Make Your Processional Music Move You

The processional is the very first thing that happens in a wedding so it gives you a wonderful opportunity to set the tone for your wedding. But how do you select songs that create the mood you want? There are as many ways to use music as there are brides and grooms, so my best advice is to match your personal style for your wedding and use music that you love. And you have plenty of opportunity for variety—why not mix it up and use one kind of music—say pop—for your wedding party and another—perhaps classical—for the brides entrance. Anything you want is what you deserve for your very important day! Here are some ways to select processional music that moves you.

Organ PipesGo traditional! Sure you may have heard “Canon in D” by Johann Pachelbel a million times at weddings, but if you find that you get tingles on your skin when you hear the beautiful piece or you have always imagined hearing a grand organ performing it as you walk down the aisle, go for it! There is a reason why certain classical musical pieces are used for weddings. Familiar and traditional music evokes feelings and images and creates a level of comfort and—well—ceremony. So if you have always dreamed of being walked down the aisle by your father while “Here comes the bride” (Richard Wagner’s Bridal March from the opera “Lohengrin”) surrounds you, let the music begin! Here are some other ideas for traditional music for your entrance:

ViolinGo unique! Maybe you are the kind of couple who marches to a different tune (wedding marches included). Are you a punk rocker? Do you love to dance to New Wave music of the late 70s and early 80s? Do you love to swing to music from the 50s? Or is folk music more your style? Your musical choices can be anything at all and are not limited because it’s a wedding!

Go pop and rock! I have officiated a number of weddings recently that have used lots of songs by the Beatles. Classic pop and songs are fantastic for weddings because there are so many to choose from and no doubt you and your betrothed have lots of songs that you consider important. And they are also very versatile based on how they are performed—“All you need is love” has a very different feeling when played by a harpist, violinist or an organ.

GuitarGo modern! A variation on pop and rock songs that creates a very modern feel is to have a DJ play a version performed by the original artist. If you love Rainbow Connection by Kenneth Ascher and Paul Williams, why not be a bit silly and playful and use the version sung by Kermit the Frog. Actually, I get chocked up whenever I hear Kermit singing it. Here is a great list of top modern processional songs:

This is another great source for processional selections of all types:

Don’t forget that an excellent resource of ideas for your wedding processional music is your musician. Whether you have a classical guitarist like the talented Tim Mayard or a string quartet like the beautiful Ten Strings Music Studio they will help you create processional music that you love!

XOXO Rachel

3 Simple Ways to Show Your Gratitude That Go a Long Way

People Paper ChainWith Thanksgiving just over a week away, it is not surprising that I have gratitude on my mind. I thought I would use today’s blog to first give thanks to all of the wonderful people in my life: my family, my friends, my cat 🙂 and all the beautiful and loving couples who I have had the honor to marry! You give me great love and support and delight and I am so grateful that you are in my life!

Being thankful for all that we have in our life and to others for their love and support is something that you can foster every day in your life. Yet it is easy to forget during the often-tumultuous time of planning your wedding that your parents, sister, bridesmaid and so many others could all use a “thank you”. Sure, it is a given that your wedding entourage is there to adore you and assist you, but I am certain that they would welcome being appreciated. Who wouldn’t? Here are 3 simple ways to give thanks to all those people who you are grateful for their support while planning your wedding.

Phone#1. Just say thank you!
It is so easy and it goes such a long way when you say “thank you” to someone. Yes there are so many people you are dealing with when you plan your wedding, but it only takes a minute to say thank you. So right now pick up the phone and call someone you appreciate and give them a big thank you!

#2. Write a testimonial to express your gratitude.
Your wedding planner, Officiant, musicians, make-up artist, caterer—the list goes on—all rely on recommendations from clients who appreciate their work. Why not offer to write a testimonial that gives thanks to them and supports their efforts to get more clients like you? You will make them feel valued and you will also help their business.

Hugs and Kisses#3. Give a big hug or kiss.
Showing your gratitude with love is a wonderful way to make sure the important people in your life know how grateful you are that they are there for you. Acknowledge your gratitude by showering them with lots of hugs and kisses! You will be rewarded with lots of hugs and kisses back <3.

XOXO Rachel

Get Inspired! Wedding Inspiration Board

My Inspiration BoardI do love to read wedding magazines. Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides, The Knot and regional versions like New York (Magazine) Weddings and Manhattan Bride. Actually, I love to read all kinds of magazines including home decorating ones like House Beautiful and Elle Decor, inspirational magazines like O and Yoga Journal, and food magazines like Bon Appetit and Saveur. I page through bridal magazines to check out what is current to inspire my wedding celebrant work. And I also love to cut out pictures that are inspirational whether they are from a wedding or home magazine. They go up on my inspiration board along with items that I have collected from weddings I officiated. Looking at my overflowing idea board makes me smile and reminds me everyday what beauty and love there is in celebrating couples getting married. Why not create an inspiration board for your wedding? Here are some ideas to get you started!

Pick a spot to put your board.
I have my board near my desk and high enough so that I can hang items from it as needed. Find a place where you can look at it whenever you want to—be inspired!

Metal and Blue BoardSelect a board.
Maybe you want to use pushpins so cork would be great. Or maybe you want to use magnets so go metal. I decided I wanted both magnets and pushpins and was lucky to find a board that is cutout metal over board. You can barely see my board it is so covered with clippings and other items, but it is a beautiful white metal design over baby blue board.

