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Christmas is the Season to: Get Engaged

So you are going to get married

Christmas Day is usually the number one day of the year for couples to get engaged (followed by Valentine’s Day and Christmas Eve) according to Wedding Wire. The next big step after getting engaged is planning the wedding and the first step in that regard is when and how much?

marriage engagement

The Knot does an annual wedding-cost survey and  last year, the average cost of a wedding was $33,391. And that does NOT include the honeymoon.

How much should YOU spend on your wedding? The Washington Post just today published a great article on just this subject. Their advice? Do what you can afford.

Check out the article at the Washington Post for some great advice on how much to spend on your wedding.

My advice? Do not spend more than $5000. You can have a memorable wedding on that budget and I have officiated many wonderful weddings that cost even less than that.

Tips on Writing Your Own Marriage Vows

Should you write your own wedding vows?

wedding vows

Your wedding is coming up. You have to decide on your vows. Should you write your own vows? Or let your wedding officiant use traditional ones? It’s sometimes not an easy question to answer.

Traditional Vows?

While there are a number of variations, the most commonly known traditional vow is: “I, ______, take thee, ______, to be my wedded husband/wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.” The officiant reads one line at a time, and the soon-to-be-weds repeat said line in order to affirm their commitment to one another. If you choose to recite traditional vows, your officiant can help you select the set that is most appropriate and meaningful to both you and your partner.Some couples opt to write their own vows in order to personalize their ceremony further. Writing personalized vows is a way to proclaim your love for one another in your own words.

Writing Your Own Vows

Thinking of adding your own personal touch? Here are some quick and easy tips:
1. Let your officiant help you
Some religions still require both parties to recite a portion of traditional vows. Speak with your officiant to work out any necessary details so the ceremony goes seamlessly.
2. Research online and see what others have used
Think back to wedding you’ve been to and listen closely at the ones you’re attending this season. And if you haven’t been to many weddings, search online for videos and transcripts. A little inspiration can go a long way!
3. Talk with each other about your relationship
Write down bullet points about your fiancé, the first time you met, when you knew you were in love, and exactly why you are getting married. These notes will help you form complete thoughts as well as large points you want to highlight in your vows.
4. Decide on some promises.
You can combine broad promises along with more specific ones. Mix it up but ensure all your promises are true to you and your partner’s relationship.
5. Be sure to write it out
Writing a rough draft that you edit numerous times will usually produce the best results. Some couples wait until the day of and scrawl their vows out while they are getting ready. Writing beforehand can ensure cohesive thoughts, allow you to edit the areas that are not perfect and to practice.
One aspect couples often overlook is the presentation of their vows. You should write your final copy on a neat piece of paper or some type of stationary that matches your wedding theme. In photos of the vow exchange you will see whatever the vows are written on so having a crumpled piece of paper will appear disheveled.
DO NOT use your phone. Besides all of the mishaps that occur using your cellphone (screen going dark, having to thumb down the page, phone vibrating) it’s just plain tacky and shows a lack of preparation.
6. Keep your vows to one or two minutes at most
If your vows are longer than two minutes, consider editing them down. Focus on the major promises you want to make in front of your nearest and dearest. You can also write your partner a sweet note to read the morning of the wedding, or give a toast during the reception.
7. Practice, Practice, Practice!!!
Practicing your vows out loud will allow you to catch run on sentences and tongue twisters. If you hear any, rewrite them. The tone you speak with should be heartfelt but conversational. It should not sound as if you are giving a speech. And you’ll be more comfortable speaking towards your significant other and all your guests the day of if you practiced beforehand.
Choosing to write your own vows is part of the day you will remember forever. It is a significant task to write your vows and recite them with family and friends intently watching. Some people become overwhelmed with emotion and are unable to share their vows. Have a back up plan in case this happens. Perhaps, the officiant can even read the vows for you if you can’t. Be calm and remember that everyone in attendance is there to support you and your new beginning!

Wedding Unity Sand Ceremony

Unity Sand Ceremony

Traditionally, weddings in the past have been a pretty standardized affair. Because of movies and television most people could summarize the ceremony from memory. In recent times however, weddings have become more personalized, with couples adding or subtracting components to the ceremony to suit their personal preferences.

unity sand ceremony
Photo courtesy of Eileen Rivaud

One example of a modern wedding innovation is the Unity Sand Ceremony. Like the unity candle which many people are familiar with, the sand ceremony ads a personal, non-traditional touch to a wedding ceremony. It is a symbolic, poignant moment during the ceremony where a couple visually demonstrate their joining as a couple.

The sand ceremony has quickly gained in popularity for several good reasons. It’s rather simple. It is visually appealing. And it is an easily modified ritual that contributes a bit of worldliness and also leaves the newlyweds with a meaningful souvenir of their big day.

