Thursday, May 29, 2008

RITUALS: Mead, the ancient beverage

MEAD, sometimes called honey wine, is a fermented beverage made with honey. The most basic mead is made with a simple combination of honey, yeast and water.

According to, mead may possibly be the world's oldest alcoholic beverage. It was a very popular drink throughout history and was used in religious gatherings. Some pagan rituals used mead in their ceremonies, and Ethiopian meads are used in funeral rituals.

An old European tradition gave newlyweds a month’s supply of mead. Some say this is where the word “honeymoon” came from. However, linguists do not often support this claim.

There are online recipes for mead, and websites where you can buy mead. Some specialty supermarkets and liquor stores may carry it. There are also online mead enthusiasts.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

WEDDING: in Elysian Park, Los Angeles CA

CONGRATULATIONS: Sheryl and Danny!

Another fantastic couple, and another beautiful wedding ceremony...this time, it was at a venue i have never performed at before: the GRACE E. SIMONS LODGE in Elysian Park.

The couple incorporated a sand ceremony in front of about 100 of their friends and family.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

CONGRATULATIONS: Helen and Steve! (Laguna Beach)

It was an honour to perform a marriage ceremony for these two wonderful people! The bride's sister and groom's mother served as witnessness and wedding party. Although ominous grey clouds loomed inland on this day, the coast was absolutely clear and perfect. The sun shined upon the couple as they exchanged self-composed vows against a beautiful ocean background.

The couple concluded their ceremony with this lovely couplet:

"Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind,
And therefore is winged Cupid painted blind."
---from A Midsummer Night's Dream, William Shakespeare

Laguna Beach is often chosen by couples as the site for their wedding. Of all the beach weddings i have performed, 90% of them have been in Laguna Beach! There are blocks of oceanside and sidewalks for small informal or intimate ceremonies, and you can reserve HEISLER PARK* or the gazebo* next to Las Brisas Restaurant, off of Cliff Drive, or the beach itself, for larger groups.

Please see the Laguna Beach city website for information about these fantastic venues!

* Links are for photos only, thanks to

Saturday, May 17, 2008

CONGRATULATIONS: Erin and Ryan! (Palm Springs)

This weekend, i had the privilege and honour of marrying two fantastic people. They put together the most fantastic cocktail-type wedding at a fabulous mid-century estate in Palm Springs!

It was a brief outdoor ceremony behind the backyard pool, in 100-degree PLUS weather! No photos of the couple yet, but check out the the beautiful home that was the backdrop for this very special day:

Photos courtesy of Coldwell Bankers website.

Friday, May 16, 2008

NEWS: Los Angeles and Orange County Prepare to Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

Despite a California Supreme Court ruling Thursday that a state ban on same-sex marriages is illegal, couples still must wait at least 30 days before the law takes effect.

To certify a same-sex marriage is legal, counties in California must create new forms that are approved by the state.

Los Angeles County Supervisors have already ordered city officials to begin preparations to comply with the California Supreme Court's decision. Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky said he wants the county to be ready to move as soon as possible. He asked that a timeline for implementing the court order be reported to the Board of Supervisors as early as next week. Read a more complete report from the LOS ANGELES TIMES.

Meanwhile, in Orange County, same-sex couples are urged to apply for a license online, but the clerk-recorder's office is also unable to accomodate walk-up same-sex marriages for at least 30 days. Please see this article in the OC REGISTER.

TRADITION: Water-Dousing Ceremony for Firefighters

FULLERTON – A makeshift bucket brigade on the Fire Department roof Thursday morning doused 21 firefighters standing below with 10 pails of water and a hose – keeping with a tradition practiced for years all over the nation.

The water targeted firefighters who were being promoted.

Fire Chief Wolfgang Knabe said many departments have eliminated the water-drop zone recently, but "Traditions are important to me," he added.
We agree, traditions ARE important! Congratulations to all you wet Fullerton firefighters!

Courtesy of an article originally in the OC REGISTER.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

NEWS: California Supreme Court Overturns Gay Marriage Ban

SAN FRANCISCO -- The California Supreme Court ruled today that same-sex couples should be permitted to marry, rejecting state marriage laws as discriminatory. The Court overturned a gay marriage ban in a 4-3 ruling that would make the nation's largest state the second one to allow gay and lesbian weddings. The justices' decision says domestic partnerships are not a good enough substitute for marriage. Chief Justice Ron George wrote the opinion.

Read the FULL TEXT OF THE RULING in pdf.

Today's ruling by the Republican-dominated court affects more than 100,000 same-sex couples in the state, about a quarter of whom have children, according to U.S. census figures. It came after high courts in New York, Washington and New Jersey refused to extend marriage rights to gay couples. Before today, only Massachusetts' top court has ruled in favor of permitting gays to wed.

The state high court's ruling was unlikely to end the debate over gay matrimony in California. A group has circulated petitions for a November ballot initiative that would amend the state Constitution to block same-sex marriage, while the Legislature has twice passed bills to authorize gay marriage. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed both.

Listen to an informative piece from NPR today.

The above was culled from several sources. Go to the Los Angeles Times or the Associated Press for further reading.

Friday, May 2, 2008

NEWS: Matriarch of Interracial Marriage, MILDRED LOVING Dies

It is difficult to believe, but not too long ago, it was actually against the law in this country for two people of different races to marry.

Mildred Loving and her white husband, Richard, changed history in 1967 when the U.S. Supreme Court upheld their right to marry. The ruling struck down laws banning racially mixed marriages in at least 17 states.

Mildred Loving died at the age of 68.

Please see her obituary from the Associated Press.

Celebrate the legalization of interracial couples on LOVING DAY, 12 June.

Also, hear an NPR story celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in favour of the Lovings.