When The Divorce Doesn’t Work Out

Sometimes the twisting roads of life lead to divorce. When we promise ‘for better or worse’ – we understand the intent. But it is hard to stick by your partner when those bad times are abuse, cheating, or simply going in completely opposite directions. Family problems such as special needs children, or illnesses, can also break people apart.  And let me state clearly that if there is domestic violence, yes, please do divorce.

But when it is for other reasons, counselling, or spending time apart can help, and occasionally couples find their way back to one another. When that happens, they might even decide to get married again.

I am no expert, but its seems obvious that after many years, each partner may drift in a different direction. They stop communicating. There are countless frustrations in marriage. No one claims it’s easy. What are called ‘irreconcilable differences’ occur, but reconciliation is possible.  After a separation, the spark can be reignited.

One famous remarriage was Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who were married to one another twice. But then again, that didn’t really work out for them. Other famous couples who married the same person twice include: Natalie Wood, who was first married to Robert Wagner from 1957–1962, and then again from 1972 until her death in 1981. Melanie Griffith was first married to Don Johnson for six months in 1996, and then again from 1989–1996; and Mexican painter Frida Kahlo was first married to fellow artist Diego Rivera from 1929-1939 – they remarried in 1940 and remained together until her death in 1954.

Frida Kahlo & Diego Rivera

There are no statistics on how many divorced couples remarry one another, or how well it works out. No one seems to have paid much attention to this phenomenon. Granted it’s rare, but still worth our consideration.

I have officiated for couples who were marrying their ‘ex. As British novelist Iris Murdoch put it: ‘Falling out of love is chiefly a matter of forgetting how charming someone is.’

It’s not my role as a Celebrant to delve too deeply into the reasons a couple is marrying or re-marrying, but they often volunteer lots of information. The main reason for reconciliation that I’ve heard is that they needed time apart to grow. They now feel more prepared; they understand one another and themselves much better. Often, they married very young (in some cases together since Junior High School).

Another reason to re-marry is to provide children with a stable two parent home – but this in itself is probably not enough if the same underlying issues remain.

When a couple has rekindled their spark, found understanding, and if they value what they had as a couple, then re-marrying could be right. Maybe they acted too quickly when they divorced, and often times they say they never really stopped loving one another.

Now as they go forward they will need to let go of past grievances. The do’s and don’ts for this type of wedding easy: keep it simple! And what the heck do we, as friends or family, say to this couple? Especially if you have given your ear to one partner and supported them as they bashed their former spouse, you may find yourself in the awkward position of having to tell them you really didn’t quite mean all that. My advice on this is the same: keep it simple. Just tell your friend or family member you’re glad they worked it out and that you’re encouraged that love can prevail in the end.

The same goes for me as their Celebrant. I will focus on their love and recommitment and help them celebrate this new beginning as they make it legal and tie the knot.

None of us know where our paths will lead us, so let’s try hard not to be too judgmental. Let hope live!


THANK YOU Lisa Rhinehart for all the gorgeous photos. Lisa was chosen as one of the top 50 wedding photographers world-wide.




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When Style Comes from Within, It Comes Out Right.

Fashion comes and goes, but love never goes out of style. Your wedding celebration can reflect the timelessness of love and marriage combined with your own personal taste.

‘Style’ is defined as a manner of doing or presenting things, especially a fashionable one. And whatever your style, whatever decisions you make about the ‘look’ of your wedding, remember how important it is to stay true to yourself. You want to feel like yourself and look like yourself on your big day – and be comfortable in your own skin.

Consider these descriptions of style: laid-back, timeless, offbeat, eclectic, contemporary, clean, antique, elegant, rustic, charming – and any combination of those words.

Don’t forget that the ceremony is the heart and soul of your day, so be sure to explore that with your officiant to include those personal touches as well.  Have I mentioned that before? J Thanking family, personal vows, sharing stories about your journey, any of these can be incorporated into almost any wedding ceremony.

Break a few rules. Brides don’t have to wear white! Mix up your bridesmaids and groomsmen, or as I prefer to call them – attendants – having women and men standing with whichever partner they are connected to; or sort them any way you wish.

