Sunday, August 31, 2008

WEDDING: The Villa in Westminster, CA

CONGRATULATIONS: Jennifer and Dean!

Sunday was a nice but warm day for this wedding. It took place with over a hundred guests at the private banquet hall The Villa in Westminster. There were many children, both in the wedding and attending with guests or people in the wedding party. The couple included family vows/children's vows, as a way of including the creation of a family in the ceremony. Here they formalised their desire to commit to their child, Dean Jr., as well as to each other:

"And Jennifer and Dean, do you commit today to continue your support of Dean Jaden as an individual? Do you vow to be there for him in his times of trouble as well as in his times of joy, to rejoice in the love that he has added to your lives, and to strive as you are able to preserve peace in your home?

Dean and Jennifer respond, “We do.

The venue is an unassuming building along Beach Boulevard, but once you go inside, it is an incredible place, complete with a staircase for the bridal party to descend down. The layout of the ceremony area is a little unusual, and made it slightly difficult for such a large group of guests to maneuver, but in the end, the wedding was lovely! The Villa also contains a full-service bridal salon. Thanks to Natalie and Liz of Lifetime Weddings and Events. Photography by Dai Bac Wedding Center.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

WEDDING: Private Home in Sun Valley, CA


Amidst the curvy lanes of La Tuna Canyon Road, this private wedding included bellydancers, delicious Moroccan cuisine, and beautiful tents complete with pillows and hookahs!

The ceremony itself emphasized the couple's relationship. It was simple and to the point, without a great deal of mushiness, since physical affection is not usually displayed in either Bulgarian or Moroccan wedding traditions. The reception blended the bride's Bulgarian and the groom's Moroccan cultures.

(Last-minute!) DJ services were provided by _________ and photography was from _____________.

SAME-SEX DOUBLE WEDDING: Private Home in Glendora, CA

CONGRATULATIONS: John and Robert AND Thom and Dominick!

This intimate double ceremony only included two couples, who have been friends for years and years. Once couple came all the way from the Phoenix, Arizona area to stay and be wed at their friends' home in Glendora, CA.

Each couple signed the other's marriage license as witnesses.

It was such a pleasure working with all these gentlemen, and i am so privileged that they chose me to be to create and perform their marriage ceremonies.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

WEDDING: Disneyland Hotel, Rose Court Garden


These two USC-educated dentists were married at the Disneyland Hotel Rose Court Garden. The staff at the hotel offer impeccable service, as you would expect from a 'magical' Disneyland-type of event. The wedding was short, sweet and meaningful. And no horse-drawn carriage!

Many thanks to Kelly and Denise at Disneyland, photographer Mandy Marie of Jim Kennedy Photographers, and DJ service from Mike at _______.

Friday, August 22, 2008

WEDDING: Muckenthaler Mansion in Fullerton


MUCKENTHALER MANSION was a beautiful setting for this wedding. The banquet managers really had their stuff together! The bride's cousin read a poem by John Keats called Ode on a Grecian Urn.

Once again, i had the privilege of working with COLETTE'S CATERING. Photography by the very friendly CHRIS DISET.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

NEWS: San Francisco's Gay/Lesbian-Friendly Area a Novelty Worth Sightseeing?

Gawking tourists not welcome in the Castro?!!

Tour buses have been dropping off looky-loo tourist-types in the heart of San Francisco's GLBT neighbourhood, also known as the Castro.

Read the article, courtesy of the San Francisco Guardian.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

WEDDING: Rose Garden at Fairmount Park in Riverside, CA

CONGRATULATIONS: Candace and Jaime!

i've been travelling all over this summer for wedding season. This day was no different. Fairmount Park in Riverside has a lovely ROSE GARDEN that can be reserved for special occasions. Afterward, the reception was held at the couple's home.

i met a very cool wedding and special events vendor, who transports and accompanies a vintage photo booth and puts the pictures together into a scrapbook for you! Check out the PHOTOBOOTH SCRAPBOOKS website.

WEDDING: LGBT at home in Malibu, CA


This was an intimate, last-minute wedding at home in beautiful Malibu!

Yes, the ocean is in their backyard...

The ceremony included a touching tribute to a deceased sister, this couple's faithful Dalmatian dog (child, really) and lots of champagne! :)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

POETRY: "Love" by Roy Croft


I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.

I love you,
Not only for what
You have made of yourself,
But for what
You are making of me.
I love you
For the part of me
That you bring out;
I love you
For putting your hand
Into my heaped-up heart
And passing over
All the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help
Dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out
Into the light
All the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked
Quite far enough to find.

I love you because you
Are helping me to make
Of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern
But a temple;
Out of the works
Of my every day
Not a reproach
But a song.

I love you
Because you have done
More than any creed
Could have done
To make me good
And more than any fate
Could have done
To make me happy.
You have done it
Without a touch,
Without a word,
Without a sign.
You have done it
By being yourself.
Perhaps that is what
Being a friend means,
After all.