One big added benefit is that, unlike the unity candle, this wedding ceremony isn’t complicated by a light breeze. I can’t tell you how many times I have had unity candles blown out by the wind during outside wedding ceremonies. Unity sand ceremonies can be used outdoors with no problem at all.

Following below is one example of a sand ceremony.

Example Sand Ceremony

GROOM and BRIDE you have just sealed your relationship by the giving and receiving of rings and this is a pledge between two people who agree that they will commit themselves to one another throughout their lives.

Today, this relationship is also symbolized through the pouring of these two individual containers of sand. One, representing you, GROOM and One Representing you BRIDE and all that you were, all that you are, and all that you will ever be.

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 together as one.

Just as these grains of sand can never be separated, our prayer for you today is that your lives together would be blended like the seven seas and may your love swirl around each other like the changing tides.

Changing Your Name in SC After Getting Married

Steps to Change Your Name in SC After Marriage

Many people ask me about how to go abut changing their name after they are married. It is actually a simple process in theory, but can be complicated if one is unprepared.

After your marriage ceremony you will receive an original of your license that is in fact your new Certificate of Marriage. If you wish to change your name to that of your new spouse or partner, the first step is to change your name with the Social Security administration.

social security name change

 

You can apply for a name change at the SS office in person or via mail.

For more information on a SS name change go here.

Note: I strongly suggest you do not mail in your original certificate of marriage if applying by mail for a new SS card. Get a certified copy from the court where you obtained your marriage license. It is only $5.00.

In SC you must do this at least 48 hours before going to the DMV to get your license or ID card with your new name.

Afterwards changing your name with SS and waiting 48 hours (wait until you get your new card if you applied by mail) you can then apply at the DMV. Bring your original marriage certificate or a certified copy with you. For more information visit the SCDMV site here.

Having a Big Wedding? 6 Wedding Bills You When Should Always Use a Credit Card to Pay

6 Wedding Bills You Should Always Charge on a Credit Card

paying for your wedding

If you are having a large wedding you are certainly going to incur some big charges. A good way to pay those bills is by using a credit card. Not su much to defer the costs, but to protect yourself if the items are defective or deficient in any way. A good article concerning what wedding costs you should charge can be found here.

The article discusses 6 items you should always charge. They are;

  1. Deposits
  2. Wedding Planner Fees
  3. Day of services
  4. Wedding Dress
  5. Anything bought online
  6. Travel Expenses

For a more in depth discussion take a look at the article.

What is a Certified Copy of a Marriage License

What is a certified copy of your marriage license and do you need one?

certified copy of your marriage license

A certified copy of your marriage license is a copy of the Court’s license on record. It may be necessary to show a certified copy to the appropriate entities for a legal name change, for other legitimate purposes, or for genealogical research. A certified copy does not expire. Certified copies of your marriage license cannot be obtained until your license has been filed and accepted by the County Probate Court where you obtained your license. If you would like to request a certified copy of your marriage license from the County Probate Court, you have to complete a form and pay a fee, usually $5.

In South Carolina, when you get married you are given 3 originals of your marriage license. All have the court seal imprinted on them so they are originals. You are given one copy to keep and this original is usually sufficient for all your needs. However, if you have to send your marriage license off somewhere out of your possession, you should get a certified copy. You do not want your original to get lost.

You will usually need to wait one to two weeks to get a certified copy after your wedding, but it might take longer. Your wedding officiant has 15 days to send the other two completed copies of your marriage license back to the court for filing. It then takes the court a few days to actually file the license.

Remember, you are not married until you exchange vows (oaths) and the marriage licensed is signed by all parties and returned to the court.

Here is how to obtain a copy of your marriage license from Richland County, SC.

Here is how to obtain a copy of your marriage license from Lexington County, SC.

Simple and Inexpensive Honeymoons

If you’re looking for some affordable honeymoon trips to begin your marriage on the right financial foot, check out the amazing destinations below. Each is romantic in its own way and, best of all, you can enjoy most of them while spending only half as much as the average American newlyweds, depending on where you live and how far you have to travel.

Here are some tips from the Simple Dollar to help you get started with planning your honeymoon from a financial perspective:

Set a budget: This is the most important step when planning your honeymoon. It’s amazing to dream about an amazing Mediterranean cruise through Italy and Greece, but if you want to keep your spending under $2,500, that type of honeymoon would definitely break your budget.

Itemize your budget: A budget shouldn’t just be a number. You should really sit down and itemize it. For example, calculate how much you want to spend on flights, the hotel, food, activities and excursions, and even souvenirs. All of this will give you a clearer idea of what kind of destination you can afford.

Even better, choose a place that is all-inclusive. That’s what I did for my honeymoon: Since I write about budgeting for a living, I didn’t want to be stressed with small purchasing decisions — like if I wanted an extra glass of wine at dinner. (Spoiler alert: I always got the extra glass!)