Here in the Poconos rustic is always a good fit, and combining it with elegant works well. There are countless ideas for the rustic weddings. To name two I like: using an old canoe or rowboat to put your drinks in, and using burlap trimmed with lace for table runners. And while we’re talking about tables, consider the long family-style for seating at a meal. Choose natural flowers, in wild loose arrangements. Use vintage bottles for centerpieces.

Perhaps you prefer a more formal and timeless style. You can never go wrong with a black and white theme. Tuxedoes never go out of style.

Maybe like me, you love all of the above! All kinds of styles appeal to you. How do you narrow it down? Pinterest (yes, it’s still a thing) can help you with this. Collect the ideas you love and see which ones keep coming up again and again. Think about what the style says about your lives? Are you and your fiancé outdoorsy people? Do you love getting dressed up or are you always in jeans?

Don’t give into the temptations that weddings can present. Don’t think you must wear, say, or do something that doesn’t suit you. I have seen many couples look uncomfortable in their very formal wedding clothes and hairstyles. Perhaps that’s why so many men are now pairing sneakers with their suits, or jeans with shirts, ties and vests. I’d like to see more brides wearing gowns that are comfortable and flattering, and I think the trend is going in that direction.

Take the time to enjoy the process, work with your partner and family to make decisions that take everyone’s needs into consideration. If you are having a big wedding, then you need to think big picture. Will your plans inconvenience people, will it be too expensive for people you care about to attend? Are you putting too many expectations on yourself and your friends?

Be considerate and be generous. Share the love. This big day is the start of something big, start it off right. When your wedding style comes from within, it comes out right!

THANK YOU Lisa Rhinehart for all the gorgeous photos. Lisa was chosen as one of the top 50 wedding photographers world-wide.




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Let Us Eat Cake

So many wedding traditions have long histories, and interesting origins. Bouquets, rings, and white wedding gowns… they all come from somewhere, and I’ve written about a lot of it.

Today I take on cake. Our classic tradition of serving cake for weddings comes from two different sources. First Ancient Rome – one of the prime sources of Western culture – where bread was broken over a bride’s head to bring good luck. Bread has always been a strong symbol because it signifies sustenance, and for ancient cultures that meant survival. I recently wrote about the Eastern European bread and salt ritual – a great example of that.

The Roman wedding ceremony was finalized with the bread (aka: cake) made of wheat or barley, and whatever crumbs fell were gathered up by guests as tokens of good luck. How do we know this? The Roman poet Lucretius wrote about it.

Moving closer to our own style of cake as ritual, in England and early American, we’re talking 1700’s here, cake was a sign of social status, as it was quite the luxury, and so including one in one’s wedding was prestigious. How better to celebrate than with something so special, decadent and delicious? These cakes were often fruit cakes, but iced with tiers much like the ones we see today.  Even the icing itself holds significant, being traditionally white, which for some reason was a symbol of money.

The cutting of the cake is a big deal and certainly echoes that breaking bread over the bride’s head thing.  It could represent breaking the virginity of the bride! No comment on that. It also marked the beginning of a husband’s power over his bride and meant to ensure fertility, which to be fair, meant survival. Again, this is old stuff, so we’ll just let it slide. There are other interpretations of course, such as the cake ritual simply representing good fortune in the future.

Sharing the cake (not mere crumbs) developed naturally from there, as guests hoped to cash in on all that it represented and get a slice of the rare treat. They really seemed to put a lot of faith in cake in the olden days.

As the custom moved forward over time it became just one more normal wedding tradition, but turning down a piece of wedding cake was, and sometimes still may be, just plain rude.

In 1882 the modern wedding cake was born when Prince Leopold, an English Duke, had a cake made that we would absolutely recognize today. After this, the layered cake became popular, topped with luscious dense icing and stacked in tiers.

