Last night I had the pleasure of officiating the wedding of Emma and Jay. I only met them a few weeks ago and it was definitely one of my “small, last minute” weddings. They had rented a suite at Willows Lodge for the evening and then chose to use the library at the lodge for their small, intimate wedding. Honored guests includes friends and Jay’s uncle but most importantly, the couple Skyped their wedding so both sets of parents could watch from Shanghai, China. You see, Jay and Emma met in China when they were only wee school children and their families have known each other for years. All four parents in China were very excited to watch their son and daughter get married from so far away. Emma had on a lovely Vera Wang gown and looked like an angle. And Jay could not keep from smiling almost the entire time. Their vows were beautiful and I was honored to be a part of their Chinese New Year wedding! Congratulations Emma and Jay!
CHEVY CHASE, MD – January 13, 2014 – WeddingWire, the nation’s leading online wedding marketplace, is thrilled to announce that Seattle Wedding Officiants has been selected as a winner of the prestigious WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards 2014 for Officiant in Seattle, WA. The esteemed annual awards program, formerly known as the Bride’s Choice Awards, recognizes the top five percent of wedding professionals in the Wedding Wire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. The WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards 2014 distinguish the top local wedding vendors in more than 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding officiants, based on their professional achievements from the previous year.
Unlike other awards in the wedding industry, the Couples’ Choice Awards are solely based on reviews from real newlyweds and their experiences working with their wedding professionals. Wedding Wire has quickly become the world’s largest wedding review site, with more than one million consumer reviews of wedding professionals. Approximately 72 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from a family member or friend, therefore such reviews on WeddingWire help give consumers valuable historical information about wedding businesses and their experience.
Among the more than 200,000 wedding professionals in the WeddingWire Network, the award-winning professionals are determined based on their quality, quantity, consistency and timeliness of the reviews they received from their past clients. For thousands of engaged couples, the award symbolizes legitimacy, reliability, and a proven track record of success.
“There’s no better way to start the year than by honoring the hard work, commitment and success of the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire Network,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire. “It is exciting to embark on a sixth year recognizing those who engaged couples believe are committed to quality, professionalism and all around top-notch service. We celebrate this group of excellent wedding professionals for their impressive achievements within the wedding industry.”
About WeddingWire, Inc.
WeddingWire, the nation’s leading marketplace serving the $70 billion wedding industry, is the only online wedding planning resource designed to empower both engaged couples and wedding professionals. For engaged couples, WeddingWire offers the ability to search, compare and book over 200,000 reviewed wedding vendors, from wedding venues to wedding photographers. WeddingWire also offers a comprehensive suite of online planning tools for weddings, including wedding websites and wedding checklists, all at no charge. For wedding professionals WeddingWire is the only all-in-one marketing platform for businesses online and on-the-go. WeddingWire offers one simple solution to build a professional network, improve search visibility, manage social media and reach mobile consumers. Businesses that advertise with WeddingWire appear on WeddingWire.com, ProjectWedding.com and other leading sites, including Brides.com, MarthaStewartWeddings.com (NYSE:MSO), Weddingbee.com and Celebrations.com (part of the 1-800-Flowers family of brands, NASDAQ:FLWS).
Since it’s Christmastime, what better wedding to write about than a Christmas Wedding at the Salish Lodge. Let me start by saying that Rosa and Joe, the couple whose wedding I am going to share with you, just celebrated their one-year anniversary. Again, happy anniversary Rosa and Joe!
Last year Rosa contacted me to discuss her upcoming Christmas wedding at the Salish. The first time we met, I was impressed at how sweet and lovable Rosa and Joe were. They were so in love and so excited about their wedding. I was also really impressed by how Rosa had thought out each little detail of her vision for her winter wedding, right down to the lipstick! . She definitely knew what she wanted, which was a very romantic wedding that expressed their love for each other. I was able to weave in creative ideas to the ceremony that complemented the romance Rosa and Joe were looking for. One example is that Rosa and Joe are huge movie buffs. I suggested that they each choose a line from a movie to read to each other that was special. We incorporated the lines into the personal statement I wrote for them and this is how it went:
Because Joe and Rosa love to share movie quotes with each other, I asked them — each privately — to share with me one of their favorite movie quotes that best describes their feelings on this day. This will be a surprise for both of them:
This is Joe’s movie quote for Rosa:
“When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible”….From the movie When Harry Met Sally
This is Rosa’s movie quote for Joe:
“It was a million tiny little things that, when you added them all up, they meant we were supposed to be together….and I knew it.” ….From the movie Sleepless in Seattle.
