8/31/03: My 1st wedding: Kim & Chris

Weddings this past wknd, and tonight in NYC, tomorrow I travel
to Montauk for a beach wedding on Wed. @dawn :)
Weddings every weekend in Sept. & Oct. 2010. (Grateful! Blessed!)

Time for a *time out* to look at the calendar & celebrate the
anniversary of *Kim & Chris*, 8/31/03, Bear Mountain, NY:
my 1st wedding!

This is when I thought I was going to dress like Earth Mother/
Hippy Mama for all my ceremonies. Kim loved it, but this look
didn't last for me past this wedding!

I tend now to dress in all black & white, to blend in
with the white wedding dress/black tux theme.
Suits me better, and I make a ritual out of
putting on my wedding pearls and Chanel No. 5
for most ceremonies :)

I refer to Kim & Chris' wedding A LOT when I meet
with couples! One of the things that made their wedding
so unique is that instead of traditional wedding readings,
they chose lyrics from their favorite band,
Smashing Pumpkins, to read as poetry at their ceremony.
I LOVE that! So personal, so modern, so original!
What else is music--but poetry?

Stand Inside Your Love, Smashing Pumpkins

You and me
Meant to be
It's destiny
Pure lunacy
But for the last time
You're everything that I want and ask for
You're all that I'd dreamed
Who wouldn't be the one you love
Who wouldn't stand inside your love
Protected and the lover of
A pure soul and beautiful you
Don't understand
Don't feel me now
I will breathe
For the both of us
Travel the world
Traverse the skies
Your home is here
Within my heart
And for the first time
I feel as though I am reborn
In my mind
Recast as child and mystic sage
Who wouldn't be the one you love
Who wouldn't stand inside your love
And for the first time
I'm telling you how much I need and bleed for
Your every move and waking sound
In my time
I'll wrap my wire around your heart and your mind
You're mine forever now
Who wouldn't be the one you love and live for
Who wouldn't stand inside your love and die for
Who wouldn't be the one you love

Kim & Chris send me Christmas cards every year,
and announcements when the babies arrive!

I'm so grateful they took a chance on me,
and really supported me my first time in this
official capacity. Friends ask me, "you've married
so many couples--how do you remember them all?"

I remember :) Each one is personal, unique,
and memorable. I remember :)

8/23/10: Cynthia & Steven

After a sweltering hot summer in NYC, temperatures are finally cooling down and we've had 2 days of rain. You can feel September in the air now! My favorite time of year!

For the first time in months, I wore my raincoat today, grabbed my umbrella, and took the subway uptown to the Carnival Glory on Pier 88 for Cynthia & Steven's wedding with family.

Cynthia wore a unique lace, handkerchief hem cocktail length dress and Steven a tan summer suit. Cynthia was escorted by her father. The bride & groom chose to have a Candle Lighting and a Wine Blessing in their ceremony (always use white wine, brides!) and selected two readings, one was this popular wedding readingby Roy Croft:

I love you, not only for what you are,
But for what I am when I am with you.
I love you, not only for what you have made of yourself,
But for what you are making of me.
I love you for the part of me that you bring out;
I love you for putting your hand into my heaped-up heart
And passing over all the foolish, weak things
That you can’t help dimly seeing there,
And for drawing out into the light all the beautiful belongings
That no one else had looked quite far enough to find.
I love you because you are helping me to make of the lumber of my life
Not a tavern but a temple;
Out of the works of my every day
Not a reproach but a song.

I love you because you have done
More than any creed could have done to make me good
And more than any fate could have done to make me happy.
You have done it without a touch, without a word, witho
ut a sign.
You have done it by being yourself.Perhaps that is what being a friend means, after all.

Cynthia smiled throughout the whole ceremony, and Steven couldn't take his eyes off of her. We broke the glass and shouted "Mazel Tov!" to start the wedding celebration. The reception followed in the ship piano lounge Cinnabar. One of the things I love about cruise ship weddings is...ICE SCULPTURES!

The Carnival Glory is a new ship to NYC, and I'm still exploring it. This picture was taken in the disco after the ceremony--look at those gothic throne chairs, those candles! Very Adams Family or Beauty & The Beast (the musical--"Lumiere!") I love it!

