Do You Need a Justice of the Peace for Your Wedding?

Do you need a Justice of the Peace for your wedding?  If you choose to have a non-religious wedding ceremony, you will need one.  I often have brides ask to recommend someone.  This is a heavy request, as it is such an important part of the wedding, and really, quite personal.

Most of the weddings I do ARE non-religious.  I have encountered many different styles of JP’s.  Most try to have a “trade-mark” signature, such as providing a canvas for the bridal couple to splatter 2 different paint colors onto “to signify the blending of their lives”.

(Above the beautiful wedding couple, with Justice of the Peace, Laura Krayeski)

I’m not a huge fan of these flashy moves, unless requested by the bride and groom.  The wedding I worked this past weekend was officiated by an exceptional Justice of the Peace, Laura Krayeski. wearetyingtheknot.net (her website, just click no the link)

I knew in advance it would be officiated well.  There are signs to a wedding planner that a JP is on top of things.

  1. She returned my call to discuss the wedding immediately.  She was cordial, and organized.
  2. Laura was early to the rehearsal – in fact some JP’s won’t even attend the rehearsal without an extra fee.  It really is important for a smooth running wedding ceremony to have the JP present.
  3. She was early to the wedding, and ready to lend a hand to any one who might need assistance.
  4. Laura let the bridal couple design their ceremony, without inserting her own pre-fab outline,  and it was JUST BEAUTIFUL.

(Bride and Groom with Laura – One of the prettiest weddings I’ve been to)

Left to right: My daughter, Tess, (my number one assistant), myself, the bride, Laura and the groom)

(Calm before the storm, the ceremony site before the guests arrived)

To recap, think long and hard about what you want from your JP.  Meet with him or her to see if you’re a good fit, and seriously consider giving Laura a call.  🙂

Your Wedding Music Style

Your wedding music style.  As with any wedding details, there is not right or wrong, just what is your preference.  But don’t forget the music.  Music creates great emotion in people.  I don’t think anyone would argue that.  Music can bring back sweet or sad memories.  There are songs that will bring tears to my eyes.  Other songs remind me of my youth and make me feel invincible once again!

img_3713

Mary P.Karnes photos

So don’t forget to include meaningful pieces of song into your wedding ceremony, not just your reception.  Above you see the empty church of St. Augustine, Glastonbury, Connecticut where my oldest daughter was married.  In the back, you see the choir loft.  Kathleen wanted a stringed ensemble.  I drew the line at that one.  I felt it was an extravagance.  Boy was I wrong.  Her generous mother-in-law saved the day and graciously gifted the kids with the music of their choice.  It was so beautiful.  I wish I had a picture of them, in fact I believe I do…but have not located it — yet…

Below, are Kathleen and Tyler’s programs from the wedding chronicling their music choices.  Did you know they didn’t recess to the wedding march, (even though the program lists it 🙂 ), but a song from “Star Wars”?  Had they not told me, I wouldn’t have known — very similar!

img_3716

Mary P. Karnes photos

Below is a…marimba!  I thought it was a plain old Xylophone, but it has deeper tones. It was played at a wedding I did this summer. The groom was quite proficient and wanted the beautiful music played at the wedding.  He asked a groomsmen to play and it was joyful and moving.

img_3718

marimba – Mary P. Karnes Photos

img_3711

Patty Cloherty photos

Wow!  The above and below photos make it into my blog post two days in a row!  But they are being showcased today, not for the bride and groom, but to share the location of the gifted musicians who preformed at daughter Maggie and Robert’s wedding at St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church, Glastonbury, Connecticut.  The organist is a professor at the University of Hartford, and the soloist, well, let’s just say she sang the “Ave Maria” more exquisitely that I’ve ever heard.  Did you know there is more than one version?  The one sung at the wedding was stirring and not at all mournful.  We all have my husband, father of the bride, to thank for finding her.  She made the ceremony complete.

