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!

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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!

photo 1

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!

photo 1

Beautiful lace settings

Beautiful lace settings

photo 3 photo 4 photo 5

And I loved this idea for guests to sign:

wedding tree

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!

Wedding Season 2012 Wrap Up

Well, it’s been quite the wedding season this year!

Wedding season opened up with my husband and I driving to Phoenix, Arizona, for one of my best friend’s weddings.  I was honored that she asked me to officiate 🙂

Photos by Jennifer Bowen Photography

 

Photos by Jennifer Bowen Photography

Courtney’s wedding was followed up with a Memorial Day Weekend wedding in Fullerton, California.  This great couple found the Love Letter and Wine Box idea for their ceremony, which I absolutely loved.

Next up was my first gig as a second shooter for my husband, which was awesome.  We got to work together all day, and with a truly amazing couple.  You can see some of those photos over on Jeff’s website, here.

The month of June saw three more weddings for me.  One was in Dana Point, CA, and curiously enough in the same location as the first wedding I ever performed for Shirley and Seth.  It was pretty awesome to come full circle almost a year to the date from when I embarked on this adventure.

The next June wedding was for a great couple that got married on the US Marine base down in Oceanside.  This wedding was special because I’ve known the groom’s sister since I was 14 or 15 years old.  I actually met her while she was pregnant with her first son, who just started high school this year.  Talk about time flying!  Chuck and Anne were absolutely great to work with, and came up with vows idea on our blog.

Photo by Steven Theis

The last day of June was a very, very special occasion.  Dana, a great and amazing friend from college, married Aaron, who is also a great and amazing person.  This couple is one of those that I wished lived next door to my husband and I: we absolutely adore spending time with both of them.  Although Dana and Aaron already had an officiant in the form of a rabbi, they asked me to be their day-of coordinator.  I’ve already documented this incredible experience on the blog, but I will say it again: I loved it!

Fourth of July weekend Jeff and I were invited to a wedding in San Francisco, for my college roommate, and we had a great time being guests with zero responsibilities, but we couldn’t help but scope out the competition! 😉

The rest of July built up for my second job as a second-shooter with Jeff, and I gotta say, it turned out great.  This was a pretty challenging wedding due to the location and lighting, but Jeff worked really hard to make these pictures beautiful.  You can check out pictures here and here.

The month of August didn’t see any weddings for The Merry Ministers, but it did involve a lot of work: I have four weddings booked for October, and being that I’ll be on vacation the whole month of September, August was the month to meet with clients, prepare ceremony transcripts, and make sure everything is ready for when we get back!  October will see me at Strawberry Farms in Irvine (a BEAUTIFUL venue), a beach wedding in Laguna Beach, another wedding in Beaumont, California, and wrapping up the month with a wedding at a stunning venue in Santa Paula, CA.  October will be a busy month, but I’m so excited to meet all these new couples and explore some new areas in California!

Until then…happy planning!