Next, we added a tree-planting ceremony. I suggested a little tiny Christmas tree that they could plant in their yard and watch grow over the coming years. Rosa and Joe and Joe’s two sons planted the little tree together.
Everything about Rosa and Joe’s winter wedding at the Salish represented the love between them. I was honored to be a part of their joy. I have put together some of my favorite photos from their wedding….there were so many! Please enjoy.
I met Sara and Shane early last summer to talk about their small wedding at Willows Lodge in Woodinville. They had made reservations at Willows for the special package called “I do for two.” Willows Lodge is such a lovely place to have a wedding — small or large — and I was excited to be invited to be their officiant.
I have had the pleasure of officiating all sizes of weddings — from 2 to 400 guests, on hiking trails in boots and all dressed up with wedding parties of 22! I am mostly always prepared for surprises and ready to hit the ground running in any situation. I have to say that Sara and Shane’s wedding totally took me by surprise because it was small in numbers but absolutely gigantic in emotion.
Both Sara and Shane had their parents fly in from different parts of the country and they would be their only guests. Sara looked gorgeous in her gown, hair and jewels, and the men wore tuxedos with bow ties. What was so outstanding was that although there were only six of us at the ceremony, it felt like the space was filled with the love of a 1000 hearts. Who says you can’t have a royal wedding with only six people? After Sara and Shane’s wedding, I know I never will. Special thanks to Renata Steiner at Nataworry Photography for capturing the emotion, especially the love, so brilliantly in the photographs below.
Last summer I had the pleasure of being contacted by Sarah and Paul regarding their upcoming wedding at the Center for Wooden Boats on Lake Union. Their wedding was only two-and-a-half months away, and travelling for work was in Sarah’s immediate future. Needless to say, we needed to get started on their ceremony and wrap up details quickly before Sarah left the country. Fortunately, we had the help of my friend and colleague Kelli Bielema at Shindig Events. Everything was more or less in place except the officiant – me! Sarah and Paul are a laid back couple but they clearly wanted something special and unique for this ceremony. Together, we wrote something they loved and the ceremony turned out perfectly — including random pauses for the planes taking off and landing on the lake. Speaking of planes, family and friends flew in from around the country. One friend made Sarah’s beautiful bouquet (see below). The music was provided by Swing Soiree and the food from Herban Feast. Beautiful couple, beautiful setting, fabulous wedding! Enjoy the photos from Sarah and Paul’s Center for Wooden Boats wedding below.
A few months back I was contacted by Al and Teya from Lithuania. As we Skyped, they explained to me that they were coming back to the U.S. and wanted to get married in kayaks in Seattle. They also wanted their officiant to be in a kayak to perform the ceremony. Their vision included having a spot where those who didn’t want to kayak could watch from land. I enthusiastically agreed to be their “sea-going” officiant and offered to research some options for them.
The first location that I thought of for a great kayaking destination, and also a location where guests could watch from land was Foster Island in the Arboretum. I have taken many walks on the boardwalk out to Foster Island and I always see people kayaking and rowing through these beautiful wetlands. I took my dogs down there one Sunday afternoon just to check out our options. I saw many charming docks and platforms where guests could watch the ceremony and that we could easily kayak to. I took some pictures and sent them to Al and Teya in Lithunia along with kayak rental information.
After discussing a few small changes we agreed on our route and made plans to meet at a location on Lake Union where we would launch our kayaks.
The big wedding day came and WOW!!! the weather was really bad. It was pouring rain, the wind was blowing and it was cold. I wasn’t sure I still wanted to be a part of this adventure and spoke with Al about a possible plan B. (By the way, I always have a plan B.) He was persistent, however, and after agreeing to shorten our time on the water I decided to join everyone.
Please enjoy the following pictures of this amazing wedding day of Al and Teya!
Two summers ago I was the officiant for Michael and Euneka, who were married at Maroni Meadows in Snohomish. As is usually the case, I meet friends and family members of the couples I marry as well. Euneka and Michael both had lovely families and it was a fun day getting to know all of them.
This past summer of 2013 I had the pleasant surprise of receiving a call from Euneka’s mother, who I had met at Euneka’s wedding the previous summer. It turned out that she was also getting married and wanted to have me officiate her wedding at the Monte Cristo Ballroom. I was so honored to be invited to be the officiant for Harriett and James’ wedding. Even better was that I got to see Euneka and Michael and their families once again.
