What are the classic wedding traditions? When is it okay to deviate from these?
Planning a wedding can be an overwhelming experience! Not only are you trying to accomplish planning all the important aspects you would like to have as a part of your day, but you are also inviting your nearest and dearest to join you. In a perfect world, this is ALWAYS a benevolent idea, however sometimes it can ramp up the pressure on your planning as you begin to hear everyone’s opinions on how you should and what you should plan.
In case you’re starting at ground zero and not even sure what you want, we will provide you with a “classic” style wedding reception below:
Immediately following your ceremony – (receiving line would be “traditional” but you can always skip the receiving line and make sure to greet and thank each table later!)
00:00 Social hour
Often guests shift this way after the ceremony, but the couple and their bridal party and families stay behind for photos!
01:15 Introduction of the newlyweds
Traditionally bridal party and parents would be involved in this introduction.
01:20 First Dance, Toasts
Typically your toasts are given by the Maid of Honor and Best Man, but sometimes another bridal party member or a parent may have been asked to speak. Depending on faith, after these speeches can be a great time for a blessing.
Guests typically dig into a salad course OR if there is no salad course, or things are being served buffet style, now’s the time to eat!
02:30 Cake cutting
Dessert can’t be served until you cut the cake- that’s tradition! Cutting the cake at the tail end of dinner gets guest eyes back on you. The big question…will someone smoosh cake in the others face?
02:40 Family Dances
Depending on your family dynamics and what traditional dances you want to incorporate, having these more formal dances before everyone is up saves clearing the dance floor. Plus you already have everyones’ attention from cutting your cake!
Now the formalities are over and you can relax! Guests will hit the dance floor and it is time for you to enjoy your company. Throughout this time your entertainment, whether it be a DJ or live band, can hop in for things like bouquet and garter toss, or any other dance floor games
03:00 Dessert will be out!
It will take your caterer a little time to cut cake and get the rest of dessert out. A suggestion if you and your crowd love the dance floor: have dessert served buffet style and have an announcement made once it is available! That way guests can go and grab dessert when they are ready and able and it doesn’t go to waste sitting at their tables while they’re on the dancefloor. Plus, you don’t want to stop the party to have everyone find their seats for a plated dessert course!
04:30 Last Call!
Make sure your MC gives a last call for the bar with enough time for everyone to get their final round. That way no one is left chugging their drink at the end of the night. We all know that never ends well.
04:45 Last song!
And make it a good one! This is the last chance to get everyone out on the dance floor together before parting ways or heading to an after party.
05:00 Official Send-Off
It used to be overwhelmingly common to do an official send-off of sorts. This can be with bubbles, sparklers, rose petals, balloons- you name it. This is your grand exit! We do like to suggest that whatever you use for your send-off, please be conscious of what’s getting left behind in nature and that if you choose sparklers, make sure you talk to your coordinator ahead of time to make sure they have a logistical plan to make sure that fire safety is being enforced.
While this may be “how it was always done,” don’t let that stop you. At Valley Wed- we truly believe this is YOUR Day. Hear the other opinions out, and follow your own plans regardless.
Some places we are seeing more variation:
Sometimes it can be helpful to know what’s “traditional” and make your decisions from there. However, it is YOUR day! Make sure you plan one that you will enjoy just as much as your guests, regardless of what tradition tells us!
First things first, what is a First Look? A First Look is a moment typically a few hours prior to the ceremony, where the couple see each other for the first time. It is typically arranged by the photographer, who then is able to capture their reactions to one another.
Why is a First Look a great idea?
Reasons to wait until your ceremony:
Are you and your fiancé having a hard time agreeing? There are a few ways you can compromise!
-Do a first touch. Place yourselves just out of sight around the corner from one another and reach for the other’s hand. This can make for a cool picture but also can be a comforting support to be near the other before the big moment without having the big reveal.
-Read your letters to one another (out loud or silently) back to back. This one may take a little orchestration from your photographer to make sure you don’t accidentally turn and see each other!
-As a bride, are you super close with your dad? Do a first look with one or both of your parents! It is still such a fun moment without revealing the bride to the groom.
Interested in a few more alternatives to a traditional First Look? Check out this article on Wedding Wire for more suggestions!
These days it is so easy to hop online and order things at the touch of a button for your wedding day. While ease can certainly play a factor in less stress, there is great value in supporting the local businesses around you when selecting vendors and services for your big day. Not only are you supporting your local community, but you are also able to meet with these people face to face to touch base, see what they’re creating for you, and make changes as needed. This can help with making sure you are getting exactly what you paid for, but it also allows you to build a relationship that you can trust will support you on your wedding day.