All modern wedding things seem to have a Queen Victoria connection. She used that white icing for her cake, which became known as ‘royal icing.’ Everyone followed what Queen Victoria did, her influence was enormous. Actual pieces of Queen Victoria’s cake were on display at Windsor Castle, and a slice of cake from her daughter, Princess Louise, was even auctioned. How the heck did they preserve cake that long ago without a freezer?

It’s awesome to think about how for centuries weddings have included cake and different cultures all added their own twists to this tradition. I am not going to comment on how some couples smash cake into each other’s faces, other than to say if it is done by mutual agreement I’m ok with that.

Cake toppers are very popular and have become creative and trendy. Here in the U.S. in the 1950s we first saw the bride and groom figures on top of the cake. There are lots of variations today, from the ridiculous to the sublime. You can even have one custom made to look just like you, or even your pets. I have my parents cake topper in my home and I treasure it.

A photo of your wedding cake is a must-have!  And when we say something ‘takes the cake’ it’s quite the prize indeed.


THANK YOU Lisa Rhinehart for all the gorgeous photos. Lisa was chosen as one of the top 50 wedding photographers world-wide.


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Engaging Thoughts

Once you’re engaged people will ask you all kinds of questions, even some inappropriate questions. Be prepared and keep a sense of humor.

There’s always some joker who just has to say something about the ‘old ball and chain,’ or how you finally hooked him, or locked it down, or nice job! Locking him down is directed at women, the assumption being we want to catch a man. And getting caught – well, sorry guys, your life is over (contrary to science and general happiness). They all imply that marriage means giving up freedom, again, especially for men. People act as though getting engaged was a chore, or a goal to be accomplished, instead of two people in love, coming together, and making the decision to commitment to marriage.

While many women still want a surprise proposal, it’s pretty clear they have either openly discussed marriage with their partner, or they have danced around the subject. A proposal rarely comes out of nowhere.

Same-sex couples are free to break the gender stereotypes (man proposes to woman, woman accepts, her life is now complete). And then there are women who propose to men – and this is more common than we realize, but not often talked about.

Next might come questions and comments about your looks, your weight, your dress, and other personal choices and details. Ok, it’s fun to look at dresses and talk about it all, but the pressure for a bride to simply glow, and be magnificent, can be just too much. Can’t she just be herself without sparkly eye shadow (if that’s not her thing) or false eyelashes, or a complete make-over? Why would someone want to make herself different? The person your partner fell in love with is the person who should show up at the altar. Not that you can’t dress up, do your hair, and all that good stuff, but should a woman complete re-do everything about herself?

Please don’t ask newly engaged couples if they are planning to have children. It’s really not your business.

How can you get through the gauntlet of questions?  If you or someone you know has recently become engaged, I hope this column brings awareness that will help prepare someone for the coming tide of inquiry. Then you can decide what information you are ready to share, and just plead the 5th for the rest of them.

Every couple should talk over how they envision their wedding, and then be ready to thank everyone for their suggestions and tell them ‘you appreciate their kindness, but you’ve got this’.

Or ‘it’s just too early, you’re not making plans yet’, or ‘no, you haven’t even set a date’, or ‘we’ll let you know soon’. Just have your sound bite ready.

And finally, sometimes a friend or family member will actually come up with an awesome idea. Don’t close yourself off from everyone’s input, just don’t let it overwhelm you. You can plan for your big day, but more importantly, you should plan for your marriage.

THANK YOU Lisa Rhinehart for all the gorgeous photos. Lisa was chosen as one of the top 50 wedding photographers world-wide.


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Going right to the source – a Russian wedding

I often write about different cultural and religious traditions, and many couples like to dive into their family roots for inspiration. Recently I created a ceremony that connected directly to the source. Here’s what happened:

I was fortunate to have a young Russia and the Ukrainian couple choose me as their celebrant. Politically Russia and the Ukraine have a complex and tumultuous relationship, but on the personal level, it was all love! Both recently graduated with advance degrees from universities, and had met through an International Student Association. And while there may be strain around the political boundaries, there is shared culture between these two countries.

The lovely couple.