I am so proud of Washington state for pushing referendum 74 through in December of 2012, making our state the tenth jurisdiction in the United States (9 states, plus the District of Columbia) to extend the freedom to marry to same-sex couples. Since that time I have had the honor and privilege of officiating dozens of same-sex weddings for couples from all over the country.
Following is an update from the Department of Defense who has voted to extend federal benefits to same-sex spouses of military service members. Congratulations on another victory!
Courtesy of NBC News.com September 3, 2013:
“The Department of Defense announced a plan on Wednesday to extend a range of federal benefits to same-sex spouses of military service members starting Sept. 3.
The Pentagon will extend to legally married same-sex couples the same privileges and programs that are provided to legally married heterosexual couples, including benefits tied to health care, housing, and family separation allowance, compensation paid to military members when their dependents can’t live with them at their permanent duty station.
“The Department of Defense remains committed to ensuring that all men and women who serve in the U.;SD. military, and their families, are treated fairly and equally as the law directs,” the Pentagon said in its announcement Wednesday.
On Tuesday, a senior official told NBC News that service members who are stationed in one of the 37 states where same-sex marriage is illegal will be offered up to 10 days of leave so they can travel to one of the 13 states, plus the District of Columbia, that grant same-sex marriage licenses.
All entitlements are retroactive to June 26, 2013 the date of the Supreme Court’s ruling that a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, is unconstitutional.”
By Jim Miklaszewski, Courtney Kube and Elizabeth Chuck, NBC News
I am so proud of Washington State since we passed Referendum 74, allowing same-sex couples to marry in our state. I have had the honor and pleasure of officiating dozens of same-sex weddings since December 6, 2012 when this referendum passed. I realize that those of you coming from in and out-of-state may have some questions around this subject, and I put together a list below of common questions and answers that I hope will help.
Questions and Answers: Marriage for Same-Sex Couples
1. Where do couples apply for marriage licenses?
Couples can obtain a marriage license from any county, usually at the county auditor. They do not have to obtain their marriage license from the county where they reside or the county where they plan to have the marriage ceremony. Follow this link to obtain information about county offices that issue marriage licenses: http://access.wa.gov/topics/licensecertificate/marriagelicense.
2. What if I am coming from out-of-state? How do I apply for my marriage license?
You can apply for your marriage license by mail. You will need to go to the King County Marriage License website and download the PDF Marriage License application. You will then need to take the application to a licensed notary (banks usually staff a licensed notary) and have your signatures notarized after you complete the form. You will need proper photo I.D. to have your signatures notarized. Next, you will send the form with a cashier’s check or money order in the amount of $64 to:
King County Marriage Licensing
King County Administration Building
500 Fourth Ave., Suite 311
Seattle, WA 98104
If an application is mailed, the marriage license must be picked up at this location, it will not be mailed. Office hours: Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., except holidays. (Please note, I am happy to pick up your marriage license for you at the courthouse with a 48-hour notice.)
3. How long do I have to wait before I can use the marriage license?
Washington law requires all couples to wait three days after applying for their marriage license before having their marriage ceremony. So if a couple receives their marriage license on December 6, they will have to wait until December 9 to get married.
4. Is there a fee to apply for the marriage license?
Yes. The fee varies by county. In King County, the fee is currently $64. Cash or checks are accepted.
5. Can same-sex couples marry in Washington if they live in another state?
Yes. There is no residency requirement to marry in Washington. However, out-of-state couples should be advised that their marriage may not be recognized in their home state if their state does not permit same-sex couples to marry.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any additional questions about marriage for same-sex couples in Washington State. I would love to be your officiant!
Last summer I was contacted by Nathan and Laura who immediately won my heart over with their love for each other. Both nature lovers, they chose Crystal Mountain Resort for their outdoor ceremony with the reception to follow in the lodge. I had no idea how magical this wedding was going to be. The combination of their love and the beauty of Mount Rainier in the background as they shared their vows was such a gift to be a part of. Daniel Sheehan of A Beautiful Day Photography captured some amazing moments throughout the day and my camera was clicking away as well. This first picture is of a beaming Nathan on his way to his bride at the top of the mountain via the resort’s gondola. And what Crystal Mountain wedding wouldn’t be complete without a cake depicting Mt. Rainier? Congratulations Nathan and Laura!