7 Ways To Give Your Wedding A Feminist Spirit

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

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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

Why Pre-Marital Coaching?

Pre-Marital counseling in Los

Many couples spend several months making meticulous plans for their wedding day. They stress over the bride’s dress, the floral arrangements, seating charts, the paper weight for the invitations and the flavor of the cake. However, the one thing that they don’t prepare for is the marriage that comes after the wedding.. They neglect to discuss the hard questions such as what role spirituality or religion will play in thier lives, where they will live, how the finances will be handled or thier discipline styles when it comes to raising the children.

Pre-marital coaching and counseling is the tool to help you discuss these areas of your upcoming marriage. It is the most valuable investment that a marrying couple can make to ensure a happy and harmonious marriage, The goal of pre-marital counseling is should not be to tell you whether or not the two of you should get married; Ultimately that decision is yours and yours alone. However, pre-marital coaching sessions should help you to become better partners by helping you to identify areas of strength in your relationship as well as potential growth areas concerning communication, money sex, family, spirituality, parenting styles and other areas that will impact your marriage.

Wedding officiant, Rev. Connie Jones-Steward offers pre-marital coaching sessions in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas or worldwide via the Internet. She uses the PrePare-Enrich Model; a system that has helped over 3,000,000 couples to develop their relationship skills and save their marriage. Call her at (562) 967-1091 to arrange for your sessions or visit her website at www.officiantlady.com

Have You Considered A Wedding Pie?

Are you looking for an alternative to the wedding cake? Maybe you’d like to have a dessert table in “addition” to the wedding cake. In honor of Pi Day 2018 here are some ideas to get you inspired. My advice, go with the pie pops.

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Wedding getaway pie
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Wedding pie pops
Wedding cheesecake, wedding pie, pi day, female wedding officiant
Wedding cheesecake
Wedding pie, pi day, female wedding
Wedding pie tower
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Wedding pie dessert table
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Mini wedding dessert pies

Need a great Los Angeles wedding officiant? Visit http://www.officiantlady.com

11 Winter Wedding Ideas

Summer may be the traditional wedding season, but winter presents its own charming reasons for being your wedding season of choice. This season is both the most wonderful time of the year and the most romantic. Winter is the heart of engagement season bringing kisses beneath the mistletoe and at midnight on New Year’s  Eve followed by Valentine’s Day. Indeed the long, cold nights of winter are made for romantic times spent snuggling under cozy quilts and blankets and in front of warm fires 

Ideas for winter wedding themes abound, from all out Christmas and New Year’s Eve flavored ceremonies and receptions to simple seasonal touches such as pine cones and snowy white bouquets. Here is a list of 11 ways to winterize your wedding.

  1. Have a hot beverage bar. Serve hot coffee, cocoa and tea to your guests either before the ceremony, during the cocktail hour or after dinner. As an added touch, offer special coffee and tea blends that represent your heritage or the places that you’ve traveled together.Wedding Coffee Bar
  2. Take advantage of winter signage. Create signs that highlight popular winter songs and sayings. Have fun with this one and let your creativity be your guide. You can create this sign with the chalkboard printable from Pen + Paper Flowers.
  3. Nothing says winter like pinecones. Use these little gifts from Mother Nature for everything from aisle decorations, to centerpieces wedding bouquet accents and escort or place card holders.
    Pine cones for wedding decor
  4. Speaking of wedding bouquets, your florist can use cotton bolls, fluffy white feathers and crystals to simulate the look of snow and ice . I personally would finish of this bouquet with a silver ribbon. Photo property of Dixie Pixel Photography.
  5. Is there anything more romantic than a winter landscape? Whitecapped mountain peaks, icecycles dancing from bright evergreen branches and gently falling snowflakes all combine to create winter wonderlands worthy of a Hallmark card,  Add a bride and groom and you’ve got wedding magic. How perfect is this snuggly wedding photo? Speak with your photographer ahead of time about creating something similar to this photo by Aaron Delesie.Winter wedding photo
  6. Blame it on Solange but wedding capes are a major trend right now. Take a cue from Ms. Knowles and wear a beautiful fur trimmed cape for your wedding. This lovely  number is the creation Wonderful Wraps and will leave you feeling warm, fashionable and like a true WinterQueen. Fur trimmed wedding cape
  7. Pale, frosty nails suitable for an Ice Queen are a wintry trend on the catwalk. This look was created by nail techncian Rebecca Jade Wison for British designer Sophia Webster’s wedding fashion week using Orly’s Rose Colored Glasses and a top coat of frosted glittery nail polish.Winter wedding manicure
  8. Having a Christmas wedding? Your wedding cake could be the perfect touch to express the spirit of giving that we feel this time of year. Have your baker to create a square cake bedecked with festive ribbons, bows and Christmassy colors, Cake from Wedding Cakes For You.Christmas wedding cakes
  9. If Christmas is not your thing or you want  your wedding cake to express the beauty of winter rather than a specific holiday, consider having your cake decorated with pine cones, sprigs of evergreens or other winter foliage.
  10. Who wouldn’t be awed by these sparkly ornaments serving double duty as escort card holders. Not only will they help your guests find there seats, but ornaments personalized with your names and wedding dates make a lovely wedding favor that can be used for many Christmases to come.Christmas escort card holders
  11. Elope on the Winter Solstice. The Winter Solstice is not only the longest night of the year; It is also the point in time that we have made it halfway through the dark half of the year and the days start to get longer. For these reasons the Winter Solstice represents a time of rebirth and renewal. It is said that on their wedding day, a couple is reborn. They are given a clean slate and a future filled with bright possibilities. Therefore a Winter Solstice elopement is a wonderful option for the couple who wants a meaningful and intimate marriage ceremony. Photo by Julia Luckett

How To Change Your Name Now That You’re Married

 

In the State of California, the name change process begins when you get your California marriage license. Thanks to the Name Equality Act of 2007, one or both parties can change their surname by placing their new name on the marriage license. Either party may take the other’s name or the name can be hyphenated or combined to form a new name. If the new name is chosen at the time that California marriage license is issued, there is no charge.

