Outdoor wedding

Getting Married in an Orange Grove……

Roger has always said that one of his favorite places to marry couples is in the middle of a lemon grove called Limoneria Ranch. Well, yesterday he can now add an orange grove to that list.  It’s fittingly called The Grove. It’s located out in Redlands and not only is it smack dab in the middle of a working orange grove, but a beautiful view of the Valley as well !   Plus, the brides and grooms’ rooms were amazing !  The girls had a bungalow in the grove and the boys had their own treehouse !!  This was for a wonderful couple by the name of Eddie & Dorian.  She was pretty relaxed but our Eddie was pretty nervous.  So Roger not only got him laughing during the ceremony but brought it serious when needed.  It was a perfect wedding.

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Father Jacob celebrated the wedding of Rachel Chaikin and Gerry Guzman at the La Mesa Community Center near San Diego on Saturday

I celebrated the wedding of Rachel Chaikin and Gerry Guzman at the La Mesa Community Center near San Diego on Saturday.  The ceremony and reception took place at the same location which was convenient and allowed for a very relaxed atmosphere.  The ceremony took place overlooking a distant baseball field (Gerry and Rachel are avid softball players) and all of La Mesa.  The day was sunny and a cool breeze ensured the comfort of Rachel and Gerry’s many guests.

When they contacted me through Great Officiants, I learned that Gerry is Catholic and Rachel is Jewish.  The traditional Order of Celebrating Matrimony between a Catholic and a non-Christian in the Roman Rite does not acknowledge or celebrate the Jewish partner’s faith or heritage so I wanted to write a ceremony just for the them that was truly Catholic, maintaining all the traditional and necessary elements of the the Rite of Marriage, but which also explicitly celebrated Rachel’s rich Jewish heritage and faith.

To accomplish this, I reworked some of the language of the traditional rite.  For example when Gerry placed the ring on his wife’s finger he said: “Rachel, behold you are consecrated to me with this ring according to the Law of Moses and Israel.”  When Rachel placed the ring on her husband’s finger she said, “Gerry, behold you are consecrated to me with this ring in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”  In this way, each of the spouses acknowledged the faith and heritage of the other. I inserted a Kiddush which included the Sheva Brachot.  Since Catholicism is descended from Judaism, there are many, many ritual similarities including the use of wine in liturgy so it seemed natural to include this tradition which is remarkably similar, though not identical in each faith. By the way, as a Catholic priest, I almost always use Maneshewitz when I celebrate Mass and it always reminds me of my faith’s Jewish roots. I sang the blessing over the wine in Hebrew and Rachel and Gerry shared from the cup in the presence of their families and friends before Gerry broke a glass beneath his feet and I presented them as husband and wife to their guests.

This was one of the most interesting weddings I have ever celebrated and definitely one of the funnest.  

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Who would have guessed that across the parking lot from a Lake Forest corner mall, hidden by green trees and shrubs, there lies Heritage Hill Historical Park

Who would have guessed that across the parking lot from a Lake Forest corner mall, hidden by green trees and shrubs, there lies a beautiful wedding venue!  Chris Stewart and Evelyn De La Vega discovered Heritage Hill Historical Park, and on April 29 under a large oak, they pledged their eternal love before family and friends.   Rev. Dr. Gary Barmore of Great Officiants led the ceremony, which two weeks previous he had planned with the couple at his Costa Mesa home, also providing opportunity for getting mutually acquainted.  During part of the ceremony the bride and groom turned to the guests to say their “I do’s” and to hear the crowd affirm them with a hearty “we do!”  They chose to write their own vows and are so happy with all that occurred at this lovely site.

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Easter Bunny shows up at wedding at Point Dume in Malibu Beach Wedding

Joey and Gustavo wanted to get married on Easter Sunday so i dad to bring along my bunny head.

I didn’t wear it for the ceremony only for pictures after. It made for a great laugh.

They chose Point Dume in Malibu. I was all ready to walk out onto the beach when their friend pointed to the top of the cliffs and said the wedding is up there. I was not ready for that as I was ready to be barefoot on the beach. SO I put on my dress shoes and trecked up the hill.

It was worth every gasp when i got up there. The view is amazing

They decorated the area with wild flowers and draping and the grooms walked down the gauntlet of friends to the end of the path to where I was waiting.

They did a beautiful Sand Ceremony blending their lives together.

After it was all done they had a big kiss and got tons of pictures with their family and friends.

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This couple rented an Airbnb in this cool little castle looking structure off of Latigo Canyon and Alan performed their wedding at an overlook nearby

Traveling from out of state, this couple rented an Airbnb in the Malibu Hills to stay. They stayed in this cool little castle looking structure off of Latigo Canyon. While exploring the area they discover this wonderful lookout about three quarters of a mile up the hill from where they were staying. They decided that was where they were going to do the ceremony. I wish they had told me because I was wearing my loafers which are not proper shoes for hiking.

Once on top of the hill and after I caught my breath I performed a simple yet meaningful ceremony for them.

I took this really cool 360° video of them kissing and pictures of the surrounding area. It was not only a great experience for them but a treat for me. Anytime I can do a wedding outside the norm I am a happy boy.

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Celebrating 25 years of Love

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Ron and Juan gathered close friends and family from all over, including a few different countries, and set said with Newport Charter Yachts. We pushed off into the bay, sun setting in the distance, and honored the many years they’ve spent together in an intimate ceremony. The most romantic part? The way these two met. It wasn’t through mutual friends, or some unseen chance of fate, but Jack in the Box. That’s right. Ron saw Juan at the drive thru one day before work and proceeded to visit that Jack in the Box the next 8 days in a row to see Juan again. That’s true love right there.
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