Winery wedding

Jessica and Scott’s wedding on Sunday 04 June was a dream come true at Lake Oak Meadows Winery

Jessica and Scott’s wedding on Sunday 04 June was a dream come true. California wines rival those of Europe and our wineries are equally romantic. This wedding at Lake Oak Meadows Winery had the perfect blend of rustic and refined. Family and guests delighted in the beautiful park-like setting. Here the photos really do speak for themselves.

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Two Modern Hindu Fusion Weddings in Northern California for Suvin

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On August 13th, at the Wente Vineyards in Livermore, Rad and Piper tied the knot in a beautiful traditional/fusion Hindu Ceremony. The ceremony started with a traditional Baraat, where Radha rode her bicycle from the entrance of the Winery to the tent where the ceremony would take place. It was an amazing show, as there were almost 400 guests involved in the baraat and ceremony.

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In front of the tent, I lead a prayer. I asked everyone to be seated, and then performed the ceremony. The ceremony was very traditional, complete with a prayer to Ganesh, the Mangal Mantras, the Hastmelap, or joining of the hands, the Chedda Chedi, or tying of the knot, Jai mala, or exchange of garlands, the exchange of the Mangalsutra,the Vivah homa, or sacred fire, with the Mangel Fera, or circling of the fire. They had some traditional repeated vows and a ring exchange, and ended the ceremony with the seven steps.

This beautiful melding of cultures was exciting to be a part of. I made sure both brides and their families were represented, and were happy with the traditions being honored. At the end of the day, it is all about what the couple wants, it is their ceremony, and it is a celebration of their love.

Rad and Piper were thrilled to have the ceremony of their dreams come to life.

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After performing the ceremony, I drove an hour and a half north, to Sacramento, where the next ceremony would take place the next day.

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On August 14th, Aashika and Alex were married at the beautiful Grand Island Mansion in Walnut Grove. Surrounded by family and friends, I was able to incorporate Alex’s Greek and Celtic heritage within the Hindu ceremony.

I began the ceremony with a prayer to Lord Ganesh, to bless the marriage. I then recited the Mangal Mantras, or prayers to the planet Mars, which represents strength and passion. I incorporated the standard I dos, and they both gave the right answer :).

The bride’s parents then came up and joined us for the Brahma Vivah, or the water ceremony. Aashika’s parents poured water into Alex and Aashika’s palms, symbolizing the passing of family heritage to the next generation. We then performed the Vivah Homa and Mangal Fera, the fire ceremony and the circling of the fire.

To honor Alex’s Greek Orthodox culture, I placed the crowns, or stefana, on their heads. To honor Alex’s Celtic background, we performed a hand fasting ceremony, where the two were bound by the cord of love.

They exchanged some beautiful personalized vows, and performed the ring exchange.

They performed the seven steps, and I removed the crowns. I pronounced them married, and they took their walk down the aisle.

Aashika made these beautiful programs shaped like a fan, and had these kind words to share: 

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Congratulations to Lianzi Zhu and Ting Wu on their July 9, 2016 ceremony at the Ponte Vineyards in Temecula, CA.

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Congratulations to Lianzi Zhu and Ting Wu on their July 9, 2016 ceremony at the Ponte Vineyards in Temecula, CA.  It was a beautiful HOT (about 95º) day in the wine country, with the winds “kicking up.”  None the less, for the most part it was not an unbearable type of heat and everyone was able to sit back and enjoy the ceremony – not to mention the beautiful view of the mountains and the vineyards in the background.  We were under a canopy on a brick platform at the edge of the pond.  A beautiful setting!  During the sand ceremony, the photographer and myself were only a step away from a nice refreshing swim.  Fortunately, we had “eyes behind our heads!”  My best to the very happy couple.

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A Malibu Estate Wedding for Great Officiant Greg!

