Displaying 1 - 10 of 54 entries.

Involving Your Children In Your Wedding Ceremony

  • Posted on March 22, 2012 at 9:27 pm

When you or your fiance have children from a previous marriage, it can be both enjoyable and beneficial to involve them in your wedding ceremony.

You can choose to have the children be a part of the wedding party and walk down the aisle in a variety of roles – from being bridesmaids or groomsmen, flower children, or ring bearers.  Children can also give the bride away!

I have officiated some very touching wedding ceremonies with wedding vows that say how much your children mean to your relationship.  You could say something like this in your wedding vow:

“CHILD’S NAME,  I love your mother/father very much, and I love you too.  When I take your mother/father as my wife/husband, I also take you into my heart as my own child.  I want you to know that you are important to me, and I will care for you always as your parent.”

Often a parent will offer a token – such as a watch, locket or rose – to the children, as a way to say that they love them.  Sometimes new parents will offer rings to the children as well and include them into the ring ceremony.

~ Your Vancouver Wedding Officiant ~ Roxanne Thornton ~ Marryus Custom Wedding Ceremonies

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Are You Feeling Overwhelmed Planning Your Wedding?

  • Posted on January 19, 2012 at 5:36 pm

If you are, you’re not alone. In fact it’s common for couples to feel anxious when they begin planning their dream wedding. Here are some ideas to help.

Start Planning Early

It’s never too early to start planning, so don’t procrastinate. There’s an enormous selection of books and websites that will help you with important wedding decisions, budgets, and planning.

Create A General Plan and ‘To Do’ List

This will make your vague dreams specific and achievable. If at first this list seems insurmountable, prioritize! Pick your Number One goal. Determine the very next, small achievable action and take it. Repeat.

Don’t Try To Do It All Yourself

It’s important to delegate – but only to those people you absolutely know will get the job done. (Otherwise, you’ll be looking over their shoulder as well, and doubling your work load!) This is what your wedding party and family are for. (And they’ll likely enjoy helping!)

If It’s Too Much Work – Get Professional Help

You don’t have to blow your budget on a full wedding planner package. Consider a one-time meeting to get you started in the right direction, or a ‘day of wedding’ package.

Be Your Own Best Friend

Be easy on yourself. Remember: everyone attending your wedding cares about you. If the final result is not flawless, no one will mind. What your guests will likely remember is the love you expressed and demonstrated to your partner. That doesn’t cost a thing.

My E-book Can Help You

I write Unique Custom Wedding Ceremonies. For each couple, I provide my E-book (‘Creating Your Unique Wedding Ceremony’) with everything you’ll need– from Vancouver’s very best wedding vendors and venues, to the logistics of the ceremony, special rituals, vows, readings, music selections, wedding rehearsal tips, and much, much more.


Your Vancouver Wedding Officiant ~ Roxanne Thornton ~ MarryUs

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Wedding Planning Pitfalls

  • Posted on December 14, 2011 at 12:08 am

To ensure that the planning of your wedding is as stress-free and enjoyable as possible, be aware of these planning pitfalls as you make your way through the planning process:


  1. Start with a realistic budget: include all the little costs associated with the wedding (e.g., cake cutting fees, marriage license). Don’t forget to include tax.
  2. Triple check your guest list: share your guest list with your families. This ensures there won’t be any surprise guest additions that will impact your budget and possibly your venue choice.
  3. Secure your wedding dream team and venue right away: vendors book up quickly.
  4. Be a contract expert: look out for mistakes, know what is included, and know what is going to cost extra. Ask your catering manager for floor plans and menus. Find out if they are expecting a price increase before your wedding. Know your final payment and guest count deadline.
  5. Know whose opinions count: be sure to share your plans for the wedding with anyone who has the power to veto them. Sometimes these opinions change the direction of the wedding entirely.
  6. Your invitations: triple check addresses, spelling, times, etc. Ensure all the information you need is included in your RSVP card (e.g., entree choices corresponding with the guest’s name). Start work on the seating plan as guests RSVP.
  7. About your wedding dress: purchase the dress you like best to ensure you won’t have a change of heart. Be sure to bring your proper undergarments and shoes to the fittings, so that the dress will be the right length and can be fitted perfectly.
  8. Account for flowers and decor: remember added delivery, setup, and take-down costs. If you are using friends as vendors, ensure they know that they are being depended on and what their jobs are.
  9. About those DIY projects: don’t leave them to the last minute. Tackle one project every few weeks and delegate if needed.
  10. Be aware of the perfect fit: ensure that your rings fit, that all of your wedding party has tried ON their attire, and that family members have arranged what they’ll be wearing.