10445949_520861658018944_4705494287898735288_n-2

Patty Cloherty photos

And don’t forget to choose those perfect songs for your reception to dance the night away to. Nothing gets a party started like good dance music.  Your take-away from this post – do your research and find just the right, meaningful music for YOUR special day.

img_3714

Hannah Rachael Colt Photos

 

Unique Wedding Seating

50cbf53b267313cd2ed5a16f71d26d34

pinterest.com

Your wedding seating…It doesn’t have to be in a straight line.  If you have an outdoor wedding, and weddings in the summer and fall are often outdoors, you can arrange the seating how you wish.  This option is a definite advantage over a church wedding.  While a church wedding is of vital importance to many, it means little to others.  In a church, you can not alter your seating arrangement.  But in an outdoor venue you can.

caadc7753c1c2264d55d139878ac07b3

rusticfolkweddings

If you choose an outdoor setting, I challenge you to think outside the box.  Try to choose the best option so the most people can enjoy your wedding ceremony with a clear view.  I know so many put the emphasis on the party following, but really…what is the real purpose of a wedding?  It’s the joining of two people into one, the joining of two families.  The top two photos employ the circular approach.  The top photo showcases the bridal couple at the top of the semicircle, the second picture centers the bride and groom in middle of the guests for optimal viewing.  The photo below is from a wedding where I was the coordinator.  The bride, groom, family and attendants were at the front in a semi-circle with the guests in a traditional formation behind.  I think of all the configurations on this page, this is my favorite.  Was the idea mine?  No.  It was the bride’s and it was brilliant.  It was my first time seeing it, and I would encourage any bride to use this plan.  The family and attendants were really a part of the rite, and the guests had a good view as well.

image

Mary P. Karnes photo

If your ceremony is a rustic, short one, what about the hay bales on planks below?  It think it’s novel and cute. A word or caution…If you’re going to sit directly on the hay bales, pad them wth blankets.    Those stray pieces of straw can poke one!

f0c1f0da61ba60eb79b525500119104c

pinterest.com

In mind for something really funky?  Just check out the seating from the photo below.  While lovely…not very practical.  Love it though.  Remember, whatever you decide, nothing is wrong.  If you like it, it’s perfect.

c29904b09ab322d31ab9b0dae6f57650

dailywedding.com

 

The Tree Planting Ceremony

One of the many things I love about being a wedding planner/coordinator, is to see new trends first hand.  The Tree Planting Ceremony is just such a trend.  The wedding I worked last weekend had a lovely “Tree Planting Ceremony”.  The bride and groom chose a sapling, planted it in a beautiful pot, and then add soil from their respective childhood homes.  It is to symbolize the unifying of two families.

tree-planting-ceremony-wedding1

reynoldstreasures.com

There are a variety of ways to go about this.  The couple above used a small pot, and I would imagine it will remain inside their home.  The size of the container will keep the tree small and manageable.  The couple below, however…have something different in mind.

outdoor-chilliwack-wedding-photographer028

greenbridge

It appears that they are either planting a tree at their venue to be enjoyed by other guests in the future, or their are planting it at their home.  Perhaps they had a home wedding?  I’m not sure using a shovel in my beautiful white wedding dress would be up my alley, but to each his – OR – her own.  🙂

 

309a953f8eacb682e30d059fdc341c37

pinterest.com

Mail order companies are getting in on the act of the “Tree Planting Ceremony”.  You can now order on-line a pre-fab kit to do the honors.  Not a bad idea, although you still might want to provide your own soil from your special locations.

Ruffled - photo by Cara Robbins Studio http://ruffledblog.com/sweet-ranch-wedding-in-las-vegas

ruffledblog.com

What about getting your guests involved in tree planting?  The photo above showcases tiny saplings that are used as favors and escort cards to find your reception seats.  I love this.  I imagine a good deal of work went into the assembling of these favors, though.

image

And just think…maybe your tree/trees will someday look like these photos.  Yes, it will take years, but hopefully so will your marriage.

image

Photos #5 #6 – Mary P. Karnes