Monday, June 29, 2009

WEDDING: Garden Ceremony at Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden in Long Beach, CA

CONGRATULATIONS: Sarah and Charles!

i had the absolute honour and pleasure of meeting and working with this incredibly cool couple, whom i hope to stay in touch with in the future!

As a unity ritual, they used San San Ku Do, or sake ceremony, in a nod to Charles' Japanese background.  The entire wedding was a beautiful experience, with the ceremony taking place on the bridge in front of the (loud) rushing waterfall of the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden on the grounds of Cal State Long Beach.

Photography by CW Photo Designs (above).

Sunday, June 28, 2009

WEDDING: Outdoor Ceremony in Fullerton, CA


In true do-it-yourself fashion, this couple was wed in the park of their housing tract. They met at the Renaissance Faire, and included a bit of their personal story in the ceremony text:
In front of her booth at faire, Jeana tied a braided strand of ribbon onto
a little sapling so people would see it, and not drive over it or trample it. At
the same time, Jeana made a wish upon that ribbon to meet the man she was to
marry, so that while protecting the tree, the tree’s energy would/could
bring her future husband to me. And it did! Shortly after she tied the
ribbon on the tree, Jeana met up with Mike again after 6 or 7 years of not
hearing or speaking to each other. She doesn’t believe in coincidences...
and attributes it all to destiny.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

INFO: To rehearse, or not to rehearse?

Traditionally speaking, rehearsals are a time to introduce families and friends, and spend time with those who are more intimately involved in a ceremony. From a practical standpoint, rehearsals allow you to work out logistics, anticipate problems and calm nerves.

WHAT - Definition of REHEARSAL - “The act of practicing in preparation for a public performance, or a detailed enumeration or repetition of actions.”(Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

At a minimum, the goals of a rehearsal are to:
1) Experience a no-pressure trial run of the ceremony. Test the sequence of events.
2) Foresee potential problems and address concerns.
3) Assess location and environment, such as the position of the sun or times of the tides; foot traffic and parking; need for signage, etc.
4) Prepare participants. Determine positions at beginning, during and at end of ceremony.

WHO - All participants of a ceremony are usually present at a rehearsal. This includes attendants, ushers, officiants and any additional parties such as children and other family members. Adjunct participants, such as musicians or photographers, may also be included.

WHY - Rehearsal goals include anticipating problems or concerns; practicing choreography; determining logistics; familiarizing participants with the unfamiliar; and calming nerves. There are many more traditional and pragmatic reasons for a rehearsal, as it is an opportunity to:

  • Get to know the ceremony, participants and venue.
  • Establish cues and pace. Who does what, when? How far apart will people walk and stand?
  • Evaluate visibility. Use this time to work out placement of objects, equipment, props and people.
  • Prepare children, people with special needs, animals, etc.
  • Soundcheck and evaluate acoustics. Is amplification or a microphone required? Does a waterfall need to be turned off?
  • Ask questions!

WHERE - Rehearsals are ideally held at the location or venue of the actual event. However, the location can be recreated or approximated almost anyplace convenient to the participants.

WHEN - Rehearsals are scheduled near the event date and time, to best recreate or approximate conditions of the actual event.

HOW - Officiants, hosts or masters of ceremony usually lead rehearsals. Many event planners and coordinators are available for rehearsals, but sometimes require an additional fee. Assertive, trusted and/or organized family members may also run rehearsals.

Feasibility – Are you planning your ceremony from abroad? If you are traveling specifically for the ceremony, you may not have the time or resources for a rehearsal. Are you budget-conscious? Some locations and professionals may charge extra for a rehearsal.
Availability of participants – Work, travel and other obligations may dictate who is able to attend the rehearsal.
Availability of venue – Some locations have a limited schedule of days/times set aside for rehearsals.

Ceremonies with a small number of participants (especially those without children or elderly) do not always require a rehearsal. Simple, straightforward ceremonies (those without additional elements such as rituals or readings) also may not need to rehearsed. However, be sure to at least visit the location of the ceremony prior to the event, and assess the situation to consider the variables outlined above!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

WEDDING: Outdoor Ceremony at Puddingstone Resorts in San Dimas, CA

CONGRATULATIONS, Laura and Richard!
It was an honour to marry these two, who have known each other since high school. Many of their friends were in attendance, for a reunion of sorts... There was lots of family in attendance, and many of them chipped in to help out with all the little details.

Up in the hills above Fairplex Drive near the Pomona Fairplex is a truly lovely outdoor venue at PUDDINGSTONE RESORTS, close to the communities of Upland, Covina, LaVerne and the 10, 57 and 210 freeways! Wedding manager Patricia is one of those perfect blends of professional and friendly...there was nothing bossy or control-freak about her. While the wedding ceremony was held on the Mesa site, the reception took place at the famous Ocean Star Seafood restaurant in Monterey Park. Music provided by Jeff of 'N'Style Entertainment, who is a dj that shows up at the rehearsal, which is really unusual and a great bonus. Photography by Pesh.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

WEDDING: Oxford Hotel Ceremony in Los Angeles, CA

CONGRATULATIONS, Sophia and Bobby!

Beautiful, beautiful!!! Despite a short delay as we waited for the piano player (who was caught up in traffic, because she had gone to the wrong hotel), this wedding in the heart of Los Angeles' Koreatown was a huge success.

As a tribute to the bride's Korean heritage and culture, the couple chose to bow to their parents during the ceremony. Bowing to parents is a sign of deep respect and acknowledges ancestors and families past and present. The tradition has its roots in pae baek, which is a formal Korean wedding ceremony involving bowing and fertility rites.

For a modern, individualized approach to the tradition of ceremony:
Los Angeles Officiant/Orange County Officiant