-The Art of the Happy Fall Wedding

Northern Michigan is a splash of spectacular reds, neon oranges, greens and sunny carmel colors in the Fall. I love seeing kids and dogs jumping in piles of leaves and hearing the krinkle of dried leaves as I walk across them in the woods. Have you ever seen the changing colors reflected in the beautiful blue waters here? Oh man, the shiney, wavey hues are fabulous! All around is a gorgeous natural setting for any one brave enough to take on REALLY unpredictable weather and set their sites for a happy Fall wedding. Late September, October and early November has… Read More »


-Why I Became a Wedding Officiant

Sometimes people ask me how and why I got into being a wedding officiant. So here’s the story, short and sweet. Firstly, because I was a minister in a church, weddings were part of the job. But only part. In the Pulpit I’ve led five different churches in 23 years (three in Georgia, two in Michigan). I had a love hate relationship with churches. Why? The cons of church life for me were: struggles with being a role model, dealing with the differences between religion and spirituality, navigating the waters stirred up by the many personalities that come through and… Read More »


-Decisions, Decisions

Decisions, decisions. Weddings are full of decisions that you must make. Color themes. Who will read the readings? What budget item can I override? Do I really want to marry this person or should I change my mind??? Where can I send Uncle Joe to stay overnight with? The Difference Whether you make your decision based on inspiration or motivate can put you on an entirely different path quickly. There IS a difference between being motivated to make a decision and being inspired to go one way or the other. Being motivated comes via your head self-talk, that is in… Read More »


Assumption of Ordination

What Assumption of Ordination am I Referring To??? Sometimes I wonder if I think conducting a wedding is more important than it is. Haven’t we all been so close to something and we make assumptions of its importance when it doesn’t mean much at all? Ordination certainly fits into that category these days given rock stars and TV celebrities are doing weddings for fans and family more often than not. When I talk with new brides or grooms, there’s times I get the feeling the ceremony that makes their relationship legal and official is no big deal to them. This especially… Read More »


-Down the Road

There is a wonderful little park not far down the road from my house in Williamsburg. It’s called Deepwater Point. This pine forest makes for a level hiking area which my knees and older dogs appreciate. There’s big roots that jut out along the paths, and lots of big tall pines. After traipsing through the woods, the path opens out onto a nice view of East Bay. When I need to be by the water to hear that lapping sound of the waves on the shore, or see the glitter of the sun on the surface, I’ll take Dutch and… Read More »


Are You Spiritual or Religious?

Do You Know the Difference Between Being Spiritual or Religious? Does it matter? 100 years ago in this country people who loved each other couldn’t or wouldn’t get married because they loved someone who wasn’t the same religion as they were. But today, but at least in our society, couples have much more freedom to choose whether they are spiritual or religious. Or their own unique combination of both. Your marriage ceremony should reflect how you define yourself, and how this will be reflected in the words of your ceremony. When I interview a couple, I never assume whether they are spiritual or… Read More »


Make the Choice, Don’t Worry About It

If you ever get the chance to make the choice to live around the 45th Parallel, you will REALLY learn to appreciate summer. Being outside, smelling the air, hearing the waves on the beach nearby. Humming to nature. There’s nothing anywhere else in the country that equals the beauty here in the Traverse City area. Summer Do’s In summer, life seems to speed up but the change of pace is because our focus goes from inner (where it’s slower) to outer (where movement and choices make time pass quicker). The summertime is where the yes’s to the opportunities of life we chose during the inward journey of winter… Read More »


Best Foot Forward at Gay Weddings

Gay Weddings Are No Different Lesbian and gay weddings are no different from opposite sex weddings. Yet you may feel unprepared for a gay wedding you have been invited to. As I reported in the first part of this series, I started out on rocky though well-intentioned ground when I was first introduced to gay people. I didn’t want to be uneasy, but I was — for a while. Maybe you do feel uneasy, though I hope you don’t. We make too much out of things that are none of our business. But here we are, finding out how human we all… Read More »


Gay Love, Gay Weddings

Gay Love Appears Truly accepting gay love was a process for me. It was an idea that hadn’t been touched by experience. As a hippie, I debated legalizing pot, supported free love as often as I could. I was unaware that the closer I put the stereo speakers to my ears when Janice Joplin or Jimi Hendrix albums played, the less I could hear when I was older. I demonstrated against the war in Vietnam, joined the 1969 March on Washington. I was politically correct and I was politically upset. When I decided to learn how to shoot a gun… Read More »


21 Unique Dates

… to Keep Your Marriage Interesting Download here:  21 Unique Dates Over the years I have asked my couples what issues bother them the most. (I’d love to hear from you on this subject too). More than anything else they tell me not having enough time to spend together is a sore spot. Is this true for you too? Because life happens despite our hopes and best plans. Getting a grip on success curls up around our toes and we trip over making connections with people we can help or can help us. Our best plans are pushed aside for seemingly urgent calls… Read More »


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