Friday, August 15, 2008

WEDDING: At Falkner Winery in Temecula, CA

CONGRATULATIONS: Samantha and Shaun!

i have the luck and privilege to marry truly incredibly couples.

These two touched me deeply. Not only are they electronic music lovers and DJs/producers (it's a music genre i have a particular passion for), but they are two really cool, sweet, smart people.

i had never cried while performing a ceremony at a wedding, until this day! The bride's brother recited a poem called "Love" by Roy Croft, and they had a sand ceremony to the song "Fix You" by Coldplay. Beautiful.

The ceremony was held in the heart of Temecula wine country at the lovely FALKNER WINERY. Photography was done by the fabulous CHRISTINA D. MCNEILL, excellent DJ service provided by MYDJS.NET, and food was provided by the venue.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

WEDDING: The Bell Tower in Rancho Santa Margarita


i had the honour and privilege of performing a very special wedding ceremony for these two lovely people! This wedding was extraordinary because of the FAMILY GOLD and RING STAMPING that accompanied the traditional ceremony.

At exactly 4pm, the bells in the Rancho Santa Margarita Bell Tower rang the hour, and the ceremony began.

The rings were made of ancestral gold. The passage below, from the actual ceremony text, describes the origin from which the gold came from:

"When Anna and Chris decided to get married, they knew they wanted to do
something special and different for their rings. They wanted the rings to
connect them with their families and their histories and heritage so Chris had
the idea to do this by including gold contributed from family and friends and
then to take part in the making of the rings themselves Once they talked about
their ideas, their friends and family generously got on board and donated scraps
of gold to add to the rings. The rings are made with pieces from four
generations and from as far away as Germany. They have pieces that have
come from treasured objects and some that have just been found along the
Each contribution was carefully logged, photographed and included in a beautiful display. The photographs and histories were bound in a gorgeous hardcover book, with each person's significance/relationship carefully documented. Then, during the ceremony, with the help of the bride's father, who is a metalsmith, the rings were stamped with an oak leaf, which in itself is rich with symbolism:

"For Chris and Anna, an oak tree is a symbol of their love and marriage through its strength and longevity,. The symbolism of the oak runs deep. The tree itself is a symbol of life. The acorn is a symbol of new beginnings. We speak of one’s roots, and rootedness to describe the sense of place and heritage. And perhaps most significant, the English word for “true” is based on the notion of “steadfast as an oak.” “True” comes from the same root as the word for “oak tree,” implying firmness and constancy. And so with this symbol, Chris and Anna will mark and complete the rings. "

Photography was provided by the very talented DAISY VARLEY and catering was provided by FRESCA's.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Same-Sex Wedding in Southern CA


i was so excited last week to marry these two women in the backyard of their own home in Glendora, CA. Theirs was a luau-themed affair, complete with a 'blending of the sand' ceremony, with their closest friends in attendance. i am grateful Jo. and Me. found me.

The following doesn't apply to the two people above, but:

Many LGBT couples have been contacting me lately, about getting married. Quite a few couples have already had their real wedding some time ago, where they exchanged rings, became domestic partners, had a reception, invited the whole world, etc. etc. Now, these same sex couples are opting for a smaller, yet meaningful, ceremony to mark the legal marriage...and i am more than happy to oblige! :)

PHOTO: Crystal and Loren

This photo was taken on the hillside of the grounds at PEPPERDINE UNIVERSITY in Malibu. It was a beautiful setting for this vow renewal!

Friday, August 8, 2008

8th of August 2008

First, i would like to point out how i do not usually double-book dates, because i like to do my best to have all my energy and focus for one couple. However, when i meet a couple that give off a great vibe and feeling, i try to do whatever i can to fulfill their need for a special ceremony.

So, because of the significance of 8/8/08, i agreed to perform ceremonies for three wonderful couples!

Their ceremony was held at the LAKE SHRINE at the Self-Realization Temple in Malibu, just a little ways from the beach off of Sunset Blvd. and PCH. There were lots of people walking around on this beautiful morning. There were swans, ducks and koi in the lake, watching on as we paid tribute all the world's religions. We made a prayer in front of Gandhi's memorial, peeked in at the Meditation Room, and had the bulk of the ceremony taking place in the Sunken Garden.

Held at the fabulous Yorba Linda home of a friend, this wedding was truly special. With just a couple dozen close friends, it was a fabulous party and celebration. i had known this couple for about a year, since their 7/7/07 ceremony did not work out at first, but 8/8/08 proved to be the charm for this lovely, Chinese themed ceremony. There was lots of red, dragons, and noisemakers to wish the couple a happy life together.

This special couple found me at the last minute, and asked me to perform their ring exchange ceremony. We met in the evening at DOUGLAS PARK in Santa Monica. It was a wonderful way to finish off an incredible day. i think they will be together for many, many years to come.