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.
The daughters/bridesmaids connect with family in New Zealand.
We live in an electronic age for sure. While virtual weddings aren’t legal yet, at least not in this State, guests are finding inventive ways to “attend” a wedding from afar. While officiating one such ceremony I noticed the bride holding something next to her bouquet. I mused: A small Bible? A photo of a departed loved one? Nope, turns out it was a cell phone. Dad couldn’t come, but he was right there with her on speaker phone.
At another wedding of an older couple, their daughter stood with them holding her brother, or at least the laptop through which he was Skyping from Hong Kong. After the ceremony, the family posed for an interesting picture; the sister stood between her newly married parents, holding the electronic version of her brother, whose smiling face filled up the entire computer screen. It gives a new meaning to the expression “talking heads.”
Speaking of “talking,” it’s a good idea for the guests to hit the mute button at their end. I recently officiated a wedding at our chapel in which guests were Skyped in from New Zealand. I’m sure they were not aware that we could all hear their running commentary, in a thick New Zealand accent, amongst each other. "Crackie!"
At still another in-home wedding, a young couple traded vows in front of the fireplace before a dozen or so guests. They perched on the living room couches and chairs, with two more on the coffee table—that is, two laptops. One was connected to loved ones in California and the other to a branch of the family in Canada. Following that ceremony, the couple squatted down in front the coffee table with a glass of champagne, in a virtual toast to each computer, and to the kinfolk who could not be there in person. I wonder if wedding invitations will change their RSVP Yes-lines to: “I plan to attend in person,” or “I plan to attend via cyberspace.” Yes, it certainly is an electronic age we live in!
We're legal to marry same-sex couples in the State of Washington! We love performing "marriages of the heart" such as the one we did for Jenny and Diane two Decembers ago. Now the outer form can reflect the inner love. To all the loving same-sex couples out there: we will be happy to come marry you in Washington State! We hope that Oregon will soon follow suit. Either way, and irrespective of your gender, whether it's a ceremony "of the heart," or with the legal piece of paper, we're on board to help you celebrate your love and commitment to one another.
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.
We had a special celebrity "guest" at yesterday's wedding at the chapel. Tony Stewart, in cardboard form, stood with the couple for a photo. Congrats to Lorie & Jack. Love their sense of humor!
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
The Old Church in Portland, OR: http://theoldchurch.org/
Well it was bound to happen sooner or later. Nine years into my career as a wedding officiant/minister, I had my first fainting body come crashing down in the middle of a wedding. The recipe for disaster goes like this. It’s a very warm and humid summer day. I’m standing in the midst of a large wedding party up on the dais of downtown Portland’s Old Church, a beautiful vintage venue with a massive pipe organ. Though plans to upgrade the HVAC system are in the works, like many historic buildings, the place is not yet air conditioned. The pews are packed with guests, all fanning themselves with their programs. The bride is drop-dead gorgeous in her stunning white gown. Sleeveless and strapless helps compensate for layers of polyester and lace, comfort-wise. The young groom is handsome and trim in his three-piece tux and buttoned-up shirt with tie, tightly tied. Alas, formal men’s wear is not user friendly in the heat.
We’ve made it through the swelling organ music of the processional and are mid-ceremony. I’m reading along from my book. The groom is on my left; the bride is on my right and they are standing a few paces apart. Stretching out to each side there is a large assortment of bridesmaids and groomsmen. I’m not looking in the groom’s direction at that moment, so I don’t see it coming. But the bride does. I notice her anxiously reaching for him, which is curious since we’re not at the vows yet where I invite them to hold hands. Then, TIMBER-R-R-R-R-R-R! He goes down with a thundering crash, flat on his back, out cold.
Instantly there is pandemonium while everyone huddles around him, loosening his tie, removing his jacket, finding him water. They bring him to his feet and bring him a chair, but he still looks woozy. I try to persuade him to remain seated for the rest of the ceremony, but he’s a young, macho guy and refuses. And then he goes down a second time! More water, and the venue coordinator is just about to call 911 when he comes to and is on his feet again. I do the rest of the ceremony in hyper speed, skipping some paragraphs so we can make it to the goal of, “You may kiss the bride” while he is still conscious. Afterward as we all head to the reception room he is embarrassed, but married to his drop-dead-gorgeous bride. Everyone leaves with a story to tell.
I’m way behind on blogging. Lately I’ve been too busy doing weddings to write about them, having performed a flurry of nuptials recently in our Wedding Chapel. Why do weddings tend to come in flurries or clumps, I wonder? Maybe it’s because spring has sprung and love is in the air, and just maybe it’s because of women’s instincts. The guy may initiate the marriage process by getting down on one knee and popping the question. But after that, it’s usually the woman who plans and pulls a wedding together to make it happen. Women seem to have a herding or flocking instinct. They are known to synchronize bladders and thus end up in the restroom all at the same time. In the same way, I think they may channel a collective vibe to all at once call someone like me to marry them and their sweethearts. That’s okay; whether they come single file or in a “clump,” we welcome them all! We've posted a few pics above. See a bunch more of our recent couples on this link to a page on our chapel website: http://www.weddedyourwaychapel.com/recent-couples.html
Here’s a creative idea for a wedding processional that does not include a flower girl. We recently officiated at the Cornelius Pass Roadhouse in Hillsboro, a really great vintage farmhouse turned brewery and wedding venue. This ceremony took place just outside the historic octagonal barn. They did not have a flower girl at this wedding, instead prearranging a swirling design of rose petals down the aisle. The groom’s parents flew in all the way from their home in Germany. I also snapped a photo of the bride revealing her feather garter: Cute!