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Great Officiant Greg had the distinct honor and good fortune of marrying Jared and Sydney Unger on Saturday, June 4th 2016 at the unbelievable Villa Sancti Di Bella Vista Estate and Winery in Malibu, California.  The only thing one can say about this venue is “OMG”!  It is the sort of property one only sees in the movies!  The home, grounds, waterfalls, pool, and vineyard were just fabulous!  No wonder it was voted the number one wedding venue by The Knot!  The pictures speak for themselves.  Truly, the lifestyle of the rich and famous.

Sydney looked so beautiful in her wedding dress, and Jared was sharp and handsome!  The happy couple just loved the ceremony customized by Great Officiant Greg.  Many friends and family commented how much they enjoyed themselves!

In the “it’s a very small world” category, Greg discovered that he and the Bride’s Father John both get their hair cut by the same stylist, Ashley Olson of One Luv Salon in Seal Beach, California!  John and Great Officiant Greg hit it off very well!

Many thanks to Susan, who owns the Estate with her husband.  She was kind enough to share the rich history of the property with Great Officiant Greg.  From native American burial ground, barracks during World War II, to the two additional bedrooms added above the garage for Prince William and Prince Harry when Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed had an option to purchase the Estate just prior to their tragic deaths, it is a very interesting history indeed.

All of us at Great Officiants wish Jared and Sydney much love and happiness in their life together as one.

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Well……..This is a first.

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Roger married a wonderful couple this last week at the beautiful Wilson Creek Winery down in Temecula.  When Roger first met them, they told him they wanted a fun loving and romantic wedding ceremony, and they could tell that Roger could do just that…..  But they also asked for a special favor from Roger.  After the wedding, they wanted Roger to join them in their “first dance” medley.  One of the songs was going to be the very popular song California from Colonel Loud and since they were from Virginia, they wanted Roger to give that “California feel” to their dance !  Now mind you, Roger has never in his 350 plus weddings ever been asked to join a bride & groom on their first dance and frankly was a little (a lot) nervous about this request !! Roger asked them several times if they were sure they wanted this to happen and would their guests enjoy it and not think that the wedding officiant had just decided to crash their dance??  They assured Roger that would not be the case and that the crowd would love him joining them……….  Well……….they were absolutely right !  From the very start, the guests were on board for the fun !  From the ceremony to first dance, this was a crowd that wanted (and had) fun !  Roger had the time of his life and can’t wait to do it again (New note: Roger has had second thoughts and thinks first dances should be still just for the bride & groom ha !)

Shane & Takisha were also very happy !  They sent this wonderful note to Roger……..

Roger,

We just arrived back home and could not wait to send you a thank you letter to let you know how much we appreciated you officiating our wedding. You helped make it funny, endearing and memorable for everyone who was present.your willingness to jump in with the festivities was a show stopper!  I don’ think anyone will forget this wedding! 

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An amazing wedding with five star reviews…………

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Roger had his work cut out for him this last Sunday.  He was marrying Vince and Lesley, who both happen to be musicians and entertainers and both of them know their stuff when it comes to putting on a great performance for an audience !!  And they told Roger on their first meeting that they wanted the ceremony to be an amazing event !!

They were getting married at one of the nicest wineries in Temecula, the South Coast Winery & Spa.  Not only is the winery an amazing place but perfect for weddings !!  And Roger took that challenge and gave them and the audience a wonderfully romantic and fun wedding !

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Congratulations to Andrea McKeown & Chris Murray on their November 14, 2015 wedding at Lake Oak Meadows in Temecula, CA

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Congratulations to Andrea McKeown & Chris Murray on their November 14, 2015 wedding at Lake Oak Meadows in Temecula, CA.  You could not have asked for a better day in Southern California.  Everything about the ceremony went great – The guests were all seated and ready to go, the coordinator (Angela) was organized and the DJ, photographer and videographer were all on point!  Sure does make me look better when the entire team is on the same page!  My best to the happy couple.

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