Most people, outside of wedding professionals, only plan a wedding once, so the guess work of which vendors to choose from and who to trust can be a challenging, timely and research-filled one. If you’re planning a western MA wedding and have found yourself reading this blog post, read on for recommendations for some of the best of the best for local and talented vendors in the western Mass region and beyond!
Forget Me Not Florist
Photographers & Videographers
Love & Perry
Leah Freeman Photography
Cara Totman Photography
Melaine Zacek Photography
Frosted Swirl Cupcakes
Cakes By Amanda
Crooked Stick Pops
Steve G Productions
Blue Door Gathering
Hamels Creative catering
Events by Pamela Joy
Invitations, Save The Dates, Thank Yous:
Big Wheel Press
The Borrowed Teacup
Tuxes, suits, and dresses:
Jackson and Connor
Don Muller Gallery
AG Ambroult Elemental Design
Michelle Ann Hair Design
Calligraphy, Custom Event Decor, & Floral Preservation
Love Always, Tanya
Garden Treasures Design
Are you thinking about favors? If you’re looking for a Massachusetts-style favor to send each of your guests home with, don’t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org we will connect you with the very best maple syrup, honey, chocolate, soap, popcorn, etc. businesses!
There’s something special in collaboration, especially for a day that holds so much value. Those relationships and that collaboration lacks when outsourced through the internet or less expensive mail-order companies. Consider your local community’s population of wedding vendors, and you wont be disappointed in the incredible gems that you find!
Nobody wants rain on their wedding day! Unfortunately, we cant control Mother Nature’s plans. So your big day is looming ahead and it’s looking like rain, now what?
Communicate! First things first, communicate with the major supports of your day. If you have a wedding planner or venue coordinator, be in touch with them about the best next steps. Reach out to bridal party or delegate to a best man/maid of honor to have them prepare themselves with umbrellas and proper clothing.
If your wedding is scheduled to be outside, ceremony or reception, it’s a great time to start seeking out a rental company that can provide you with a tent. Some rental companies may ask you to pay a deposit ahead of time to secure your tent, while be able to provide this the week of. Some things to consider when selecting a tent:
If just your ceremony is to be outside and you are not crazy about tents- there ways to navigate what to do! Call your venue or the person who owns/is in charge of the location you're to be married and ask if they have an alternative room for the ceremony. Some bigger venues are able to shift things around to accommodate for your wedding and the weather. If there is an extra charge to hold an indoor space in the chance of rain, it is highly recommended to bite the bullet and eat the added cost. Better to play it safe than to be left scrambling!
If there is not an indoor alternative option there are two trains of thought.
ii.Be prepared with changes of shoes, maybe a pair of rain boots for your ceremony, a blanket or warm shawl or jacket in case it is chilly, and a pair of dry clothing for after your wedding to change into if need be
iii.Ladies- be ready with hair spray and make up touch up kits. With summer rain comes humidity, and an umbrella can’t protect you from that!
ii.Think about keeping it light and purchase ponchos for all your girls and guys up front to wear while you tie the knot
iii.Warn them of pending rain, and suggest they bring changes in shoes, an extra jacket, and maybe a hair dryer
ii.Incorporate some rain gear in your ceremony décor such as:
Lastly! Give yourself a 15-20 minute window of time to be disappointed, and then take action. It can be a huge bummer when you find out the weather for your big day is going to be less than ideal. You are allowed to be sad and upset. Don’t let it ruin your day! Remember the key most important pieces to your big day, and that a little rain will only add to the story!
You’ve nailed down your venue and your guest list. Your décor. Your vendors. Your details. The RSVPs are in (mostly)…so now…the seating chart!
First things first, having a floor plan to look at can be helpful. Reach out to your venue coordinator or wedding planner to see if they have a blueprint or floor plan made up. Do you want round or long tables? Or both? Are you planning on a buffet or plated style meal? Stations or family style? Where is your dance floor and where are guest tables in proximity to that? A floor plan helps with all of that! If you are not working with a professional - create your own! It will give you a sense of space and table location when deciding how to place your guests. It’s always a good idea to seat older guests further from the band or DJ so that the sound isn’t too loud and for easy access to and from the restrooms, bar, buffet line, etc. Seating younger friends and guests who are likely to be up and dancing near the source of sound can be both convenient and efficient as they’re unlikely to stay in their seats much past dinner anyways!