As we discussed elements for their ceremony, I naturally thought of the ritual of the Bread and Salt which has origins in their home countries. I’ve found it’s not unusual to speak with younger people about the traditions of their family’s past, to discover they have no idea about these customs. But when they talk to parents or grandparents they are amazed to find out they know exactly what it is! Additionally, mothers or grandmothers are often thrilled to hear they are incorporating something from the homeland.

But for my Russian/Ukrainian couple – they were not first generation; they were immigrants themselves; additionally their mothers spoke no English. Now let me set the scene: We have the couple and just their two mothers and one sister attending. The trip here is long and expensive, visas harder to come by as well, and so they decided to combine the wedding with their graduation, so they could share both joyous occasions with family, however small.

I wasn’t sure exactly how it would all unfold, but trusted that it would work. I structured to ceremony with guidance from the couple to begin in a traditional way – the mothers would offer a prayer. Again, I didn’t know specifically what this would look – but what happened was the bride’s mother held up a photo of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, which she wrapped it in a special traditional embroidered cloth and offered a blessing. The groom’s mother joined in with the words as well.

My part was next – and the ceremony was in English, but I’d asked the couple to give their family a heads-up by providing a translation in advance.

When I’ve incorporated the Bread and Salt ritual in the past, I included it within the ceremony, but the couple told me to do it after the pronouncement – at the end of the ceremony. So of course, I did. That was great, too. Again, the mothers knew what to do!

A word about this ritual – it is known in most of Eastern Europe – from Poland, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, to Russia and elsewhere. It truly is quite ancient – dating back to the 15th century. The couple dips the bread into salt and they feed one another (reminds me of cake sharing) to symbolize that they should never be in want, always have enough to eat, literally, but also how they will care for one another, feeding not only body, but mind and soul. A special bread always adds to the flavor (pun intended) and they had a hardy looking dark bread for their ritual, with the salt placed right in the center in a little dish. I believe it was a Karavai bread – traditional in many areas – a round, braided style dark bread. Yummmm! It was hard not to ask for a bite.

The flow of the ceremony worked well – we opened with a Russian element, followed by some of their love story, a good Russian literary reference, their vows and ring exchange and then finished with another Russian element.

And that is any example of how much I love my job –  it is so interesting being a celebrant!


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Great Expectations!

There are many reasons to marry… many good reasons. There are the legal and financial benefits, health care issues, and spiritual and emotional growth. Marriage has been scientifically proven to promote longer and healthier lives. And of course, love is at the root of it all. You love your partner and want to formalize your commitment.

Here is a partial list of the legal benefits:

  • visitation rights and can make medical decisions, unless otherwise specified in a living will.
  • benefits for federal employees – many of which are also offered by private employers – such as sick leave, bereavement leave, days off for the birth of a child, pension and retirement benefits, family health insurance plans
  • some property and inheritance rights, even in the absence of a will
  • the ability to create life insurance trusts
  • tax benefits, such as being able to give tax free gifts to a spouse and to file joint tax returns
  • the ability to receive Medicare and Social Security, disability and veteran’s benefits for a spouse
  • discount or family rates for insurance
  •  immigration and residency benefits, making it easier to bring a spouse to the U.S. from abroad

At its best, a healthy marriage provides a safe place to grow emotionally, as a human being, and it creates a loving environment to raise a family.

Many couples decide to tie-the-knot because they are expecting a child. Once upon a time this was shameful, but fortunately that is no longer true.  Having a baby is a splendid reason to get married, not something to hide. It is cause for celebration, double celebration, in fact.

There are many ways to address the pregnancy in a wedding, and I don’t recommend hiding the fact. People know. I hope you are very excited about the coming child and want to share that joy with the world.

With the couple’s full approval of course, I like to add a few words about it in the ceremony script. Not too much, though. Then there is ritual. A Sand Ceremony is great for this – the couple can each have a nice size jar of sand for themselves, and a smaller jar representing their future child. This they add along with their sand to the large container, pouring in all they are and hope to be – cementing their bond. Many other rituals work well. Writing letters to your child is another favorite of mine.

