An outdoor wedding in late November is risky business, but Miranda Grey and Kevin Roberts really nailed it on the beautiful SoCal afternoon of November 23. Their venue, the Unitarian Church of Palos Verdes, offered a clear vista from the Pacific Ocean to the Hollywood Hills, and Rev Dr Gary Barmore, secured through Great Officiants of Long Beach, led a ceremony that lifted the couple and their guests into a celebration of life and the gift of God that makes life so worthwhile … love. Kevin and Miranda chose not to stand with a wedding entourage, so the intimate setting made it feel like everyone attending were their “best men” and “women of honor.”
Kindal Kincade and Jeremiah Bright were worried about their chosen day for matrimonial vows. October 12 was right in the middle of forecasted fierce and fire-hot Santa Ana winds — a big problem for an outdoor wedding at Turnip Rose in Costa Mesa. To great relief, their special day dawned calm and pleasant. Late-afternoon rays of the sun bathed bride and groom, as well as the wedding party and 150 guests. Kindal smiled joyously while Jeremiah shared his “love letter” to her before God, family and friends, and Jeremiah blotted Kindal’s tears of happiness as she voiced her love note to him. They were so appreciative to Great Officiants of Long Beach for recommending Rev Dr Gary Barmore to plan with them and preside over a ceremony that was faithful to their Lutheran tradition, yet communicated with a dynamic contemporary style. After pronouncing the couple Husband and Wife, Dr Barmore invited them to the table of the candle ceremony, to express in symbol what had happened in reality: their two lives aflame together forever. With no wind whatsoever, no one got nervous that the flame could start a wildfire like others burning in California. Prayers went out for those suffering, but joyous gratitude was the order-of-the-day for Mr and Mrs Jeremiah Bright.
“There is, incidentally, no way of talking about cats that enables one to come off as a sane person.”
You may say that the union of Mandy and Kristie was an insane one, but I mean that in the best way possible. They are insanely in love, bubbly, and the most lovely couple. And they have a deep love of their cats, Guinness and Winston. Even though apparently their cats always love Mandy more. They have a bunch of these little quirks and adorable pet peeves with each other, but they also ground each other. They help each other and they compromise. It’s the exact type of real relationship that is an example to all of us, showing us what it is really like to be in love. Oh, and they love board games! So much so, they built a lovely scrabble game as apart of their wedding ceremony. They had glued down words that meant a lot to them or described their relationship. As we approached the “I Do’s” of the ceremony, they each glued down the tiles I DO onto the board as the final step. Showing the commitment and devotion they have for each other, but always with a hint of fun and silliness.
I first met Victoria and Thomas at a surprise wedding involving Thomas’ brother, and had the honor of being asked to officiate their wedding the following year. Over that time I got to know Victoria and Thomas and watch their relationship grow even stronger before their Big Day. They have the same Spotify playlists, they love going on adventures together and call each other their adventuremate, Thomas is her Bear and she is his Pineapple. They also had children united because of this marriage, their three dogs. After the wedding, they looked forward to sharing a loving home together somewhere in the countryside, a Bear, a Pineapple, and their three dogs.
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.
Roger had the pleasure of marrying Leo & Ann at the Grapevine Arbor Park this last Saturday. This amazing venue was originally planted with grapevines in 1861 and our Leo & Ann chose this wonderful venue to marry at. It was a quaint, romantic wedding and everyone had a wonderful time.
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.Share This Post: Follow Us On Social Media: