Great Officiants

Our Adventures in the Wonderful World of Performing Wedding Ceremonies

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Congratulations to Carla Loveless & Vince Deno on their August 13, 2016 wedding at the Urban Americana in Long Beach, CA

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Congratulations to Carla Loveless & Vince Deno on their August 13, 2016 wedding at the Urban Americana in Long Beach, CA.  Carla & Vince had a commitment ceremony in Italy exactly one month ago today attended by their family in Italy and some 40 California family and friends.  They invited family and friends today for an informal California reception, not knowing they were actually getting married.  It was a surprise to most and went well in a relaxed, “laid back” setting.  Urban Americana is an old “warehouse type” antique store.  After the short ceremony, drinks, cocktails and food was served.  Guests were also free to walk around and purchase merchandise.  Everyone was carefree and seemed to be having a great evening!
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A Botanical Garden Wedding for Great Officiant Greg!

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Great Officiant Greg had the honor and pleasure of marrying John and Samantha Torres on Saturday August 6th 2016 at the Los Angeles County Arboretum in Arcadia, California.  The Arboretum and Botanic Gardens covering 127 acres, is an arboretum, botanical garden, and historical site nestled into hills near the San Gabriel Mountains.  It is a wonderful venue for a wedding!

Samantha was absolutely stunning in her custom wedding dress, and John was handsome and sharp in his gray tuxedo.  Everyone was “dressed to the nines”, and looked great!

The Rose Garden was the actual site of the ceremony, and everyone had to take a Disneyland-style tram to that spot!  (The groom, groomsmen, bride and bridesmaids were in separate air-conditioned limos, however).  The setting was just beautiful, but quite hot!  The happy couple selected “My Favorite Ceremony”, customized by Great Officiant Greg.  It was fun and romantic, with just a touch of humor to keep it light.  John and Samantha were very happy and pleased with the ceremony, as were their friends and family!

The reception was held adjacent the Peacock Lounge at the Arboretum.  Aptly named, as there are thousands of peacocks at the arboretum!  Luckily, none decided to attend the ceremony!  They are beautiful, but very loud!

Dozens of movies and televisions programs have had scenes filmed at the arboretum beginning in 1936, including portions of two Jurassic Park movies and Objective, Burma!

Some of the Tarzan adventure movies were partially shot here. It was also the scenes for Paradise Island in The New Original Wonder Woman.

The Queen Anne Cottage used in the opening credits of the TV show Fantasy Island is located here. The cottage was also seen in an episode of Murder, She Wrote and Roots: The Next Generations.

In 2013, Katy Perry filmed her music video for “Roar” at the arboretum.

Many thanks to the staff at the LA Arboretum, especially the tram drivers and DJ Corey!

All of us at Great Officiants wish John and Samantha much love and happiness in their future together.

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Congratulations to Christina Hueso and Maulin Soneji on their August 7, 2016 wedding at the Fullerton Arboretum at Cal State Fullerton in Fullerton, CA

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Congratulations to Christina Hueso and Maulin Soneji on their August 7, 2016 wedding at the Fullerton Arboretum at Cal State Fullerton in Fullerton, CA.  The setting there is always beautiful and serine – back to nature!  The ceremony in the midst of the trees, greenery and wildlife, with guests sheltered from the elements.  They added the sand ceremony and a presentation to Christina’s son, Sebastian by Maulin.  The rose presentation to their moms was very heartfelt and touching.  The ceremony was the perfect blend and coming together of very different cultures in a very beautiful way.  My best to Dr. & Mrs. Soneji as they head to the Mideast to begin their new life with a hopeful return to California in a few years.

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Another beach wedding for Great Officiant Greg!

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Great Officiant Greg had the pleasure of marrying Michael and Ashley Maye Valvatne on Saturday, July 30th “on the sand” in Long Beach, California.  It was an absolutely gorgeous crystal-clear day, perfect for a beach wedding!

The event actually started on Friday with a full rehearsal “on the sand”.  With eleven bridesmaids and eleven groomsmen, the rehearsal was a must.  Everyone had great fun with the run through, which took two and a half attempts to get it right!