Next, decide between a sweetheart table or a head table! Work from the inside out. You want to keep your dearest family and/or friends closest to the action – and to you! If you decide on a sweetheart table, it might be worth surrounding yourself with your bridal party and their dates and friends. Or your parents and family placed closest, with your bridal party seated throughout the room with their dates and in the respective category of family and friends. In short: compile your nearest and dearest at the tables closest to you, whoever that may be!
Parental and guardian configurations can vary greatly from family to family- and you know your family dynamics the best! Typically parents are seated at tables closest to you and within the best sightlines. It can be hard to know who to seat at family tables – parents and grandparents are a great start. From there? Do you have any guests that are close friends to the family or your parents? It may be worth asking your folks to see if there is a friend they’d love to have at their table for encouraging smiles or a quick hand squeeze! Of course, not all families have just one set of parents in which case, you can always seat them together, unless this is uncomfortable. If this is a tense or unhappy dynamic its suggested to place them at the two nearest tables, so no one feels like they’re being short changed for their chance to watch you.
Once you have seated your bridal party and parents, it is time to seat your friends and remaining guests without an assigned seat yet! Categorizing your guests into tables or at least people who know each other or who are from a similar part of your life, prior to creating the seating chart can be helpful on this one! This can help you categorize your brain. If a group is too big for one table, consider creating a mix of guests that ensures everyone has someone familiar, even if it means sitting with mostly new faces! It can be nice to also take into consideration the dynamic of your single friends versus your married friends. It’s suggested to skip the “singles” table as that can create uncomfortable pressure, but it’s important to be thoughtful not to seat 1 single friend at a table of married couples.
Assign seats or just assign tables?
We have seen it done all ways! If you have a headache trying to decide who sits next to who, simply decide who sits WITH who! Create a table of guests and let them do the rest!
Are you concerned certain family members or friends might try and sit in a place that could be an issue? Don’t’ be afraid to assign seats so that you can rest assured it is all handled. If guests question why, simply answer it was easier for you this way!
Allowing folks to sit wherever they would like and with whoever they would like certainly takes a lot of pressure off of you, but can create stress amongst the room. It can be a great way to switch things up and put power back into your guests’ self-sovereign hands, but here are a few ideas to boost your success.
At the end of the day, as long as everyone has a physical seat at a table in the space, it will all work out. Most people remain seated through formalities and dinner, and after that they generally move to visit with whoever they’d like! So grab a bottle of wine, a cup of tea or cocoa, some popcorn, and a friend or your fiancé, and get to work!
Selecting the venue for your wedding day is a big decision, and often it is one of the first ones you make. It can also be one of the most difficult ones! So when selecting a venue, what kind of questions should you ask? First and foremost, you want to try and get a feel for what type of wedding or what kind of vibe you are hoping for. The possibilities are endless these days with barns, golf courses, hotels, wineries, industrial buildings, tents, historical landmarks, theaters, and more. When you envision your day, where do you best see it happening?
It can be so overwhelming when researching and visiting different venues to keep everything straight. Who wants to get stressed out when you’re doing research for one of the most exciting days of your life?! Here are a few tips:
Great things to ask before prior to touring:
-What is the cost to get married at this venue?
-What additional costs can come up outside of the venue fee?
*If you prepare your entire budget prior to touring, then you will know just how much you have to spend on the venue alone!
-If you have your heart set on a date, do they have it available?
-Is there a place to get ready onsite?
It can be a good idea to ask questions about the things you feel strongly for your wedding day and that you’re unwilling to sacrifice! The deal-breakers or day-makers. This will help you weed out venues that may not be worth the trip to see or boost ones that are a perfect fit!
So, you have narrowed your search to a list of venues that, based off of your research, contain none of your deal breakers. What’s important to ask or make sure they answer?
Capacity? – Know your rough guest list before going out on tours!
What’s included in the venue fee?
Do they have recommended vendors? – and are you limited to this list?
Who handles set up and break down?
Where is the ceremony space in respect to the reception space?
-If it’s within the same venue, who handles that transition between ceremony and reception and how long does it take?
Does the site have a wedding suite? For both sides of your party?
Can you hold a date while you make the final decision?
How do you officially book a date?
What form of payment do they take?
Is there a structured payment plan?
What happens if it rains?
Are there onsite accommodations? If not, where do you suggest we get room blocks?
A few more complicated questions:
How does the flow of the day work?
Do they provide day-of coordination or is that someone that would need to be hired?
How does the bar work and who handles that?
-Can you bring our own alcohol?
-Do you hire bartenders or does the venue provide them?
How long is the event time package?
Is there flexibility in the hours of the wedding?
Can you extend the hours of a package?
Is there adequate parking for your guest count?
Are there any restrictions on décor that can be brought in?
Can there be a DJ or a band?
-Are there any sound ordinances involved with the venue?
Do you need any special permits or insurance for the wedding?
Often it seems like nailing down a venue can then lay the ground work for the other vendors that will need to be hired. Don’t overthink it! While planning your questions ahead of time can be helpful, don’t negate that gut feeling you get when viewing or touring a location. Just like when you fall in love- sometimes, you just know! And then, the rest falls into place.
When you are getting married there are endless decisions to make. All of those details can certainly get overwhelming! When it comes to a signature drink- how do you choose?!
Here are a few things we suggest you consider when picking a signature drink for your big day:
What’s in season for fruit? What’re the appropriate flavors for the season? Apple cider is an excellent flavor for the Fall, but might be a little odd in April or May. What will be refreshing to drink at that time? If it’s high summer, something light and refreshing over lots of ice might be nice. On the flip side, you may not want to hold a frozen Margarita if you’re big day is in the January.
What kind of drinks do YOU like?
A signature drink can be a fun and easy way for your guests to get into the spirit of your wedding, but it is also for you! What is your favorite kind of beverage to have when you go out or treat yourself? If you’re not big into alcoholic beverages, maybe there’s a flavored lemonade that you love? It should be something you like to enjoy!
Is there a drink that tells a story about you and/or your fiancé?
Is there a particular drink that your crowd might get a kick out of? Perhaps there is something you are widely known for ordering when you go out? Or perhaps, there is a special drink that tells a part of your story. Was it what you drank together on your first date? The story your signature drink tells could be as short and simple as it fits who you are or what your personality is like!
Hashtags, Signage, and Names!
Is there a drink that you can create a fun spin on the name? Or can you incorporate your new married name into a drink? If you have a wedding hashtag, you can create a drink name based off of that!
Ease to Make in Batches, or Replicate Quickly
Try and avoid picking something that is too complicated or that involves a lot of steps to be made correctly and tastefully. It can make it difficult for a bartender to make a large batch ahead of time or it can be difficult to replicate a complicated drink multiple times efficiently, while still maintaining quality of flavor. For example, a peach bellini will fizz like crazy when being made, and slow down the ability for guests to be served quickly. No one wants a long bar line!
What do you want your drink to look like?
Presentation can be half the fun! Make sure your drink is served in an appropriate kind of glass that you would like to see it in. You want to make sure it is something your guests feel comfortable carrying around as they mingle with other guests!
Photo by Allison Bell
What is this thing the wedding world deems "Engagement Season"?! Couples get engaged whenever, wherever, they want, right? Right! But did you know the amount of couples who get engaged around the holidays is twice as many, if not three times as many, as any other season?
According to a report from WeddingWire, 6 of the 10 most popular dates to get engaged in 2016 landed in December. Beginning at Thanksgiving and carrying through Valentine's Day, couples are saying "I Do" more often than any other time of the year. As wedding professionals, we see an influx of inquiries just following the holidays, but also find when we ask "When did you get engaged?!", we often get an engagement season categorized response. WeddingWire claims that 38% of engagements take place between November and February.
What makes this time of year such a great time to be engaged then? Well, think about it! The holiday season presents multiple opportunities to see family members at holiday gatherings or old friends you don't see often! It also gives couples almost an entire year and a half to plan their big day, assuming they are choosing to get married in the warmer months. This can take some of the pressure off of decisions and give plenty of time for venue and vendor research. The Knot tells us that the average couple is engaged for about 14.5 months before wedding day. That being said, every couple is different! Some couples enjoy a long engagement without the pressure of to plan and make decisions quickly. Others may be looking for more of a low key and simple wedding, meaning they may not need as much time to plan, allowing for a shorter engagement time.
Whether you're engaged "in season" or not, it is an exciting time to share with your loved ones, family, and friends. Wedding professionals everywhere are always excited to hear about a new engagement and chat about the possibilities they can help create for your big day!
Classic Wedding Ensembles Stephanie Craig Photography
Thank you so much to all who participated in and attended this season's Valley Wed 2017!
