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Vow Renewal, Gay Marriage and The Power of the Agreement

Posted in: Gay Weddings, Wedding Stories

What a fabulous weekend for me and the couples that I was privileged to serve!

For starters, I was hired by a man looking to celebrate his 5th Wedding Anniversary with a surprise Vow Renewal ceremony for his wife. After careful consideration of what to call the ceremony, he changed the “title” to a Re-dedication Ceremony, He wanted a private ritual for just he and his wife and was hoping to not offend any relatives that were not going to be invited in the process. He was hoping that the new term would ease any reaction when word got out what had transpired. During the closing days of the week before the ritual, he disclosed his plan to his wife because they are not in the habit of keeping secrets from each other… How Sweet!

I researched a park that I had been in about four years ago for a photo shoot and found several “perfect” spots in Wellness Park in Palm Springs. Several areas in the small desert-scaped park located near Desert Regional Hospital are quite beautiful including rock formations, plantings, a labyrinth and a small fountain. We choose the fountain and gathered there Friday at dusk. Heartfelt exchanges by husband and wife I their own words and acknowledgement by me for the many things that grace their lives together. I included a poem by Rabindranath Tagore, a prose poem reading from The Prophet about marriage and closed with a John Lennon song, “Grow Old Along with Me”.

And then, on Saturday morning, under a splendid blue sky and at the same park, I meet a male couple that were celebrating their 32nd Anniversary together that day and joined them in marriage. We met at the entrance to the park and proceeded to the same fountain area. The men were joined by six friends and relatives. The two grooms promised “to continue” to honor and love one another. They exchanged rings as well. They had a Breaking of Glasses Jewish Ritual at the end of the short ceremony. “Breaking the glasses” signifies, among other things, that life is fragile and requires a great amount of care if a relationship is to succeed. Family, friends and I concluded the ritual with a traditional “Mazel Tov” ! [“Congratulations And Good Luck!”]
I concluded the ceremony by addressing the power of the agreement they had just made, their love for each other, and the seriousness with which they made this continued commitment. I pronounced them husband and husband which, of course, was followed by kisses!

Rev. Ron King
Palm Springs, CA

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Lesbian and Gay Weddings

Posted in: Gay Weddings

Blog-Photo-8.20.13_38f66019eb79e6ac1a7a9fc614cc7bcfVows & Kisses California Ministers are very excited to be able to continue efforts in support of gay marriages. Reverend Susan Tracy has been busy officiating gay weddings at the State Capital Rose Garden, I just officiated my first legal marriage of two beautiful women at the Palm Event Center, Pleasanton. And, Reverend Ron King officiated the first gay wedding at Indian Wells, in Palm Springs area.

I am personally inspired by Reverend Ron King’s posting, as the wedding couple’s family and friends recognized the beauty and importance of a personalized wedding ceremony. Congratulations Reverend Ron!

“Last evening, I had the pleasure of officiating at the first same-sex wedding held at the IW Club in Indian Wells, CA. The men were from St. Lewis. MO and their guests included people from St. Lewis and the Palm Springs area. One of the grooms is a well-known florist and he created the most amazing and beautiful floral arrangements for the wedding area and the banquet table. The dinner was the best I think I ever had, anywhere.

One of the guests took to the microphone before the dinner began and talked about his relationship with the men and then noted that the wedding ceremony was the most beautiful and meaningful wedding ceremony that he had ever experienced and the 30 guests started to applaud in affirmation. I was a bit overwhelmed (and loved every clap!)”

-Rev. Ron King

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SCOTUS Ruling June 26, 2013

Posted in: Gay Weddings



Gay Californians celebrate today with family, friends and supporters the decision announced by The US Supreme Court overturning Prop 8. The court affirmed the lower district court ruling re. standing. Prop * is now voided. We also celebrate the overturn of the so called Defense of Marriage Act.
Vows and Kisses joins in this celebration, and ministers in this association stand ready to assist couples in the preparation of their wedding ceremonies in California as well as the other 12 states and the District of Columbia that allow same-gendered marriage.