Get pretty magnets or pushpins.
The things you use to attach your clippings can be just as fun and imaginative as the items you are inspired to put up. Go to a craft or office supply store and peruse all the assortments of colored magnets and pushpins.

Pick a source for inspiration.
Maybe, like me, you love magazines so make a date with your magazines to search for inspiring pics. Or maybe you have collected vintage postcards about love (I have some of those too) that would fit the bill. Perhaps you like ribbons and paper flowers—no reason you can’t put those on your board as well.

Get Clipping!Bring out the scissors!
You will feel like a kid again when you start to cut up the magazines for your idea board. Be creative and cut different shapes and sizes from a page rather than taking the entire 8½ by 11 sheet. Stick with a theme—or mix and match styles and designs.

Put stuff on your board.
Use magnets, pins, drape things from the pins, and design your ever-changing masterpiece inspiration board. I have lots of magazine cutouts, invitations and programs from weddings I have officiated. I also attach wedding party favors and love the hot pink embossed cocktail napkin that I picked up from one of my couples’ wedding.

Go electronic—use Pinterest!
Yes, I have lots of Pinterest boards and I am all for that. There is no reason why you can’t have both a physical inspiration board and a bunch of digital ones too. Check out my Pinterest boards here.

The great thing about an inspiration board is that you can take everything down and rearrange to your hearts delight. If most of it is paper, you can even re-cut your pictures into new shapes. I think it is time for me to re-do or at least edit my inspiration board. Maybe I’ll go for an all-white winter theme—but who am I kidding—I like bright colors!

Do you have an inspiration board? Share a photo of your board with us below!! And If you enjoyed this article, sign up to receive more!

XOXO Rachel

Flower Fridays: Nasturtium

Nasturtium flowersNasturtium is not exactly what you would call a wedding flower—their symbolism is victory in battle and conquest—not a sentiment I would want associated with my relationships. They get that meaning because nasturtium’s botanical name Tropaeolum majus is Latin for trophy, as in a war trophy. They are said to be so named because their round leaves resemble shields and their flowers blood-stained helmets. Nonetheless, they are lovely flowers and useful too. They were once called “Indian cresses” (nasturtium were introduced to Europe from the Americas known then as the “Indies”) because they produce an oil that is similar to that of watercress. So they are eatable—both flowers and leaves can be used in salads—and they make for a beautiful food presentation. You can even use unripe nasturtium seedpods as stand-ins for capers by pickling them.

Climbing nasturtiumI most often associate nasturtium flowers with window boxes. The flowers often make long trails over the edges of their planters, creating a beautiful spew of varying shades of reds, oranges and yellows. And because they are so hardy, you often find nasturtium outliving any of the other flowers and climbing over everything!

Lines to a Nasturtium by Anne Spencer

A lover muses

Flame-flower, Day-torch, Mauna Loa,
I saw a daring bee, today, pause, and soar,
Into your flaming heart;
Then did I hear crisp crinkled laughter
As the furies after tore him apart?
A bird, next, small and humming,
Looked into your startled depths and fled…
Surely, some dread sight, and dafter
Than human eyes as mine can see,
Set the stricken air waves drumming
In his flight.

Day-torch, Flame-flower, cool-hot Beauty,
I cannot see, I cannot hear your fluty
Voice lure your loving swain,
But I know one other to whom you are in beauty
Born in vain;
Hair like the setting sun,
Her eyes a rising star,
Motions gracious as reeds by Babylon, bar
All your competing;
Hands like, how like, brown lilies sweet,
Cloth of gold were fair enough to touch her feet…
Ah, how the senses flood at my repeating,
As once in her fire-lit heart I felt the furies
Beating, beating.

XOXO RachelYellow nasturtium and leaf

Magical Moment Mondays: Conversation with Friends

Friends!I was fortunate to have several of my closest friends staying with us over the holidays. What I loved most was sitting around the dining table after we finished our meal. Banter flowed about topics as far-reaching and varied as movies to aging. I basked in the experience, because whether the dialog was light and silly or deep and meaningful, the moments were magical because of the interaction and connection to each other that the conversation created.

Get with others you love and have a conversation. You will find that there is nothing so magical as the connection and fun of those moments while you talk with your friends.

A Song for New Year’s Eve by William Cullen Bryant

Stay yet, my friends, a moment stay—
Stay till the good old year,
So long companion of our way,
Shakes hands, and leaves us here.
Oh stay, oh stay,
One little hour, and then away.

My friendsThe year, whose hopes were high and strong,
Has now no hopes to wake;
Yet one hour more of jest and song
For his familiar sake.
Oh stay, oh stay,
One mirthful hour, and then away.

The kindly year, his liberal hands
Have lavished all his store.
And shall we turn from where he stands,
Because he gives no more?
Oh stay, oh stay,
One grateful hour, and then away.

Days brightly came and calmly went,
While yet he was our guest;
How cheerfully the week was spent!
How sweet the seventh day’s rest!
Oh stay, oh stay,
One golden hour, and then away.

Dear friends were with us, some who sleep
Beneath the coffin-lid:
What pleasant memories we keep
Of all they said and did!
Oh stay, oh stay,
One tender hour, and then away.

Even while we sing, he smiles his last,
And leaves our sphere behind.
The good old year is with the past;
Oh be the new as kind!
Oh stay, oh stay,
One parting strain, and then away.

With our friendXOXO Rachel