Macy and Daniel at The Castle Green

Macy and Daniel were not afraid to showcase their “nerdy kind of love” in one of my auhentic Love StoryWedding that made reference to how Daniel won Macy over by showing her her how to solve the Rubic’s Cube and how they became engaged by him getting down on one knee and proposing just after she found a shiny Dratini during a round of Pokemon Go! Their ring box was even shaped like a Pokemon Ball.

The ceremony began with a presentation of roses to their mothers and concluded with jumping the broom, They also shared their own personally written vows.

jumping the broom

natural hair bride

No makeup, lovely natural hair, yet Macy is still one of the prettiest brides I’ve ever worked with.

Daniel looking expectantly towards a life of marital bliss with his new bride. A future which includes Macy becoming a doctor and an astronaut and he himself becoming an aerospace engineer. They are both graduates of Stanford University where they met during freshman orientation.

“We Are Groot”. Macy and Daniel love watching sci-fi, action movies together. They use quotes from some of their favorite movies instead of numbers to identify their reception tables.

Officiant: Rev. Connie Jones-Steward

Photography: The Vondys

Venue: The Castle Green

Planner: La Bella Dia

Macy’s Hair: Sekai Natural Hair Gallery

Cake: Susie’s Cakes

Florist: Tea Rose Garden

Civil vs Spiritual Weddings: What’s The Difference?

Beach wedding

For most of recorded history, the majority of couples marrying each other did so according to the guidelines of their religious faith. However with the rise of interfaith couples and with the steady drift of people away from allegiance to any particular religion, more couples are deciding on civil or spiritual wedding ceremonies. But how do you know the difference and decide which type is best for you? As an independent celebrant, I offer both types of ceremonies and this blog entry presents the key differences so you can decide which is right for you.

Civil Ceremonies:

Civil ceremonies are also known as secular ceremonies. Typically these ceremonies make no mention of Deity or Higher Power. However they may address such concepts as the Higher Self.

Civil ceremonies are more likely to appeal to atheists as many times they focus solely on the relationship between the couple and/or their community rather than on any relationship yof God.

Depending on your jurisdiction, a civil ceremony may be solemnized by a judge, mayor, notary public or other public servant. They can also be performed by an independent celebrant or wedding officiant.

Spiritual Ceremonies:

Some couples may not adhere to any particular religion but may still consider themselves to be spiritual and opt for a spiritual ceremony. Such ceremonies will not follow the restrictions of any particular faith but may combine the elements of different faiths and spiritual systems. Some spiritual couples may elect to add wedding customs from their own culture or borrow from other cultures. They may even add religious elements from the faith that they grew up in, such as a Jewish Glass Breaking or the reading of a Christian Bible verse. Spiritual ceremonies are normally performed by officiants and celebrants who are also ordained as interfaith or nondenominational ministers.

Different states and jurisdictions have different requirements that determine who is allowed to perform legally binding wedding ceremonies. If you are marrying outside an established house of worship, it’s always prudent to do your due diligence to ensure that your officiant is legitimate.

5 Ways To Make Bacon Part Of Your Wedding Day

December 30th is National Bacon Day. In honor of this special day I present five ways ways to include this tasty meat in your wedding day: from procession to reception.

1. Bacon Bouquet. Want something different from the traditional wedding flowers? How about walking down the aisle clutching a bouquet of bacon roses.

Photo credit: Foodbeast

2. Bacon hor’doevres: offer your quests these petite hor’doevres to snack on while your wedding party is out taking wedding photos.

Image may be subject to copyright

3. Bacon with bourbon chasers: because nothing goes together like bacon and booze.

Iimage may be subject to copyright

4. Bacon Bar: Having a morning affair? How about pairing a bacon bar with an omelet bar and waffle station?

Photo credit: Sweet Rhodes Photography

5. Bacon Wedding Cake And finally, the piece dela resistance! The bacon infused and decoraed wedding cake.

Photo credit Daniel Taylor Photography

Happy National Fruitcake Day

Photo credit: http://www.Odlums.ie

You may know that December 27th is National Fruitcake Day. You may know that fruitcake is traditionally served at British royal weddings. But did you know that the original wedding cake is fruitcake? It’s true, and for two reasons.

