November may not seem like the most romantic month, but it is a great time of the year to plan your joyous wedding or commitment ceremony. Thanksgiving is all about being grateful for our abundant blessings, and a perfect time to honor your love for each other with ceremony and wedding rituals such as a Hand Blessing with Water or a Nature Exchange. December holidays are around the corner – a magical time of the year for candlelight rituals including lighting a Unity Candle, integrating the various spiritual traditions that are celebrated and bringing more love-light to your lives and those who love you. The New Year can be a symbolic new beginning for your relationship and a fun time to make your commitment legal and permanent or to create a Vow Renewal ceremony. Your ritual can be deep and spiritual, to fit the season, or simple, light and magical. There are many venues here in northern Vermont and New Hampshire including, but not limited to, the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont, The Inn at Mountain View Farm in East Burke, Vermont and the Omni Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire that offer that cozy, golden glow of a warm fireplace as well as a more majestic view of snow-covered mountains. I would love to share your Holiday wedding with you!
Brew me a cup for a winter’s night.
For the wind howls loud, and the furies fight;
Spice it with love and stir it with care,
And I’ll toast your bright eyes,
my sweetheart fair.
~Minna Thomas Antrim, “A Night Cap,” A Book of Toasts, 1902
The air is redolent with the scents of red clover, wild roses, bedstraw and various other flowers here in Northern Vermont. The landscape makes for a magical wedding venue. Imagine the sound of moving water as a backdrop to your perfectly customized ceremony, echoing the emotional commitment that you share…..Imagine the ancient mountains, blanketed in leaf green and reflecting the blue of the sky; surrounding and supporting you as you take your vows. Waterfalls, mountaintops, lakeside parks and the romantically restored historic barns are just some of the options available to couples planning a Vermont wedding.
Certain rituals lend themselves well to outdoor ceremonies including a Nature Exchange – offering each other a found symbol from nature that symbolizes your love for each other. This symbol can be used later as a reminder of your spoken vows. Another ritual might be a Hand Blessing which can involve the use of natural waters or setting up a small table with a beautiful basin. Vows and Kisses has added a new Boutique, offering lovely and unique artisan items, including blessing bowls and tables, online for purchase. Whether you plan a large gathering or an intimate commitment ceremony with just the two of you, Summer in Vermont offers romance at its best.
I look forward to sharing these abundant blessings with you!
– Wedding Officiant, Diana Moore
I believe a leaf of grass is no less than the journey-work of the stars. –Walt Whitman
Photos courtesy of Riverside Farm in Vermont
Yesterday, “Vows & Kisses” had a tradeshow booth at Wine Country Bride, bridal fair in Sonoma County. I had the great pleasure of meeting and greeting many couples anxious to plan their wedding day and visiting with vendors that have the same passion as ours; offering the best services we can to ensure beautiful wedding ceremonies and receptions.
One couple called that morning asking to schedule a meeting with me in advance. They were nervous they might not have the opportunity to book me for their June wedding, since it falls during peak season and there was a good chance that other couples at the bridal tradeshow would be looking for an officiant for the same day. This couple wanted to meet in person right away, to have the opportunity to interview me, ensuring I would meet their requirements for a wedding officiant. The bride-to-be explained, “We met with other wedding officiants but they just weren’t the right fit. We attended a wedding once that we really liked because it was so personal, not just a ceremony script. And so we are still in search of the right fit.”
A Personalized Ceremony
For this couple, having a custom-created ceremony that tells their story, communicates their love and includes a unique symbolic ritual (not religious – but spiritual), is part of their vision. In addition to their love story and intentions, they may choose to include wedding rituals such as a Wine Box Ceremony and a Hand Blessing.
I admire their desire to take the relationship with their wedding minister seriously. Their ceremony is a priority, not the formality needed as a prerequisite for a beautiful dress and an audacious party. What really intrigued me was their expressed desire (requirement) to meet several times to develop a relationship – “we don’t want to be married by a stranger. We want someone that knows us, understands us.”
My heart was filled with joy, as it confirmed for me the sense that Vows & Kisses Associates will be serving in a very profound way – to help people that are hungry to be fed, spiritually. As Interfaith Ministers, we are well educated and experienced to become the “family minister” or spiritual guide for couples that have no desire to attend traditional churches.
