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?

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!!

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: Modern Wedding Trends

 :: Modern Wedding Trends ::

One thing MRSter totally promotes is that your wedding is what YOU want, not somebody else’s idea of what your wedding should be. For the modern couple, we’ve noticed that new trends are cropping up everywhere. We thought we’d share some ideas we really like that you might think is right for you.

:: Consider different entertainment options :: Utilize your musician friends, hire a contemporary choir, use a cabaret singer, entertain with a retro big band orchestra or a rock and roll band or a blues band, or ethnic music of any sort. You can hire a combination of different styles for different parts of the evening. For instance, have a cabaret singer perform during the cocktail hour and a big band orchestra perform for dancing the night away. Find entertainment options by clicking here and searching your location.

Wedding Entertainment

Photography :: Berg Photography

:: A modern take on the wedding party :: How about getting Grandma and Grandpa to act as flower girl and ring bearer? If done right, this can be both dignified and a beautiful, heart warming addition to your ceremony.

:: Create unique centerpieces :: We’ve seen centerpieces of submerged flowers, shimmering jars with candles, desert plant groupings, teacups or wine glasses, fruits and veggies, twigs, paper and marbles, and much more! Virtually anything you can conceive of can be turned into attractive centerpieces. Check out our florists listed on our FABuLIST to connect with a designer.

:: Dance your way back up the aisle :: Hey, it’s a joyous occasion! What better way to express your happiness than dancing all the way back up the aisle as your friends and family are cheering you on? Whoo hoo! This isn’t necessarily a new trend but we believe strongly in the power of music and we’d like this trend to stick around.

:: Food… Glorious food :: Who says you have to keep to the traditional plated chicken dinner? Love hamburgers? Hire a catering truck. Getting married at the beach? Have a clambake. Honeymooning in Italy? Serve spaghetti. Love Mexican food? There are a variety of taco trucks out there… Or have a burrito bar. You can provide munchie stations, dessert stations, cheese and cracker stations, sushi stations… The ideas are only limited to your imagination and your budget.

:: Looking good :: You can be fancy or casual in your wedding clothing, dress up or down, wear sneakers and jeans, show off your western wear, utilize ethnic dress, have a costume party wedding or any kind of themed wedding wear, ask all guests to wear specific colors for a feeling of unity, or just be traditional! It’s all up to you.

What is a trend you are planning or have seen recently that you love?

VENDORS :: If you’d like to become MRSter Approved to be placed on our FABuLIST you can do so by clicking here.

Wedding Wisdom Wednesday :: Wedding Color Trends // 2016

:: Wedding Color Trends // 2016 ::

Personally, my favorite color is green. Green speaks of newness, regeneration and life. Green can come in many shades, from subtle to intense, but you know, I am also personally not the color trend setter. However, I say go with your gut. Choose colors that make YOU happy for your wedding. But, if you’d like to know what the trend setters are saying, here’s the scoop.

Perusing the web on the subject, everyone seems to have something a little different to say. One article promotes metallics and another promotes pastels. Some say pink and blue, while another suggests neutrals. Still, another suggests a concentration of various hues of one color. My conclusion is that there really isn’t a prominent trend. So it’s back to my original idea… Select colors that make you happy!

Wedding Color Trends

Photography :: Berg Photography

There are certain parameters that you should follow, however, and my artistic nature offers these ideas:

Step 1 :: Start by picking the color with which you’d like to work. Consult with your partner and settle on the main color you both love and agree upon.

Step 2 :: Give yourself a mini education on color theory. Think about harmony – how well colors compliment each other. Think in terms of primary colors, which are defined as red, yellow and blue: secondary colors, which are defined as green, orange and purple, which are made by mixing the primary colors; and tertiary colors, which are colors produced by mixing primary and secondary colors. You don’t need to be an expert of course, but it pays to have a basic idea of how colors go together.

Wedding Trends

Photography :: GSquared Weddings

Step 3 :: Consult a color wheel. These are readily available on the net and can give you ideas about parallel, monochromatic, complimentary, and other various shades and hues that are pleasing to the eye and create good vibes.

Step 4 :: Consider harmony. Harmony is found in things that go together, like you and your loved one! Visually, harmony is largely seen by the arrangement of color, creating balance, order and promoting a pleasing sense. A lack of harmony offers either a lack of pleasure due to blandness or on the other extreme, a feeling of disorder. I had a girlfriend years ago who painted her bedroom a super bright orange… I never felt comfortable in that room! Bedrooms are for relaxing, but the bright orange was overly stimulating and made me feel tense and irritable. I like the color orange, but not necessarily on bedroom walls.

Wedding Color Trends

Photography :: {MRSter Approved} Molly + Co

Step 5 :: Go with it. You can incorporate your color scheme into your clothing, your flowers, your table decorations and really everything to create a harmonious whole. It doesn’t have to be matchy-matchy, but you want to go for harmony. Harmonious colors will help set the mood for a joyous celebration.

What colors do you have planned for your upcoming wedding? Comb through our Brag Mag for inspiration from real weddings.

Top Five Friday :: Top 5 Questions to Ask a Wedding Planner Before You Hire Them

:: Top 5 Questions to Ask a Wedding Planner Before You Hire Them ::

Hiring a wedding planner is a big deal. Some are great, some are not so great. Some are all about equality, some are, simply put, not! A place to start is right here on MRSter, which lists vendors that embrace high standards and treat all people with respect. Check out our awesome FABuLISTers here!

Before interviewing candidates, be sure of a few basics, for example: your budget, the date of your wedding, and how many guests you are expecting. In the meantime, here are the top five questions you need to ask a wedding planner before you hire them…

1 :: What is included in your services? Wedding planners have a multitude of services they can offer, so you need to be sure they can fulfill your needs. Can they fulfill your vision? Can the planner offer you a timeline of tasks? Will the planner provide a breakdown of dollars spent for each budget item? Ask to look at a typical contract. Be sure you get a breakdown of every service you require. There are planning checklists online that will help you determine what you need your planner to do and what you can do yourself. Take notes.

2 :: What is your level of experience? (and associated questions)? How long has the planner been in business. Does he or she have credentials or awards? Does he or she have a business license? How many weddings does the planner typically do in a year? Does he or she have the proper number of staff to run your event?

3 :: Which vendors do you work with? Are we only able to work with your vendors or can we choose our own? Note that wedding planners usually develop relationships with tried and true vendors who they know are reliable and will charge fair rates. But, if you have a friend who is an awesome photographer for instance, you might want to have the liberty of hiring that person.

4 :: Tell us about a really big complication you ran into in planning a wedding and how you solved it. This will give you some insight into the planner’s ability to problem solve.

5 :: Can you provide us with references? Experienced planners should easily be able to provide references. They should also have a portfolio of photos or videos of weddings they have done.  

After the interview, you need to ask yourself how you felt about the potential planner. Were they open and receptive to your ideas, or were the determined to sway you in their direction? Were they friendly or did you detect a distancing? Did you get the impression that the planner was hearing you? You will be working with this person very closely so you need to feel comfortable with the relationship and confident in the planner’s ability to create a beautiful event based on what you want to do. Be sure to interview several planners. Take a few days to decide. You’ll be glad you did.

What questions did you, or will you, be asking your wedding planner?