Saturday, April 25, 2009

INFO: Traditional (and Modern) Gifts for Wedding Anniversaries

"What do you give someone for their fifteenth wedding anniversary?" Earlier today, during brunch at the Katella Deli, our friend Jorge asked this question. Back in the day, we used to get those cute mini-calendars at Hallmark listing everything from national holidays to birthstones and even the traditional gifts couples were given or give to each other for their wedding anniversaries.

Times have changed, and so have the traditional gifts. Even Hallmark has changed, as they no longer feature an area on their website that lists such things. (i did find an old cached archive, though...) i enjoy thinking about the many couples who have married in the past, and what they plan for their respective anniversaries...

Below is a list of both traditional and more contemporary takes on the wedding anniversary:

1st Anniversary is paper. The modern take on the 1st anniversary is clocks .
2nd Anniversary is cotton. The modern take on a 2nd anniversary gift is china.
3rd Anniversary is leather
. The modern take on the 3rd anniversary is crystal.
4th Anniversary is fruit and flowers. The modern take on the 4th anniversary gift is an appliance!
5th Anniversary is wood
. The modern take on the 5th anniversary gift is silverware .
The 10th Anniversary traditional gift is
tin or aluminum, with the modern gift of diamonds.
15th Anniversary is crystal
. The modern take on the 15th anniversary gift is watches.

Via American Greetings website.

Today is our 15th wedding anniversary. Happy anniversary, honey. i love you!

Monday, April 13, 2009

COOL: Wedding Ring Workshop in San Diego, CA

If you are looking to personalize every aspect of your wedding, why not participate in the creation of your wedding rings? Occasionally, an interesting business pops up on googleAds, and i will actually click on the link to learn more! According to the WEDDING RING WORKSHOP website:

The Wedding Ring Experience was first created in London as the result of a challenge thrown down by our founder, Simon Lewis, in the locker room of his Rugby football team after a game! Knowing of his fine reputation and artistic skill as a jeweler, one of his team-mates asked Simon if he would make the wedding bands for him and his bride. Jokingly, Simon replied “Why don't you make them yourself? I'll show you how.” The rest, as they say - is history.

The nearest location in Southern California is in San Diego.

For a personalized, modern alternative to the ceremony tradition, try A NON-DENOMINATIONAL CEREMONY for a professional, experienced and qualified officiant. We can help you have the ceremony you envision, whether you want something simple or informal; or if you want something involving family members, loved ones, ritual and/or traditions. Follow us on Twitter: CelebrantVenus .

Sunday, April 12, 2009

ABOUT: Ceremony Defined

The word "ceremony" means many things. According to several online sources, the term encompasses the following definitions and origins of the word:

cer·e·mo·ny (sěr'ə-mō'nē) n. pl. cer·e·mo·nies

  1. A formal act or set of acts performed as prescribed by ritual or custom: a funeral ceremony; the Japanese tea ceremony.

  2. A conventional social gesture or act of courtesy: the ceremony of shaking hands when introduced.

  3. A formal religious or sacred observance; a solemn rite: a marriage ceremony.

  4. A formal act without intrinsic purpose; an empty form: ignored the ceremony of asking for comments from other committee members.

  5. Strict observance of formalities or etiquette: The head of state was welcomed with full ceremony.

    [Middle English ceremonie, from Latin caerimōnia, religious rite.]

Synonyms:1, 2. Ceremony, rite, ritual refer to set observances and acts traditional in religious services or on public occasions. Ceremony applies to more or less formal dignified acts on religious or public occasions: a marriage ceremony; an inaugural ceremony. A rite is an established, prescribed, or customary form of religious or other solemn practice: the rite of baptism. Ritual refers to the form of conducting worship or to a code of ceremonies in general: Masonic rituals.

from, and The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition

With a trained officiant and certified Celebrant, you can have a simple secular or civil ceremony, with no religion whatsoever, or with a spiritual but not religious approach! Please see A NON-DENOMINATIONAL CEREMONY for more information.

VIDEO: Divorce Parties to Mark the Transition from Married to Not!

It is a Celebrant and officiant's duty to create and perform ceremonies of all types. Yes, the majourity of ceremonies i create and perform, and thus blog about, are for weddings and marriages... However, there are other types of ceremonies: funerals, memorial services, baby naming, adoption, retirement, deployment, survivors...the list goes on and on.

A ceremony indicates a rite of passage. A ceremony marks a transition, be it from child to adult, from single to married person, or even from married back to single person! The following video was broadcast on CBS News' The Early Show on Friday, 9 April 2009. The clip features author Laura Dave of The Divorce Party, as well as Charlotte Eulette of the Celebrant North America Foundation and Institute. (In the interest of full disclosure, Charlotte's organization trained me in the the history, creation and performance of ceremony and ritual.)

Watch CBS Videos Online

Saturday, April 11, 2009

CEREMONY: MLB Pitcher Nick Adenhart Honoured

10 April 2009 - According the Anaheim Angels' website:
"The Angels showed a video honoring Nick Adenhart with clips from his pitching performance just two days prior, and Torii Hunter and John Lackey held Adenhart's jersey on the mound during a moment of silence, as both teams lined up on the foul lines to remember 22-year-old who died in a car accident just hours after he pitched six scoreless innings on Wednesday."

