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. :-)
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.
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
People around here have been in a marrying mood lately. We’ve logged in 10 weddings in the past 2 weeks, most at our chapel. The variety is fun to see. We’ve had some childless young couples, others just starting families, as well as older ones who brought their grandkids along. Some couples have arrived all dressed up, with various family members to watch and cheer them on. Others have dressed in jeans and asked us to provide their witnesses and only the minimum ceremony required to make it legal. One couple drove down from Seattle just to be married the same day. They obtained a waiver of the 3-day waiting period and got their marriage license on the way to the chapel. (Oregon will waive the 3-day wait, while Washington will not.) There were weddings with bouquets and rings and weddings without any frills. What they all had in common was love in their hearts, smiles on their faces, and a willing kiss after we pronounced them husband and wife. We’re sharing a few photos here, and you will find the rest at this link to our chapel website: http://www.weddedyourwaychapel.com/recent-couples.html
Some have a whirlwind courtship, and others have a whirlwind wedding. Two weddings booked with me last week, each with only two days’ notice. One young couple, Katelyn and Shane with a darling 4-year-old boy, Charlie, opted for our chapel setting. The guest list was pushing 20, which is our capacity, including a number of small children. I expected a bit of a zoo, though I love kids and, in fact, have 5 grandkids of my own. I was pleasantly surprised at how well-supervised and well-behaved they all were.
The other couple, Sonia and Terry, was fortunate to have close friends who hosted their wedding at their lovely West Linn home, which boasts a gorgeous view of the Willamette River flowing just beyond their backyard. That wedding was so typical of life—the sun broke through the clouds and “smiled” on us just as we began. Moments later, the neighbor started up his noisy lawn mower. It was a small demonstration of the vows about accepting the good with the bad.
Best wishes to both of our last week’s whirlwind couplesand Sonia and Terry, for a lifetime of happiness!
Kids add a wild card to any wedding. Most certainly they will steal the show. But the entertainment is free, and simply adorable. Our chapel has hosted lots of weddings with kids in the wedding party. One of my couples had a daughter who had just turned two the week before. The guests were seated, the processional proceeded and I commenced the opening words. We sailed smoothly through to the middle of the ceremony when she spied the flames of the Unity Candle. “Happy birthday to you!” She began singing, over and over, while trying to blow out the candles. Mercifully, an auntie scooped her up and took her outside the room, though we all heard her running up and down the hall, still singing. Toddlers are beyond cute, whether shyly hiding behind a grown-up’s leg or hamming it up in the spotlight. Just be prepared: They will steal the show!
It is simply amazing the variety of couples who come to us to help them tie the knot. We've served 18-year-olds all the way up to 70-something-year-olds, and all points in between. We've had very pregnant brides, and couples with adorable babies and toddlers who very often steal the show; and middle-aged couples with grown children and grandchildren in attendance. We've officiated mixed-race couples, same-sex couples, couples who've never been married, as well as the ones making the trip down the aisle for the second (and third-plus) time around. We've even helped a handful of folks to re-marry one another following a divorce at some point in their history. We've worked with meticulous planners as well as couples who call us on the fly, last minute, sometimes even the same day they want to be wed. (As long as they have their license and have obtained a waiver of the 3-day waiting period, we can usually accommodate same-day requests.) Oh and we've helped unite couples from many different cultures, backgrounds, religions, as well as the nonreligious. It is always fun to see just who will walk through the door next!
I'm the founding minister of Wedded Your Way. I love helping people tie the knot!