Wednesday, December 21, 2011

PopMarriage Podcast #3 - Christmas Edition

Merry Christmas! It's a happy holiday edition of the PopMarriage podcast, featuring Jenn and Jordan talking about their favorite Christmas season weddings, offering advice on carving out your own traditions as a couple, and laughing about best and worst Christmas gifts, great movies, and if Santa is, just maybe, a woman.

(Also available on iTunes by searching PopMarriage!)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Very Merry Wedding

Gorgeous site here at White Album Chapel as I'm about to marry Chad and Camilla!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

PopMarriage Podcast #2

Hey! Check out our second PopMarriage podcast!

We talk about our favorite nervous brides (including one who lost her lunch) and how to manage those wedding butterflies. Then it's on to a discussion on polygamy, some marriage advice (Tell each other what you need), and finally a discussion of our favourite TV married couples.

It should be up on our iTunes feed soon (search for JJ Weddings), but in case you can't wait, here it is:

Saturday, November 5, 2011

PopMarriage #1: The Jenn and Jordan Podcast

So Jenny and I are trying our hand at podcasting, and are proud to show off the debut of PopMarriage. It's 40 minutes of talking about funny wedding stories, what makes a great ceremony, plus some marriage advice on surviving change, and a debate on Mexico's plan to offer two year marriage contracts. And an autoposy on the Kim Kardashian 72-day marriage odyssey. Hope you enjoy it!

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Tahitian Touches

It's an unusually lovely day out there for November!

Today I had the pleasure of marrying Sean and Jeri-Lyn at Milner Chapel. They are having a really sweet family wedding and then heading off on an amazing Honeymoon in Tahiti, and they incorporated that into their wedding with some beautiful exotic flowers and a steel drum player.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Destination Weddings

One thing we tend to see more and more often, especially during the chilly Vancouver winters, is couples taking off to gorgeous beaches like Mexico for a destination wedding.

These weddings are gorgeous and tons of fun however we have heard from many couples that filing the paperwork can be difficult. So we have expanded our services to help couples having a destination wedding. If you don't want to go through registering in another country and doing the blood tests and whatnot we can help you by performing your marriage here.

It should be noted that we totally value and understand that your 'real' wedding (and anniversary) is that beautiful wedding away and we don't want to take anything away from that. However, the date your license is signed is your 'legal' wedding date, they can't be back/ forward dated.

We can do a couple of things, either before you leave or after you return from the wedding:
1. We can meet the couple, along with 2 witnesses and sign the paperwork. It's easy and quick, we'll just meet up at a coffee shop, have a chat and sign the license.
2. We can do a simple but meaningful 'vow exchange' for the couple and close friends and family. We can do this at your home or a park. We'd have you choose your vows (and ring vows if you want to exchange rings). Even if you're just looking for something simple I think there are some ways to make it very personal and special for the couple without being really drawn out or over the top or taking anything away from real wedding in Mexico. We've done quite few intimate weddings for couples who get married out of Canada. So I am confident we could help create something that you would be comfortable and meaningful! We would do planning for this over email.

If you're interested in this service (or booking us for your wedding here in the Lower Mainland!) please email us-

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sweet Ride

Saw a couple fun and unique ideas in the way of 'wedding day transportation' this month and wanted to share. Last weekend, while doing a wedding for Sarah and Kevin at Newlands I spotted these outside....

They actually belonged to another wedding party- but what fun! Can you imagine how great the groomsmen photos with those would be?

Also, when I married Gordon and Chelsea at Harrison in August her dad drove her into the ceremony and pulled up at the end of the aisle in this baby:

It was a car he had restored himself and she looked pretty cool stepping out of this!

Nice to see some fun and creative ideas!

Gorgeous Locations

It has been an extremely fun and busy wedding season for us and that has made tough to keep the updates coming.

