Let me start by saying, I love wedding programs, but maybe not for the reason you think. Sure, it’s nice to see who is involved in the ceremony and how the ceremony will unfold, but my main reason for liking programs is that they serve many purposes. One purpose is, of course, to list out the couple getting married and their wedding party (and even sometimes the wedding officiant).Read More
I’ve been officiating weddings in Maine since 2011, so I feel like I can say with confidence that I know the number one secret to a happy wedding day. You might think I’m going to say something like relax and try not to stress, which is definitely important. Or maybe you think I’m going to say calm your nerves, which again is a great idea. I’m sure you know I’m going to say hire a wedding planner, which is the second best way to have a stress-free and happy wedding day. But the number one way to have a fun, laid back and carefree wedding day is this:Read More
Have you heard of the ring warming ceremony? It’s absolutely one of my favorite traditions for your wedding! It’s very easy to do and works every time.Read More
With the popularity of the 9 nontraditional wedding poems blog post, I figured you might like to see a few more! As a professional wedding officiant, it's my job to help you customize and personalize your wedding ceremony. One of the best ways to do this is to include a poem or two that speak to you as a couple. It's not always easy to find just the right poem, so I help by providing you with a Dropbox folder full of readings organized by type: humorous, literary, poetry, natural elements, buddhist, etc. This way you can find just the right wedding poem for your and your sweetie!
Here are seven more nontraditional wedding poems that you might like:
To Someone Beautiful Far Away
I crave a love so deep the ocean would be jealous
No mountain, nor sea, no thing of this world could keep us apart, because this is not my world...you are.
My love, I would like even more; to be the ocean if you are the wave; to be a wave if you are the ocean.
I dropped a tear in the ocean, and whenever they find it I'll stop loving you, only then.
The Invitation by Oriah
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love for your dream for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon...I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain mine or your own without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it.
I want to know if you can be with joy mine or your own if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful to be realistic to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure yours and mine and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes.”
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.
I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
On Marriage by Kahlil Gibran
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God [spirit].
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another, but make not a bond of love.
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together.
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
From "Gift From The Sea" by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
When you love someone, you do not love them all the time, in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility. It is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible, in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity - in freedom, in the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern.
The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting it as it is now. Relationships must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides.
I Take You My Heart by Unknown
I take you my heart
At the rising of the moon
And the setting of the stars.
To love and to honour
Through all that may come.
Through all our lives together
In all our lives,
May we be reborn
That we may meet and know
And love again,
You can give without loving By Victor Hugo, from Les Miserables
You can give without loving but you can never love without giving.
The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness. We pardon to the extent that we love. Love is knowing that even when you are alone, you will never be truly alone again. And great happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. Loved for ourselves. And even loved in spite of ourselves.
Notes to Myself by Hugh Prather
I must do these things in order to communicate: Become aware of you (discover you). Make you aware of me (uncover myself). Be ready to change during our conversation, and be willing to reveal my changes to you.
For communication to have meaning it must have a life. It must transcend ‘you and me’ and become 'us’. If I truly communicate, I see in you a life that is not me and partake of it. And you see and partake of me. In a small way we then grow out of our old selves and become something new. To have this kind of sharing I cannot enter a conversation clutching myself. I must enter it with loose boundaries. I must give myself to the relationship, and be willing to be what grows out of it.
As a Maine wedding officiant, I travel to many different wedding venues each year. I've already written a blog post about Maine barn wedding venues, Maine wedding venues on a tight budget and small wedding ceremony sites in Portland, so it seems only fitting that I put together the best list of Maine wedding venues* across our state.
This list includes many venues at which I've had the honor of working. Check out the venues category on my blog to see those weddings. I hope this list helps you find the perfect Maine wedding venue for your and your beloved!Read More
Thanks to Chelsea, from the awesome wedding blog Tidewater and Tulle, for interviewing me and asking me all about what make Maine such a great place to get married. I met Chelsea on social media because we're both crazy cat ladies and both love weddings. When she came to Maine on a press tour I made sure to pop down to the beautiful Inn by the Sea to finally meet her in person. We walked down to sweet Crescent Beach just down the boardwalk from the Inn to do this impromptu interview.
I wish I could do every interview barefoot on a beach!
Are you looking for some unique, creative, nontraditional readings for your wedding ceremony? I hope so! Adding readings or poems to your wedding ceremony really personalizes it. The best part is, you can ask a family member or friend to come up and do the reading, thus adding another voice to your ceremony.Read More
Have I told you how much I love Twitter? A few months ago, I started seeing some really fun, interesting and Maine-centric posts by Pratt Abbott Cleaners. I liked what I saw and started sharing their info and chatting with their marketing folks, and especially their Garment Care Coordinator, Angela Emery. She and I share retweets, give each other big hugs at networking events, and now we're sharing guest blog posts! Below are tons of great ideas for your Maine wedding thanks to the team at Pratt Abbott!