While the weather may not quite have been exactly what we hoped for, we still had an absolutely wonderful show. Cozied into the barn were over 25 of the area’s best industry professionals ready to share their trade, skills, or services. Couples, families, and friends were greeted at the door with a mimosa and a beautiful Valley Wed monogram projection provided by Steve G Productions. As they entered, the sounds of Classic Wind Ensembles crept to their ears and they became immersed in the quiet din of excited musings of endless possibilities for The Big Day.
Tastings were offered by local breweries, Hitchocock Brewing Company and Berkshire Brewing Company. Crooked Pop Sticks provided delicious and fun pops for guests to try at their leisure. Vermont Country Deli greeted guests with some of their catering crowd-pleasers, leaving guests satiated and content.
Top left to right: Berkshire Brewing Company, Hitchcock Brewing Company Photos by Stephanie Craig Photography
Bottom left to right: Vermont Country Deli and Crooked Stick Pops
As attendees ventured further into the barn they could first learn a little bit about our venue, Quonquont Farm, before choosing a path around to the different booths! To the right Emily Foxtrot shared her dance expertise with couples experiencing trepidation about their first dance. Mary Kay representative, Pam, welcomed couples offering tips on make up products and day-of styling. Trip advisors from Escapes for Everyone stood ready to chat about possible honeymoon destinations.
Top left to right: Quonquont Farm Photos by Stephanie Craig Photography
Bottom left to right: Emily Foxtrot, Escapes for Everyone
Pam, of Popular Parties by Pam, stood at the ready for those couples still in need of an incredible wedding planner or some assistance in the logistics for their day! Don Muller Gallery offered beautiful samples of designer rings, having something to suit everyone’s wedding band style. Cakes By Amanda drew guests in with the sweet smell of sample cupcakes and Amanda’s incredible cake artistry. Across the way Hannah of Grace Ceremonies welcomed couples to her booth to chat about getting to really know their story in order to officiate and orchestrate their ceremonies in a way that really represents them!
Top left to right: Popular Parties by Pam Photos by Stephanie Craig Photography
Bottom left to right: Don Muller Gallery, Cakes By Amanda
Hannah of Hannah Grace Ceremonies
Top: Grace Ceremonies' booth
Photos by Stephanie Craig
Guests still in need of a DJ chatted with Steve, of Steve G Productions, one of the area’s best DJs! The awesome monogram projection that greeted attendees as they entered was graciously provided by Steve! As guests rounded the corner, Badger’s Flowers and Co’s booth burst with color and possible floral arrangements and décor. Danielle, of The Bridal and Tux Boutique lined the end of the barn with both wedding and bridesmaids dresses- from simple to dazzling and detailed! Love and Perry Photography displayed their work across the way for couples who hadn’t found the perfect photographers quite yet!
Top left to right: The Bridal and Tux Boutique, Steve G Productions Photos by Stephanie Craig Photography
Bottom left to right: Badger's Flowers & Co., Love & Perry Photography
For couples looking for something a little more unique or more specifically catered to their style, Jackson & Connor came with samples of ties, bow ties, and menswear to display. To their right, Big Wheel Press was set up with a word press, example invitations, decorative wine bottle covers, and more. The Hilltown Tents booth caught everyone’s eye, constructed of beautiful whiskey barrels and a vintage board. They displayed their beautiful glassware, dishware, and flatware that could be a part of each couple’s big day!
Jackson & Connor
Left: Hilltown Tents Photos taken by Stephanie Craig Photography
Right: Big Wheel Press
Cameron & Fairbanks’ booth was lined with flowers and samples of their arrangements, dotted with decorative votives. Tanya, of Tanya Costigan Events, came with samples of her decorative rental items and invitations, and chatted with attendees about her full fledged planning services! Flora-ly displayed a light board of samples of her beautiful work with pressed flowers, for brides looking for a preservation solution for their bouquet after the big day! After seeing almost all of the vendor’s booths guests were delighted to come upon Frosted Swirl, where Valerie offered tastings of her delectable cupcakes displayed on a beautiful wooden slab cupcake tower.
Cameron and Fairbanks Photo by Stephanie Craig Photography
Tanya Costigan Events Photos by Stephanie Craig Photography
Left: Floraly Photos taken by Stephanie Craig Photography
Right: Frosted Swirl
As attendees rounded the final corner of vendors, Classic Wedding Ensembles, played some of their social hour favorites. At one point they even collaborated with Emily Foxtrot and guests were entertained with a dance demonstration to a piece played by Classic Wedding Ensembles!