Additionally, this association knows that this news also effects people that do not support same-gendered marriage. We encourage you to keep your hearts open to these changes that you do not support. We acknowledge that this news may have been difficult for you to hear. Individually, our ministers may be available to offer counseling and support if you wish to contact and plan appointment time with them on this or any other topic.

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Arras Coin & Lasso Ceremony in Palm Desert

Posted in: Wedding and Ceremony Rituals, Wedding Stories



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.

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Preparing for Prop 8

Posted in: Gay Weddings


gaywedding        gaywedding

However the Supreme Court rules on marriage equality, many emotions from indignation to joy will be heightened. As an Interfaith Minister I am committed to and encourage my associates and people of all religions, agnostic and atheists to deepen our personal, spiritual, practice of prayer and meditation with the intention to support each other with love and compassion. Vows and Kisses Interfaith Wedding Celebrants will continue to solemnize all Unions of Love, inclusive of all faiths, gender-preference, agnostic and atheists.

Love does not discriminate.

We are here to support you.

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Nick Name or Not in a Wedding Ceremony

Posted in: Wedding Stories

By Reverend Ron King


I have been preparing a wedding script for my niece and her fiance’ and just recently emailed them a first draft as to read and modify or approve it. At their initial request, I called the groom-to-be “William”. After reading through the ceremony the groom-to-be decided that he really should be called “Billy” as almost everyone calls him by that name.
I discussed this with Rev. Lucinda and she offered a third choice to think about: refer to the groom as “Billy” during the ceremony and use “William” for the formal parts of the wedding, the “I do’s” and the wedding vows. I really liked this idea and presented it to the couple and they are both very happy with this creative alternative.
Now I move on to scripting the wine ceremony which will be my first ritual of this type. I’ll let you know how that goes…
Rev. Ron

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All Embracing Approach to Las Arras (Unity Coins) & Lasso Ceremony

Posted in: Wedding and Ceremony Rituals, Wedding Stories

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:

Dear Lucinda;
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.

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Remembering Loved Ones in a Wedding Ceremony

Posted in: Events and Bridal Shows


The recent events in Boston have left me feeling quite raw. A bit more emotional this morning, I found myself shedding some tears as I was writing a ceremony for a couple that recently lost a parent, and wanted to include something to honor him.

It is not unusual to counsel couples that are wrestling with the emotions of a wedding celebration while still navigating some grief. I encourage couples to include the element “Remembering Loved Ones”, in the wedding ceremony and allow for the emotions and tears; after all it is a sacred ceremony and a well -crafted ceremony evokes many emotions for the bridal party and the guests. (Make sure to bring tissues for the guests, I suggest.) After “Remembering Loved Ones” and a brief moment of silence, we will “pick up” the energy, with a whimsical or inspirational reading or a fun story of how the couple met or became engaged.
Today, I made some changes to this element that I typically provide as a sample to consider, and felt compelled to share it. I am suggesting that the presence of a loved one that has passed is reflected in the smiles of the guests.


Remembering Loved Ones

“We have learned from an excerpt of, Corinthian’s 13, a bible verse about love; “Love is patient and kind; Love is not jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. Love never gives up. Love is eternal. Love never ends.”

We acknowledge the loved ones who surround you now, and the love that never ends from those who were close to you, but are not here today and would rejoice with you if they were. Your love for them and their love for you has no end.

We speak a word in loving remembrance of friends and family unable to be with us here today and know they are sending their love in support of your special day.

We speak a special word in loving remembrance of (Bride/Groom’s relative and name) father, as we see the reflection his loving presence in all the happy faces here today.

We go into silence now, allowing for the loving presence of all our ancestors.”
And, so, in a moment of silence I bless all and send peace to Boston and all of the friends, families and our nation as we are healing.
‘You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty the ocean does not become dirty.”

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