Not all couples desire a Spiritual Guide – and we graciously provide professional ceremonies that are personalized for all of our couples. It is also very apparent to me that many couples desire an interspiritual practice; a personally defined relationship with God, Great Spirit, Divine Mind, Creative Intelligence, (many names for the same expression of Divine Love.) They are looking for ways to be spiritually fed.
This is the “and more” part of our Vows & Kisses logo… wedding officiants and more. We will be sharing many of life’s transitions and rites of passage together: from exploring how this couple defines marriage, their love, and their relationship. After the wedding, I will be there to serve them as a Spiritual Companion – to listen and ask questions, helping them to reveal their answers from within to some of life’s most difficult questions.
Perhaps I will have the honor to create a baby blessing someday: a celebration of new life where family and friends will offer their Vows to love, support and care for the child– sealed with a kiss.
BY REV RON KING
Last evening at the Brookhaven Country Club in Palm Desert, I officiated for the first time a wedding ceremony that incorporated both The 13 Gold Coins Ceremony and the Lasso Ritual. The symbolism of the 13 gold coins in the ceremony was that the groom recognized his responsibility as a provider, and pledged his ability to support and care for his wife. Acceptance by the bride meant taking that trust and confidence unconditionally with total dedication and prudence.
Thirteen gold coins were counted out by the bride’s mother into the groom’s hands. I explained that they represent different values(13 of them) that the couple desires to share between themselves: love, harmony. Co-operation, commitment, peace, happiness, trust, respect, caring, wisdom, joy, wholeness and nurturing. These coins are a symbol of this couple’s mutual love, fidelity and trust.
The Lasso is a wedding ritual in which the couple are bound together with a ceremonial rosary. Lassoing is a declaration of intent, where the bride and groom clearly state that they are marrying of their own free will. Mothers of the bride and groom draped the Lasso in the form of an “8” around the shoulders of the Bride and Groom. Within this Lasso the couple declared their intent to be bound together before their friends and family, and they speak that intent also to God.
An Article By Lucinda Martin of Vows & Kisses Interfaith Wedding Minister
The beautiful thing about an Association of Interfaith Wedding Ministers is the many wonderful ways we support each other. Today, I received a very encouraging email from Rev Ron King, the Vows & Kisses Wedding Officiant serving Palm Springs and Coachella Valley. It makes my heart sing to be witness to Rev Ron’s first couple choosing to include the Coin and Lasso ceremony. And, for him to receive such positive feedback brings joy:
I finalized a wedding ceremony for the third couple that I will officiate for at the Brookhaven Country Club in Palm Desert, CA. Their ceremony includes two “new-to-me” rituals: Thirteen Gold Coins and the Lasso rituals. I worked with information from the Vows & Kisses e-manual, put together these rituals within the context of the wedding ceremony and emailed a draft of the whole service to the couple. Here is what they had to say:
“We have read the first draft of our ceremony and we would like to thank you so much! We are both very pleased with the entire thing…”
Rev. Ron King
The “Arras Coin Ceremony” and “Lasso Ceremony, are both traditional for Catholic Weddings, primarily used in Spain, Latin American counties and the Philippines. Since many couples are choosing outdoor weddings or “non-religious weddings” still wanting to maintain cultural traditions, I have modified these ceremonies to be a bit more “contemporary” while still honoring the sacredness of them.
Some couples (including folks of multi- cultural or non-religious backgrounds) are including the Unity Coin Ceremony to symbolize how they will manage finances as a “team” – an important component of a healthy marriage. Thirteen coins have two symbols; for Christians they represent Jesus and the 12 Apostles and for couples desiring a non-religious ceremony number 13 is the number for a baker’s dozen, symbolizing prosperity.
The Lasso Ceremony is selected by couples wanting to speak their vows within the sacredness of a circle – of a lasso, similar to the “Unity Candle Ceremony” in meaning of a couple being united in marriage, the blending of two families, now becoming one. Couples having a country-wedding theme use a rope, and Catholic interfaith couples select a Rosario, (large rosary made of beads or flowers).
In both rituals, typically the parents, or Best Man/Maid of Honor, or Padrinos have the honor of holding these items and bringing them to the minister when called upon. Some couples have a young person, bring them, similar to a ring bearer. These rituals bring great meaning to a ceremony and in addition to creating golden memories they provide an opportunity for expressive and creative photos.
If you would like more information about these two ceremonies, or other symbolic rituals, visit the “Rituals Page” on the Vows and Kisses website or contact us for more information. We love bringing fresh ideas for couples wanting a custom ceremony, embracing diversity and meaningful rituals.