Ways to Include Your Dog in Your Wedding Ceremony

Ways to Include Your Dog in Your Wedding Ceremony

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Your pets are part of your family so it makes sense that you’d want them with you on your wedding day. We’ve officiated thousands of weddings and had the joy of meeting many family dogs; actually we’ve met horses, cats, birds, and more! Hah! It’s becoming increasingly more popular to include your dog in your wedding ceremony.

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We are pet lovers so we understand why you’d want them to be there with you on your special day. We love when you ask us for ideas on how to include your beloved dog in your wedding ceremony. Before deciding on having your dog in your wedding ceremony think about the following:

  • Does the venue or place you are having wedding ceremony allow dogs?
  • What will you do with the dog after the ceremony?
  • Will your dog bark at guests?
  • Who will be in charge of the dog?
  • Are you a easy-going couple who will laugh at your dogs unplanned actions? For example a bark or an excited run into your arms.
Their dogs wanted a kiss too :) Picture by Corbett's Media.

In the middle of the ceremony Ann’s dog jumped right into her arms for a quick kiss!

If all of the above are in check and you’ve decided to move forward with having your dog at your wedding ceremony here are some of our favorite ways to include your dog in your wedding ceremony:

  1. Take “family” wedding pictures together. Have your dog at the wedding and take pictures together. Dress them up in a suite tie or a wedding veil. Most often times a friend takes the dog home before the ceremony and reception so every can enjoy, but you still get “family” pictures together.
    Dogs in ceremony are becoming more and more common
  2. Have your dog be the ring bearer. Some people even tie their real rings to the collars; we don’t advise doing this. One time George Jr officiated a wedding with a highly trained competitive show dog. When the bride whistled the dog rain down the aisle, jumped up to the his Mom (the bride) and gave her the rings!
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  3. Have your dog be a “groomsman” or “bridesmaid”. Dress your dog up in it’s wedding attire and have him/her walk down the aisle with one of the members of your bridal party. This way they are standing close to you during the ceremony.
    This sleepy dog was the best man at a wedding officiated by George Jr.
  4. Mention your dog in the wedding ceremony. This can be added to any part of the ceremony. For example,
    • During the ring exchange, “(Bride’s name), I give this ring to you as my promise that I will walk with you and (Dog’s name), on and off the trail, wherever our journey leads us; living, learning loving, together forever.
    • During the ceremony the officiant reads, “Throughout the past years (Bride and Groom) have built a beautiful life together filled with family and friends. They have built a beautiful home together, which now includes their little hairy dog child, (Dog’s name).”
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  5. Remember a beloved dog that is no longer with you. The loss of a pet is very difficult. For many couples a dog is their first “child” and they will love them forever. A sweet way to remember your past pets is for the Officiant to say, “Before we commence the vows let us take a moment to remember (family members and close friends). Though he is absent physically, we invoke, through our thought and prayers, his loving presence. We pray that God might multiply beyond measure the blessings from him to Bride and Groom.  We’d also like to remember Bride and Groom’s dog (Dog’s name) who is no longer with them, but will always be remembered as their baby.”

If you can’t figure out any ways to include your dog in your wedding ceremony:

  1. You can have a framed picture of your dog at the wedding. It’s a sweet way for your dog to be included without the worry of a crazy outburst 🙂
  2. Include the poem “How Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog” by Taylor Mali in your ceremony
  3. Give your dog a shout out. Have your officiant mention your dog in the ceremony.
Me with at their St. Petersburg Pass A Grille Wedding Ceremony

St. Petersburg Pass A Grille Wedding Ceremony

Terry and Roger happy married with their fur babies :) Photo by Lance Oliver

Terry and Roger happy married with their fur babies 🙂 Their stayed in the house for the wedding ceremony then they took “family” pictures together.

