Friday, June 18, 2010

What do you do when a couple calls and wants... to unite them in marriage for a second time in their lives? You know this warrants a special gift.

I mean it is so awesome to find and commit to the person you are destined to be with once but to have life bring you back to each other a second time is outstanding? It affirms that all along you had married the right person in the first place. Wow that is so cool!

Well, when a couple called me up this week and said they wanted to marry each other again, I knew just what to do. I went straight to Erin (my candy girl bride) at Uncle Sams and got them a cute and delicious tasting chocolate bride and groom to honor their union.

Erin greeted me as I entered the shop with her usual big and genuine smile. Now that is a sweet treat in and of itself. Next she carefully selected the chocolate of choice for me with her personal care. Great service!

Nothing beats marrying the love of your life a second time (congratulations, Carol and Moe) and nothing beats Uncle Sam's chocolate.................when only the best will know what to do because I just said so.

Happily Busy and Blessed

Dear Friends:
I can not believe it is the middle of the month of June. This year has already been filled with so many wonderful weddings. I have really enjoyed creating weddings for many great couples in lots of beautiful places.

Early March brought me to Malozzi's for the first wedding I have ever done there.
I was impressed with the food and the staff. As always, I enjoyed the sounds of Grand Central Station playing for both ceremony and reception. Danielle and Ed, the bride and groom, are two of the nicest people you would ever want to meet. I also enjoyed meeting their families, who surrounded them with tons of love.

Later in March, I was excited to officiate for Heather and Chris at the Saratoga Racing Museum. Heather and Chris are a stunning couple and I know their future has awesome odds for coming in a "winner". Chris and Heather had a really inventive Wedding newsletter for guests to read while they waited for the ceremony to begin. What a great job Chris did writing it! At Chris and Heather's reception I enjoyed celebrating Amy and Bill, who would soon marry in May. Actually, Amy recommended me to Heather and Chris. Thanks Amy!

The same day Carla and Rob married on their 25th anniversary of dating. What a super couple! They really know how to enjoy the journey and not just run to the destination. Funny, they are not running but I shared with them a love of Toy Italian Greyhounds. They have two greyhounds and I have one (greyhounds are runners).

The pristine grounds of the Mohawk River Country Club was the setting for a Spring wedding for Joleen and Garry. The owner, Raphel and his staff are always first rate and this wedding was no exception to that statement. I would have to say that Garry and Joleen were pretty snazzy as well.

In April, it was dazzling to officiate for Dennis and Margaret at the Canfield Casino. Dennis and Margaret are two people I am proud to know and their long awaited joy is well deserved by both of them.

In May, I was back at the noteworthy Glen Sanders to officiate for Amy and Bill. Amy is CJ Dufort's (Creative Weddings) gorgeous daughter. It was my honor to do Amy's sister's wedding at Hall of Springs a few years ago. So an added delight was being able to see Liz and Mike's new daughter at Aunt Amy's wedding. Amy and Bill are a couple that had "a friendship that caught on fire". Their union will be good for them and for humanity because they are just two of the kindest and best people.

Later May, brought me to the Desmond with one ceremony at noon for Kleigh and Joe, who joined together because they knew they had found their life's future in each other right after they talked to each other for the first time. Later that day, I created a special ceremony for Nicole and Gregory at Emma Willard. Nicole and Greg are a really cute couple and they have great smiles to share with each other. I was impressed at how fortunate they were to have Nicole's Mom as the master visionary for the day and Nicole's Aunt who found a very creative way around not being able to throw rice or petals at Emma Willard. After Emma Willard, Nicole and Greg and all the guests returned to the Desmond to celebrate and party the night away in the wonderful style that is all the Desmond's.

River Stone Manor, which gets more and more breathtaking year after year was the location for a Memorial Day wedding for Janet and Harry. Talk about two people who will cherish, respect and care for each other - that describes Jan and Harry! It was great to visit with their guests, some of whom (the Kosinski Family) were at my own wedding! This was an extra joy for the day.

June blew in delight because I was able to do two ceremonies for amazing couples at the Museum of Dance in Saratoga. The first was for Donna and Joe. Donna and Joe have an sweet kisses and a sweet love story. I never saw so many of the guests at any wedding sharing so much heartfelt joy at a couple finding each other. I felt this joy and will treasure my part in this celebration of marriage. Indeed, as well, I cherish my new friendship with Donna and Joe. I am happy to report that my Italian during the ceremony got the nod of approval from both the Italian and Sicilian guests.

The following week, Lisa and Griffith married under the Chuppah at the Dance Museum. Their ceremony honored both Christian and Jewish traditions. Lisa and Griffith poured their hearts into working with me to create a ceremony that showcased their unique and touching history of love. The couple and the guests loved the results.