As always, balance and proportion matter. While I advocate mentioning the pregnancy, I also don’t want to over emphasis it. After all, you’re not marrying just because you’re having a child, you’re marrying because you love each other and are having a child. Important distinction.

To the future parents – prepare for the emotional rollercoaster – you’ve got a double whammy going on here. And be prepared for those relatives or others who may be uncomfortable with your status and can’t let go of old standards. Don’t allow anyone to make you feel shame or guilt. Women – go ahead get a gorgeous dress, one that will fit you on your wedding day of course! Wear comfortable shoes (every bride should anyway), drink plenty of water and get lots of rest. And enjoy your big day and the days ahead.



Thank you Katie Santmyer-  ksant photography  - website | blog | instagram | facebook

as seen in: borrowed & blue, seniorology, washingtion bride & groom, discover charlottesville, and more.

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Smooth Sailing for a Calm Wedding Day

I hereby issue a small storm warning, storms you can avoid on your wedding day!  Some storms are big, and some are small, but they all matter in their own way.

There is so much wedding advice floating around the internet, not to mention from your family and well-intentioned friends. Here are a few of my own tips to have smooth sailing for your wedding planning and the big day itself.

Don’t have a bachelor or bachelorette party the night before the wedding. Hangovers and weddings will make you sea-sick.

If you want the high-end stuff, but can’t afford it, consider cutting back on the number of guests. Also cut back the number of attendants (bridesmaids/groomsmen) because they create expenses, such as special parties or gifts. I’ve had many couple who had not attendants at all – there’s no law against it.

When considering your budget, thin about a brunch or luncheon instead of dinner. When quality matters find a way! You’ll be glad you did.

Here’s a detail for women to think about – shoes! Brides: please don’t wear those giant high heels if you are not completely used to wearing them. I cannot stress enough how important it is to break in your shoes. Wear them around the house for a few hours over several days. Make sure you can walk in your dress with your shoes! And while we’re at it – make sure your dress isn’t too long to manage. I’ve seen a few brides step on her own gown. Ouch!

I recommend skipping an aisle running, especially outdoors. They often buckle and wrinkle and become problematic, even causing you to trip.


If the flowers are wrong, or a bouquet or boutonniere is missing – just go with the flow, make the best of it. I saw a brilliant wedding coordinator at Stroudsmoor who deftly solved such a problem. She simply plucked a flower from a table and pinned it on a family member who had no boutonniere (because none had been ordered for him). She handled it so effortlessly (as they always do there) and the problem was solved! A little creativity and a lot of calm go a long way! Don’t sweat the small stuff.

And speaking of professionalism: Hire the best professionals you can afford, the ones with the best reviews. There is a big difference in the services provided by vendors. Just because your uncle has an iPod doesn’t make him a DJ, nor does your cousin with camera make him a photographer. Carefully check out your vendors, especially reviews, to avoid being disappointed, and remember that adage: you get what you pay for – is often very true.

Never lose your sense of humor and always strive to remain flexible. Do not become a bridezilla! Act graciously no matter what happens and do no give into anxiety and negative emotions it can evoke. Make yourself proud, and your future partner and family, too.

When struggling over a decision ask yourself: would I care about this if I was the guest?

And finally, moving from metaphor to literal – have a great rain plan! Nothing is more important for an outdoor wedding.

Remember that weathering a storm is a measure of your strength as individuals and as a couple, and that whatever goes wrong in planning your big day, is nothing compared to the challenges of marriage!

There are countless other details, tips and ideas to help, but I’m out of space. Something may well go wrong, and the wedding you dreamed of may not be within your reach, but is that what really matters? You have found the right partner to spend your life with, remember that, and everything else will be in perspective.]


THANK YOU Lisa Rhinehart for all the gorgeous boat and water photos. Lisa was chosen as one of the top 50 wedding photographers world-wide.




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Free yourself from Family Drama and Dysfunction

Cabo Wedding Photography

When it comes to your wedding, it can be truly that – YOUR wedding. But how is this possible if there are complex family issues? Everyone has some family drama. I’m reminded of a cartoon depicting a large auditorium with a sign over the stage reading: Functional Family Convention, with one lonely person sitting in the audience.