Top: Classic Wedding Ensembles Photos by Stephanie Craig Photography
Bottom: Classic Wedding Ensembles, Emily Foxtrot
Daisy Stone Studio displayed a beautiful vendor booth, decorated with sample arrangements, a bouquet, and table décor. Susie also provided an incredible floor length flower wall back drop made entirely of greens! It was a perfect photo booth for guests to enjoy and snap a keepsake photo of their experience at Valley Wed! What a recap!
Daisy Stone Studio Photos by Stephanie Craig Photography
"Rev. Hannah Grace offers custom ceremonies individually designed for you, weaving together all the elements that are most important to each of you. Your wedding ceremony can incorporate your backgrounds and heritage, your beliefs and faith traditions, your family and friends, the journey that brought you together and, of course, the deep love you share.
Couples can choose from four different packages; Premarital Conversation sessions are also available."
How did you come to do what you do?
I heard a calling. Literally!
It was the fall of 2009, while I was meditating on the topic of my soul’s purpose. I heard a voice whisper straight into my heart, “Your purpose is to be a minister.”
(I gave a 20-minute talk about it at the church where I heard my calling, which you can listen to on my website.)
It was so huge and so unexpected, though, that it took a month or two before I told anyone. When I said it out loud - I’m supposed to be a minister - suddenly it all clicked. It all made sense. It was like letting out a breath I’d been holding my whole life. It felt like I’d finally come home.
I attended an Interfaith seminary in New York City and was ordained as an Interfaith Minister in 2012, the same year I launched my business, Grace Ceremonies. As an officiant, I get to be part of nurturing people’s connection to each other, their families and communities, to the sacred and to themselves, all through performing ritual and ceremony.
I say almost every day that I have the Best. Job. Ever. I feel so grateful that I received a calling to this work. It's hard to imagine something more fulfilling than sharing these extraordinary moments and milestones with people. HG
What is your favorite part of your job?
Would you believe me if I said I love pretty much everything about my job? Because I do!
I love meeting new people and making connections with them, hearing their stories and feeling inspired about ways to share that within their ceremony…
I love the creative process of research, writing and making revisions. Sometimes I sit down at my desk and feel the entire ceremony just flow through me onto the page. It’s an awesome feeling!
I especially love officiating ceremonies. Even after all these years, I have never had the same experience twice. Each person, couple and occasion is entirely new and sharing it with them never ceases to be an amazing honor.
And, I have to add that I love getting such stellar feedback from my clients. I have 63 WeddingWire reviews that make me incredibly proud and humbled. Whenever I receive a thank you card, my heart just wants to burst. Just now I got a text from a couple I married on Saturday saying, “You are wonderful!”
I feel really lucky. HG
What makes you stand out as a wedding vendor?
I think my calling to this work is pretty exceptional. I am a minister who officiates weddings, although I suppose technically I am a “wedding vendor.”
I feel like I’m truly doing my ministry as an officiant. I’m serving people (the word minister actually means to serve) by offering something deeply heartfelt, beautiful and meaningful to their lives and families.
My work is part of who I am, and I will be doing this work for the rest of my life. HG
What is your favorite part of the wedding planning process? Or, more specifically, what is your favorite part about the big day of the wedding?
I love standing together with a couple on their wedding day and seeing them go from nervousness and excitement as the ceremony begins, to settling into the experience and beginning to really hear the words and feel the emotions of the moment.
My most important job as a minister and officiant is to help people be present – with themselves and with each other – so they actually get to “be there” and enjoy what they’ve been planning for and looking forward to all those months. HG
What’s your favorite advice to give to clients for their wedding day?
I tell every couple that I want them be present on their wedding day. I help not only by being calm, relaxed and peaceful myself but also by offering tips like remembering to breathe (so simple yet so often forgotten!), making eye contact, slowing down (everything from the processional to reading their vows to their kiss), and even things like feeling their heels sink into the ground, their shoulders drop, their neck soften…
Those concrete tips really help. HG
What are you most excited about for this season? (other than Valley Wed, of course).
I am really excited about the diversity of ceremonies I have this year.
I am officiating a Nepalese Hindu wedding with marriage rituals from that culture, and several other Interfaith weddings including Jewish and Christian elements.
I get to marry high school sweethearts and people who have been together over a dozen years, and I also got to create a ten-year anniversary vow renewal ceremony.
I get to travel to mountaintops, parks, castles and villas, backyards, and barns, of course!
Like I said, it really is the best job ever. HG
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