I want to shout our a big hello, to old Mercy high school friends, Donna and Geena, cousins of Griffith, our groom! It was nice to see you both and hopefully we will happily meet again before more than 20 years goes by.

This week, joy is in abundance. I wrote three ceremonies: one for Sheila and Aaron (Sheila is the daughter of Peter, who I joined to Mary in marriage last year at SARGOs in Saratoga). Rev. Chuck will officiate that ceremony bringing the love from both of us.

I am also officiating for Aaron and Meghan. Aaron is now my Cutco cutlery representative. It is surprising how many people have satisfied Cutco Cutlery stories. Well now I have joined these customers with my own Cutco!

Aaron's fiance is Meghan. She is studying to be a doctor. What a long and wonderful romance this couple has had and what a happy ending marriage is to all their good years of dating.

Last, but definitely not least, Ann and Michael will marry this weekend. Michael was actually at a wedding I did for his friends, Rick and Jenna. Now Rick and Jenna will stand up for Michael and Ann. Best of all for me, I get a new couple to love and get to see one of my former couples that I love. I am so happy that Michael and Ann chose me to be part of their beginning as husband and wife. They will also be my first couple to have me tell the story of the sacredness of beer, according to Catholic tradition.

Happily busy and blessed,

Friday, January 29, 2010

Desmond Wedding 12/31/09

Friday, January 29, 2010
Desmond Wedding

On Sunday, January 31, 2010, Josh Desmond and his beautiful wife Christina will celebrate their first month wedding anniversary. It was a joy to create and officiate their Wedding for them. The ceremony and reception were held at their own Desmond Hotel in Albany on New Year's Eve! What a night to begin their new married life!

Everything was to perfection. The bride and groom looked handsomely stunning. The ceremony reflected their special love of each other, their family, friends and of course, their beloved dog (who was featured in a reading by Josh's Dad).

The Desmond looked gorgeous and the place was filled with joy. Connie Slocum, wedding coordinator at the Desmond, is always top notch and she gives such personal attention to her couples and treats them almost as if they are family. In this case, the Desmond family members are like family to Connie so it was nice to see her enjoy herself at the Wedding. I am always delighted to work with the outstanding Desmond staff.

Guests at the wedding were greeted with a choice of five champagnes upon arrival and after the ceremony they enjoyed delicious personalized cocktails and delicious treats before dinner. Another big hit was the photo booth Josh and Cristina provided from Saratoga Photobooth. Guests got to sit in the booth and smile and pose six times (see my photo with husband, Nick on top right). Loved ones and friends not only got to keep the black and white pics after the machine sent them out but a copy was also kept for the bride and groom. I'll bet Josh and Cristina will love looking at the pictures for years to come.

I was honored to be part of their very special day and their love story...................Cristina and Josh, Happy One Month Anniversar
Happy Holidays 2009-2010

One of the greatest joys for me is to receive news from the
couples and families that I have served. I think after learning their love story and spending so much time reading their answers to the questions and researching just the right readings, writing their ceremony, holding their hand through the whole process and being there for them on the day of the ceremony, a bond develops.

Many of the notes I receive are delightful and announce the birth of a new baby or a baby on the way.
This is such a great joy to me because I feel that in some way I am a part of this miracle.
There is a saying that, "a baby is God's way of sending hope to the world". I
believe that. Each new person offers the world their unlimited potential. A
miracle and a great joy!

This year I got a picture of the most adorable little girl that Melissa and
James (River Stone Manor 08/07) had. My family loves looking at her. I also
got the updates on Elizabeth and Mike Waxman's precious girl who was ten months old for
Christmas. That is a lot of fun! I also saw the cute little guy that Sara and
Eric (Glen Sanders 04/28) had this year. God blessed Julie and Casey (Cape Cod
07/07) with a baby this year as well. One of my 2010 grooms told me this
blessed news. I can't wait to see the pictures! I think of the glamorous
pictures Luz and Jim (Hall of Springs 08/07) sent to me of their new arrival.
Luz and Jim are now very successful in their new real estate business down
South. I also heard that Christian and Yoon (River Stone Manor 05/08) had a
sweet little treasure of their own this year.

I think of my dear friend Pat who has two new grandchildren to celebrate the
holidays with. I was blessed to do little Jack's Baby Blessing in September of
this year!

This New Year we will have more to be happy about when little blessings come to
Mike and Chariz (Lake George 5/09), Amanda and John (Desmond 10/07) and Greta
and Shane (09/09) and Ryan and Kim (05/09) and Stephen and Megan (Duanesburg
07/09) and there might even be some more surprises - who knows?!