Firstly, fruitcake was once viewed as a symbol of wealth and prosperity due to its expensive and sought after ingredients , ie sugar, spices and exotic fruits. Therefore serving it was a show of financial status.

The second reason has to do with the fact that the tradition started in the Middle Ages, when food preservation was a problem. The high content of rum or brandy in fruitcake protects the cake from spoilage. The fruit in a fruitcake is also functional; it serves to attract water molecules that keep the cake moist. Add the fruit and alcohol together and you get a moist cake that just won’t (or can’t) go bad.

The virtual inability of fruitcake to go bad is a huge benefit to royal wedding cake bakers who sometimes require several months to decorate royal wedding cakes.

Queen Elizabeth II’s wedding cake in 1947 photo credit: Getty images

Alexis & DeAngelo at Little Corona Del Mar Beach

Who says that you can’t dress up for your beach elopement. Definitely not Alexis and DeAngelo who came to slay at their beach elopement on Little Corona Del Mar Beach in Corona Del.Mar.

The date 11/11 holds not only spiritual but personal significance for Alexis and DeAngelo, therefore it was important for them to be married on that day. They originally planned to elope on El Matador in Malibu. However when the Woolsey wildfire made the Malibu area inaccessible, I was able to suggest Little Corona Del Mar Beach. So not only were they able to marry on 11/11 in the presence of Mother Ocean, but they both said that this setting was even more beautiful than their original choice.

The ceremony, which was attended by both mothers and the groom’s sister, included words on the significance of numerical sequence 1111 and jumping the broom.

Photographer: Kelley : Kelli Scates

Officiant: Rev. Connie Jones-Steward

Ife & John at Hummingbird Nest Ranch

On a sunny afternoon in September Ife and John said “I do” in a lovely ceremony at The Hummingbird Nest Ranch in Simi Valley, CA.

The groom wore a pink tux in honor of his mother who died of breast cancer. Their customized ceremony included personal vows written by the couple, poetry by Gibran and culminated in Ife and John jumping the broom.

John is author of the book “The Oop: Simplifying Finance & Economics Through Basketball”, in which the concepts and terminology of basketball are used to impart financial wisdom and literacy. His writing skill was evident in his touching and personal vows to Ife.

Photography: Hannah Costello

Venue: Hummingbird Nest Ranch

Planner: Champion Events Productions

Cake: Frost It Cakery

Floral: Fox Gloves & Folly

Officiant: Rev. Connie Jones-Steward of Officiant Lady.

Elope on Ferndell Hiking Trail

Bridges and grottos and trails OH MY! Ferndell Hiking Trail in the Ferndell section of Los Angeles’s Griffith Park is the perfect spot for a woodsy elopement . However, you’ll have to have your elopement ceremony early if you want to find nearby parking spot and avoid being photobombed by hikers.

Keep scrolling to see the hollow tree that looks like a heart.

Visit my website at http://www.officiantlady. com to learn more about my elopement services.

Elope on Ferndell Hiking Trail

Places to elope in Los Angeles

Elope in Los Angeles

Elope at Compton Creek Natural Park

Bridge at Compton Creek Natural Park

Would you like to elope near a creek, bike path and hiking trails without having to drive to Griffith Park?

Compton Creek Natural Park in Compton, CA is an oasis of natural beauty and serenity located in the heart of the Hub City. The native plants and tranquil surroundings will provide a picturesque backdrop for your elopement photos.

Compton Creek Natural Park

Compton Creek Natural Park

Visit my website @ http://www.officiantlady.com to learn about my elopement services.

Selecting Your Best Bridal Veil Look

Many brides-to-be think it’s all about the dress! However, as an experienced Los Angeles veul designer and owner of Julie Harris, Designs which specializes in bridal veils and accessories, I would argue that the veil is just as significant for a different reason. Most brides have worn a dress before. However the veil is something special and unique to the occasion of your wedding. Now is the only chance to wear that once in a lifetime iconic bridal accessory. Wearing a beautiful bridal veil provides a frame for your gown, gives you that timeless bridal look and also creates an opportunity to let your personality and style shine through. It is said that a the veil makes the bride. So make your veil count!