One of the best parts officiating is all of the gorgeous locations we get to see. This summer we had a couple weddings at Brock House, and it's STUNNING! In fact, seeing Jericho at sunset was so lovely I planned a date night there for Jordan and I the following week because I wanted to share it with him. Hard to beat that view and the romance of the beach at sunset!

Another great spot I was at last month was Harrison. I did the wedding out on the point with that crystal water in the background. It was windy and sunny, and I had to make sure I held on to that wedding license ;) But I had forgotten what a pretty spot that is.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Retro Wedding Fun

Good fun again today as I got to be part of Dirk and Jackee's fun and fabulous
wedding with a retro 60's diner theme. Girls rocked some adorable yellow
dresses and red lips, boys decked out in checked bow ties and gorgeous Jackee
looked perfect with her pin curled hair and crinoline skirted dress.

I tried to look the part too with a red flower in my hair and red lips and

Most fun part was when the entire wedding party danced our way back down the
aisle to 'You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall&Oates. They all looked like they
were having a blast!

I snapped this pic of the couple in their pink vintage Bel-Air before they left.
Cute, right?

Monday, August 8, 2011

Cool Twist on the Sand Ceremony

Last week I had a chance to marry Shawn and Geneva at Chateau Cargill. Instead of a regular sand ceremony they did a sand ceremony using an hourglass. It was the first time I had seen one (found online here).

During the ceremony I gave this description as they poured the sand:

"For the sand ceremony, each of them has a container of sand which represents their life each with all of it’s many parts and beautiful color. Today these lives are joined together. As these two containers of sand are poured into the third container, the individual containers of sand will no longer exist, but will be joined as one. Just as these grains of sand can never be separated and poured again into the individual containers, so will your marriage be.

Shawn and Geneva’s ceremony is a bit different as the vase is being replaced with an hourglass. In the beginning the colours will be separate but every year on their anniversary they will turn the hourglass over. Each year the colours will mix a bit more until the sands are all one colour. This is to symbolise the merging of two families and the creation of a new family as the years go on."

It's nice to see something new and I especially love the idea of turning it over every year on your anniversary.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Weekend Weddings

Well, it's smack in the middle of wedding season and Jordan and I have been keeping busy!

Last weekend I had the pleasure of marrying Martin & Kristie on Saturday and then Rob & Holly on Sunday. Despite the dreary weather (really July! come on!) the couples were so sweet and fun to be with. It's nice to see people who are enjoying their wedding and taking part in the moment and not getting stuck on the small stuff, like raindrops :)

This weekend I did weddings for Ray and Stacey (possibly the most punctual wedding party I have ever been with, well done Stacey!) at gorgeous Redwoods! But it was Stacey's beaming smile as she walked down the aisle that really made for a special moment.

I also got to do the wedding for Omar and Kimberly at Omar's family's home in Brookswood. Kimberly is an interior designer so their wedding was so lovely. They had put a bunch of personal touches including string trio to play the bride in and a homemade banner on the front of the outdoor bar that read "Eat, Drink and Be Married". Adorable! It was so nice to be with them and their families who, you could see, really shared in their joy.

Wedding season 2011 is in full swing, but we have already begun to get requests for 2012, so if you'd like to set up a meeting, drop us an email and we'll get you the info as quick as we can.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Happy 125th Birthday, Milner Chapel!

It's not often I can do a blog post that can be cross-posted on Langley Politics, our wedding chaplaincy site, and our church blog--but that's how important Milner Chapel is to our community.

Milner Chapel, the little white country church near Crush Cres. and Glover Road, is turning 125 this year. On Sunday, Milner will celebrate with a pancake breakfast at 10:30 a.m., followed by entertainment and ringing of the bells at 2 p.m.

The Chapel is a historic piece of Langley. I like to joke that the pioneers built it for $919.50, and 100 years later, it cost a few hundred grand to move it half a block. Moving the Chapel off of Glover was a monumental undertaking, but it completely renewed it.