As the winter cold blows over me, I reminisce about summer with the pictures
sent to me, by Tim and Sara, of their September wedding at Erlowest on the
shores of Lake George and Amber and Steve's wedding (08/09) at breathtaking
River Stone Manor in Scotia. Even while shopping at the Art Store in Stuyvesant
Plaza, I am reminded of Greta and Shane's Wedding on Whiteface Mountain (09/09)
as I stand in awe of the photography of Greta's Dad, a noted Adirondack
landscape photographer.

I smile to think about Sean and Amy (Albany Country Club 06/08) and Jane Ann and
Bob (Birch Hill 09/08) spending Christmas in their new homes and Maria and
Arleen (Pittsfield 09/09) preparing theirs for an awesome future.

Once in a while I even get a special text message that makes my day like the one
on Christmas from Erin and Zach (10/31/09) or the one at 3:30 am when Luz gave
birth to let me know she and her little one were healthy and happy. What a
superb start to my day!

Sometimes I get a note from a couple that had a rough year, a death in the
family, an illness, or a sadness. I am honored to hear from them and I pray for
them. I am glad to know they realize that I am still here for them if they need
me. It is sad to hear of life's difficulties, but then again, I remember the
happy times we have shared and the babies. Just as I say when we do the
ceremony: life has many seasons but the important part is to hold on and
weather them side by side.

As I ended this year with the wedding of Josh and Cristina (Desmond 12/31/09), I
reflected that whatever the season or reason, I love hearing about my couples
and families and staying a part of their lives. I am very blessed to do what I
love and love what I do. Thank you to all who include me in your love and life

Doubly Blessed 11/14/09

I had the wonderful opportunity to create a custom ceremony for Laura and David on Saturday 11/14/09. They wanted a very intimate ceremony because they are planning to have a larger ceremony on Long Island when more of Laura's family can join them in the US from Ecuador.

The ceremony was held at the Raindancer in Amsterdam. Since many of Laura's relatives that live in NY and NJ came, I had the opportunity to welcome them in Spanish. Then the ceremony continued in English with custom readings and personalized vows I provided for them them to make their ceremony a PERFECT beginning for their new life. They were pronounced husband and wife in both languages but for the kiss no instruction in either language was necessary. What a beautiful couple and I wish them so many years of joy.

I loved meeting all of their family members and sharing the joy with them. Everyone was happy because initially Laura and David thought they would only be able to have a standard civil ceremony provided by a JP or something officiated by someone unknown. When they found me and learned that I am also a chaplain, they were delighted to have a ceremony that was personalized for them. That is the way everyone should get married with a meaningful ceremony!

I was touched to be expressly invited by the family to be present to hear a letter read that was sent by the bride's mother and read and translated by Esperanza. What a treasure for David and his family and Laura and her family to be given a mother's blessing on your wedding day!

Another exceptional gift of the day was that just outside the door to the room where Laurita and David married was a couple celebrating 46 years of marriage at the restaurant. Laura and David walked past them with their blessing, to begin their new life as husband and wife.
This was definitely good karma for all.

So after I officiated for Laura and David, I went outside the room and offered Vince and Jean an opportunity to have their vows renewed. They renewed their vows with the new ones Laura and David had just taken. Jean and Vince are such a great couple and the moment of renewing their vows to one another in the presence of their loved ones was a sacred sight to behold and participate in. I feel honored to have been in their company.

Congratulations to Jean and Vince and Laura and David and never let your extraordinary love become ordinary.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Spooky Love 10/31/09

Did you know the Bride of Frankenstein and Frankenstein never officially married?
Well they did in Albany New York on Halloween. I was the officiant for the wedding on October 31, 2009. Fondly known to their friends as Erin and Zach, they exchanged vows in front of the Haunted Mansion with their loved ones as witnesses.

The bride looked so boo-tiful and wearing a dark gown. Her hair of black and gray was done up all curly and flowing. The love in her eyes settled on the groom. The handsome groom, Frankenstein, was wearing a black suit and had his head bolt all shined up. Her was a bit green as the ceremony began.

Erin Butler and Zachary Bagdriwicz celebrated their love during the ceremony with a candle lighting. First their parents lit the Bride and Frankenstein candles representing the bride and groom as individuals. Next the Bride and Groom lit the backbone candle to symbolize that their love will be the backbone of their marriage.

Their union was evident to every eye in the room when they kissed because it was then that bride then wore Frank's green on her nose. In fact, all night as the cups dinged and the couple kissed, the bride got greener. Which is not a good sign usually but very romantic in this case.

I adored this couple of spooky lovers and was honored to create a custom ceremony that was all about them and their love, their family, their spirituality and their love of Halloween.