My cousin’s wedding

On July 22, 2016, I got to officiate a very special wedding ceremony: my cousin Nickole married an amazing man on that day, and I was honored to do the honors.

I wish I could know all couples this intimately, because I was able to draw from so many personal experiences to come up with some thoughtful and loving words to share with all the guests.  It was hard to not get chocked up while I was speaking.

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Photography by Lexus Megan Photography

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These are the moments I love when I officiate: the first glimpse. Photography by Lexus Megan Photography

 

Nicky and Ty decided to do a wine box for their ceremony.  Ty and my husband, Jeff, worked very hard on crafting the box that the wine and mementos would go in.  It was beautifully crafted and personalized with the date of their wedding.  Their ceremony was so special and so beautiful, it has me looking forward to many more special ceremonies for 2017!

Super Secret Civil Ceremony

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Back in January I had the distinct honor of officiating the wedding ceremony for a very dear friend of mine from college.  They got married through the Catholic church and had their big reception in June, so the January ceremony was just for family and a few close friends, and was kept a secret until their big wedding day.  It was hard to not post any pictures right after the ceremony-I was so excited to be a part of this moment for them!

The intimate ceremony took place in front of the water fountain in Echo Park, which is where Ana and Jose had their first blind date.  The location therefore had a lot of significance to them, and it was great to be able to come to them and marry them in the exact location they wanted.

It’s pretty amazing that what started as a random request from a law-school friend to officiate her wedding has allowed me to officiate for so many of my dearest and friends from all walks of life (college, law school, co-workers from my Starbucks days, etc.).

Excited to see where this little journey takes me next!

Ceremony Ideas for the Outdoorsy-Type

I am currently working on a wedding for a couple that is very active and loves to go on hikes, and I was brainstorming ways to incorporate that into their wedding since they did not have any commemorative portion planned for their ceremony.  Here are a few things I came up with:

  • Plant a bamboo plant with rocks collected from different hiking trails you’ve been on together
  • Plant something else with dirt that you’ve collected on different hikes (can have the dirt in mason jars with trail names)
  • Have a map of Mammoth (where groom proposed)/California/United States and mark trails on there with string or hears or some kind of marker-either that you’ve been on or would like to go on; or map of Mammoth and mark the spot where the proposal happened
  • Kind of cheesy, but maybe instead of a wine box you have a “hikers backpack” that you pack during the ceremony with stuff you’ll need for your next hike–you can include a Polaroid of everyone at the ceremony, maybe a bottle of your favorite alcohol/wine and you can take a shot before you put it in your backpack, or items that you can explain why they’re important to you/him each other (can be cheesy or romantic).

The bride loved the bamboo idea, and since they are Chinese there is extra significance to this.  I’m excited to see this come to life at their wedding at Serra Plaza at the end of October.

 

Bouquet Toss Alternative

On Saturday I saw a bouquet toss alternative that was so cute and different that I had to share!

Instead of tossing the bouquet, the bouquet was placed inside a bird cage which was locked.  There was a display of vintage keys on an easel, that was moved to the dance floor along with the bird cage, and all the single ladies lined up to pick a key and see if it unlocked the bird cage.  There were enough keys for almost two rounds, and it seemed like the ladies enjoyed this much more than standing and trying to catch the bouquet–and subsequently there was no injury to the bouquet!

bouquet-key-picking

Busy year ahead!

Hello there!  Wow, has it really been over 2 years since I’ve blogged on here?  This might just be a huge coincidence, but it’s also the exact age of my son, haha.  We’ve got baby #2 coming in April (boy name suggestions are welcome!) so I can’t promise I’ll be much better, but I can tell you that it doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy with wedding stuff!

2015 has been a busy wedding year and I still have one more wedding scheduled on Thanksgiving weekend.  I was able to officiate two very special weddings this year (among many other awesome ceremonies): one for my friend Bobby and his beautiful wife Alison, who got married in Temecula, and another one for my very dear college friend Maria, and her husband, Jose.  Both of these ceremonies were so personal and touching, and I was just so happy that I was invited to be a part of them.

the merry ministers arteaga wedding the merry ministers schley wedding

For the last couple years I started getting more involved with event coordinating with Events by Katherine, and this has been such a wonderful experience.  I’m starting to run my own weddings through Katherine which is incredibly exciting, and I have several weddings booked with her for 2016 already.

I’ve also been working on my Wedding Wire page for the officiant side of things, and have already booked 2 wedding ceremonies for 2016, which is very exciting!

On top of that, my cousin is getting married next year (yay!!!), as well as one of my best friend’s from college, and I’m happy to be “all hands on deck” for both of these.  I’m excited to be able to share with both of them all of the wedding knowledge I’ve gleaned from my own events throughout the last few years, and that they both know they can call me with any random wedding questions they have.  It’s so nice to be able to provide the comfort of knowing what you’re doing to people who are going through something for the first (and only) time.  I’m still trying to convince one of them to have a mashed potato bar during their cocktail hour, but I don’t think I’m going to win that one…but seriously, have a mashed potato bar during your cocktail hour…you won’t regret it!