Congratulations Cynthia & Steven and have a great cruise! With love, Rev. Annie NYC

8/22/10: Andrei & Anelia and Nicole & Kevin

Andrei & Anelia called me this week to say that their friend was going to marry them this weekend, and was I available to sign the wedding license with them? Sure!
Sunday morning I made my way to
Grand Central Terminal (always impressive!) to take the Metro North Hudson Line to Tarrytown in Westchester County.

I took a short taxi ride through T
arrytown past some beautiful homes on my way to the wedding. When I arrived at Tappan Hill Mansion (once owned by Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain :) the begonias were in bloom, I saw a majestic hawk circling overhead, and the bride & groom were in the foyer of the historic home, having video & photos taken.
Andrei wore white tie, vest, and black tuxedo and adored Anelia as she made her way down the spiral staircase in her gorgeous strapless gown. Very dramatic and beautiful!

Family, friends, and photographers gathered for the signing of the license. Andrei & Anelia asked me to oversee a short & sweet civil signing, as they would have a full out, romantic, personal ceremony officiated by a good friend later in the day.

I asked them if they consented to be wed today ("I do") and in the presence of their witnesses, pronounced them married and wished them a wonderful afternoon of celebrating! Their mothers acted as their witnesses when we signed the license.
Here they are with their flower girl!
I took the train back to NYC and continued on from Grand Central on E. 42nd St. to Port Authority on W. 42nd St. to take a 10min. NJ Transit bus ride to Nicole & Kevin's evening ceremony on the Romantica yaht in Lincoln Harbor, Weehawken, NJ.

Nicole is a h
air dresser, and has great style & personality! She wore a Grecian gown (very IN this year!), with flowers in her spiky hair. Her friend Mark acted as wedding coordinator, and helped the wedding party line up, escorted me through excited family & friends to the wedding area, cued the DJ, and saw to it that everything took place on time and as planned!

Nicole was escorted by both her father & her mother, and beamed big smiles to her groom throughout the ceremony. Kevin is in the military and looked dashing in his dress olive & beret. It was a stormy night with a lot of rain coming down, but there was so much love in the room for the wedding couple, I know Kevin & Nicole will have smooth sailing in their marriage!
Best wishes to both couples! With love, Rev. Annie NYC ♥

8/21/10: Matthew & Helena, and Jean-Paul & Muriel

I was blessed with 2 weddings today :)

Matthew & Helena are artists, and they met at art school 9yrs ago. Their studios were near each others, and admiration of each other's art work led to their meeting, courtship, and marriage.

They were married in Brooklyn in DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan and Brooklyn Overpass) at
DAC--The Dumbo Arts Center: a nice, big open space with hardwood floors, exposed beams in the ceilings, easily converted to meet the needs of the wedding celebration. We had white folding chairs, tables with red, purple, and wild flowers, a wide paper runner, bar area to the back, and buffet catering on the side.

Helena & Matthew are unique & creative, and we adopted a wedding ritual from 2006 bride Andrea's wedding: flowers were placed on the chairs in the back of the room, and everyone *passed the flowers forward* giving them their love & blessings. As the flowers reached the front, they were gathered and tied with ribbon, and became Helena's bridal bouquet. Collaborative, personal, and romantic!

Matthew expresses himself like a poet, and when we me
t this Spring he told me he admires the Transcendentalists. This delighted me, as I lived in Boston for 5yrs and loved to take "literary day trips"--
to Lowell, to walk in the steps of Kerouac, and to Concord to visit Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House, and Emerson & Thoreau. We used some Emerson quotes in the ceremony, and they set the tone beautifully:

“He who is in love is wise and is becoming wiser,
sees newly every time he looks at the (object) beloved,

drawing from it with his eyes and his mind
those virtues it possesses” --Emerson

"Give all to love. Obey thy heart." --Emerson

Matthew & Helena held hands throughout the ceremony, and chose this reading for their wedding day.
This was the 1stX I've read it in a ceremony:

A New Beginning, Gwen Frostic
On this earth there is a oneness
A rhythmic flow through everything that lives
The things with root
s and stems and leaves
The things with shells and fins and furs
The things with wings with which to fly

The things that crwal and those that walk
Each thing must eat and breath and rest
Each thing must seek and each is sought for
Each has a birth, a purpose to fulfill
To each an end and then a new beginning.

