Jul 08, 2011

  • Last updated on September 11, 2011 at 12:43 am
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The Invocation:

To the gathered Assembly and the couple the priest says:

In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

All: Amen!

The Giving

Priest: Who supports this woman in her marriage?

R: I do!

The Welcome:

Good evening. It is truly a blessing from heaven for two people to find one another and to love so deeply.  We gather here today to witness and celebrate an act of deep love.  Lauren and Dan, in their devotion, respect, and love for each other wish to unite in the holy bond of marriage, and to dedicate themselves to each other’s happiness and wellbeing as life mates and partners.  On behalf of them, I welcome you all.

And Although this is their day, it is also a tribute to all of you. For knowing you and interacting with you has helped to make our Bride and Groom who they needed to be to find each other. They would like to thank you all for that. All of you are the threads of which are woven the tapestry of their lives. Each one of you is an important piece in the story it tells. It is the fabric that they wrap around themselves and take comfort in when the world seems cold. And on days like today when everything is right in their world, that tapestry is proudly spread out and displayed for everyone to see, with all the glorious colors and textures that your diversity adds. You all hold a place in their hearts reserved for those that they have chosen to call 'Family' and “Friends” and they are deeply grateful for each and every one of you here today

The Foundation:

Marriage is a gift from God, a miracle.  A true spiritual marriage is an act of metamorphosis, a profound mystery of creation and rebirth, as two become one. After speaking to you both, it is obvious that you already know some of the great blessings marriage has to offer.  It is an opportunity to feel the joy of taking care of someone who takes care of you, to be challenged towards growth yet gently nurtured, to love deeply and receive it in return.  It is about trust, friendship and having a partner to share all life has to offer. It is a commitment to participate in a process of mutual evolution, understanding and forgiveness. It is indeed a sacred union to be treated with reverence.

Marriage is not a place to hide from the world.  It is a safe place to grow and become wiser.  It is a place to evolve into better people; so that you can go out in the world and make a difference by spreading the joy and wisdom that you have found with each other. Together in this marriage, you shall contribute more fully, for you both shall be more full.

Lauren, Dan is a gift to you from God, but he is not a gift for you alone. It is God’s will that in your love, this man might find within himself a greater sense of who he is meant to be.  You are asked to see the good in this man, to accept him for who he is and who he shall be. In this way, God’s purpose shall be accomplished in this relationship.  May this man find the kingdom of heaven through the love you share.

And so it is with you also Dan, that although Lauren is God’s gift to you, she is not a gift intended for you alone. You are asked by God to so love this woman, that in your love she might find herself as God has created her, so beautiful and strong and brave and true, that the entire world might be blessed by the presence of a woman who shines so. May she relax in your arms as she has never relaxed before.  May she know, from now on, that there is one on whose love she can depend on forever.

In such a marriage, the wedding ceremony is the gateway into this mystery. But remember that no ceremony can create your marriage. Only you can do that through love, patience, and dedication; through helping and supporting and believing in one other; through learning to forgive and appreciating your differences; by making the important things matter and to letting go of all the rest. What this ceremony can do is to witness and affirm the choice you have made to begin a new life today as husband and wife.

And so now you stand before this loving community of family and friends, ready to acknowledge to God and to the world: this is my beloved, the one with whom I choose to create the rest of my life.

Reading: An Excerpt from Plato's Symposium

The Parental Honoring and Silent Blessing:

Lauren and Dan wish acknowledge their parents on this occasion. They offer their profound gratitude for all the love and care they had shown in raising them. The unconditional gifts of love and support that you have continually offered have inspired them to become who they are today, and they thank you, from the bottom of their hearts, for guiding them to this celebration of love here today. Without you, this day would not be possible.

Lauren and Dan also wish to remember those absent from us this day. Though they are absent physically, we invoke, through our thought and prayers, their loving presence. We pray that God might multiply beyond measure the blessings from these loved ones to this loving couple, and any children who might one day be a part of this union. Now, from our hearts, we ourselves visualize and sanctify all the blessings we would bestow on Lauren and Dan in their lives as a couple and a family. And in our sincere desire to bless, we in turn, are blessed also.

(silent pause) 

Priest: Blessed Be.

The Hands Ceremony

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever.

These are the hands that will work along side yours as together you build your future.

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other.

These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief temporarily comes your way.

These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes, tears of sorrow and tears of joy.

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.

These are the hands that will give you support and encouragement to chase down your dreams.

These are the hands that will hold you tight as you struggle through difficult times.

These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.

These are the hands that will lift your chin and brush your cheek as they raise your face to look into eyes that are filled with overwhelming love for you.

And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

Together as a team, everything you wish for can be realized.  God, bless these hands that you see before you this day.  May they always be held by one another.

The Vows

The couple has decided to say their own vows,


The Ring Ceremony:

And so we come, Lauren and Dan, to the blessing and presentation of rings by which you will symbolize and bind your love.