Go non-traditional: It sounds great to lay on a Caribbean beach with a little umbrella drink in your hand, but there are many places to see right here in the U.S. that might offer more adventure, culture, or sightseeing that’s off the beaten path. You can go hiking, camping, see the national parks, or couch-surf your way across the country. I know that doesn’t sound romantic — but for the right couple, it would be downright memorable and fun. This is your time as a newly married couple, and no one else’s — so don’t be afraid to spend it the way you want to.

It’s for relaxing: One thing to remember about honeymoons is that they are for relaxing! I find that many people try to cram as much as possible into their honeymoons, setting up tours and wine tastings and excursions all day long. This type of trip is absolutely awesome when you’re a couple or a family and you want to see the world — but trust me, after months of planning a wedding, it really is best to relax. Find a place where you and your new spouse can sleep in without feeling guilty that you’re missing out. You can always go on another vacation in the future, so use this one as a chance to enjoy the quiet after the wedding.

Read along further in the article and you will find that the number one destination they recommend is Charleston, SC! More on Charleston as a honeymoon destination in a later article. If you need a wedding officiant, we are happy to meet you in Charleston and perform the ceremony as well!

Dressing Your Wedding Guests

When Jennifer began to plan her wedding, she ran into one novel problem: how to dress her wedding guests.

Normally, this isn’t a problem. By tradition, a wedding is a formal event where guests are expected to show up either in tuxedos and gowns if part of the wedding party, or in suits and formal dresses if an invited guest.

The details of proper attire for the guests is left entirely to the guests themselves. Most people already know what they should wear to a wedding, or if not, they at least have enough sense to ask a mother or sister who will be delighted to explain exactly what they should and
should not wear.

Now and then you find a poor schmuck with a sister who has a vindictive streak and you get a wedding guest who arrives wearing a plaid jacket, red and green striped tie and a yellow beanie with a propeller on top. Mostly your guests are well behaved and arrive appropriately dressed, sober and with the suitable amount of discomfort required of all wedding guests everywhere.

Jennifer’s wedding was going to be a little different. She (and her fiance of course) had decided to have a casual dress wedding at a country club overlooking the beach. The bride’s dress was still planned as a formal gown, but the bridesmaids would wear sun dresses and the best man and groom would wear khaki slacks and summer jackets.

Jennifer wanted her guests to know that they were encouraged to wear casual clothes. She wanted the ladies to come in summer dresses or skirts with nice blouses and the men to come wearing sport shirts and slacks with a jacket. The total effect was going to be a casual, country club style atmosphere.

Jennifer wanted to say this in a nice way, without having to include a lengthy and offensive dress code decree in her invitation package. There is nothing quite so objectionable as having someone tell you in specific and didactic detail how you are supposed to dress. Jennifer was very much aware of this potential etiquette land mine and wanted wholeheartedly to avoid it.

On the other hand, she couldn’t just leave it to chance and simply say “casual attire” because sure as tank tops, someone would construe casual to mean T shirts, shorts and sneakers.

Jennifer fretted about this for days, trying several versions of her dress code message, none of which satisfied all the conflicting requirements of brevity, inoffensiveness and clarity.

Jennifer hit upon the solution: a short, humorous poem, printed on an index sized card along with the invitation.

This would immediately let people know exactly how to dress and would offend no one. Since the poem would also be humorous, it had the benefit of being entertaining and therefore easily remembered.

Jennifer overcame the last hurdle of being unable to write poetry by hiring a poet and working with him through four drafts until she had exactly what she wanted: eight lines of lighthearted verse which told the guests how they should dress and left them with a smile.

With a sigh of relief, Jennifer could now focus on the next problem which needed her attention: the weather …

Spend Less On The Perfect Wedding

Wedding celebrations should be times of greatpleasure, not just for the pair entailed, but also for their friends and family. The pointers included below will certainly assist you to arrange a fantastic wedding event that you and also all your visitors will certainly remember forever.

If kids will certainly be contributing in your wedding event, you ought to clothe them pleasantly. Outfit them in soft, comfy textiles that are ventilated as well as healthy freely. New footwears must be used sufficient to guarantee they fit. This tiny information could make certain that the kids continue to be concentrated on their component in the wedding event, rather than fidgeting with uneasy garments.

To be absolutely prepared for your very first pair’s dancing at the wedding party, a couple of days prior start exercising dance while using a lengthy gown. Also if you on a regular basis put on lengthy skirts or fit trousers, your future partner may not be utilized to dancing with you while you remain in this sort of apparel. This aids to suppress any type of bumbling, particularly if you have a gown that has a puffy skirt.