After your wedding, your officiant will return your California marriage license to the office of the County Clerk in the county in which it was issued; this must be done within 10 days of the wedding date. If you paid for a certified copy of your marriage license at the time that it was issued, you will automatically receive that copy within 6 – 8 weeks from the date that the original was received by the County Clerk. If you did not pay for the certified copy up front, you can either return to the County Clerk’s office to request a copy or you may request a copy by mail, but your mailed request will have to be notarized.

Now that you have your certified copy of your California marriage license in hand, what do you do next?

  1. Visit the Social Security Administration Office: The first step is to take your marriage license to the SSA and fill out form SS-5 to change your name. You will be issued a new Social Security card, with the same number, on the spot. If you wish to obtain a new Social Security card via mail, you will have to submit your request along with a certified copy of your marriage license. Do not expect to get this back, so make sure you have another certified copy of your marriage license.
  2. Get a new driver’s license: Now that you have your new Social Security card, take this, your current driver’s license and a certified copy of your marriage license to the Department of Motor Vehicles. They will process your name change request and you will receive a new driver’s license within a few weeks.
  3. Change your name at work: Take your new Social Security card and driver’s license to the HR department at your job. The HR department will complete the process of changing your name on work related records.
  4. Don’t forget to order your new passport: You can visit the U.S. Passport Website and complete Form DS-5504 if your passport is less than one year old or Form DS-82 if your passport is more than one year old.Then submit your printed copy to your local Passport Office in person.
  5. Now take care of everybody else: Now is the time to change your name with your banking institution, your credit card issuers, any other creditors, your medical and insurance providers and any other company that you do business with. Some of these companies may request photocopies of your certified California marriage license while others may not. Contact each company to find out their name change procedures.
  6. Take care of your social media accounts: Most of my brides do this the day after the wedding, but here’s a gentle reminder just in case you forgot.

Black Cakes & White Pantsuits: 5 California Wedding Trends For 2018

Californians have a reputation for being trendsetters and that reputation holds true when it comes to the weddings scene. From bridal pantsuits to matte black cakes, here are five wedding trends that are hot in Cali.

1. October Is The New June: According to wedding planners, October 7th was the most popular wedding date of 2017, followed by the next weekend. October, and fall weddings in general, are especially popular in California. Partially because California couples also favor outside weddings and fall temperatures are generally not to cold and not to hot but just right. However, from personal experience, November in Southern California tends to be prone to light showers. So make sure you have a rainy weather plan B if your wedding is being held outside.

2. Bridal Pantsuits: A rising trend among millennial brides is the bridal pantsuit Whether you’re looking for a classic woman’s cut suit, a ladies tux, or something ultra girly like this ensemble by Lela Rose there are countless options in style and color for the bride who wants to say “no” to the dress.

3. Best Women & Men of Honor: More couples today are ignoring traditional gender roles when choosing their wedding party. Many brides are enlisting their male besties into the role of Man of Honor and many grooms, like Omar and Brandon below are assigning the role of Best Woman to their gal pals.

4. Neon Wedding Signs: Once only associated with bars and seedy hotels, neon signs are set to be the “it” trend for the 2018 wedding season. Neon wedding signs can be used to display the names of the bride and groom, the new surname or a meaningful phrase. They can also shine a new light on the wedding hashtag. After the wedding these signs can be displayed in the couple’s home.

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Photo credit: Laura Golden Berger

5. Matte Black Wedding Cakes: The days of the naked cake may be numbered as a bold new trend finds favor with couples for whom pale colors are so last wedding season. That trend is the luster free black fondant that decorates cakes like this, almost to pretty to eat, black and gold masterpiece from Rossmoor Pastries in Signal Hill, CA. It’s matte, black and all that.

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Looking for a modern wedding officiant? Contact Rev. Connie Jones-Steward @ www.officantlady.com

Jasmine & Reggie ‘s Santa Monica Beach Elopement 

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This autumn has been an exceptionally warm one for the Los Angeles areas. With almost two weeks of triple digit temperatures and no signs of sweater weather in sight. It’s prompted many to ask, “Where is fall?”. Jasmine and Reggie, on the other hand, have taken advantage of the extended summer to have a short and sweet elopement with just their parents in attendance

The couple met seven years ago at the Empire State Building in New York City. They’ve spent the past seven years travelling the world together and have visited many exotic locales such as Chile, Italy, Japan. Thailand and France. Now they have decided to put down roots and start a family in Los Angeles.

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Jasmine & Reggie with Rev. Connie

Both sets of parents flew in to witness the marriage of their children. Jasmine’ s parents flew in from Colorado and Reggie’s flew in from North Carolina. It was the first time that the parents had met.

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Reggie & Jasmine with their parents

Jasmine and Reggie are planning a lavish destination wedding in Mexico for Apri 2018.

Venue: Santa Monica Beach
Officiant: Rev. Connie Jones-Steward @ www.officiantlady.com