Heritage Square Park Wedding

HeritageWeddingWow, what a weekend! Two new wedding venues for me, the first being Placerita Canyon State Park, and yesterday I was at the Heritage Square Museum, just off the Arroyo Seco Parkway for Matt and Shannon’s celebration.  This is the second greatest thing about being a wedding officiant in Los Angeles…getting to be a tourist and discover LA’s hidden gems. (The best thing, of course, is getting to know and spending a few hours with such wonderful couples!)

Matthew’s and Shannon’s artistic personalities were evident in the details of the day. Matt looked snappy in his black and white plaid shirt, and Shannon’s turquoise shoes were the perfect complement to her ivory dress. The ceremony was held on the Museum lawn in front of the church, which is still waiting on for an interior restoration. Simple white chairs graced the bright green grass, and an indigo sky was the canopy. Back at the reception area, white, yellow, and antique blue hues adorned the table settings, which included photos of the couple’s cats!

While Matt and Shannon and the family did the wedding photo thing, the guests and I toured the three homes that have been restored. I was struck at how some of of the details in these Victorian beauties reminded me of some of the design elements in my Aunt Annie’s house in Birmingham, Alabama. Her house was nowhere near as opulent, but I could see that it was built in the same period.

Such a wonderful end to my weekend. Thanks again to Noelle and Michael for Friday afternoon’s fun, and to Shannon and Matt for the beautiful conclusion. Captain Morgan, it was also a pleasure doing business with you! Here are some shots I took for you to enjoy:

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Placerita Canyon State Park Wedding

Noelle and Michael Noelle and Michael! I was honored to be their wedding officiant today in the beautiful Placerita Canyon State Park in Newhall. We gathered under a huge, ancient oak tree for the ceremony which included “Storybook Love” from The Princess Bride, “The Day the Saucers Came” by Neil Gaiman, and beautiful personal vows that the bride and groom each wrote. The couple looked so happy together. I’m truly a lucky weddding officiant, since I keep connecting with such great folks.

I’m so glad I now know about Placerita Canyon State Park. It’s the location where the 1842 California Gold Rush began! I expected it to be super windy, but I think the valley protected us from the gusts. Highly recommended for anyone looking for an outdoor wedding venue for a smallish wedding. Most of the guests had seating on the benches under the tree, and the younger folk just stood. There’s a small nature center, museum and gift shop to peruse, as well as guided tours. A nice activity might be some guided tours for wedding guests while the wedding party takes photos after the ceremony and before the meal is served.

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Awesome reading!

I’m reading this at Noelle and Michael’s wedding tomorrow. Love it!

“The Day the Saucers Came,” by Neil Gaiman

That day, the saucers landed. Hundreds of them, golden,
Silent, coming down from the sky like great snowflakes,
And the people of Earth stood and
stared as they descended,
Waiting, dry-mouthed, to find what waited inside for us
And none of us knowing if we would be here tomorrow
But you didn’t notice it because

That day, the day the saucers came, by some coincidence,
Was the day that the graves gave up their dead
And the zombies pushed up through soft earth
or erupted, shambling and dull-eyed, unstoppable,
Came towards us, the living, and we screamed and ran,
But you did not notice this because

On the saucer day, which was the zombie day, it was
Ragnarok also, and the television screens showed us
A ship built of dead-men’s nails, a serpent, a wolf,
All bigger than the mind could hold,
and the cameraman could
Not get far enough away, and then the Gods came out
But you did not see them coming because

On the saucer-zombie-battling-gods
day the floodgates broke
And each of us was engulfed by genies and sprites
Offering us wishes and wonders and eternities
And charm and cleverness and true
brave hearts and pots of gold
While giants feefofummed across
the land, and killer bees,
But you had no idea of any of this because

That day, the saucer day, the zombie day,
The Ragnarok and fairies day, the
day the great winds came
And snows, and the cities turned to crystal, the day
All plants died, plastics dissolved, the day the
Computers turned, the screens telling
us we would obey, the day
Angels, drunk and muddled, stumbled from the bars,
And all the bells of London were sounded, the day
Animals spoke to us in Assyrian, the Yeti day,
The fluttering capes and arrival of
the Time Machine day,
You didn’t notice any of this because
you were sitting in your room, not doing anything
not even reading, not really, just
looking at your telephone,
wondering if I was going to call.

"The Day the Saucers Came" by Neil Gaiman, tshirt image by Threadless

“The Day the Saucers Came” by Neil Gaiman, tshirt image by Threadless

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Canyon Country Wedding to end 2012

Tony, Brooke, and Rev. Jon Bassinger-FloresCanyon Country is beautiful. I love the scenery, the horses, the winding roads, and the weddings! My last wedding of 2012 was Tony and Brooke’s ceremony, a wonderful gathering of close family and friends at Brooke’s parents home in Canyon Country. It was a chilly day with a threat of rain, but but the sun came out, and Tony and Brooke’s wedding warmed all of our hearts. I’m so lucky to end 2012 with this happy couple!

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Gay weddings coming back to California?

Our Chicago wedding!

Tomorrow (or maybe next Monday), the US Supreme Court will announce what will be done about California’s Proposition 8, that odious blight on the California constitution that bars gay and lesbian couples from legal marriage. My husband and I had the good fortune of getting married in the brief window of time in 2008 when same-sex marriages were legal here, and our marriage is still recognized by the state. (We also had a fantastic church wedding in Chicago in 2001!) Thousands of people await the Supreme Court’s decision.

If the decision is NOT TO hear the case, then quite quickly, California will be issuing marriage licences to gay and lesbian couples. If the decision is TO hear the case, then there’s no telling when we’ll have a final word on the issue.

(By the way, my friend Jeff Zarrillo is one of the plaintiffs in the Prop 8 case.)

Also at stake is DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act, which prevents legally married same-sex couples from receiving any of the Federally recognized benefits given to opposite-sex couples. DOMA has been declared unconstitutional in several lower Federal courts, so it’s up to the Supreme Court to make a final ruling. Many experts say that the Court will most likely take up DOMA and eventually rule DOMA unconstitutional. This would be a great outcome!

I stand with all loving couples who want to get married. It is an honor for me to be selected as anyone’s wedding officiant, no matter the genders of the couple. If you are a gay or lesbian couple and would like to talk to me about your wedding plans, please give me a call or send me an email. I’d love to meet over coffee for some conversation and brainstorming! And check out this video from one of my recent weddings in Malibu.

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