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

Julius & Adeela at El Pescador State Beach

Julius and Adeela chose to say their “I do’s” and exchange personal vows in an intimate beach elopement on the bluffs overlooking El Pescador State Beach in Malibu, CA. Their only guests were their five year old son and Adeela’s cousin.

Sand blending ceremony, beach elopements

Sand blending ceremony

Initially, Adeela wanted to include a unity candle lighting but I advised her against it, due to the possibility of high winds, and suggested a sand blending instead. Good thing too, because not only were the winds extremely high but there were “No Fire” signs posted throughout the area.

After the marriage, the newlyweds set off to Atlanta, GA to become partners in their own business consulting firm.

Planning a destination elopement ? Contact me via www.officiantlady.com I will be happy to write and officiate your perfect beach elopement ceremony.

Happy National Sunglasses Day

Did you know that sunglasses are so cool that they have their own day? That’s right June 27, 2018 is National Sunglasses Day.

Just because it’s your wedding day is no reason to not practice sun safe behavior and custom printed sunglasses like these will make it easy for you to look “cool” while protecting your eyes at your outdoor reception.

On sites like Etsy you can find shades printed for brides, grooms, bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls and ring boys; in other words your whole wedding party can look as cool as you do.

Sunglasses can also be printed with your name and wedding date as a thoughtful wedding favor for guests of your outdoor wedding or reception.

Looking for a wedding officiant who’s cooler than a pair of Wayfarers on a sunny day? Contact Rev. Connie Jones-Steward at www.officiantlady.com

7 Ways To Give Your Wedding A Feminist Spirit

Feminist Wedding, African American Wedding Officiant, Los Angeles

Let’s face it ladies, although the wedding day is supposed to be all about us, the wedding ceremony and many wedding traditions are steeped in patriarchal values. Take the position of best man for example. Legend has it that in antiquity brides were often taken by force and the best man was there to help the groom fight off her rescuing kinsmen. In that same vein, the bride stands to the left of the groom so that his right hand is free to reach for his sword should those rescuing kinsmen appear.

If you’re reading this blog post, it’s likely that you plan to have a marriage based on equality and partnership with your husband, so why not infuse your wedding ceremony with a little woman-power. After all, in marriage as in other areas of life it’s always best to start how you plan to finish.

Here are seven ideas to bring a little feminism to the wedding party. You can use some or all of them. You may also choose to have a completely traditional wedding. Feminism is about choice and the choice is yours.

1. Don’t Let Yourself Be Given Away

Feminist Wedding,  Los Angeles wedding officiant

Time was a woman went from being the property of her father to being the property of her husband. This transfer of ownership was accomplished by the “giving of the bride”. If the idea of being “given away” makes you cringe, you may opt to enter solo or you and your groom can enter together. If you don’t want to completely forego tradition, the officiant could ask ” Who supports Mary’s choice to marry John” or use other less sexist language.

2. Wear A Colorful Wedding Dress

Feminist Wedding, Los Angeles wedding officiant

The white wedding dress is an undying tradition among Western brides. It’s said to represent the brides purity and virginity. However the white wedding dress began less as a symbol of purity and more as a symbol of status. Prior to the Victorian era most brides simply wore their best dress on their wedding day and few saw the sense in buying a dress that would only be worn once . That all changed when Queen Victoria wed Prince Albert in 1840. Prior to this wedding, English royalty typically wore embroidered crimson robes for weddings. Victoria herself chose to buck tradition when she opted to wear white because it was her favorite color. After the royal wedding, the white wedding dress became a symbol of wealth and status.

Queen Victoria also reportedly took only the 2nd and last bath of her life on her wedding day. Aren’t we glad that tradition didn’t catch on?

3. Take The Lead In Reading The Vows

Feminist Wedding,  Los Angeles wedding officiant

Traditionally the groom is asked to read or recite his vows first. This supposedly symbolizes his willingness to take the lead in marriage matters and to be the head of the home. However you can shake the dust off of this tradition by having the officiant address you first. It sends the message that you don’t plan on always coming in 2nd in the marriage.

4. Ditch The Sexist Language

Feminist Wedding,  Gender neutral wedding, African American wedding officiant,  Los Angeles wedding officiant

You’ve probably never noticed how sexist and male-centric the ending of the standard wedding ceremony is:

  • I now pronounce you “man” and wife.
  • You may now kiss your bride.
  • I now present Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

How about asking your officiant to give those words a dose of equality? Instead you could opt for words like:

  • I now pronounce you husband and wife.
  • I now pronounce you married.
  • You may now seal your vows with a kiss.
  • I now present Mr. and Mrs. John and Mary Smith.

5. Rethink How Or If You Will Change Your Last Name

Los Angeles Wedding Officiant

Modern brides “and” grooms have plenty of options instead of the standard practice of “her” taking “his” last name; especially in California where the Name Change Act of 2007 allows the bride and/or groom to change their surname at the time that the marriage license is obtained. Couples or allowed to state on the license what the post-marriage name will be. The bride may take the groom’s name or vice versa. One or the other may hyphenate their names or join their names together to create a new name. There is no additional name change fee if the name is changed when the license is purchased.

6. Feature Female Voices And Readings

Los Angeles Wedding Officiant
Photo credit http://www.tailormadeceremonies.com

Hire a female officiant ( shameless plug, IKR ). Have women to deliver readings and poetry during the ceremony. For even more feminist punch, feature readings written by women or those offering a feminist perspective on love, romance and marriage.

7. Take The Driver’s Seat, Literally.

Feminist Wedding, Los Angeles wedding officiant

My favorite scene from Legally Blond II was Elle behind the wheel as she and her new husband drove away from their wedding. I thought, “What a subtle, yet unmistakable nod to girl power.” I doubt there’s any more powerfully feminist statement a bride can make than hopping into the seat of the getaway car and driving off into the sunset.

Rev. Connie Jones-Steward is an expert at creating non-sexist and femnist wedding deremonies. Visit her website at www.officiantlady.com