Weddings can cause anxiety and bring up long buried problems. There are a variety of issues that could be in the mix: Parents or siblings with drug, alcohol or mental health issues. Estranged parents. A conflict of values – such as a conservative family versus the more liberal couple. What about a step-parent who is more of a parent than the actual parent? Adopted children who have made contact with birth parents and not sure about including them. Family members who don’t get along with other family members. Or disapproval of your choice of partner, especially around issues of race, religion and for LGBT couples. These and many more concerns are not uncommon.

So how do you negotiate your dysfunctional or disapproving family for your wedding?

First, be clear about what you want, which, I know is easier said than done. And clarity is point, right? But you may not yet know what you want. Sit with your partner and think it through it all before discussing your choices with family. Be prepared with a kind and loving way to inform them of your decisions. Yes, your decisions.

For example, brides: you do NOT have to have your father escort you down the aisle if you don’t have a good relationship with him. Simply tell him as a modern woman you prefer to walk by yourself.  And entering without an escort is a perfectly good choice for anyone. If your dad is not in the picture and you have a healthy relationship with your mother, you might want to walk with her. Women do not NEED an escort, although they may want one.

A common problem during the planning process occurs when sharing your ideas with a family member who tells you your choice of venue (or dress, or food, or whatever – just fill in the blank) is not very ‘wedding-like,’ or is ‘tacky’ or ‘phony,’ or some other negative reaction. Be prepared. Understand that everyone may not like your choices, and present your choices by preparing them. Try something like: ‘this may seem unconventional, but I really like…’ Give them a heads-up.  Or try: ‘I don’t expect you’ll like this, but for us it feels right.’

Enter with the right person for you.

It’s easy to give advice about this, but when you’re in the thick of it, it’s very difficult. Acknowledging that helps. Not everyone responds to the honest, face-to-face chat. For some people, there is nothing you can say or do that is right. But acknowledge their feelings, telling them you understand how they feel, but inform them that many people do it this way, now, or this is what we’ve decided.

Old wounds sometimes don’t ever heal. Remember that you are not responsible for other’s behaviors, nor do you have to please everyone.

If you have to, resort to the white lie. The one that is kind. When asked about your plans, simply tell the problem person that you haven’t worked on it yet, and you’ll let them know as soon as you have definite information!

On the bright side, a wedding can be an opportunity to heal those old wounds. Perhaps your family will rise above it all, and if you lead the way in that, it will be truly wonderful. I’ve seen it happen. And as a couple this is another opportunity to support one another as you embark on your journey. Weddings can be quite miraculous!



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Vows among the bow-wows!!!

There’s a new puppy in my life. Louie is 12 weeks old now and a ton of fun, joy, and work. There’s no doubt about it, I’m a dog person. Louie brings our total to three fantastic English Springer Spaniels. So I figured this was a good time to talk about dogs in weddings.

I know it is sounds marvelous to have your pooch (or pooches) in your wedding, but before you take that leap there are several obstacles to consider. To state the obvious: first and foremost is the well-being of your dog. Is the task a good fit for your certainly perfect pet? A jumping dog, a nervous dog, a senior dog probably won’t work well, especially if you expect a little interaction with your guests. You need a well trained, socialized dog to participate in your wedding.

photo credit: Susie Forrester

And before you fall further in love with the idea, check with your venue to see if dogs are allowed on the property. Be prepared to ask and answer a few questions.  Will your dog will be allowed to stay with you – if it’s an on-site accommodation? Think about your time frame – will you have to leave her alone for too long when you go to your reception?  And to facilitate this dream it is very helpful to have a designated handler for the dog.

photo credit: Garth Woods

The most popular task for a dog is the walk down the aisle, sometimes as a ring bearer or flower dog, or she can just walk on in and be awesome. Obviously, someone has to escort the pooch down the aisle – a flower girl or ring bearer, Jr Bridesmaid or Jr Groomsmen are great choices, but really anyone can fill the bill.  Then, have your pup whisked away to the dog friendly pre-arranged location (or back home) after a nice walk and a cool drink of water, of course!