For Springbrook Church, Milner Chapel has become synonymous with Christmas. Every Christmas Eve morning, we fill the chapel, sing carols, read the Christmas story and celebrate together. Christmas just wouldn't feel the same without Milner Chapel.

I love that little chapel. It's one of my favourite spots to perform a wedding ceremony, and I love telling this story when I marry couples there:

And what a perfect spot to get married—Milner Chapel. The story behind this old building is one of love—and practicality.

You see, in the early 1880s, a Milner farmer named Henry Davis wanted to marry a girl from back east named Elizabeth. Well, Elizabeth’s dad gave his approval, subject to one small requirement—Milner had to have a church of its own. After all, he couldn’t send his daughter to some barbarian town that didn’t even have a church!

So Henry got on his horse, rode around the Fraser Valley, and raised money to build a church. Singlehandedly, he raised $919.50 and a few years later, in 1886, Milner Methodist Church, led by Rev. RJ Wood, opened its doors. It’s been a local landmark ever since. Henry married Elizabeth, and their great-grandchildren still live in Milner. The Chapel was built for love—a perfect place for these two.

Congratulations, and much gratitude to the Milner Community Association, and tireless volunteers (I'm looking at you, Dot Mufford!) for their work to preserve the Chapel.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Be Yourselves (Reflections of a Best Man)

Jenny and I have performed a lot of wedding ceremonies over the past few years--more than 200 between us. Each wedding is unique and special, just like each couple is unique and special. No one approaches or plans a wedding the same way: there are literally dozens of personal touches--small and large--that make a couple's day their own.

On Saturday, my best friend Sam got married. I was honoured to be asked to be his best man (who knew holding on to rings was more nerve-wracking than telling a groom he can kiss the bride?). He was marrying the lovely Lana, after dating her for the past couple of years.

Sam and Lana are in their mid-30s and very independent, which gave them a ton of freedom to plan the wedding the way they wanted it. There was very little parental pressure, so the Sam and Lana Show was on!

And it was great. The wedding took place at their friends' home on a beautiful south Langley property. The reception was burgers and beer (Vera's and Dead Frog--may I recommend the Pepper Lime?), and the whole day was full of laughter, hugs, joy, a few tears, and all-round good times. There was a T-Shirt cannon instead of a bouquet toss. Delicious pies instead of wedding cake. There was even a Twitter hashtag (#snlwedding).

Jenny and I got home from the wedding (exhausted!) and couldn't help but talk about how perfect the day was, and how it completely fit Sam and Lana. It was perfectly, uniquely, incredibly them.

I could blog another thousand words about some of the best weddings I've done, and how the couples found little touches that made the day perfect. But take it from someone who goes to a lot of weddings: the best ones reflect who the couple is.

When you're planning your big day, own it! Make it yours, and no one else's. Every little touch goes a long way to telling the story of your love for each other--and your guests will appreciate the thoughtfulness, creativity and effort.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Anyone Else But You....

Today I had the pleasure of doing a wedding for Bob and Leah. They are a really sweet couple who had supported each other through some difficult times and they were so excited to be married!

When they told me they wanted to sing part of their vows, I have to admit, I was skeptical. Neither of them are 'singers' and Bob is even a bit quiet. They had chosen a song from the end of the movie Juno by the Moldy Peaches called "Anyone Else But You". They wanted to do regular spoken vows and then, with a friend accompanying them on guitar, sing the song as part of their vows. I helped them find where it would fit and went through it a couple times at the rehearsal.

At the rehearsal, both seemed a bit nervous and I a little concerned their voices would be too quiet or that they might forget the words.

But today they took that microphone between them, looked into each others eyes and did it. And it was touching, adorable and so much fun. The end of the song where the "do doo de do do de do doo do do do" part is they held the mic between the two of them with their heads leaned close together. It was an absolute moment. And when they finished their guests erupted into cheers and applause. It was so sweet. It was the first time I have ever done a wedding where guests applaud vows!

I have embedded video of the song up top for you to see.