A tender, quiet, beautiful ceremony with family & friends. I enjoyed a glass of Prosecco after the wedding, said my goodbyes, and got on the F train to 42nd Street to walk to Tudor City Greens near the UN for:

Jean-Paul & Muriel met in Paris. They had a small wedding, just the two of them with their good friends Jai & Vivian. Jean-Paul wore an ivory suit, and Muriel an ivory lace dress with Parisian hat (and shoes!) She carried yellow roses with red edged petals. Je parle un peu de Francais (high school level French & a decade of ballet classes), so greeted them with "Bonsoir!" and when it came time for "I do" I told them they may say "Oui."

Jean-Paul wrote a beautiful poem for his bride, and read it in French.
I pronounced them husband & wife, "mari & femme," and left them to enjoy and celebrate this beautiful summer night!

Congratulations to both Helena & Matthew, and Muriel & Jean-Paul today! Many blessings!

With love, Rev. Annie

8/20/10: Di & Rich

Perfect Summer day in NYC for a Central Park wedding! Di & Rich live in the UK, and contacted me in April to arrange their 3rd anniversary vow renewal in New York City. They love to travel here, and chose Hernshead Ladies Pavilion on the West Side of the park for their ceremony. I arrived early, and saw a fancy English military ceremony wedding party having photos taken, and then another smaller wedding party--two friendly Aussies, their attendants, and their photographer, my friend Michael Skoglund! Here's Annie & Michael in the park! I've been corresponding with Di & Rich for months now, we've exchanged pictures, wedding ideas, and weather reports (!) They arrived with big smiles and warm greetings. Di wore a beautiful pale peach dress, with a gorgeous "fascinator" hair accessory as many of my English brides do. She carried yellow roses, and had her makeup done at MAC in the morning and looked stunning! Niece Charlotte and friends AnnMarie & Drew and Helen & Dawn all took photos. In addition to traditional vows, Di & Rich wrote their own vows and made each other cry! It was very moving to witness their sincere love for each other. They exchanged rings once again, and they chose this reading to celebrate the renewal of their vows: True Love (Author Unkown) True love is a sacred flame That burns eternally, And none can dim its special glow Or change its destiny. True love speaks in tender tones And hears with gentle ear, True love gives with open heart And true love conquers fear. True love makes no harsh demands It neither rules nor binds, And true love holds with gentle hands The hearts that it entwines. I'm an Anglophile in every way--both my grandmothers were English, I did my college junior year abroad at Crewe + Alsager College and I love everything British from rainy days to Doctor Who :) Di was so sweet to bring me a present from home--a gorgeous china teacup & saucer, and "proper" English Tea from Tesco's! I'm so touched by her thoughtfulness! At Di's request, I made a souvenir wedding certificate to commemorate the day, and after the ceremony, all the witnesses signed it. We walked together through the park as far as 72nd Street (near John Lennon's IMAGINE in Strawberry Fields), where I said goodbye and left them to enjoy their evening together. Best wishes to Rich & Di--who want to renew their vows AGAIN next time they visit! (How romantic!) With love, Rev. Annie NYC

8/19/10: Melissa & Robby

Today I went uptown to NYC Pier 90 to marry Melissa & Robby on the Carnival Miracle. Melissa wore a strapless beaded gown with red sash, and carried a red rose & red gerbera daisy bouquet. Robby was turned out in black suit and red tie to match his bride. They had an altar memorial with a vase of roses to remember their loved ones, and chose their own readings for the ceremony, including: Union, by Robert Fulghum You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.

The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same. For after today you shall say to the world – This is my husband. This is my wife.


Touched By an Angel, Maya Angelou

We, unaccustomed to courage exiles from delight live coiled in shells of loneliness until love leaves its high holy temple and comes into our sight to liberate us into life. Love arrives and in its train come ecstasies old memories of pleasure ancient histories of pain. Yet if we are bold, love strikes away the chains of fear from our souls. We are weaned from our timidity In the flush of love's light we dare be brave And suddenly we see that love costs all we are and will ever be. Yet it is only love which sets us free.


Robby & Melissa's reception followed in the Miracle's Frankenstein Lounge, the ship disco--one of my favorite rooms on the ship given my love of old monster movies! (And kind of a funny ironic nod to "Bride of Frankenstein," doh!)

Melissa & her father danced to Butterfly Kisses, and Robby danced to Song for Mama with his Mom & his auntie. Their wedding cake had their initials as a cake topper, and the ship board buffet featured decorative carved watermelon & sushi. Best Man John and Maid of Honor Sonia, both friends of the Bride & Groom since grade school, gave heartfelt toasts.

Congratulations Melissa & Robby--now sailing off to honeymoon in the Caribbean!