photo credit: Lisa Rhinehart

Having your dog stay throughout the ceremony could take the focus off of you! He had his moment, now it’s your turn. If you do you want him to hang around for some post-ceremony photos, have him exit the ceremony site until it’s time for the photos or social interaction. Either way, your pup will probably have to leave before the reception. This is why the dog handler should not be a guest, but someone specifically designated and paid to do this important job. Yes, hiring someone gives it importance and accountability – so please consider that.

photo credit: David Coulter

Including your dog in your photos is worthwhile. Engagement photos, wedding photos, or save-the dates, are all great opportunities for dogs to be their most adorable. The photos also provide a lifetime of memories.

If you can’t arrange to have your dog with you at your wedding, consider including a few words about her in the ceremony, in the program book, or at the reception. How about using photos of your pups incorporated into your table markers? This is, in fact, probably the only way you could involve cats! Take your pet’s photo, add a graphic, such as the table numbers, frame it, and place on the tables. Voilà!

How about a big cardboard cutout of your dog for photos or as photo-booth material?

You don’t have to dress up your dog, some people do like that. Maybe just a special collar. You certainly want a freshly bathed and groomed dog for the big day. Schedule a spa day for your four legged friends as well as your two legged ones.

If you think this is all ridiculous, you’re probably not a dog person. And please give me a hand (or paw?) for not including all those silly dog puns! It was a ruff, ruff effort. And it wasn’t too much of a fluff piece, was it? It was pawsitively off the leash!

photo credit: Lisa Rhinehart

 Thanks to all my photographer friends for the photos!! Too many wonderful images to choose from, I had to include quite a few!



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Your Guests Will Thank You

More bliss, less bugs: Some tips for a sweet summer ceremony.

Summer’s here, in all its glory, and it’s a beautiful time for weddings. But it is a good idea to be prepared for all the season brings, including extreme heat. Be sure to let your guests know what to expect as well.

I’ll only just mention the importance of having a good rain plan, as I have written about this so much, I’m tired of hearing myself!

But how about have a sun plan? Prepare for heat and direct sun that might beat down upon you, your attendants, or your guests during your ceremony or party.

  • Here are a few tips:
    Have water and non-alcoholic drinks readily available for an outdoor ceremony.
  • Find or create shady areas. You can use market umbrellas or hang fabric in some way to create a sun screen. It is definitely worth investing in parasols to have at the ready!
  • Stock your restrooms with mini deodorants, sunscreen, blotters, bug spray and baby wipes.
  • Let folks know its ok to kick off their shoes! Maybe even have a basket of flip-flops for people to take.
  • Set your ceremony time a little later in the day to take advantage of the cooler temperatures, but beware of bugs at dusk.
  • Have lots of citronella candles or torches and bug spray (the natural kind, I hope!)
  • Please support the groom and groomsmen in the choice to go without jackets! Suits and tuxes can be unbearably hot in the summer. I have seen more than one groomsman faint during a ceremony in the sun. A vest or suspenders and tie can create an awesome summer look for guys. The Guayabera, or Mexican Wedding Shirt is another summer look I love.
  • Take advantage of seasonal flowers and foods!
  • If it’s a DIY backyard wedding be careful about food temperatures to avoid any spoilage.
  • Create an outdoor lounge by bringing indoor furniture outside for folks to relax and lounge in shady spots.

By following these few simple tips, you will have a relaxed and comfortable summer wedding experience!

Thank you Lisa Rhinehart for the use of your beautiful photography!


Posted in Ceremonies and Celebrations, Pocono Weddings, Tips on Weddings, Wedding Ceremonies | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
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    Lois Heckman

    Lois Heckman is a certified Life-Cycle Celebrant who officiates at weddings, funerals, and other ceremonies in the Poconos and beyond. She has performed hundreds of ceremonies and brings a wealth of knowledge to her work. Visit her website: ... Read Full
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