And I think this brings home an important point. You (and your guests) want to share in something special up there. You want a moment. You don't just want to rush through to get to the party. You want words and actions that are meaningful, fun and personal. And you I also think you want an officiate up there who makes you feel at ease and helps you to create a moment.

Thanks to Leah and Bob for letting me a part of something new and share in your special day!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Wedding for a Cause

This summer my sister and my mom are participating in the Walk to End Breast Cancer. They have been doing fundraising and training for the big weekend. They are really moved by the cause (we all are) and I'm so proud of them!

They have been collecting donations for fundraisers and I want to contribute, so I have decided to do a 'wedding for the cause!'

I would like to offer my services to one couple for free if you'd be willing to donate $200 to their fundraising efforts to end breast cancer. It's a win-win all around because I get to help my mom and sister and contribute to their walk and the couple gets a full wedding for a discounted rate (up to $150 off!) AND know their money goes to a good cause.

This can be applied to a full wedding, including intial meeting, rehearsal and ceremony in the Fraser Valley area or to a small wedding. Only stipulation is that it has to be in 2011 and it has be on a date that I am still available. You can even get the tax receipt from the donation!

If you're interested in being the lucky couple who takes part in this, please feel free to email Jenn Thanks in advance!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wedding Photo

Had a brain block about how to attach this from my phone. Got it now!

Gorgeous April wedding with Denis and Terri-lou.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Safest Wedding Ever

Today I had the pleasure of marrying Denis and Terri-lou at Bradner Hall. The hall was done up so beautifully all candles and white lights!

I believe it may be the safest wedding I'll ever do because Denis is a fireman and Terri works with search and rescue and many of the guests worked for police, fire and emergency services. I'm just saying- if there's ever a wedding to have an emergency at, these guys are trained professionals! Talk about good under pressure!

Luckily all went off without a hitch. Denis and Terri-lou seemed to be having a blast. Pic is of us with the fire engine (great photo prop)!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Kids in a Wedding

It's impossible to deny the cuteness of kids in a wedding. I mean, what's cuter than miniature tuxedos and dresses tied with a bow? Adorable!

Kids can really add a personal and special touch to a wedding, and if the couple have children of their own it may be especially important to incorporate them in a meaningful way. Having done a bunch of different weddings with kids I offer a few tips:

1. If you want to include kids you have to be prepared that it may be a bit unpredictable, especially if the kids are little. They get nervous, overwhelmed or even a bit silly. But if you're willing to roll with the punches and understand it may not be perfect you will have some sweet moments. As an officiate, I enjoy kids in a wedding (heck, we have 3, we're used to the madness! Pic above is our oldest, Indie as a flower girl a few years ago). As long as the couple is relaxed about it, the guests are too.

2. Have kids at the rehearsal. Many have never been to a wedding and can't picture what it will really be like. It makes them feel good to do a practice and gives a chance to ask questions! If you're going to have flower girls throw petals, let her practice with the petals in the venue. I cannot tell you how many girls ran out of petals, forgot to throw them or had a hard time managing. It's good for them to try it out.

2. If they're under 5, have them walk down the aisle and then be seated (preferably with a family member in the front 2 rows). Our ceremonies aren't too long, but 15 min is an eternity to a preschooler :) Also, have someone on both ends (one person to hold them before they get to the aisle and one person to be waiting for them at the other end. It's makes that aisle seem a lot less scary!

3. If they're over 5 and are going to stand during the ceremony, put a twoonie on the ground where you want them to stand. If they stand still on it during the ceremony they can keep it when the ceremony is done (cha-ching!) I also think the closest groomsman having a candy in his pocket to slip them if needed can be a good idea.

4. Always have a familiar family member or friend that is willing to take them to them out if need be. I once did a wedding where the couple had a baby who insisted on being held and crying through the vows leaving a huge string of snot on his dad's jacket. It made it frustrating for the couple and their guests who couldn't hear a thing! Having someone who is willing to slip out with a little one can relieve a lot of stress in the moment.