Ashley Maye was just stunning, beautiful and so happy!  Mike looked so handsome in his special tuxedo.  All the bridesmaids in their coral gowns were beautiful too, and the groomsmen in their tuxedos looked so handsome (and so different than the Friday rehearsal!)  Great Officiant Beth, the preferred florist for Great Officiants, had a logistics challenge with so many bouquets and boutonnieres for this very large party.  Beth also supplied the exquisite archway piece, which doubled as the sweetheart table floral arrangement at Mike and Ashley Maye’s reception at The Petroleum Club in Long Beach.

The happy couple selected “The Christian Ceremony” which was tailored for Mike and Ashley Maye.  Although a serious religious ceremony, Great Officiant Greg made it loving and fun.  The marriage was attended by a very large group of friends and family, some traveling a very long distance.  The bride, groom, their parents and many friends commented to Greg how much they enjoyed his presentation of the ceremony.

The happy couple will travel to Bora-Bora for their honeymoon!  Now that is really special!

Many thanks to Great Officiant Beth for the beautiful flowers and acting as the wedding coordinator.  And of course a big thank you to Suvin and all the staff at Great Officiants for the set-up and preparation.

Everyone at Great Officiants wish Mike and Ashley Maye much love and happiness in their future together!

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A Love Forged in the Fiery Depths of Neverwinter

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Heather and Patrick are both avid gamers, and quickly forged a friendship and connection while playing Neverwinter online.

Once they met in person, they knew they could never live apart, so 2 weeks later Patrick was on a plane to LA from South Carolina.

They were married in the backyard of Heather’s childhood home, under a tree that watched Heather grow up. They also honored loved ones that had passed by announcing their daughter they’re expecting in October will be named after the relatives that weren’t able to witness their marriage. It was a tender, unique, and touching unity.

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World Champion Black belt in Jujitsu gets married on the beach.

Patricia is a world champion in jujitsu. Today she married Charles on the beach.

Before putting our toes in the sand, I issued them their marriage license while she sat in the air-conditioned car. Much better than standing in line at the county. Right?

With 25 of their friends and family surrounding them I did a light Catholic style ceremony for them.

They each read some beautiful words to each other expressing their love and commitment.

I made sure he knew that if he didn’t listen to her that she would use some of her jujitsu on him. They all chuckled at that.

It ended with a huge kiss and then they walked off together toward the water.

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Great Officiant Greg has a beautiful beach wedding in Santa Monica!

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Great Officiant Greg had the true pleasure of marrying Scott and Heather Chard at the Annenberg House on July 16, 2016.  What a great location for a beach wedding!  The Annenberg Community Beach House at Santa Monica State Beach is a public beach facility built on the location of a now-demolished 110-room mansion that was built for Marion Davies by William Randolph Hearst.  The “guest house” is restored and certainly could qualify as a mansion on its own!

Scott, his groomsmen and of course Scott II looked so handsome in their gray Tuxedos!  Heather’s personal taste dictated an eclectic mix of the modern and old-school traditional.  Her dress was just beautiful!  The bridesmaids were gorgeous, and little Bella was so cute and beautiful as well with all her jewelry and a little bouquet of her own.

My Favorite Ceremony, customized by Great Officiant Greg for Scott and Heather, included the “Blending of the Sands” was very VERY special since it included Scott II and Bella.  A special reading by Kathy made the ceremony one to remember!  All of their friends, family and relatives really enjoyed the marriage of Scott and Heather!

The reception was held at the Annenberg House banquet room, which was so convenient for everyone.  A special mention must be made to Greg’s wife, Great Officiant Beth and owner of Lei of Love, who supplied all the flowers for the ceremony, the archway flowers and the very special centerpieces.  Each one was a unique design, in a different style container.  Heather’s eclectic design flair was reflected in her special “antique” bouquet and these unique centerpieces!  Her vision was perfectly executed by Beth, and Heather was thrilled!  Lei of Love is the preferred florist for Great Officiants.

All my thanks to the staff at the Annenberg House for their help and assistance.  Also the staff of SoCal Beach Wedding (A division of Great Officiants) for the set-up of the chairs and archway.

All of us at Great Officiants wish Scott, Heather and their children much love and happiness as a family.

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