 

Sunrise, Afternoon, and Sunset Clearwater Wedding Ceremonies

Sunrise, Afternoon, and Sunset Clearwater Wedding Ceremonies

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It’s been a busy weekend with Sunrise, Afternoon, and Sunset Clearwater Wedding Ceremonies!Mary and Dale

Last Saturday, Mary and Dale had a sunrise ceremony on Clearwater Beach. Mary and Dale were visiting Florida from Arkansas and wanted to elope on the beach. When I first spoke with Mary she wasn’t sure about what time for the wedding. I told her, “sunrise is the nicest time for a beach ceremony.”  We agreed to have their wedding on Saturday morning at Clearwater beach. On Saturday morning the beach was so quiet and still. All we could hear were the sea gulls and rolling waves. We had a few “guest” dolphins present. They swam by as I performed the ceremony. It was truly a perfect setting for a Florida beach wedding.  Mary and Dale were so excited. They both thanked me so much for a beautiful wedding!

Later on Saturday afternoon, I officiated a wedding ceremony for Carly and Brody at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo. The Botanical Gardens is a great and very beautiful place for a wedding. The ceremony was held in the wedding garden.

Beautiful outdoor wedding ceremony at the Botanical Gardens

Beautiful outdoor wedding ceremony at the Florida Botanical Gardens in Largo

They had setup chairs, a DJ, and Orange Blossom catering was doing the the outdoor reception after ceremony. They were able to keep the wedding simple, yet very tastefully setup. There were covered tents for the dinner and each table was setup with a vase of roses for centerpieces.  Carly looked so pretty! I had to get a picture of Carly by the walkway to the wedding garden where a beautiful archway of lavender flowers were overhead. Carly was a very organized bride. She asked me for a rehearsal guide and she put everything together for her ceremony. She and Brody are a real fun couple. It was so obvious that they truly love each other and have a lot of fun together.’

I ended the Saturday with a beautiful sunset wedding on Clearwater Beach. Samantha and Scott flew into Tampa from New Hampshire Saturday morning. They were leaving for a week long Norwegian cruise out of Tampa on Sunday with a number of family and friends. They wanted to be married on Saturday at sunset. Samantha had corresponded with me asking me if this could be done since they weren’t getting into Florida until the day of the wedding. I told her if we did our convenient Florida Marriage License by Mail service, I could obtain their Florida Marriage License without them ever coming to Florida and then we could marry them on Saturday!  She was delighted about this service!! I put a Clearwater wedding package together for them including: Officiant, Florida Marriage License by Mail, Photographer (Photos by George Sr.), and a fresh rose petal heart in the sand. Samantha and Scott had a about forty family members who attended the ceremony. Samantha and Scott were both a bit nervous. They didn’t know what to do so I spoke with Samantha and went over everything. On the wedding day George Sr. and I, arrived early to go over everything with Scott as well. Samantha and Scott and their guests were staying in Tampa.  They arranged for the Super Shuttle to take everyone to Clearwater for the wedding and pick them up later- what a great idea!!! It worked out so well because Clearwater Beach is very busy and parking spots are hard to come by. Everything turned out perfect! Samantha and Scott were so pleased and  said we made everything so easy for them. They thanked us for going above and beyond and making it more than they ever expected 🙂

Leap Day Wedding- What if you only had a wedding anniversary every 4 years?

Leap Day Wedding- What if you only had a wedding anniversary every 4 years?

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Andrew contacted me about having a wedding ceremony on February 29th= Leap Day wedding! Andrew and his fiancé, Jennifer, were traveling from New York and spending a few days in Florida.  They wanted a simple beautiful wedding ceremony on a Florida beach. Whether it’s a small elopement or a large wedding ceremony, I love helping out of town couples make their wedding plans come together. I suggested they have their Florida wedding at sunset on Sand Key Park in Clearwater and they loved that idea.