You’ve been dreaming of your perfect wedding day ever since you were a child. Now that you’re engaged, it’s time to turn those dreams into a reality. No matter what your style and budget, there are tons of ways to plan a truly magical day.
To help inspire you, we’ve listed some of our own dream wedding ideas. We also hand selected a few of the best local businesses and vendors that can help make your wedding day amazing and unique.
Take a Schooner Ride
Take your wedding party (or even your guests!) on a sail from Portland Schooner. If your wedding guest list is small, you could even have your ceremony right there on the ship itself. If not, you can always charter a pre-wedding schooner ride for just the wedding party. How fun would it be to have a post-rehearsal dinner cocktail hour while sailing around the bay? This could also help your wedding party get to know one another a little better if they haven’t had the chance to do so yet.
Hire a Wedding Planner
Many brides and grooms find that wedding planning is very exciting to think about at first. However, when things start to get more difficult, many bring in backup. When hiring a professional wedding planner, make sure that you and your significant other (SO) both vibe well with the planner. You’ll be working very closely with this person, so make sure it’s a good fit. It is also a good idea to hire a wedding planner who lives in the area and can give you the inside scoop. This Free Guide to Maine Event Planners can help steer you in the right direction.
Consider Food Trucks
After the ceremony, you and your wedding guests are bound to be hungry. Spice things up by skipping the buffet or the fancy sit-down meal. Instead, opt to bring in a couple of local food trucks. Or, if you still want the more traditional catered meal, you can always choose to bring in the food trucks later on in the evening as an unexpected treat before everyone begins to head home. There are a number of excellent food trucks in the Portland, Maine area to choose from.
Go On a Hot Air Balloon Ride
Hot air balloons not only provide unique photo opportunities, they’re also great fun for you and your guests. If exchanging your wedding vows in the air isn’t your ideal ceremony [Editor: please, please, please hire me for your hot air balloon wedding!!], you could always use a hot air balloon as your getaway transportation, and then incorporate the balloon as a tethered ride at the reception. Hot Fun Balloons is a Maine based company that offers wedding packages.
Get Fancy Nails
On your big day, there are going to be a lot of people looking at your hands to see your new ring. Why not treat yourself to some stunning nail art when you get your manicure? There are so many lovely wedding nail art ideas, like adding rhinestones and glitter or lining your french tips with the color of your bridesmaids dresses. Akari Beauty in Portland, Maine has great options for you to choose from for your nail art needs, as well as other bridal services.
Of course you’re going to need some flowers for your big day. Whether you want to keep it nice simple and just get bouquets and boutonnieres for the wedding party, or go all out with a more extravagant flower display (like the famous flower wall at the Kardashian/West wedding) there are many local florists that can help make your dreams become a reality.
Elegant Day-Of Transportation
Some brides and grooms ask family or friends to volunteer to be their transportation, while others opt to rent a couple of vans or limos. Of course there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, but have you considered renting a more elegant mode of transportation to help you arrive in style? This could be something such as a vintage car, a boat, or a hot air balloon. You could even play on a classic theme by including a horse drawn carriage for the bridal party or the guests.
Let Them Eat Cake
After the dress, the cake is the next wedding staple that guests cannot wait to see. No matter what your theme is, a great cake can show off the both of your unique styles in a very creative and delicious way. Cakes For All Seasons is a wonderfully creative bakery that specializes in cakes for weddings and special events. They also offer bite-sized sweets that look almost to good to eat...almost!
Incorporating a photobooth into your wedding reception has become a very popular option with brides and grooms everywhere. Not only does the booth give guests the opportunity to loosen up and have some fun, it also gives them a great wedding favor to take home with them. To add to the fun, you can provide things such as dress up items, signage props, or a dry erase board that guests can customize and hold up in the photos. Maine to Boston Photobooth Rental offers a wonderful photo booth rental package that lets you choose your own backdrop color and includes things such as a props, a red carpet, and a friendly professional host to help guide guests.
Don’t forget about the bridal accessory that is for your special someone's eyes only: Your lingerie. With so many options out there, it can be hard to choose just one. But who says you only need lingerie for the wedding night? What you’re wearing underneath your dress is important as well. And, if you’re going away on a honeymoon, why not treat yourself to a few extra items? Etain Boutique and Aristelle Lingerie in Portland, Maine will help you find the perfect lingerie for your style.