The circle has long been a symbol of spirit and the power of God. Without beginning or end, and with no point of weakness, the circle is a reminder of the eternal quality of God and of unending strength. Let the seamless circle of these rings become the symbol of your endless love and unending faithfulness.

Your wedding rings are most special because they say that even in your uniqueness you have chosen to be bonded, to allow the presence of another human being to enhance who you are. Your rings carry a potent double message: We are individuals and yet we belong; we are not alone. As you wear them through time, they will reflect, not only who you are, but also the union you are making; the fact that throughout the rest of your lives each of you will be imprinted by the other, yet as yourself remains.

Rings are handed to the priest and he continues,

God, the Father, bless these rings X X X and the two who exchange them. Fill them with your Holy Presence. Keep them safe in the circle of Your protection and love.

The ring is handed to the bride,

Lauren, place this ring on Dan’s finger and repeat after me: 

Dan, with this ring, I pledge my love and faithfulness to you, today, tomorrow and always.

The ring is handed to the bridegroom,

Dan, place the ring on Lauren’s finger and repeat after me:

Lauren, with this ring, I pledge my love and faithfulness to you, today, tomorrow and always.

Wear these rings as the enclosing bond of reverence and trust, and fulfill the circle of love that now makes you one.

Reading: Pablo Neruda's "Sonnet XVII"

The Pronouncement:

To the assembly and the couple,

Lauren and Dan, in the presence of God, your family and friends today, you have spoken the words and performed the rites which unite your lives. It is my greatest joy and privilege as a priest in Christ’s one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church and my legal right as a minister authorized to do by this commonwealth to declare you husband and wife. 

Dan, you may now kiss your bride.

The Benediction:

To the Assembly and the couple:

Lauren and Dan, the two of you are now joined in one unbroken circle. Wherever you go, may you always return to one another in your togetherness. May you two find in each other the love for which all men and women long. May you grow in understanding and in compassion. May the home that you establish be such a place of sanctuary that all who visit will find there a friend.

Bow your head and pray for God’s Blessing:

And now, Lauren and Dan, may the Lord God bless you and keep you forevermore, May God be with you and bless you, May you see your children’s children, May you be poor in misfortune, Rich in blessings, May you know nothing but happiness;

May the road rise to meet you.

May the wind be always at your back.

May the sun shine warm upon your face,

The rains fall soft upon the fields.

May the light of friendship guide your paths together.

May the laughter of children grace the halls of your home.

May the joy of living for one another trip a smile from your lips, a twinkle from your eye.

And when eternity beckons,

at the end of a life heaped high with love,

May the good Lord embrace you

with the arms that have nurtured you

the whole length of your joy-filled days.

The priest says to the assembly,

Well, this is the end, or more truthfully, the beginning! And so, Ladies and Gentleman, it is my highest honor and privilege, to present to all of you, for the very first time publicly as husband and wife, Lauren and Dan!

The Recessional

  • Last updated on August 18, 2011 at 6:57 pm
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Now that the wedding is over, and now that we're trying to sell our condo and therefore need to clear everything out, it's time to sell some wedding supplies!

Here's what is left! 


These were initially to be used as luminaries to light the walkway outside of my venue; however, when the weather turned to rain, the venue and florist quickly turned them into beautiful decor along the aisle. The shape makes them very safe - the train of my gown even knocked over two, and there was no problem! :)

FOR SALE Everything must go photo 10

There are 20 total. This is what each looks like individually:

FOR SALE Everything must go photo 11

The openings measure 3.5" and the widest portion is 15" around

FOR SALE Everything must go photo 12 FOR SALE Everything must go photo 13

After the wedding I cleaned each glass bowl:

FOR SALE Everything must go photo 14

I simply added pink gravel and a small candle to each. I'm only selling the glass bowls; however, I have a handful of candles and a large bag of the gravel that I would just throw in for free if asked.

(20) bowls total; each bowl was originally $2.50. Asking $1.50 each + shipping! All 20 for $22 + shipping!


****TEARS FOF JOY (all materials!)***

I ordered a packet of 100 #3 glassine envelopes for my tears of joy, but they didn't arrive until two days before my wedding, and I was just too exhausted to make them. Now I'm left with all the materials: the envelopes, three travel sized packets of tissues, and ivory colored labels to print on and seal the packet.

(Photos coming soon)

The envelopes alone were $10, but I'll mail all of the materials for $10. (Shipping should not be expensive as all materials are small and lightweight.)



i wore this Bill Levkoff dress once as a bridesmaid in my friend's wedding and then had it professionally dry cleaned. It is in excellent condition - there are absolutely no stains, tears, or other damage.

It is red with a champagne sash. I purchased it in a size 12 and had to have it taken in a bit; however, the alterations were made in such a way that they can be taken out again.

I paid $210 for the dress; I also have matching champagne elbow length gloves in excellent condition (I barely wore them), regularly $35.

Here is a link to the dress on Bill Levkoff's site.

This is the dress in my possession:

If you think this dress could work for your wedding, make me an offer :)

I wore this red chiffon Bill Levkoff dress as a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding. It is style 315, which is now discontinued. I paid $170 for it three years ago.


