Stacey + Jonathon (12.1.18)

I don’t always get to see photos from couples, so when I received these, I was thrilled and knew I just had to share!

Vendors:
Venue – @vibianaevents
Caterer – @redbirdla
Photographer – @lovetribeweddings
Planner – @mongeamoreevents
Florals – @thetangledvine
Video – @shutterandsound
Rentals – @edgedesigndecor
Beauty – @allaroundglambykim
Calligraphy – @calligkatrina
Cake – @layers_and_co
Photobooth – @viralboothoc
DJ/MC – #RRMixshow
Bride – @_itsstacey
Groom – @j_ar_
Officiant: #themerryministers
Advertisements

Couples’ Choice Awards 2019!

Well, it looks like all of those weddings from 2018 paid off in more ways than one: I was recently notified that The Merry Ministers is a recipient of the Couples’ Choice Awards for 2019!

cca19-hi-res-suite-943x943

 

This is awarded by WeddingWire, where I receive most of my client referrals from, and is based on the quantity and quality of customer reviews (so yes, potential couples, I WILL be asking you for a review!).

These distinguished vendors exhibit superior professionalism, responsiveness, service, and quality when interacting with the five million monthly consumers who turn to WeddingWire to help ease their wedding planning process.

Officiating is not my full time job, but it is a passion job.  I love connecting with couples.  I love being a part of such an intimate and memorable moment in peoples lives.  I love standing next to the groom as he sees his bride walking down the aisle.  I love been privy to those little conversations the bride and groom exchange while I’m officiating (“you look beautiful!” “we finally made it!”).  It’s such an honor to know that couples are happy with the work that I do, which makes this award pretty significant for me.

So, thank you to all my couples, from 2018 and before, and all my future couples: I love being a part of your day!

vibianalosangelesweddingphotos(257)

Thank you to Love Tribe Weddings for capturing this image!

2018 Roundup

2018 has been my best wedding year yet – and I can’t be more excited about what 2019 will bring.  I rang in the New Year coordinating a wedding for Events by Katherine which had so many unique elements – not the least of which was cake cutting with a Samurai sword!

How could 2018 not be great after that?!

I got to visit some of my favorite venues including Serra Plaza and Plaza Magdalena in San Juan Capistrano, as well as Casa Romantica.  And I also got to explore some new venues that I loved:

  • Riverbed Farm in Anaheim seems like a wonderful best kept secret.  If you’re looking for rustic charm – this is your place!  It’s set among vegetable gardens and wood chips, which farmhouse tables and an adorable ceremony area.  Crystal and Martin were also incredibly loving, and welcomed their young daughter up to the ceremony when she was having some separation anxiety from mommy ❤
  • Carbon Canyon Regional Park: This is one of the few weddings I had a chance to blog about this year, so you know I really loved it.  Sometimes, all you need for your ceremony decor is nature!  We recently took the boys to a Christmas even at this park, and discovered a beautiful woodsy area in the park that I’m sure would also be a stunning ceremony location.
  • Driftwood Kitchen: if you’re looking for something intimate with spectacular views, it doesn’t get much better than this. Jennifer and Jahir had an intimate ceremony and reception in the upstairs room of Driftwood Kitchen, with large windows looking out to the ocean.  This was the first ceremony where I also did partial coordinating just for some of the decor set up – sometimes all you need is an extra pair of hands for an hour or two!
  • Charthouse in Dana Point: I’ve officiated at this venue before (on New Year’s Eve, 2017!), but this was one of a couple weddings for 2018 where I was lucky enough to be the officiant AND coordinator.  This is a beautiful location for outdoor ceremonies with an ocean view.
  • Muckenthaler Mansion: this seems like another hidden gem of a wedding venue.  Beautiful little venue with separate areas for the ceremony, reception, and an art gallery!
  • Vibiana: I finished out the year by driving outside of my usual geographic area and officiating a ceremony in LA.  I’m so thankful that I don’t suffer from stage fright or performance anxiety, because this altar would have been terrifying!  It’s an impressive and LARGE venue.  It also has confessionals along the sides which I have to imagine get pretty interesting towards the end of the night!

All in all, I officiated 18 ceremonies, and coordinated 5 weddings (two of them were officiating and coordinating, and all but one day of coordinating were through the wonderful Events by Katherine team).  Thank you to all the wonderful couples that found me and decided I was a good fit for their ceremony.  I love being a part of these special days for everyone.

Here’s to a happy and prosperous 2019!

Nature provides the perfect backdrop

A ceremony last month took me to a little secluded area of Carbon Canyon Regional Park.  It was a little ways in from the parking lot, but oh so worth it.  This was a small, intimate ceremony, so there were no chairs, and no nothing!  And guess what?  It was absolutely perfect.  Both moms shared some thoughts in the middle of the ceremony, which brought me to tears.  I absolutely love the privilege of getting to share these special moments with so many couples!

Thank you so Marisa Peterson for sharing these lovely photos of Brittany and Ugo.

SONY DSC

These last two are my favorites.  So many times the bride and groom are nervous and on edge when they get to the ceremony (not specifically Brittany and Ugo, but couples in general)-they’ve been preparing and getting ready for this moment all day (and maybe all year!), then they’re finally there, and it’s just such an intense moment for them.  I LOVE when I’m able to make couples feel more comfortable by breaking the ice with some random commentary.  I remember one groom telling me after the ceremony: I’m so glad you made that joke…I felt like there was so much tension, then you made everyone laugh and I was able to relax.  Mission: accomplished.

Congrats to Brittany + Ugo, and thanks for letting me share in such a special day!

Ceremony Idea for the Foodies

Some couples love exploring and enjoying new foods together.  Why not incorporate that into their wedding ceremony?!

My idea is incorporating a recipe book/box into the ceremony.  I know this is sometimes done at bridal showers, but if it’s a passion for both the bride and groom, why not incorporate it into their whole wedding? 🙂

During the ceremony, the couple can start off their book or box by writing their own favorite recipe, or maybe their favorite ingredients for guests to get inspiration from, and throughout the reception, guests can add their own favorite recipes.

A different take on it would be for guests to suggest their favorite foodie restaurants around the state/country/world.  How great would it be for the couple to be able to explore these restaurants throughout their marriage?!

Ceremony Idea for the Travel Enthusiasts

I’ve had a few couples that really love to travel, and love incorporating this idea into their ceremony.

The idea I’ve had a couple different couples is to have a map on an easel, either of a certain place (i.e., place where they got engaged/married/live), or the country, or the world.  The map can have markers on it already of places they have been to already as a couple, and during the ceremony they can add markers to places they want to go.  The markers of where they have already been would be in one color, and the ones for the places they want to go still would be in a different color.

Or, they can just add a marker to the place where they are currently getting married, and tell guests that as they go places, they will add their markers to their map.

The actual map can be of so many different materials: metal/magnetic with special magnets for markers, cork and push pins, wood and maybe using  permanent markers or pre-made vinyl markers.  You get it: the possibilities are endless!

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.

nicky-wedding-1

Photography by Lexus Megan Photography

nicky-wedding-2

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

cervantes-wedding-1

 

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