Frequently, I am asked the secret to helping my couples relax for their Wedding Ceremony. Even though the Bride and Groom truly understand that their guests are the people in the world that love them the most, they still find it unnerving to stand before a large group and say the intimate words contained in their ceremony. So I took a cue from the popular song “The Prayer” which has a line in it: “Lead us to a place, guide us with your grace, To a place where we’ll be safe”.
1. From the first day we meet, the Bride, Groom and I talk about them being “Crazy in Love” on their wedding day. How we can’t make 100 or 200 people happy – but LOVE becomes contagious, and the guests collect this joy during the service – and they will become happy. (It is hard to be responsible for 50 – 150 guests!) Added Bonus: When a Bride and Groom are focused on each other, it is TRULY difficult to make a fuss about smaller details of the day!!!
2. During the weeks leading up to their Big Day, the Bride and Groom have a daily “homework” assignment of gratitude. They will also write each other a letter (that each of them quietly reads just before their wedding ceremony).
3. A few months before the wedding, I always meet my couples for a casual, yummy supper and this helps to make us all comfortable and find earnest rapport. This spills over into the wedding day, knowing that their trusted Minister is there. Spend time with your Officiant!
4. We get ORGANIZED, so we have the luxury of being relaxed. Discussions are held about to whom we are delegating – and then, we hand things off, lighten the load – RELEASE!
5. And finally, when we arrive up front, I have the Bride and Groom face each other so that the world melts away – “LOST IN THE MOMENT”! We create a bubble where intimacy and coziness are surrounding them. It has to… they are holding hands and all is well.
Deep Breath… It’s a CAKE WALK!
Sonny and Elaine – they are just endearing! As we enjoyed an Italian dinner last night, our conversation was peppered with “foodie discussions”. Sonny loves to cook and bake too, so we were continually chatting off-topic about recipes! Theirs is a story of dedicated friendship and loyalty. Elaine and Sonny have delighted in fabricating their wedding to weave their traditional families together with ample imaginative details!!! Thank you for my beautiful bouquet of SPRING flowers!!!
I wanted to make a quick version of bread yesterday, so I used a trusted basic roll recipe, substituting the sugar for fresh chopped garlic, rosemary and a bit of sea salt as well as replacing the butter with olive oil. Cutting the dough into equal pieces with my bench scraper (one of my favorite kitchen tools) I rolled the smaller pieces into 7-8″ long cords and tied each one. I also substituted some white flour for whole wheat. Since I didn’t have fresh rosemary, I used dried rosemary, soaked in a little olive oil and milk. My emulsion hand blender made short order of chopping the softened rosemary with the milk/olive oil mixture before I added it to the dough.
I first met Anna several years ago because of our mutual work – and again when she, Mike and I met up to discuss their wedding plans last August. So our little gathering last night seemed extra cozy. As they sipped and ate, laughed and strategized, I was once again struck by what a great fit they are. As we rounded out our meeting with fresh baked apple tarts with caramel sauce, I delighted in hearing the anecdotes of how this all started. I am just so grateful to share this time with them and am looking forward to our next two events – the rehearsal and wedding. It’s all falling into place, like it was meant to be – Kismet!
This season of celebrating The Divine Feminine is such a validating time for ALL women. Mother’s Day is a thank-you to every woman who has ever hugged a baby, taught a lesson, listened closely…or passed on her wisdom to someone who needed her. So, to all my Brides who don’t think that they are mothers yet, I salute you!
“Her loveliness is seen by outward view, but we who love her know the beauty of her soul.” – Haide Thomas
I enjoy cooking because it is a constant process of learning, creativity and sharing! My new mission is finding healthier yet still delicious recipes to serve to my family and clients. When I schedule with my Brides and Grooms for our supper meeting, I always ask them about their food allergies and dislikes. When Annie recently requested a gluten free meal, I was both intrigued and intimated! First I needed to research the world of “legal” gluten foods and then shop for a yummy main dish that would both incorporate some of my fresh produce and be a treat to eat. (Why bother cooking if it isn’t tasty?) Meet Karina, the “Gluten Free Goddess” that helped to enlighten me. Here is my adapted recipe for Turkey Paprikash : (Originally from Rachel Ray, allow one hour prep/cook time – it is healthy, easy, colorful and YUMMY!)
Turkey Paprikash with Quinoa
1 cup Quinoa (pronounced “Keen-wa”) prepared according to package directions using chicken broth and or wine
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 package (1 1/3 pounds average weight, ground lean white turkey)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped dill
Directions: Heat a deep skillet over medium heat, add extra-virgin olive oil, then ground meat. Break up meat and crumble, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic, onions, red bell peppers and seasonings to the turkey. Cook 5 or 6 minutes then add chicken stock and sour cream to the pan. Stir. Bring to bubble and then reduce heat to low. Add Quinoa and stir again. Let Quinoa absorb some sauce and adjust the seasonings – and serve. Garnish with parsley and dill.
The gray skies and rain didn’t tone down our spirits! Family was always the emphasis with Jennifer and Chas and after finally meeting their wonderful children, parents, siblings and grandparents, I understand why. Jen designed a captivating sand ceremony that included their four children. At the reception, Chas’ sister Elizabeth organized a tunnel so Jen and Chas could enter under a ceiling of our hands held above our heads – such a lively ice breaker! It was an honor to watch Chas’ Grandmother, the charming and beautiful matriarch, enjoying the unique details of the day. Jen and Chas, it has been an enriching experience to be a part of this celebration…and it will be so much fun watching your amazing children continue to blossom! Special thanks to “Wedding Angels” Kelly and Kristi from The Golf Club at Newcastle for helping to create the magic.
It is my intention to write a weekly affirmation for couples as they are preparing for their wedding, maintaining their careers and trying to find balance during the engagement process. Offering a path to help maintain the BLISS and keep a focus on one another. This week, with Spring surely on its way, my inspiration comes from nature. It seems to be constantly reminding us to “Breathe, enjoy the moment, drink in the joy… return to Peace”. Repeat after me… again…
This is just a portion of Ashley and Bryan’s “Save the Date”. A Starbucks Gift Card with a photo of them sharing an escape! How generous and wholly “Ashley Original”! It hints of them meeting while working together at Starbucks seven years ago. No doubt, the first of many creative endeavors to be experienced along the way. Well done you two!!!
Our dinner was of Hispanic origins last night as we feasted on roasted red pepper and turkey corn tortilla pie with fresh lemon-infused guacamole, salsa quenua and fresh garden salad. I just love working with Bryan and Ashley. They are genuinely dedicated to one another and truly focused on the details! Their creativity and playfulness is a balm for my soul. So looking forward to their wedding this summer at which their inspiration will no doubt continue to spill over!!!