Category Archives: Creative Endeavors

The Distinctive Wedding Ceremony – a labor of love


Completing my fifteen year project has been an all-encompassing focus this past winter!  My wedding ceremony book is the first book to include ALL couples of ALL beliefs.  Laura Cassidy, Editor in Chief of Seattle Met Bride and Groom has this to say:

Required Reading: The Distinctive Wedding Ceremony by Reverend Mary Calhoun

Seattle wedding officiant pens a must-read volume of vows and more for same sex and opposite sex couples in the Northwest and the rest of the world.

These days, so much emphasis is placed on how weddings look—and what kind of salmon and Syrah are served, and how long the signature cocktails were poured, and how good the photobooth was—that it’s possible to forget here and there that the party is not just a party but a coming together of lives.

Couples hoping to elude the nearly inevitable post-wedding slump (something akin to day-after-Christmas meloncholy) would do well to shift the focus such that color palettes and cake pedastals are second to the exchange of vows and a personal, meaningful ceremony.

Easier said than done you say, and you’re right.

But now there’s this: Seattle wedding officiant Mary Calhoun‘s Distinctive Wedding Ceremony.

While the jacket and promo copy promises to do the pretty much impossible and appeal to all couples regardless of orientation, age, creed, and philosophy, well, who better than to actually deliver on that than one of the top vendors in a city known for love and marraige for all?

And regardless of all that, the couple you need the text to appeal to you is the couple you’re a part of.

With more than 80 ceremony templates to ponder and lots of lists and how-tos (from decidedly unromantic—Facility Rental Checklist—to meatier primers on defining your marriage mission and keeping romance alive) to reference, Calhoun’s fresh, immediate, fun, and conversational text is a real resource for real couples.

Diva DJ Leslie

DIVALeslieDJ Leslie went the extra mile to  honor our client’s wishes.  Daniel and Brian asked her to become “Adele” for their over-the-top Four Seasons  Wedding that has been touted as the “Event of the Year.”  But that is what Leslie does.  Making wishes into reality.  It was great fun to stay for the reception and watch “Adele” spin with such seasoned finesse!  DJ Leslie – from Seattle Parties… always keeping us smiling and on the dance floor!

Flora Nova = Stunning!

FloraOn Saturday night it was great fun to see Christiana from Flora Nova Floral and Event Design!  To work around her creations is always a welcome experience.  The beauty and scents are heady.  Somehow it makes everything surreal. This was the altar area for the wedding at the Four Seasons Hotel created for our clients, Brooke and Lindy.  It doesn’t really do the breathtaking display justice.  But it was magnificent!

A book exchange at their wedding… why not?

BkExchI could post for hours about the unique and fabulous touches that Elisabeth and Jed introduced at their wedding.  Elisabeth spent untold hours with her friends filling empty eggs with confetti.  These eggs were used for the couple to crack over one another’s heads after the kiss at the end of the wedding ceremony!!! All of the guests had them packaged under their seats and were invited to join in the fun before Jed and Elisabeth walked back down the aisle.  (Rev. Mary may have felt one hit her head as well.)  The laughter and merriment were astounding!  I was equally charmed by the book exchange.  We were all to bring a book to share and invited to select one from the table to take home.  Tonight I will pack an “easy reader” into my luggage and take it with me for my grandchild in California.  A treasured book that holds such fond memories of a magical wedding.

Poster Children…

PstrWell, they are!  Brian and Daniel’s Academy Award Themed Wedding was truly astounding. The RED CARPET, THE STEP AND REPEAT BACK DROP, THE PAPARAZZI, THE SEATLE SUNSET, THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL!  And let’s not overlook the custom movie posters!!!  I was so thrilled to see all the vendors names where the key players are usually posted in the “billing” section. Just in awe of the creative genius that went into this evening.  Bravo!!!!

Initials. Lanterns. Arbors.

InitialsOkay, I am going to stop blogging about Nicole and her unlimited budget for decorating her wedding.  Just after this last blog. Typically I don’t take a lot of photos of the details.  These just seemed exceptional.  This is the sneak peek before guests were invited in.  Jaw dropping!

Nicole’s Details…

TreSometimes my brides are SO impressive with their ideas! This was a wooden cut-out of a tree with framed name cards so guests could easily see their table assignments.  It was one of the most photographed items at the wedding.  Whimsical and fresh! And it seemed to have the added bonus as a conversation starter to help guests mix and mingle. Apparently Nicole spent long hours on the Etsy website for inspiration and then took it to the next level!

Gayle and Jim O’Donnell – Surprise Vow Renewal!

JmGlvrThese two are so cute.  After 25 years they are still modeling the value of romance in marriage!  Gayle has been planning this event since last winter.  She was clever as she wove her scheme into the very fabric of an industry networking meeting!  It was a fun group: Greg Lowder, DJ, was on hand, Patti Payne was our Reader, Vocalist, Carolena Matus and Susan Haas the Harpist, all brought their talents to the ceremony.  Jen Taylor from Taylor’d Events and her Team were our fearless leaders at Reinfire Ranch.  Such a fun celebration.  Note to “Mrs. Wifey” and “Mr. Hubby”: Thanks for including me, it was fun writing those funny, tender vows for you.  Great “Re-Up” celebration!

Brian and Bro David…

BriWI applaud it when tradition is softened a bit and creativity is given a nod.  Groom Brian (r) and Brother David (l) look so handsome in their light colored summer suits.  Brian sported matching shoes as well – just FUN! These two looked like something out of GQ!  Additional creativity: Brian and Amy commissioned a Japanese Omikuji Tree built in a frame with beautiful branches that became the backdrop for our ceremony.  Afterwards, guests had a playful time tying fortunes onto the tree!

Flora Nova

FlrNvaChristiane of Flora Nova Floral and Event Design, is so skilled.  When I walk into a room that she has graced, there is always a sense of harmony and balance.  This is the Forest Room at the Edgewater Hotel, an intimate “Best Kept Secret” private dining sanctuary.  Christiane’s sense of style is magic –  from the charger plates, to the vases, from the grand arrangements against the large view windows to the smaller (in scale) treatment over the fireplace.  Fresh and oh – so – summery!