Here’s to a busy, bright, and awesome 2016 wedding year!

It’s been a while!

Lots and little has happened since our Fall 2012 Wrap Up Blog.  Shortly after that, I (Alexandra) found out that my husband and I were expecting!  With a baby due in August (he’s due in a little over a week, eek), I figured I should lay low on the officiating 🙂

At the time we found out, I already had two weddings booked for the 2013 season, so I emailed both couples right away and let them know that I’d have a 6 and 7 month belly for their weddings.  I knew this may not be ideal for some brides, but both of them were super nice and told me that as long as I was feeling ok, they would still like me to officiate their wedding.  So, here’s my big 2013 season wrap up!

The first wedding was at a beautiful building in Redlands, CA, called The Mitten Building.  I really love how this beautiful couple set up the building, with the ceremony in the area upstairs, and the reception set up in the larger area downstairs.  There was also a great basement level bar that was very cool!

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Building used to be an old citrus production warehouse, hence the orange theme--I thought this was a great touch!

Building used to be an old citrus production warehouse, hence the orange theme–I thought this was a great touch!

The upstairs ceremony area

The upstairs ceremony area

A terrible shot of the downstairs reception area

A terrible shot of the downstairs reception area

Another bad photo of the very cool basement bar!

Another bad photo of the very cool basement bar!

My second and last wedding of the season was close to home, but in a completely unexpected location!  This one took place at the Newland Barn in Huntington Beach, which I had never heard of.  When driving there for the rehearsal, I thought I was lost because my directions took me straight into a shopping center.  I was freaking out that I was completely lost and would be late for the rehearsal, but nope, I was in the right place!  Tucked in the back corner of the shopping center is a city owned property with the cutest little barn and gazebo, that serve as the perfect wedding venue!

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Beautiful lace settings

Beautiful lace settings

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And I loved this idea for guests to sign:

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Gorgeous and creative, isn’t it?

Well, I want to give a special thanks to both of these great couples that allowed me to still be a part of their ceremony, even with a big belly in the way!

I’m looking forward to an active 2014 season already!

Fall Season Wrap Up!

Well, the first wedding of this hectic season was the day before Jeff and I left to Germany!  This intimate wedding took place in Rancho Palos Verdes, with a stunning backdrop:

Aside from the beautiful vows which the groom and bride wrote themselves, one of the most impressive parts of this ceremony was the rendition of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 115 by the groom’s sister.  The “ev’n,” “twixt,” “o’er,” and “reck’ning” were perfectly delivered!

Next came a stunning wedding at Strawberry Farms in Irvine, CA.  It was nice to officiate a wedding in my own backyard!  All the vendors involved in this wedding guaranteed this as one of the most stylish and beautiful weddings I’ve attended.  The ladies from Gather Events did a wonderful job putting and keeping it all together.  This ceremony was special because of the attention the groom and bride paid to their parents in their ceremony.  The parents were recognized not once, but twice throughout the ceremony.  Before the groom and bride did their own declarations of intent, they turned to their parents and thanked them for all of their love and support, and for being such great examples of what a marriage should be.  At the end of the ceremony, before their first kiss, they wanted one last kiss as a single person, from the people that first kissed them when they came into this world.  How adorable is that?!  Let me tell you, the crowd was in tears (and I was on the verge).

The following week was a double hitter.  On Thursday I had another intimate and beautiful beach wedding, in Laguna Beach, CA.  The musical accompaniment for this ceremony was two young ladies singing along with their guitars, whom the groom and bride found playing on a sidewalk and liked so much they asked them to perform at their ceremony!  For the commemorative portion of their ceremony, this couple decided to write down their promises to each other, share them with guests before putting them in a bottle, and toss the bottle into the ocean.  It was beautiful, and beautifully executed!  One thing I’m sure this couple won’t forget about their wedding is the roaring of the waves and evading the rising tide!

That weekend took me to Beaumont, California, for a beautiful sunset wedding overlooking a golf course.  There was a tiny moment of panic when the best man realized he had forgotten the ring, but thankfully it was an at home wedding, which meant he just excused himself and returned soon thereafter with the rings in hand!

My last wedding for this season has a very special place in my heart.  This groom and bride first saw me officiate another wedding over the Summer, and contacted me about officiating their own ceremony in Fillmore, CA.  The groom and bride were absolutely amazing to work with, and had so many creative and unique ideas for their ceremony, that we came out with a beautiful ceremony.  Both the bride and groom are very creative, but each in their own way, and this unique creativity is what they really wanted conveyed in their ceremony: they are each unique individuals, but also choose to be bonded as one.  This ceremony took place at Limoneira Ranch, underneath a gorgeous, outstretched tree.

The bride looked absolutely stunning in her 1920’s dress, and the groom was not far behind!

Thank you to all the couples that made this such a memorable wedding season!