In 2008 there was a six month window where same-sex couples could get legally married in California. Kevin Covey is a brilliant event planner so I was honored and humbled when he asked me to officiate the wedding ceremony for him and the love of his life, Joseph. They embraced my process (Smart Ceremony System) to create their one-of-a-kind ceremony. Kevin designed a breathtaking wedding. Lots of orange. But, most importantly, the power of the moment was incredible. Joseph and Kevin had already committed themselves to each other years before but now they had the opportunity to make their marriage legal. There wasn't a dry eye in the house!
Answer to a question from Quora.com: What song should I play at my younger sister's wedding?
Depends on when you want to play it. If during the ceremony, talk to the officiant. 1. Processional (wedding party entrance) 2. Bride’s entrance 3. During the Introduction. 4. Before the Vows 5. After the Vows 6. Recessional (everyone leaves)
Very Important: talk to the couple. They might feel very uncomfortable standing in front of the guests with nothing to do but wait for a song to be over during the ceremony.
Be gracious and humble. Maybe they don’t want your song during the ceremony. Perhaps during the reception would be better.
They might not want your song. Have this conversation as soon as possible. Best to get it out in the open so you and they can process emotions.
The song you choose should fit the moment. Love? Hope? Marriage?
Practice a lot. If working with musicians you’ve not met until the wedding day, talk to them as soon as possible. Arrive early to rehearse.
We hope your song will add to the magic of the moment. It’s about their joy, not your performance.
Question from Quora.com: How do I honor my future mother in law at my wedding?
Let her feel included in the planning. Keep her in the loop. If her ideas are different than yours, be kind, open and focused. It’s easy when stressed with the planning process to dismiss quickly. Thank her for her input. (then do what you want).
When your wedding day begins, find every opportunity to compliment her. Show your gratitude for her role in the life of your fiancé.
During family photos, look her in the eyes and smile. Let her see your joy because you’re marrying her child.
During the ceremony, ask for your fiancé’s parents blessing. Not permission.
At the beginning of the ceremony, when you arrive in front of the officiant, take a quick moment to look at your mother-in-law and say “thank you”.
During the reception, you could include a “thank you” to your fiancé’s parents. Public acknowledgment goes a long way.
Before you leave the reception, take her hands, look her in the eyes, share your hope for a happy future with her and her family.
Sending you good thoughts and prayers.
Answer to question from Help A Reporter Out. "How to Handle Divorced Parents While Planning a Wedding"
If the divorced parents are still angry/unhappy at each other:
1. Establish a specific, primary goal. Happy couple? Happy parents? Happy guests? Photos? Party?
2. Tell the Master of Ceremonies for the reception to not do/say anything that would require the divorced parents (DP) to interact.
3. Make a seating chart for the first rows of the ceremony. Place people between the DP as buffers. Perhaps they would be more comfortable sitting across the aisle with the other family.
4. If DP are acting out, making demands/threats.
a. Take a deep breath
b. Remember Primary Goal
c. Address the issue immediately. Don’t wait until the wedding rehearsal. Get all emotions on the table, out in the open between parent and child. A private conversation.
d. Explain the primary goal.
e. Explain the plan to keep DP separated all day
f. If absolutely necessary, ask the DP if they can support the wedding couple on their wedding day. Be happy. Share joy and happiness with the guests. If not, tough love, hard choices might be needed.
The couple’s married life continues the day after the wedding and beyond. So will their relationship with DP. Not everything begins and ends at the wedding.
If harmony cannot be promised by the DP, their absence can be requested, even demanded.
The couple should have brilliant memories of their wedding day. One would hope a loving parent shares that desire.