Selecting the right veil style can be daunting because for most brides it is unfamiliar territory. I am here to shed some light into the world of veils and explain some style details so that you can make the best selection for your perfect wedding day ensemble. Here are some distinctive styles for you to consider.

JULIET VEIL – Originally popular in the 1920s, a Juliet cap sits close on the forehead and is gathered on the sides rather than at the top with the veil. The veil portion is attached to the cap on the sides and back. Small combs are hidden on the underside which slip into your hair by the ears. The more modern version of a Juliet Veil may be plain or have an embellished band that secures to the crown of the head. A modern Juliet style veil adds a boho chic flair to any bridal look.

CASCADE VEIL – The cascade veil is shorter at the front and slightly wavy at the sides. This veil is cut to fall in graceful waves to float around the body. A cascade veil often has an embellished to highlight the shape and movement of the cascade. You can go for something more traditional with lace, satin or beaded trim or a more minimalist look with just pure tulle. This style looks great in any length and has a romantic feel that works well with many dress styles from ball gown to boho.

DROP VEIL -This is similar to the cascade style but has the addition of a fold over blusher. The blusher is the shorter veil portion worn over the face. A standard blusher length is about 30 inches. For added drama some brides go with an extra long blusher that ends at the knees. Some brides have the blusher layer as a style detail but don’t actually wear it forward over their face.
A drop veil can be sewn to a comb either with or without gathering at the top. The gathering creates the pouf effect. Many brides opt for a completely flat look where the comb is attached.

MANTILLA VEIL: A mantilla veil simply drapes over the bride’s head and looks very effortless. Also known as a Spanish-style veil, the main feature of this veil is the lovely lace border that frames the bride’s face. The mantilla veils look great in any length and there is an fantastic variety of lace styles and widths to choose from. Selecting an exquisite Alencon or delicate Chantilly French lace, or incorporating lace from your mother’s gown is a great way to customize and personalize your veil.

This simple style is attached with a comb that is discreetly hidden under the lace at the center front. Or, it can be pinned into a low bun using veil pins.

CONTACT :

To find out more about these and many other veil styles, or just chat about your ideas for your dream bridal veil, or to schedule your free veil consultation at our Studio City boutique contact me at :

www.veilsandaccessories.com

julieharrisdesigns@gmail.com

818.308.5743

Instagram: @julieharrisdesigns

Facebook: www.facebook.com/JulieHarrisDesigns

Pintrest: http://www.pintrest.com/JulieHarrisDesigns

The Persian Sugar Rubbing Ritual

Persian Sugar Rubbing Ceremony
Image subject to copyright laws

There are several beautiful and meaningful rituals that take place during a Persian wedding ceremony, but none is sweeter than the sugar rubbing ritual that involves several well-wishing women spreading sweetness in the couple’s life and marriage.

During the sugar rubbing ritual, the couple will be seated, and women i women hold the opposite sides of the cloth, and at times, four women can hold each corner of the cloth. Other ladies will come up, and take turns rubbing together large cones made of hard sugar, to sprinkle sweetness onto the cloth held overhead. Another interpretation of this custom is that each sugar cone represents the bride and the groom and this act is in the hopes that every contact between them will result in sweetness

There are differing beliefs about who should rub the sugar cones over the couple. Some believe that the ladies who are rubbing the sugar must be “happily married” so that their happiness and success rubs off on the couple. However, with the rise of multi-cultural and interfaith marriages, this ritual has adapted to embrace the varying demographics of the guests.

During many ceremonies, the bridesmaids are the ones to hold the Unity Cloth, which makes for a uniform and color coordinated effect. And as for who does the sugar rubbing, many families are open to having any woman who so wishes, to come up and take part in this beautiful ritual. In my own opinion and as an interfaith wedding officiant this is my personal choice. I also believe that granulated sugar can be sprinkled in lieu of the rubbing of the sugar cones

To incorporate this or another unity ritual into your wedding ceremony, contact Rev. Connie Jones Steward, www.officiantlady.com