Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Happy Holidays!

On behalf of all of those associated with Joyous Occasions, I wish you a very Merry Christmas, a happy New Year, and the very best this holiday season has to offer for you and your family.
This time of year is a time to cherish those you love. It is also one of the most popular times to pop the question - "Will you marry me?"
Best wishes to all the newly engaged couples this holiday season. Enjoy this special time of year.
I'll see you in 2010!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Home Weddings: Sean & Jessica; Alejandro & Julie; Thomas & Feruza; Thomas & Xia

What a wonderful summer it has been! I have had the opportunity to preside over some truly wonderful ceremonies and work with great couples. Now the fall begins, and I have several weddings that will be performed at tremendous facilities like Hartefeld National and Longswamp Bed & Breakfast.

But I wanted to take a moment to reflect on one of the most meaningful and appropriate settings for a wedding ceremony - your home! A home wedding is a great alternative to a more grand affair. Your home is certainly more affordable and provides for a comfortable, warm and loving setting. I have performed many home weddings and four this summer. Each time I step into a home, I am struck by the warmth and love that surrounds the couple.

As the saying goes, "Home is where the heart is." For a wedding ceremony, where matters of the heart are front-and-center, the home is a perfectly appropriate setting.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Ridley Creek Mansion and Grounds: Ed & Laura

Another wonderful setting for a wedding is Ridley Creek State Park in Media, PA. Not only does it offer wonderfully wooded grounds for a beautiful outdoor wedding, the Mansion is an ideal setting for an intimate ceremony. The platform staircase provides for the perfect ceremony spot as your guests surround you on multiple levels of platform spaces. The lighting is ideal for crystal clear pictures and the acoustics provide for a wedding ceremony heard at perfect pitch.

I performed Ed & Laura's wedding at the Mansion in early August. While the original plan called for an outdoor wedding, the Mansion served as the backup venue. It was an ideal setting with friends and family surrounding them while they recited the vows and performed the rites that united their lives and families.

I'm very pleased I was able to be a part of it. This couple is truly in love and equally devoted. Cheers to Ed & Laura! Oh, and cheers to their flower girl, Jenna, who did a great job! Nicely done, Jenna!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Release the Doves: Frank & Maria

Recently, I performed a wedding ceremony unlike any I had performed before. Frank and Maria were wonderful to work with. They met each other a bit later in their lives and I was struck by how rooted they both were in their traditions. It was a very nice thing to encounter and it was clear that family and roots meant a great deal to both.

I imagined that this would be a very routine wedding, steeped in the traditional ceremonial style. I was quite surprised when they suggested releasing doves as part of their service. I have heard of this done and spoken to colleagues who presided over dove releases, but I personally had never encountered this particular element before. In keeping with my promise to serve as guide for a service and not its author, I happily agreed to their suggestion and we scripted a very nice piece that included the reading of the Dove Poem.

Frank managed to locate a great service, Delaware White Dove Releases, servicing Delaware and areas in PA and NJ. Their representative, Dawn, came to the wedding early, met with me, and set up a beautiful stanchion where the bird cage was hung draped with white lace and bows. At the appropriate moment in the ceremony, Dawn opened the cage and gave the bride and groom each their own dove.

Frank and Maria released their doves on cue and it was an amazing portion of a great wedding. Later, dawn told me that the doves are trained to return to the dove farm in Delaware. Evidently, the doves have their own little reception waiting for them back home.

For details on Delaware White Dove Releases, visit And cheers to Frank & Maria for teaching me something new!

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Majestic Wedding Setting - Hartefeld National: Josh & Sarah; Rich & Debi

This summer, I have had the pleasure of conducting two weddings at Hartefeld national Golf Course, a breathtaking location for a wedding. Josh & Sarah and Rich & Debi had beautiful weddings, though very different from one another.

Josh & Sarah took advantage of the breathtaking views of Hartefeld’s beautiful golf course. The rolling green hills and magnificent waterscape provided for an elegant setting for a very fun loving couple.

Rich & Debi held their wedding inside Hartefeld's well appointed Ballroom, then had guests retire to the veranda where they could have a drink while taking in the scenic vista.

I have performed ceremonies throughout Pennsylvania and I am always pleased when a couple I'm working with inform me they will be married at Hartefeld. As their website says:

"The historic charm of a magnificent fieldstone clubhouse set amidst one of the Northeast's most honored and picturesque golf courses. A complete renovation of The Ballroom reflects the casual elegance and simple sophistication of today's couples... and our veranda is the perfect setting for your ceremony with a breathtaking view of our signature sixth hole and surrounding countryside. We take care of everything!
Dedicated event planners provide attention to every detail. From the arrival of your family and friends to the very last dance, no detail is left to chance."

I will be back at Hartefeld in October for Steve & Gini's wedding. I know it will be a beautiful affair and I highly recommend you visit their site:

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Perfect Wedding Ceremony

I am often asked what makes the perfect wedding ceremony. My answer is simple - you. As the special couple, your ceremony should be a reflection of the uniqueness of your love. No other couple shares the connection the two of you share. This connection is comprised of a special bond that I believe is unique to every couple. This is why I will work with both of you to create a ceremony that is perfect for you as a couple. Your love deserves something special. That is why I created Joyous Occasions. I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Brian and Angela

While Brian and Angela were wed on a cold, rainy April day, the service was warm and inviting. The Pitman Golf Course did a wonderful job planning for the rain that would take this outdoor ceremony inside to Bogey's restaurant. The staff ensured the inside was beautifully appointed to accommodate a last minute rain emergency.

Brian and Angela were wed inside with lighted trees providing for an elegance to the setting. Complete with a wine blessing, their wedding was a truly special event. The bottle they used for the wine ritual was the very bottle Brian had used to propose. Their favorite vintage, Brian tied the engagement ring to the bottle with colorful ribbon and presented it to Angela. They didn't open that bottle until their wedding day and drank from it for the very first time during the wine ceremony.

Brian and Angela are an example of just how much a couple can custom create their ceremony.

Cheers to Brian and Angela!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

William and Sarah

William and Sarah decided to get married at a wonderful location. The Waterworks in Philadelphia is located right behind the Philadelphia Museum of Art. It is part of a beautiful park complete with flower gardens, jogging and biking trails, and of course, the magnificent Schuylkill River. The gazebo pictured above was the site of their ceremony. It was a small, intimate gathering of close family. The great thing about this location is that it's open to the public. Provided you have a small gathering and don't wish for the area to be blocked off, no permits or fees are required.

Sarah looked beautiful and it's clear that William is very much in love. The couple believes the best pictures are those taken by the mind and the heart. This day will be a beautiful picture indeed.