this way, you are both fairly represented in your new partnership and your love is reflected in your brand new name.

3 :: Tossing the garter :: Instead of tossing the garter, why not auction it off to the highest bidder with the proceeds going to your favorite charity? You can donate the proceeds in the name of the person who bid the highest. Sweet!

4 :: Throwing rice :: This tradition started because rice was considered to enhance fertility. The problem is getting a rice kernel In your eye! Instead of rice, consider using birdseed, bubbles, flower petals, confetti, glitter, streamers, or whatever other fun and safe throwable item you think of.

5 :: Readings :: Spice up your readings with words that carry special weight in your world. From Dr. Seuss to Shakespeare, from the Bible to the great poets, choose readings that have a special significance for the two of you.

Wedding Reading

Photography :: Berg Photography

Choose new traditions that resonate who you both are. Your wedding is all about the two of you, your love, and the joy you want to share with those that are close to you. Have you made any wedding traditions your own? We would love to hear about them!!