Andrew and Jennifer were married at sunset on February 29th at Sand Key Park. They wanted to have a unique day for their wedding and one they will both always remember. Since February 29 only happens every four years they will only have an anniversary every four years.  “When we are married 50 years we would have only had 12 wedding anniversaries,” said Jennifer. It was a beautiful sunset evening for their wedding ceremony. Jennifer had a brother attend the wedding and he skyped other family members who couldn’t be present.

Andrew and Jennifer met on Plentyoffish dating website a few years ago. I could see they have a lot of fun together and were so happy to be getting married. They were both very pleased  and thanked me for officiating a great ceremony.

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Jennifer and Andrew happily married on their Leap Day Wedding-Sand Key Park in Clearwater Florida

 

Love was in the air on Valentine’s Day!!

Love was in the air on Valentine’s Day!!

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It was a gorgeous day for so many wonderful weddings and vow renewal ceremonies that were celebrated on Valentine’s Day 2016.

Tasha and Delisa had a morning wedding ceremony at Straub Park in St Petersburg.  Tasha and Delisa invited guests for a brunch style reception at the park. After the wedding they served  pastries, donuts, juices, and champagne.  Tasha and Delisa were so full of life and love! They have been together for seven years and couldn’t wait to be married. It was a real treat to officiate their Valentine’s Day wedding ceremony.

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Tasha and Delisa happily married.

The next ceremony Valentine’s Day celebration was for a 10 year vow renewal. Leah and Michael were celebrating their 10 year wedding anniversary on Valentine’s Day. They drove from Virginia and were travelling down the coast of Florida vacationing. George Sr and I met them at Crystal Beach for the ceremony. I officiated  a 10 year vow renewal ceremony and George Sr took photos. This was like a honeymoon trip for them. They left their three children at home and were just enjoying sometime to themselves. After the ceremony they were going to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants Maggiano’s in Tampa.

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Lean and Michael enjoying their Florida vacation and celebrating 10 years of marriage!

George Sr. and I continued to Land O Lakes where I officiated a wedding ceremony for Michelle and Robert. The ceremony was on the dock at their home overlooking the lake. Michelle wore a pretty wedding dress that had just a touch of light pink accenting the color. Friends and family were invited to a nice backyard reception.

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Newly married Michelle and Robert.

Our final Valentine’s Day wedding ceremony was with Jason and Yilan.  The wedding was at Palma Sola Botanical Gardens in Bradenton. Jason and Yilan wanted the ceremony to be on a bridge overlooking the gardens. I made a pretty rose petal heart on the bridge. Family members stood to the side and officiated their wedding ceremony. George Sr took photos overlooking the lake, in the gazebo, and wherever they wanted pictures taken. The greenery of the gardens and the delightful weather made a perfect setting for a beautiful wedding.

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Officiating Jason and Yilan’s Valentine’s Day wedding ceremony in the beautiful Palma Sola Botanical Gardens in Bradenton Florida.

A Beautiful Wedding in Florida had other weddings and vow renewals taking place throughout Clearwater.

Ellida officiated a 20 year vow renewal in Clearwater for Tonja and Richard at Arts 4 Life Recreational Center and a sunset Clearwater Beach wedding ceremony for Alexander and Nicholas.

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Ellida officiating Alexander and Nicholas’ sunset Clearwater beach wedding ceremony of Valentine’s Day. So romantic!

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20 years and still loving it! Ellida with Tonja and Richard at their Valentine’s Day celebratory 20 year vow renewal ceremony!

All of our couples were very pleased and thankful. It was a beautiful day for love!!!

Wedding Ceremony Chair Options and Ideas

Wedding Ceremony Chair Options and Ideas

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Recently, a bride asked me about providing chairs for her with her wedding ceremony setup. I asked her what type of chair she wanted and she didn’t really know what I meant. I told her about all the different wedding ceremony chair options and ideas. She was surprised and didn’t realize that there were so many different types of chairs to select from. She thought a chair was just a chair!

