Author Archives: Lois Heckman

What’s in a Building?

No matter how great or humble, every building has a purpose. I have been thinking a lot about houses of worship.  Considering the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral and the fires at three churches in Louisiana, there couldn’t be a sharper contrast.  I am happy that I had the opportunity to visit Notre Dame.  While I do not […]

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The FUNdamentals of Weddings

A wedding is such a joyous time, having elements that are fun or whimsical, even in the ceremony, can be appropriate – in the right proportion. While getting married is no joke, it is a time of happiness.  And it’s certainly not a competition; having the ‘best’ wedding in comparison to your friends and family should […]

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A Dress from Many Places

Many Americans do not identify with one specific cultural background. I have heard clients say, ‘I’m a mutt,’ or ‘I’m like Heinz 57’ – meaning they are a mix, coming from many places. I tend to think that it’s fine to incorporate something for one piece of your cultural puzzle, as long as you know […]

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The extraordinary importance of the wedding vow

Wedding vows are perhaps the most important element of any wedding ceremony, and certainly deserve close examination. As you can imagine, after 15 years of officiating weddings, many, many weddings, I’ve heard a lot of vows spoken. Some funny, some surprising, some too long, some too short. How do you get the ‘goldilocks’ effect – […]

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Making it work – new spins on old traditions

Last week I wrote about some of the not-so-pleasant origins of familiar wedding rituals, the bouquet and garter toss and cake smashing. Today I want to propose some ways to reinvent and renew customs that can sometimes feel outdated, awkward or even inappropriate. Like family, weddings can be complicated. When a particular tradition doesn’t work […]

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How Do You Feel About These Traditions?

In weddings, as in many things in life, everyone wants to decide what does or doesn’t fit their style and point of view. I was once taken to task for suggesting the garter toss felt weird to me. Some women will still love to do this – it can be fun, sexy, traditional or even […]

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The beauty of Taoism

With so much wisdom around the world, its challenging to sift through it all and find great quotes, inspiration, and readings for weddings. But hey, that’s my job, and I often find words that resonate in Taoism (or Daoism – both are correct). About 20 million people practice this religion, really more of a philosophy, […]

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The Complex Story of ‘Who Pays for the Wedding’

Recently a friend asked me why, traditionally, the bride’s family paid for the wedding, knowing that in our modern world there are any number of ways that can go. I have worked with many couples who were paying for their own wedding, which I is pretty common these days. Historically, however, the bride’s family paid […]

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Adults Only

I’ve seen little kids crying and being disruptive during the ceremony and I’ve seen them be angels. You never know for sure how young children will react, they may feel very stressed being in a new situation.

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To invite or not to invite – that is the question.

Taking the Guess Out of the Guest List One of the trickiest decisions in wedding planning is the guest list. Almost every couple I speak with expresses that they want the people they love the most to share their special day. But how do you handle it when there is someone you don’t want to be […]

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