Honouring the deceased through the pre-game field ceremony was just one way the Angels will be paying tribute to the pitcher this season. Players will also wear a patch with the No. 34 above the heart on both their home and road uniforms. The Angels put a picture of the pitcher on Anaheim's center-field fence, with No. 34 and "Adenhart" written above it. Adenhart's locker will also remain in the clubhouse with his jersey and belongings, and the team will also maintain a locker for Adenhart on the road.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

INFO: Outsourcing of Wedding Vows?? BAD Idea!!!

The Wall Street Journal published an article today about a new trend, which is quite troubling to experienced and certified Celebrant and officiant professionals. The article is from the fabulous Cranky Consumer, and talks about outsourcing one's wedding vows. In fact, it speaks of 'outsourcing' more than the vows suggests leaving it up to a website or computer to spit out the entire ceremony!??

The whole notion of outsourcing is fascinating, but a bad idea, nonetheless. This phenomenon of outsourcing vows (and more) is a result of several factours:
  • Clients (couples) who increasingly want to reflect themselves in every aspect of their (wedding) ceremonies - As they should! The participants in a ceremony deserve to be represented by the ceremony. A custom-written wedding (or funeral or baby naming/blessing or housewarming or etc.) is the only way to accomplish this. Otherwise, you may end up with a ceremony that sounds strangely similar to a MadLibs.

  • Event planners who are want to be a one-stop shop and provide all services to their clients, whether they are qualified to or not - The fact is, a planner's expertise is in organizing the details and logistics of an event. A venue's expertise is in providing a location and service at the location. But, it is NOT NOT NOT within a planner's breadth of knowledge or experience to provide the text to the ceremony. A venue does not have the experience or familiarity with the specific legal and structural rules involved in officiating and solemnising a marriage. They are not the ones who will complete the requisite documentation, either.
  • Choosing people who are not professional officiants to officiate weddings - Leave the writing to someone who has done it before. You can be sure all the love, loved ones, symbolism and/or history of your relationship is represented! Some people are hired for the day to perform a ceremony, but this is the one and only time they will ever perform this important task. There are lots of things to consider during a ceremony, since it is the focal point of the day, if only for a few minutes. Please also see above.
  • 'Professional' officiants who use canned ceremony texts and templates in a 'one-size-fits-all-ceremonies-and-clients' manner. Like i said before: MadLibs is the worst-case scenario. Cookie-cutter and generic is the best outcome when you leave it up to a computerized method or a "wedding mill".

Try a uniquely modern, individualized approach to the tradition of ceremony! Contact A NON-DENOMINATIONAL CEREMONY: ORANGE COUNTY & LOS ANGELES OFFICIANT today. And follow us on Twitter:

Monday, April 6, 2009

LINKS: Weddings that are NOT the same old, same old!

Don't forget: you don't have to do it the way you're 'supposed to do it'. You can do it the way you want to do it!

Lately, i get so jaded and bored with the usual wedding planning websites (i don't want to give them even more exposure by mentioning them here, but you know which ones i'm talking about!).

And before you call me a hypocrite, i apologise in advance, but yes, i DO advertise in some of them because i have to...for now... Sometimes i loathe the Southern California ceremony market for being competitive, indulgent and obscenely over-the-top.

However, i am SO extremely excited to find more and more untraditional and alternative (for lack of a better term) wedding sites! Possibly the best-known are INDIE BRIDE, OFFBEAT BRIDE and INDIE WEDDING GUIDE. There are many others, including ROCK N ROLL BRIDE and WEDDING SKULLS!

VENUE: Strawberry Farms in Irvine, CA

A colleague at work attended a wedding at Irvine's STRAWBERRY FARMS this weekend. He mentioned how there is a barn onsite (modern, not rustic), where the reception took place after an outdoor ceremony!

i am always on the lookout for unusual wedding venues, and i love to discover places i have never heard of, especially since there are SO MANY unique places in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas.

If you are looking for a modern, individualized approach to the ceremony tradition, please contact A Non-Denominational Ceremony! I am a certified Celebrant and ordained wedding officiant, clergy, reverend or minister serving Southern California.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

HISTORY: April Fool's Day (and the Simpsons)

Leave it to good old Lisa Simpson to clue us in to the true origins of April Fool's Day!??

ONLINE: So Many Blogs, So Little Time Part 1

i have recently jumped on the TWITTER bandwagon (please follow me: @celebrantvenus or However, it has turned me on to some fantastic stuff on the web, including an endless supply of blogs! has composed its list of top 100 wedding blogs. There are blogs of every sort, including planning advice, DIY, wedding news, and of course, CAKE WRECKS. Interesting, many of these blogs are featured on aggregator sites like

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

ABOUT: A Los Angeles/Orange County Officiant's Philosophy & Approach

So...if you were to make a cloud out of words to describe my clients and my service, here's what it might look like:
It is very helpful to seek an officiant you feel comfourtable with and in whom you can trust. Many officiants offer experience and low prices, but how many truly care about who you are and what you are about, and perhaps even share your interests?
There are many things to consider when you are looking for the right officiant. For me, being your officiant and Celebrant means many things... But more than anything, regardless of your background, lifestyle, preferences, culture or beliefs; i would like to create and officiate YOUR ceremony, YOUR way by offering a modern, individualized option or alternative to the ceremony tradition!

AUDIO: The Recession and Weddings

Avoid Wedding Blues When You're Short on Green (via

The economy and the recession is possibly the most active topic being written about in journalism right now. Weddings and the economy are no exception.

Book an officiant for your wedding today! Please mention this blog entry for a discount of up to 20%. For more details, please see A NON-DENOMINATIONAL CEREMONY.