Practice Kissing #8

Kissing the tulip

I love leading wedding rehearsals. One reason is I always encourage the couple to practice their first kiss as a married couple. Having them practice kissing can help them relax – even conservative couples. After all, every one of us at the rehearsal knows they’ve done it a million times already. So let’s do it officially for the I DO! Personal History and Maybe some TMI As a total aside, when I was a teenager, I used to call myself a kissing addict because that’s what I wanted to do with my boyfriends all the time. Nothing else, honestly, just… Read More »

Married Couples: Think Big! #7

It’s so much fun to be in love. It makes you think bigger about yourself and what’s ahead of you. Even in the midst of all the activity – even though making so many planning decisions day after day – ones you never expected to have to make – can be exhausting – it’s still fun. You know you’re headed to your wedding day and a life of discovery, adventure, ups and downs and who knows what else? The mystery is part of it. Only a mystery with someone you love and loves you. And helps you Think Big! But there’s… Read More »

The Disguises of conditional love #6

See right not set right graphic in aqua blue

Who in the world would prefer conditional love over unconditional love? Yet most of us live by conditional love and think what we’re experiencing is unconditional love. Do you know what the definition of conditional love is? Care to take a poke at it? It’s giving approval and support to someone in exchange for prescribed behavior. In other words, if you say, do or act the way I want you to, I’ll love you. Here’s how you may have experienced conditional love growing up: “You’ve made me very upset.” “You make me so happy.” “When you do ______ you make me… Read More »

Commandment #4 — Do A Weekly Relationship Check In

relationship check in -- toe to toe

Most couples get married as they’re building their career. The kids are little. Bodies are changing. So you can get into a habit of passing each other by and not REALLY know what’s going on with each other. So Commandment  #4 is about setting up a weekly relationship check in with each other. Somewhat like dating, this is a time together that you guard with your life. It could be a ½ hour time period before you go to bed on a Friday night. Or over coffee on Sunday morning. There’s 4 questions to ask of each other What was the… Read More »

5000 Big and Small Weddings

Rev Judy ready to do small weddings

Lately I’ve been thinking about some of the over 5,000 big and small weddings either  my husband, Ken, or I officiated during the nine years we lived on Maui. (October, 1991 to March, 2000) Yes, we have stories about the gorgeous, unusual sites to the most interesting things that happened. Friends suggest we should write a book. Maybe some day. The Best Part But the best part of these weddings was the couples we got to know and the intimacy established between them and us. We knew their stories, often the high and some of the low moments.  These special… Read More »

Commandment #3 — Your marriage relationship is Yours Alone

Sand ceremony

Commandment #3 –Your marriage relationship is yours alone. Together. It’s no one else’s. Symbolism Contained in the Sand One of the reasons I still love the Sand Ceremony is its symbolism. It’s not only the meaning of the grains of sand representing all the experiences, events, lessons and breakthroughs you’ve had in your life. What also strikes me about the Sand Ceremony is the uniqueness of the pattern that’s created when the two colors of sand blend. I don’t know what other officiants say when they lead this ceremony, but I always emphasize how there’s no other combination like the… Read More »

Married Couple Commandment #1

Married couple Jason and Laura

Married Couple Commandment #1. You must keep dating.  By the time your wedding rolls around, you will have a pile of memories to build on. A good Officiant will draw from those memories you’ve shared and set them out as a gift to your guests for them to draw on.  Over time, this pool of memories gets used and worn.  You must keep replacing these memories by making new ones.  Make More Memories Dating gave you the way to make memories. Remember the date you went on that led to the first kiss? The first time you made love? The time you… Read More »

Homestead Resort Awesomeness

My couple at the Homestead Resort, Jenna and Tom

Bay Mountain, Bay Mountain! The Homestead Resort’s Top of Bay Mountain is one of my favorite wedding locations. When my couple chooses Bay Mountain for the site, I know everyone will be doubly awed. Not only by the couple’s love for each other (and the ceremony I’ve prepped for them  😆 ) but by the awesome  view.  When people who’ve never experienced how beautiful Michigan is arrive at this site, the expansive view always knocks their socks off. Lake Michigan looks stunning from Bay Mountain! The Homestead has been undergoing some remodeling and upgrading technology changes which is always exciting!… Read More »

Eloping was Good Enough for Kelly & Mark

Eloping was good enough for Mark and Kelly in Las Vegas

Eloping was good enough for Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos. Why couldn’t it be good enough for you? Las Vegas Chapel In 1995 Kelly and Mark met when they were co-starring together in the sitcom, All My Children. When Mark proposed the following April, Kelly said “yes”, but she wanted to get married the next day, and they did—in a Las Vegas chapel.  Today they’re still married with three grown children. So, why couldn’t you and your fiancé elope if you wanted to? No reason, whatsoever! Experience Counts Crystal Yarlott has officiated over 500 weddings in the Traverse City area.… Read More »

Seeing Eye to Eye

There is a way Yep, there IS a way of seeing eye to eye with the people who have their own hopes and dreams for your special day. When your hopes and theirs don’t blend well, there are ways to smooth the wedding planning process. From the day you break the good news, “We’re getting married,” to the day you wave good-bye to take time for just the two of you, harmony can prevail. Conflict can be effectively managed and transformed. Seeing eye to eye …Boils down to YOUR clarity and YOUR compassion. (We can never control another person’s perceptions,… Read More »

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