I wore this dress in a size 10, although it ran a bit small. No alterations were made, and the dress is in pristine condition. There are no stains, tears, or other damage, and it also has been professionally dry cleaned.

Here is the dress in my possession:

Although it is very flattering, I no longer have any need for this gown. If you think that it would work for your wedding, make an offer!

  • Last updated on May 13, 2011 at 7:56 am
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  • 1 Comment

Somehow I deleted this page in my bio! I am so sad that I lost all of the wonderful comments that were previously posted here :(

Anyhow, the gist of it is that, as soon as we were engaged, I had a pretty good idea of where I wanted to have the wedding. It was an historic estate, with beautiful grounds for the ceremony and a stunning mansion interior for the reception. There were multiple rooms available to us: a place for cocktail hour, another for dining and dancing, another for quiet conversation, and so on. We visited it and loved it. But we also realized that we would never be able to accommodate 140 guests.

Instead, we found Manor House at Commonwealth, an 18th century fieldhouse that was massively expanded and renovated throughout the years... basically a historic estate with beautiful grounds for the ceremony and a stunning mansion interior for the reception! It has multiple rooms for cocktail hour, dining and dancing, quiet conversation, and so on ;) We fell in love as soon as we saw the sweeping view from the ballroom and the stunning wraparound veranda overlooking the grounds. It was perfect.

Here is the photo I saw in a magazine that made me book an appointment in the first place... even though we're getting married in the summer!

The Beloved Venue photo 1

This is what the front looks like - it's much more grand in person <3

The Beloved Venue photo 2    The Beloved Venue photo 3

This is the back, and the back at night

The Beloved Venue photo 4The Beloved Venue photo 5

I love the linens that they provide for us! We even based our color scheme around them!

The Beloved Venue photo 6 The Beloved Venue photo 7

I love this 18th century stonewall behind the cake table

The Beloved Venue photo 8

Ceremony shots on the grounds - we'll be getting married there weather permitting!
The Beloved Venue photo 9  The Beloved Venue photo 10

The view from the veranda

The Beloved Venue photo 11 

I can't wait to be married here!!! 

  • Last updated on April 28, 2011 at 12:50 pm
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  • Last updated on April 20, 2011 at 3:44 pm
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First I ordered these necklaces. I think these should compliment their dresses but also be something they'll like for after the wedding.

Everybody loves presents photo 1


Yay! They arrived!


I love the textured box each necklace comes in!

Then I added on to their gifts :)

Each girl will be getting one of these jewelry envelopes in her favorite color. I also got a slightly smaller one for my FG (since she's slightly smaller too ;)

Everybody loves presents photo 2

source - Etsy seller Plethora

Everybody loves presents photo 3 Everybody loves presents photo 4Everybody loves presents photo 5 Everybody loves presents photo 6Everybody loves presents photo 7 Everybody loves presents photo 8Everybody loves presents photo 9 Everybody loves presents photo 10

These are the two biggies, but I also decided to throw a few fun, little, cutesy things into the BMs' gift bags:


(The purse hook is from Party City and is actually practical, the lipglosses are from CVS and just meant to be a cute whatever, the lotions smell amazing and are from Bath and Body, and the sanitzers (also from B&B) are kind of a joke... all of the girls tease me for my germaphobia... although most of them carry sanitizer all the time, too!

I put everything inside of these little gold pouches that I got from Michaels for crazy cheap!) They ended up looking like this (the thank you card is also inside):


In addition, I bought this for my MOH:

It came from a little boutique in Peddler's Village, PA. I also bought this necklace for my FG there!

(clearly we went to lunch afterward, haha)

I got this little ladybug compact mirror for my FG at Bath and Body


and here's the little bag for my FG:


I bought these for my cousin Angela who is one of our readers. She is a writer and currently publishing a book:

(The book is from Barnes and Noble and the pen came from a little bookstore called Canterbury Tales)

Between the MOH, six BM, FG, and reader there were a lot of gift bags needed! I bought some fairly cheap ones at Target with matching tissue paper, and then I bought a Sharpie and a cheap alphabet stencil from Michaels:

Each bag has a girl's name and a little heart - some on the fronts and some on the backs

Of course, there were mistakes!

Here are the finished bags!

And how perfect are these thank you cards??? They match my bags perfectly and were quite cheap at Target!


  • Last updated on April 9, 2011 at 3:33 am
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Dan is a huuuuuuuge Phillies fan, so I want to surprise him with a Phillies grooms cake at the rehearsal dinner, along with a ton of baseball cupcakes :)

I already have the recipe for an amazing chocolate cake that he loves, so I plan to make something similar to this:

Groom s Cake photo 1 Groom s Cake photo 2 


The best part is, since he HATES fondant, I can keep the "dirt" the chocolate buttercreme anyway, and just add the fondant decorations.

Then, since the cake will be triple chocolate, I can make the cupcakes vanilla with buttercreme for the guests who don't care for chocolate. I figure they'll be pretty easy to make and will look something like this:

Groom s Cake photo 3