A recent bride told me she was so glad to have found our little chapel for her second marriage. She explained that she wanted a simple civil ceremony, which we are happy to offer. But she definitely wanted to skip the courthouse setting she’d chosen the first time around. That wedding was apparently interspersed between divorces; when the clerk had announced the next item of business on the judge’s docket, he had called them up as, “Smith vs. Brown.” She should have known then that the marriage was doomed, she told me!
Some courthouse weddings might be sweet, and judges friendly. But a couple cannot expect immediate service. First of all, they may not always get right in. During busy times it may take weeks to get on the docket. Then once there, it may take awhile for their turn to come up. And they may not be the only ones waiting. I’ve heard about criminals also hanging around in the courtroom, waiting for their cases to be heard. One couple joked that their courthouse wedding was “love among the felons.” That gives a whole new meaning to the term “ball and chain!”
Then, too, courthouse weddings by nature are very brief, virtually no more than a blip on the screen in a busy judge’s day. After all, the court has to work you in around other important business. With us, a couple is our only and most important business--and you won't have to wait. Once you have your marriage license, we can often marry you the very same day (though you will need to get a waiver of the 3-day waiting period--just ask the clerk when you get your license). Even if you prefer short and sweet, we will make your wedding warm and personal, something to remember fondly as you begin your married life together.
Some families come ready made. On Friday we officiated a simple elopement-style wedding at our chapel for Sondra and Al. Included in the package deal were two little ones, a 4-year-old boy and his red-headed sister who is, well, terribly 2! She responded to every question or comment with an emphatic, "No!" Due to this restless little native, we skipped the unity candles for a short and sweet ceremony. As soon as she was back in her mother's arms, all was well with the world.
Some couples want to show off their love to the world and others prefer to keep it a private affair. Over the weekend at our chapel we officiated for two couples who wanted privacy. They were kind enough to allow photos of their hands displaying shiny new wedding rings.
One of our couple's family members re-created this cake, inspired by one they'd found on Pinterest. We think they did a masterful job and it made their mini-reception, following the wedding at our chapel, very special!
Congrats to Amanda & John, married at our chapel this afternoon with one hour's notice. Courthouse weddings often need to be scheduled in advance. In their case, there would have been a 2-week wait, as the judges have to schedule around other important business. But with us, a couple is the most important business! We happened to have an opening the same day and were glad to help them tie the knot! They were only too happy to reenact the kiss--a number of times, in fact. :-)
We loved joining Megan & Robert at their wedding on Sunday, at Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden in Portland. It boasts 9-1/2 acres of beauty: walking paths, a large lake with ducks and geese, and lots of beautiful plants including of course rhododendrons. It is gorgeous in spring when they are all in bloom, and also beautiful and green this time of year. What a lovely place for Robert and Megan to begin their married life together!
For more information on the park, here's a link: http://www.portlandonline.com/parks/finder/index.cfm?PropertyID=27&action=ViewPark
Our chapel is small, but sometimes the bride's gown is big! It is so fun when a bride wears a dress with a long train. We captured an image of the back of Janna's lovely gown, standing next to her handsome new husband, Jason.
Most couples we serve are happy to share a photo or two for our website or Facebook page, but occasionally there's a shy couple who would prefer not. And we certainly respect that. Some will consent to an anonymous back view shot, or photo of just their hands. Whether sharing this joyful occasion only with each other and a small circle of friends and family, or "shouting to the world" on social media, we honor your wishes to be Wedded Your Way.