If you do not intend on offering supper for function visitors, consider avoiding furnishings instead of leasing numerous tables. Lounges, sectionals as well as agreeable chaises could urge social communication. You could produce unique lounge locations with deluxe seats throughout the place to earn visitor really feel comfy and also unique.

A wedding event is usually a demanding time, rather than a day wedding celebration, prepare it for a little later. This enables you to guarantee that every little thing is done without needing you to get up horribly early that early morning. Invest the big day relaxing as well as emotionally preparing.

If you are having a location wedding event, a great present to obtain your visitors is a basket loaded with getaway rewards sent out to their space. Some beneficial products to consist of may be traveler details, sunlight hats, sunglasses, non reusable cams, maps of the location, sun block, and more. You could additionally place in an overview of dining establishments that are regional.

Hold an outfit practice session for all participants of the celebration that are offering speeches at the function. This will certainly provide a possibility to exercise, and also you’ll additionally have the ability to see to it no improper comments are prepared. Particular jokes or remarks may not agree with specific age.

If you are purchasing a bridal gown and also occur to be expectant, constantly take that right into factor to consider. It just makes great feeling also discover an outfit which will certainly still fit as your midsection increases.

You could also ask among your close friends if you could obtain some precious jewelry for the large special day. This “something obtained” will certainly boost the means you feel and look and also include an unique touch to the day.

On-line wedding event dress acquisitions could be simple on your pocketbook, yet offer on your own sufficient time for changes as required. I invested $100 on the dress I bought for my wedding event, yet invested one more $200 for changing it. Make certain to include the added price of modifications in your spending plan.

Think about silk blossoms for your wedding event as opposed to investing a great deal of loan on glamorous flower setups. You could get your silk blossoms well ahead of the wedding event whereas fresh blossoms need to be picked, organized as well as supplied on the wedding, which could be much more demanding and also bothersome.

Rather than one huge, costly wedding celebration cake, think about offering cupcakes or a number of tiny cakes. Lots of pastry shops could give wedding event cupcakes that are available in at 100 calories or much less each offering. Various other much healthier alternatives consist of gluten-free breads, no-calorie sugars, as well as topping choices, such as meringue or fruit spreads.

Remember all points when thinking about a location for your functions, like having ample dancing flooring area. Neglecting this could finish with a confined function, so do not forget this vital information. You could constantly removal chairs and also tables to have even more room for dance.

You have to have an efficient prepare for every action of the wedding event procedure, from food to function occasions. Your loved ones have actually made an unique initiative to be there for your special day, so see to it they have an appealing as well as amazing experience.

Blossoms that abound in your state might be tough to locate at your wedding event place. Call in advance or look online to identify which blossoms are offered in your location nation while your wedding celebration will certainly happen.

Know what sort of weather condition is being required on your wedding. If it is mosting likely to be an outside wedding celebration, visitors possibly will not wish to invest a great deal of time, if the day is a warm and also moist one. They could likewise leave early, if it’s exceptionally cool at your wedding event. Do just what you could to earn certain your visitors fit; supply followers in the summer season or little heating systems in the winter months.

Otherwise intended well, a wonderful wedding event celebration could transform dreadful. Make use of the recommendations laid out in the above post, and also use them to fit your demands and also make it as simple as feasible to prepare your wedding celebration.

Simple Marriage Ceremonies

Wedding Officiant

Weddings have been around since the dawn of man, be it a lavish and grand celebration where the bride and groom go all out to make their marriage ceremony a very big on or a simple solemn occasion that celebrates the unity of a man and woman in the eyes of God and the law. In the past religion plays a big role in marriages, the religion of the bride and the groom dictate the ceremony of their marriage but in spite of religion the true meaning in marriage is in the unity of man and woman.. Throughout the years weddings have evolved from it humble beginning in the days of old.

Today getting married is a big deal in the eyes of the law. Getting married accompanies legalities and responsibilities in the eyes of the law. Marrying the love of your life is a once in a lifetime event and you should make it as memorable as possible. But what about those of us who do not have the funds necessary to hold such an event? The answer can be found the moment you call us.

The site tells the public that for a certain fee that can be availed by most of us in the middle class of the society one can get married to the person they love. In South Carolina, weddings officiated by a notary have been legalized. This means that you don’t need to pay so much money to get married. Whether you want to do your own vows or you want to follow the general format your marriage is now at hand. You can keep your marriage subtle and solemn and can be conducted between only the notary, your future spouse and a few witnesses but you always have the option to invite more people because getting married is something to share with your close relatives and friends.The site not only offers you a way to get married, there are also other services you can avail at your request and at a certain price but that is for you and your betrothed to decide amongst yourselves.

From the grandest of marriages to the simplest ones, the celebration is just an added plus. The important thing is that legality of your marriage to your loved one. Festivities aside, it is the promise of eternal love and the acknowledgement of your marriage by the law and the Church that is important.