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There are a lot of different types of ceremony chairs. When doing a beach wedding ceremony simple white fan back chairs look very pretty…and are very affordable. This is a pretty Tarpon Springs vow renewal ceremony setup with our bamboo arbor and white fan back chairs. Charmaine and George Sr. setup the ceremony and officiated the ceremony and took pictures.

For a wedding a chair isn’t just a chair it’s part of your décor. There are ceremony chairs and reception chairs. Some couples will use the ceremony chairs for the reception and others will have 2 different types of chairs. Depending on your wedding and your budget you’ll need decide what works best for your wedding.

Wedding ceremony setup with our white fan back chairs  in St Petersburg

St Petersburg wedding ceremony setup with our white fan back chairs and rose pedal heart Officiated by Charmaine.

When it comes to wedding chairs there are a tons of options! You can get a standard white fan back chair folding chairs, wooden chairs, chairs with cloth coverings, chiavari chairs, and most of these chairs come in different colors. Once you decide on the chairs then you can then decide if you want to decorate the chairs. Chairs can be decorated with ribbons, bows, flowers, mason jars, seashells, etc. These are just a few options used to decorate chairs.

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This is a beautiful ceremony setup we put together with decorated chairs.

A chair isn’t just a chair when it comes to a wedding so if you don’t know where to start check out Pinterest. You’ll find tons of wedding ceremony chair options and ideas. There are so many decisions to be made in planning your wedding, we encourage you to keep your chair decision simple and not get overwhelmed with it. We have seen all sorts of wedding ceremony chair, and non-chair, setups. We are glad to help you come up with a wedding ceremony chair option that makes you happy and fits in your budget. We have chairs for rent and if we don’t have what you want we can get it for you! We work with some amazing local vendors that can provide us with endless ceremony chair options.

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Dunedin Honeymoon Island wedding ceremony setup with our bamboo arbor and white fan back chairs. This sweet and simple wedding ceremony was setup and Officiated by Charmaine.

Did you have a neat wedding ceremony chair setup?  We are always looking for new wedding ceremony chair options and ideas. If you’ve done something beautiful and unique we’d love for you to share with us!

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A Clearwater wedding ceremony setup we put together with wooden resign folding chairs.

 

Celtic Hand Fasting Ceremony Sand Key Park Wedding

Celtic Hand Fasting Ceremony Sand Key Park Wedding

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I recently performed a Celtic Hand Fasting Ceremony Sand Key Park Wedding.  I hadn’t performed a wedding with a Hand Fasting ceremony in awhile so I was excited for the opportunity.

Celtic Hand Fasting ceremony Sand Key Park Wedding picture by Megan Pitts

Celtic Hand Fasting ceremony Sand Key Park Wedding picture by Megan Pitts

Hand fasting ceremonies can be done in a variety of ways. Typically, as the ceremony is performed expressions of intent are asked to bride and groom. As each expression of intend is recited a binding is placed over their hands. For this ceremony I used red ropes for the binding. Ribbons are also commonly used. The couple starts off with holding hands. One partner with the left hand the other with the right. An expression of intent is recited to each partner such as, “will you share in laughter and look for the brightness and positive in him or her?” When they reply “I will” a binding is done with the ropes over their hands. The binding crosses over their hands and continues with each expression of intent thus binding their hands together.  The couple continues to keep their hands bound as the ceremony continues. When it is time for the ring exchange the binding is then released. The binding is given to the couple at the end of the ceremony for a keepsake souvenir.

The Celtic Hand Fasting Ceremony Sand Key Park Wedding ceremony was at sunset. I sprinkled fresh red rose pedals in the sand and I performed the Celtic hand fasting ceremony binding them together for eternity. The final binding sealed with a kiss. My photographer partner, Megan Pitts, took photos before, after, and during the ceremony.

The couple repeatedly thanked me and were very happy. I really enjoyed working with them to create their special Celtic Hand Fasting Ceremony Sand Key Park Wedding.