Here at A Beautiful Florida Wedding we have a very ambivalent feeling towards a Plan B. On the one hand we know that a plan B brings with it the assurance that every ceremony will be performed no matter what the weather. On the other and we know that every couple that chooses to have their destination wedding in Florida expects sunshine and ocean breezes to bless their day. Three years ago we had a lovely family fly in from Japan. They brought with them many of their relatives. Their intention was to have a beach wedding.
The exchange of vows is often the emotional highlight of your marriage ceremony, even if the details of the exchange remain rather hazy in your mind now. The end of the ceremony, however, is only the beginning of your married life. Did your first year live up to expectations? How do you intend to keep the commitments you made alive? A great way of doing so is by celebrating your anniversary as a vow renewal on the beach. What is a vow renewal and who participates? You can see one answer on our website where one of our officiants conducts a 20th anniversary vow renewal with parents and children.
This year, 30,000 brides will register for weddings on the West Coast of Florida. Some 2,700 new brides sign up every month in search of that beautiful Florida wedding. Their dream is a destination wedding that will offer them an idyllic place in paradise where they can say “I do”. They will bring with them a select group of family and friends who demonstrate their support by traveling to ceremonies and receptions from many places in the world. Our own experiences, during the past 14 years, have been that guests have come not only from Naples and Marco Island, Fort Myers and Sanibel Island, but from all over the United States and Canada, as well as from Britain, France, Germany, Scandinavia, and Japan.
We are especially sensitive to the needs of couples marrying for the second time. This often involves a deeper blending of families through the incorporation of children into the marriage. We suggest that the children be included as fully as possible in the wedding ceremony to provide them with a sense of love and belonging that extends from the bride and groom themselves. This can be achieved through such actions as including them in the wedding party, the unity candle or sand ceremony, or in the presentation of a gift at the end of the ceremony (see Ceremony – Optional Elements) We are also available for special counseling of such blended families as a post-nuptial service.
Celebrate special anniversaries by renewing your vows and recreating meaningful parts of your wedding ceremony. We recently officiated at a 40th wedding anniversary in Old Naples and at a 1st anniversary on Vanderbilt beach.
When a couple moves into their first home, or a new home, it is like creating a new sanctuary for their marriage. We are available to bless the positive and affirming energy that you desire to experience in your home, and that you wish visitors also to experience when they enter it.
“‘Who among us entered marriage fully aware of what to expect? My model, not surprisingly, was my parents – live happily or unhappily ever after till death do us part (which they did, mostly happy). When it became my turn, I embraced this commitment naively. Being married, I assumed, was like being on automatic pilot. Wasn’t loving each other enough? You really didn’t have to work hard at the relationship; that was something you did at the office or on the ball field to ensure recognition and affirmation. I realize now that we were not in touch with ourselves, let alone really tuned into each other. Two careers, demanding work schedules, and eventual disgreements over child rearing, left us little time or inclination for examining how we had changed within the marriage. Too late, my wife sought professional help. Who, me in therapy? Oh, no, that was a sign of weakness and vulnerability for something I should be able to work through myself. I became truly conscious of the state of my marriage only after it had failed.”‘
We have re-titled the second of our Conscious Marriage Series “Conscious Coupleship” because we realize that what we have to say applies to any couple in relationship. “You are not two halves but two whole individuals…” is a phrase we use frequently in our wedding ceremony. We remind the couple that each individual is a complete person and that being together as a couple makes each person better and stronger. As the blessing indicates, “You are two persons but with one life ahead of you.” But how do we balance our individual identities within our evolving coupleship?
In our last article we focused on how the marriage relationship can be a call to personal growth. This article addresses how our marriage vows play themselves out in our married life.The wedding ceremony is the culmination of all the marriage preparations. The only two elements essential to a legally binding wedding are the vows that the couple make to each other and the proclamation by the officiant that they are now married. The vows are the emotional and spiritual heart of the ceremony, although not all couples choose to view them that way. We usually ask couples if they prefer to write their own vows, or choose vows from a selection they find most meaningful, or have us do them from our own basic ceremony.