Personalizing Your Wedding Ceremony

Personalizing Your Wedding Ceremony

We see a lot of short and simple, get-the-job-done wedding ceremonies. In all honesty, it takes about 10 minutes to actually “get married.” But what if you want to incorporate some personality or pizzazz to your wedding?

We’ve had several ceremonies recently where the bride and groom traveled to Ponte Vedra Beach for their weddings.  But rather than hiring a local minister, they brought theirs with them! When an officiant has a personal connection with the couple, the ceremony is so much more meaningful. They can offer little anecdotes, and put the bride and groom more at ease during one of the more serious parts of the wedding day.

Lots of couples chose to include a unity candle or sand ceremony into their wedding. But there are also other options – rose ceremonies, handfasting, seashell/stone blessings, wine ceremonies, to name a few. Ask your officiant if they have suggestions. Also look to your religion or culture for ideas. Even if you aren’t have a “religious” ceremony, there may be little nods to your heritage that you can include.

Of course, the best way to personalize your ceremony is to write your own vows! If you decide to do so, be sure to give yourself plenty of time! This isn’t something to be rushed. Also, discuss the tone of your vows with your significant other. You don’t want to make yours funny while his are super serious. You may also want to ask a close friend or family member to read both sets of vows (if you plan don’t plan to read them to each other before the wedding) to be sure they match in tone and length.

However you chose to personalize your wedding ceremony, remember that you are promising to love, honor and cherish your fiance til death do you part. Make it a special and meaningful time for the two of you!

Fun To Do This Weekend: One Spark

One Spark 2014

Looking for something fun (and FREE!) to do with your sweetie this weekend? Head to downtown Jacksonville for One Spark!

One Spark is the World’s Crowdfunding Festival, and it takes place right here in Jacksonville. Over 600 creators are on hand to showcase their ideas in the fields of art, innovation, science, technology and music. Held over 20 square blocks, you can also enjoy the food village and beer village, plus tons of live bands. And where else can you see a giant Goldfish (known as “Colonel Crackers”) floating in the Hemming Plaza fountain?!

The 5-day festival started on Wednesday with an estimate 40,000 people attending the first day. Free parking is available at the convention center parking lot, and then you can take the free Skyway (did you know Jacksonville has a Skyway? A lot of people don’t!). Or, you can park at EverBank Field and take the free shuttle bus.

You’re probably asking, what exactly is crowdfunding? Well, the concept is that great ideas can be found everywhere. But not everyone has the resources to find large-scale investments. So crowdfunding take little donations or investments ($5/$10/$50 etc.) and pools them together to make big things happen.

When you visit One Spark, you can vote for your favorite projects (known as “creators”), and the creators that get the most votes win a share of over $300,000 in prize money. Or, if you see a project you are passionate about, you can even contribute right on the spot.

One Spark is FREE to attend, so why not check it out? Plus, it’s a good chance to see how awesome Jacksonville is, in case you might forget. Visit http://www.beonespark.com for everything you need know!

The Most Important Day Of Your Life (And Why Your Wedding Day Isn’t It)

I’m about to type something that many people will find controversial.

wedding day

I know – I spend my days surround by all things wedding. How can I possibly say this?! Because it’s the truth. I’ve had some wedding reality shows playing in the office lately as I’ve been stuffing envelopes and assembling welcome gifts for some of our spring/summer weddings. I normally don’t watch them, and now I know why. They insist on perpetuating this mantra that “your wedding day is the best day of your life” and creating the hype that everything must be perfect. So much emphasis is put on the party that the marriage part tends to get overlooked.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a gorgeous wedding, but don’t forget that there are many more “best” days to come.

The day you close on your first house.
The days your children are born.
The day  your spouse returns home safely from a military deployment.
The day you beat cancer.
The day you get that big promotion you’ve worked so hard for.
The day you save someone’s life.
The day you win the lottery. (we can all dream, right?)

Hopefully, your wedding day means marrying your best friend, surrounded by friends and family that mean the world to you. Anything beyond that is just gravy.


Marta and Michael (03.01.14) – TPC Sawgrass Wedding, Ponte Vedra Beach

Marta and Michael were married on March 1, 2014 at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. They planned their wedding long-distance, all the way from North Dakota, with the help of Marta’s parents and sister who live in Florida. What a beautiful weekend, and an amazing blending of two families and cultures! Thanks to Nate and Bryn from Deremer Studios for sharing these photos with us.

TPC Sawgrass wedding Ponte Vedra Beach

TPC Sawgrass wedding Ponte Vedra Beach

TPC Sawgrass wedding Ponte Vedra Beach

TPC Sawgrass wedding

TPC Sawgrass wedding, Sunset Room

Bride and groom signs on chairs

TPC Sawgrass Wedding

Classic Cakes Jacksonville FL

wedding menu cards

Wedding Favors

Since Marta and Michael are both dentists, they created these cute little bags as favors – they contained toothbrushes, toothpaste, and other cute goodies!

TPC Sawgrass wedding

TPC Sawgrass wedding

Venue: TPC Sawgrass  //  Photographer: Deremer Studios  //  Videographer:  CollabCreation  //  Floral and Decor: Rose of Sharon European Florist  //  Cake: Classic Cakes  //  Band: Diggin’ Rhythm and Brass  //  Ceremony Music: The String Group

Wedding Website Tips

Classic-Rose-smallThese days, almost every wedding has its own website. It’s a great way to share information with your guests! Here are some tips for making your wedding website great:

  • Purchase an easy-to-remember domain. For example, MikeAndSarah.com is something you can even use in the future as a blog to keep your friends and family updated on your new house, growing family, etc. When selecting a domain, remember the shorter the better – this will need to be printed on your save-the-dates and invitation enclosure cards.
  • Include hotel information. Hopefully you’ve set up room blocks at two or three nearby hotels, so be sure to include booking instructions and rates. Also include the hotel’s direct phone number and address; if your guests are like me, they’ll want to add this information to their phones!
  • Also include travel information. Many cities have multiple airports, so let your guests know which one is most convenient. If your hotel offers airport transportation, include this information as well.
  • Share the weekend schedule. If you are planning a great welcome party, you won’t want your guests to miss it by booking a late flight. This also gives your guests a chance to plan sightseeing activities if they haven’t visited the area.
  • Feature some of your favorite nearby restaurants, shops and attractions. Provide links and a map, if possible, as well as hours of operation, and why you love these places.
  • Include links to your registries. This makes it easy for your guests to find this information, should they choose to send a gift.
  • Remember that not everyone is online 24/7. Be sure to send hard copies of important information to any of your guests that aren’t tech-savvy.