Diva-Style Wedding Dress Pressing
On your wedding day, you want to make sure that your dress to look picture perfect. Unfortunately, even if you have tried your best to take care of your dress, you may still wind up with wrinkles. Proper wedding dress pressing can help with that. Maine-local drycleaners, Pratt Abbott, offers wonderful on-site wedding day care for you and the entire wedding party.
A trend that has been gaining popularity is hiring a two-person photography team. There are a number of reasons why a couple may choose to do this. For example, before the ceremony while you’re getting ready, one photographer can stick with each person to capture as many special moments as possible, rather than having one photographer run back and forth between the two. With two photographers, one photographer can worry about the big picture, while the other focuses on other details such as candid shots. And of course, with two photographers, there will be two angles for every special moment like walking down the aisle, the first kiss, and the cake cutting. A local two-person photography team that does beautiful work is Double Take Photography out of Saco, Maine.
Preserve Your Memories
No matter how careful you are, or how clean your dress looks after your ceremony, invisible spills and even the oils from people’s fingers can cause devastating damage to your dress over time. Don’t let a great dress go to waste! Schedule an appointment with a garment care professional as soon as possible after your wedding before stains can set it. Once your dress has been cleaned and preserved, you can hand it down to your daughter, donate your dress to charity, or resell it to another lucky bride. To learn more about wedding dress care, visit Pratt Abbott’s website.
What are your dream wedding ideas?
What are the trends and traditions you love most? Do you have a favorite local wedding vendor? Please share them in the comments!
I created a spring wedding inspiration board on Pinterest for all you lovelies thinking of getting married in the spring. Even if you're getting married at another time of year, head on over and bask in the beauty that is a spring wedding. I could stare at this board for hours.
If I had the chance to do it all over again and plan (another) wedding of my dreams, I'd totally get married in May. I really love spring here in Maine: you start hearing the birds singing again, you can smell the earth thawing out, and of course the profusion of flowers inspires awe and delight! Some of my favorite flowers bloom in the spring, like lilacs, forsythia, apple blossoms, tulips and daffodils. Just that alone would be enough for me to choose this season for my wedding. So, here's what my spring wedding would look like.
My wedding colors would be dreamy pastels like serenity and rose quartz, lilac grey, sweet peach, and a dash of green flash.
The bridesmaids would carry May Day baskets instead of bouquets. The little baskets would overflow with seasonal flowers and have multi-colored pastel ribbons streaming from the handles. The ladies themselves would be in flowy, mismatched pastel gowns, and the ones with long hair would have ribbons in their hair. And barefeet. It was a tradition at our house that once the lilacs bloomed we could go barefoot for the rest of the summer!
My centerpieces would be a mix of seasonal flowers like grape hyacinth, narcissus, ranunculus, lily of the valley and, my favorite, lilacs. There'd be lots of greens and white, too, like moss and ethically harvested birch bark. Maybe the look of the centerpieces could play off the May Day posey.
For the wedding ceremony site, I'd use an abundance of apple blossom and/or cherry blossom branches, and flowy lightweight cotton draping to decorate the wedding arch. And, of course, more of the multi-colored pastel ribbons holding the draping in place and streaming in the sunshine and fresh breeze (which of course I'll have because it's my fantasy wedding and I can have anything I want!).
My wedding dress would be sweet, with long or 3/4 length sleeves and a demure neckline (think Kate Middleton). Maybe some embroidery or embellishments and definitely lots of swish. It should be simple but a statement piece at the same time. It will be a light, airy blue which is meaningful because blue is my favorite color.
The place settings will have rose-colored, thin-glass wine goblets, gold utensils, a light blue charger and a pastel floral vintage salad plate on top. A mix of jade green and white milkglass salt and pepper shakers and a white cotton cheesecloth runner complete the look.
This was fun! What would you add to my spring wedding inspiration? Feel free to steal the look and any others you see on the spring wedding Pinterest board.
As you probably already know, Pantone comes out with a new color of the year every year. I never really got behind the whole "color of the year" thing until this year. For starters, these two colors remind me of the ombre sky at sunset which is so achingly beautiful I just want to sign Adele songs til the sun disappears. I want to live in these colors! Then, I watched this little video from Pantone, and I love the words that these colors represent: wellness, balance, tranquility, duality, compatibility, calm, peace.
I would never say, "Ok, it's 2016, you should include these colors in your wedding because they're the 'color of the year,'" but I might say, "If these colors speak to you, if they represent the mood you want to evoke at your wedding, if they would bring you joy and set the tone for your married life, then by all means use them in your wedding!"
I'd love to hear your thoughts about the Pantone color of the year. Yay? Or Nay? Would you use them in your wedding?