Lastly, the biggest pitfall of all: procrastination! Plan ahead, and set goals for yourself so that you are not doing everything at the last minute. It is guaranteed that little things will arise the week of the wedding; by planning ahead, you will have time to address them so that you can enjoy the last few days before your wedding day.


(This article has been re-published with permission from both the author, Alicia Keats and the original publisher, Erin Gilmore. Alicia is one of Vancouver’s premiere Wedding Planners, and won the ‘Industry Achievement Award’ in the 2011 Professional B.C. Wedding Awards. Erin is one of Vancouver’s most accomplished photographers, and is the publisher of the annual ‘Aisle Walk’ magazine.)


~ Your Vancouver Wedding Officiant ~ Roxanne Thornton ~ MarryUs 


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Acknowledging Your Parents On Your Wedding Day

  • Posted on November 30, 2011 at 3:30 pm

Yes – your wedding is your day. It is also a milestone event for your parents. Some could even see this as the culmination of a parent’s life work. Isn’t this worthy of recognition and gratitude?

Acknowledging your parents within your wedding ceremony can be done in so ways. Certainly there is verbal recognition. There can also be a larger acknowledgment – with the giving of a gift or incorporating a deeper symbolic ritual.

One couple I ‘married’ wanted to acknowledge the successful marriages of both their two sets of grandparents and their two sets of parents. At the entrance of their venue, they displayed enlarged posters of their original wedding pictures. Nothing could have expressed a deeper belief in the power and longevity of love!

Another couple wanted both a special verbal recognition and a gift for their parents – acknowledging that both sets had been married 42 years. In fact, these parents had been exceptional roles models and a beautiful example of wedded love. What could be more worthy of recognition?!

~ Your Vancouver Wedding Officiant ~ Roxanne Thornton ~ MarryUs 

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Would you Like a Handfasting As Part of Your Wedding Ceremony?

  • Posted on November 16, 2011 at 9:48 pm

Handfasting is an old Pagan custom, dating back to the time of the ancient Celts.

Reportedly, the act of Handfasting was the precursor to today’s engagement. A Handfasting was originally an engagement period, where two people would declare a binding union between themselves for a year and a day. In essence, the original Handfasting was a trial marriage.

Handfasting beame a popular custom in the British Isles in rural areas. It could be weeks or even months before a clergyman happened to stop by a village, so couples learned to make allowances.

A Handfasting became the equivalent of today’s common-law marriage; a man and woman simply clasped hands and declared themselves married. Generally this was done in the presence of a witness or witnesses. The local custom also often involved binding the couple’s hands together, which is where the phrase ‘typing the knot’ comes from.

Today’s modern day Handfasting ceremony is a revival of sorts, of the Handfastings of yesteryear. After a bride and groom offer their vows to one another, their hands are clasped and fastened together with a cord or cords. The Handfasting is a symbolic representation of oneness between the couple.

Today, couple’s often design and create their own Handfasting cords. A range of items can be used: double-sided satin ribbons, tartan ribbon (representing each clan), drapery cords or silk cording.

In the Pagan tradition, a hand-fasting cord is 9 feet long. It is made up of three ribbons or cords, 3 times 3 feet long. If you will braid your cord, allow for 50% shrinkage. That means that, for a braided 9 foot cord, each strand should be 18 feet. Unbraided cords are tied with knots every 3 feet.

~ Your Vancouver Wedding Officiant ~ Roxanne Thornton ~ MarryUs 

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Who Will Be In Your Wedding Party?

  • Posted on November 2, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Here are some things to consider when selecting your wedding attendants.

  • Bottom line: you should select the people with whom you are closest! Being a member of the wedding party is an honor you extend to your best buds and favorite family members. That said, you might also consider including a future sister- or brother-in-law or stepchild as a nice gesture – even if you aren’t yet that close to them.
  • The number of attendants you choose is entirely up to you. If you’re having a small, informal affair, you may only want one or two attendants. Formal weddings tend to have more attendants – anywhere from five or six to twelve or more. Just keep in mind that the more attendants you have, the bigger chunk of your budget you’ll need to earmark for things like flowers and wedding party gifts.
  • If you have more special friends and family members than you can include in your bridal party, consider asking them to perform other tasks of honor. For example, they can do readings, sing, or distribute wedding programs before the ceremony.
  • Ask your attendants-to-be well in advance of the wedding. Let them have a few days to decide.
  • If someone declines (often due to geography or their financial situation), be gracious. Being a bridesmaid or usher is a significant commitment of time and money, so be understanding if someone is unable to take that on. It’s not a slight against you, and on the plus side, they’re saving you the difficulty of having an attendant who’s not fully invested in the wedding.
~ Your Vancouver Wedding Officiant ~ Roxanne Thornton ~ MarryUs 

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Ways To Remember A Loved One At Your Wedding

  • Posted on October 3, 2011 at 3:46 pm

During your wedding, you may wish to honor a deceased relative such as a parent, sibling, or grandparent. While you don’t want to overshadow the happiness of the occasion, there are many nice ways to acknowledge a loved one.