These are my tips from my experience. That being said, we're willing to accomodate kids in whatever ways are most meaningful for the parents. We have done some cool things, like a family candle ceremony for blended families, or vows spoken to the children as well for a family. We have also done a gift from a parent to a step child or introduced them as a family right before the recessional. Feel free to chat with us about any/ all of the ideas if including your own children is something you'd like to do.

We've also included pets, but I'll save that post for another time!

If you want to, including kids can lead to some hilarious, adorable and magical moments in your special day.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Great Couples

It's a busy season for us right now. It's busy for meeting couples and booking weddings. One of the most fun things about this time of year is having a chance to actually meet and chat with some of the brides and grooms we'll be working with this year. We love hearing the stories of how they met or sharing in the details of what they're picturing for their big day. Those elements are really important to us because we are truly committed to creating a personal and meaningful ceremony for each couple.

One couple I had a blast with last year was Terry and Jeff, who got married at lovely Cecil Green, out at UBC. Their wedding day ended up being a bit rainy, but it didn't dampen the spirits at all. They were so laid back and focused on enjoying their day together, that spirit really just shone right through. Terry just recently sent me this photo of the ceremony and I love remembering their moment. And, because they had met on the tennis team I got to make tennis jokes- doubles partners for life, and the score is always love/ love....ha! Always nice to hear from couples months later who are living their own 'happily ever after' :)

Anyways, if you're looking for an officiate, we'd love to meet with you, have some fun and hear about what your unique day will be like and how we can help be a part of that.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Beauty of a Winter Wedding

Winter weddings get a bad rap. It's cold and you can't take the photos outdoors or have a ceremony in a park. Don't get me wrong, we looooove summer weddings and being outdoors, but a winter wedding can be also be done so beautifully!

First off- take advantage of the fact that it gets dark early! Filling your ceremony or reception with candles, tea lights and twinkle lights really creates a beautiful ambiance. It looks awesome! This pic is from a wedding I did at Newlands this winter.

Also, doing an off-season wedding makes the availability (and sometimes the costs) of services and vendors a little easier to manage. You are more likely to get first choice on some of the best as we're not all booked up a year in advance!

Get creative with your photos (ie cute umbrellas, covered outdoor locations or book a photographer that has a studio).

Winter weddings are usually a welcome relief for guests from the boredom of winter and a fun night out to be part of a celebration.

And finally, if you're headed off on a honeymoon, when better to leave than the winter! Get married while it's cold out and then head off to sunshine and happiness while the rest of us go back to work ;)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Technical Difficulty!!!

This is just a post to let anyone know that if you emailed about a meeting or a request for info either Monday or
Tuesday I am having some serious technical difficulties!!!! I read my emails but then my power source DIED spontaneously so I did not get a chance to respond to them! And, because the emails are stuck in my outlook I can't get them until my computer is back in commission this weekend.

Sorry!! Pardon the delay, we'll be back to the regularly scheduled emailing replying asap.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sri Lankan Wedding

One thing we really enjoy doing is working with couples to help them find a way to include any cultural traditions that might be important to them as part of their ceremony. We try to do this in a way that is meaningful to them and their guests.

This winter I married Micky and Lanka at Newlands, and Lanka's family, who were Sri Lankan, wanted to include some traditional elements alongside some of the regular western traditions. One Sri Lankan tradition that was really cool is that the bride is drummed down the aisle. There was a drummer in an authentic outfit (pic above) who did this great drum music and led the way for her bride and her father. The couple also lit an oil lamp and included a traditional blessing. This was mixed with contemporary vows and exchange of rings and some country music (Keith Urban?) as they signed and exited the ceremony.

All of their elements worked well together because they were personal and meaningful to the couple.

If you're looking to include some cultural elements in your wedding, please feel free to ask our advice! It can be a great way to recognize your heritage while creating a new and special family as husband and wife.