Illinois Wedding Officiant
Illinois Wedding Officiant
Chicago Wedding Minister
Chicago Wedding Minister
Chicago Wedding Officiant
Chicago Wedding Officiant
Chicago Northshore Wedding Officiant
Chicago Northshore Wedding Officiant
Chicago North Shore Wedding Officiant
Chicago North Shore Wedding Officiant

Wine box and love letter ceremony

In the ceremony materials I have put together over the years, one of the more recent additions is a ceremony element where couples put love letters they have written to each other into a box with a bottle of wine.  I have seen two versions of this. In one, the one I prefer, the couple will open the box on their anniversary, drink the wine and read the letters. Then, they will write new love letters and put them in the box with another bottle of wine and continue the tradition on each anniversary. In the other version, the couple places love letters into a box with a bottle of wine, but they do not open it unless they feel


Managing your seating chart

With all you have to plan for your wedding, is a seating chart necessary? Can’t the guests sit wherever they like? If they can do that at the ceremony with no problem, why not the reception? If your reception will feature cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres, there is no need for a seating chart. You can even skip it if you’re having food stations rather than a formal sit-down dinner.  But for a typical reception dinner, you’ll need a seating chart for two main reasons. The first is to honor your family. Your closest friends will likely be at the head table with you. Your family, that is parents and grandparents, should have the best view of the newlyweds.  If


Calling all DIY wedding brides and grooms!

Everyone knows the Oriental Trading store, the source for inexpensive party favors and decorations. They have everything from embroidered sombreros for your Cinco de Mayo party to tableware for your graduation party. You can get sucked in perusing their site as you try to imagine what you could do with farm-themed treat bags or a dozen jump ropes. I recently received their wedding catalog (“ Everything from ‘Will you?’ to ‘I do!’”), unsolicited. If you are having a DIY wedding, this is the catalog for you! They have elegant items like rolls of tulle for decorating chair backs (in eighteen colors), antique-looking accessories for a vintage-style wedding reception, or more casual options such as paper lantern globes (in nineteen solid


Your credit score can predict your relationship’s success

Opposites may attract, but it’s harder for them to sustain a healthy relationship.  Quite surprisingly, it’s even true when it comes to credit scores. An extensive research project conducted in the fall by the Fed showed that the higher each partner’s credit score was, the better their chance of having a successful relationship. Your credit score shows your history of paying off debts and is used to determine your ability to incur future debts, such as car loans and mortgages. So how does that translate into a predictor of long-lasting relationships? It turns out it is a predictor in two ways. The first is that couples, both married and unmarried, with high credit scores are more likely to agree on


Making a commitment to your partner with each chakra

From Albert Villoldo: In many cultures around the world, the Spiritual Seeker is celibate — and that’s a wonderful way of avoiding the complexity and complications of relationships. The shaman understands that we are attracted to those people that we have to learn with and learn through. Most of our early relationships are deeply karmic. We are looking for that person who can help us heal our wounds, who can help us find ourselves. And, of course, we can never do that through the Other. The Other only serves as a mirror for what it is that we need to heal. A friend of mine who is getting divorced recently told me: “I miss the woman that I married, but


Raise your glass to the one who toasts the newlyweds

Being asked to be the maid of honor or best man at a friend’s wedding is a great honor. And with that honor comes great responsibility. One of your many duties will be to toast the newlyweds at the reception. If the thought of public speaking is going to give you nightmares (you can’t remember your locker combination, you didn’t study for the test, you’re walking around naked and you just remembered you were supposed to show up for a new job two weeks ago), be honest with the couple. They don’t want you flaming out any more than you do. If you think you’re up to the tasks (all of them), here’s how to avoid having your toast bomb.


Everyone cries at weddings!

I’m a crier.  I cry at weddings. I cry at parades. I cry at musical performances. I cry at my granddaaughters’ dance recitals. I have cried at Disney World and at Shamu while visiting Sea World. One time I even teared up biting into a cannoli.  I realize that I cry more than most people.  When I cry at things like parades and dance recitals, I’m not sad.  I’m not even crying because I’m happy, really, although I am. It’s normal to be emotionally overwhelmed at a wedding.  Many people cry as the bride walks down the aisle or during the ceremony.  But what if you’re the bride, the groom or the father of the bride?  Should you cry? Before


A Poem written for a bride

This lovely poem was written by a groom for his bride, Lauren, on their wedding day.   Before these people I have sworn By this house out on the lawn (or in the pavilion if it’s been raining) That always from this moment on You shall be my wife   In all the things that life may bring When we weep, feel joy or dance or sing You shall be my wife   In the keeping of our fish (that’s Simon, Scarlet & Timmy if you want to know) As we’re washing every dish You shall be my wife   Through sleeping nights and in days waking In frying, grilling, boiling, baking In house-work’s dust and warm home-making You shall


Better communication

ASSERTIVENESS AND ACTIVE LISTENING In marriage preparation sessions I have couples work on stating what they would like more or less of in a relationship using assertive statements and then we clarify their wish using active listning. ASSERTIVENESS: Assertiveness is the ability to express your feelings and ask for what you want in the relationship. Assertiveness is a valuable communication skill. In successful couples, both individuals tend to be quite assertive. Rather than assuming their partner can read their minds, they share how they feel and ask clearly and directly for what they w ant. Assertive individuals take responsibility for their messages by using “I” statements. They avoid statements beginning with “you.” In making constructive requests, they are positive and


When planning an outdoor wedding

If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, you will also need to have a Plan B. I have performed weddings in sweltering heat, in rain and in freezing cold late spring and early fall weather and although I am ready for any kind of weather, your guests and bridesmaids (if any) will not. Guests plan their outfit so that they will look their best and will assume that you won’t put them out in inclement weather. Bridesmaids typically wear strapless or sleeveless gowns without a wrap and won’t have a way to keep warm if the temperature dips below sixty-five. And there’s nothing you can do about rain. It will cloud everyone’s memory of the ceremony (pun intended). Last Saturday I