Mention the person in the wedding program or in the ceremony. One example is: ‘On this special day, we remember those who are with us in our hearts, including ___, mother of the groom’.

Wear or carry something with sentimental meaning. A pocket watch, piece of jewelry, or handkercheif can be a tangible remembrance.

Play a special song. You can include a song the person loved in the ceremony (you may want to note its significance in the program) or ask the band or DJ to play a particular song during the reception.

Display photos. If one of your parents is deceased, it can be a sweet gesture to display a photo of your parents (perhaps on their wedding day) on a small table near the place card table at the reception.

Make a donation in lieu of favors. Instead of giving guests a take-home item, consider making a donation to a charity or organization that was meaningful to your deceased relative.

~ Your Vancouver Wedding Officiant ~ Roxanne Thornton ~ MarryUs 

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Same Sex Weddings Are Here To Stay

  • Posted on September 21, 2011 at 3:52 am

Many people actively support same-sex marriage. Some people adamantly oppose it. And of course, there are those who are ‘on the fence’ and don’t really have an opinion, one way or another.

I wish that everyone could meet the couples in love that I get to meet. These include ALL the couples I marry – heterosexual AND same-sex. One of the things they have in common is deep abiding love.

In fact, the gay couples I have the good fortune to get to know and marry may even be more expressive of their love and joy to marry, because – unlike the majority of heterosexual couples – love and marriage is a dream they never thought they could realize. Can you imagine anything so sad? Why would we want to deprive another person of this joy?

Most couples I marry do not write their own wedding vows. Yet here is an example (from a same-sex marriage I was privileged to officiate) of the heart felt, personally written wedding vows,written by each man to his beloved partner:


You are the light that brightens my dark,

You are the cool rain in my burning desert,

You are the reason I wake every day,

and the reason I go to sleep happy each and every night,

You are the half that makes me whole.

I love you more than you’ll ever know

and life simply wouldn’t be worth living without you.

I promise to love, cherish and adore you as I have done since the day we met.

I look forward to sharing more excitement, laughter, and good times,

and will be here for you through the tears and tough times too.

You are my best friend, my soul mate, my husband-to-be….

I have one thing to say to you today –

I don’t know much, but I know I love you. 

And that may be all I need to know.


You make me feel…..

‘Lucky’ as you’re my best friend and my soul mate.

‘Grateful’ for how you have believed in me, inspired me and changed my life.

‘Supported’ because I know that I can always rely on you.

‘Happy’ remembering the years of memories we already share.

‘Excited’ about the memories we still have to make. 

I promise that I will continue to care for you, support you

and always be there for you for the rest of our lives together.

You mean everything to me. 

I love you.

~ Your Vancouver Wedding Officiant ~ Roxanne Thornton ~ MarryUs 

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Would You Like To Elope?

  • Posted on September 17, 2011 at 8:44 pm

There are so many reasons to elope. Here are a few that my Elopement clients have mentioned:

  • Elope to avoid the hassle and expense of a traditional wedding. (You want to save your money for another purpose. Going into debt for a large wedding isn’t worth it.)
  • Elope for privacy. (You don’t have to be a celebrity to want to keep things just between the two of you. Perhaps you don’t want to share your sweetie with others on such a special day; your vows of love and commitment are a deeply personal matter. You’d rather have it be just the two of you; maybe with a party later…or not.)
  • Elope for a tax break. (If it’s the end of the year and you know you’re going to get married soon, why not get a write off on your income tax?)
  • Elope because you never got around to it. (I have married many couples who have been living together so long that everyone thought they were married.)
  • Elope due to illness or accident. (Don’t wait. Life is too short.)
  • Elope because it’s fun. (It is!)

~ Your Vancouver Wedding Officiant ~ Roxanne Thornton ~ MarryUs 

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One Example Of A Unique Wedding

  • Posted on August 29, 2011 at 6:59 pm

Imagine a wedding – dinner theatre style. That’s what one of my recent weddings was. Guests sat at elegant round tables, with the wedding party ‘centre stage’.

After the mother of the groom then the mother of the bride was seated, the groom led the processional. But rather than simply walk up the aisle, he made a languorous and confident entrance, stopping at each table to greet guests. It was a very personal entrance, and set the stage for a truly intimate wedding. After lighting a candle in memory to his deceased father, he joined me at the ‘top’ of the aisle and the rest of the wedding party walked separately in.

There’s no reason why you have to have a traditional format for YOUR wedding. It can be anything you like!

~ Your Vancouver Wedding Officiant ~ Roxanne Thornton ~ MarryUs 

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