All Rise: Owning Your Wedding With Your Officiant


Dark Roux

For an event that revolves so largely around the concept of marriage, it’s somewhat surprising to read all these in-depth wedding planning tales and hear very little about probably the most important person in the ceremony (besides the bride and groom). That’s right, I’m talking about the officiant here.

The officiant, the minister, the rabbi, the whatever you want to call him/her is in charge of leading the wedding ceremony. Additionally, he/she is vested by the powers of the state to make your marriage legally binding, which means that your officiant is a pretty big deal. Admittedly, trying to find your perfect officiant is less glamorous than trying to figure out what kind of flowers you want to have at your wedding, but someone has to sign the marriage license and pronounce you spouses!

Although it’d be pretty hilarious if you had The Impressive Clergyman from Princess Bride officiating for you.



via Tumblr


Anyway, there is quite a bit of effort involved in finding an officiant that won’t (these have actually happened, taken from personal accounts):

  • ding-dong-ditch with your $100 and leave your wedding photographer to be the surprise officiant
  • take the opportunity to turn a meaningful sermon into a homophobic, politicized rant
  • call your tasteful choice in classical walk-down-the-aisle music “pornographic” (C’mon, “Air on G String” pornographic?!? You gotta be kidding me!)
  • forget to sign the marriage license altogether, rendering your expensive wedding somewhat meaningless in legal terms

Nowadays, it seems like finding a great officiant is sort of striking it lucky, but it honestly just takes a bit of research, some phone calls, and communication to figure out who exactly you want as an officiant (and who you can promptly ditch).

See what’s legal in your state & county


Glen Wilbourn Photography

I feel like one of the biggest reasons why looking for an officiant is a huge pain in the arse is because there are so many laws regarding marriage that differ not only by state, but by county as well (the ‘federal rights’ vs. ‘states’ rights’ debate never fails to give me a headache). Because there are so many religious denominations out there, it’s sort of hard to keep track of what sort of officiant works under that county’s specific jurisdiction. But this is when I emphasize doing your research, because if your officiant isn’t able to legally wed you in the location of your venue, then you’re going through a LOT of trouble without reaping the most important reward! For instance, in Pennsylvania, you cannot use an officiant who has been ordained online.

The Monastery does a great job of breaking down the legal requirements in each state (as well as showcase the complexity of the law via a nifty meter!) For county requirements, you’ll probably have to contact the county clerk for more information regarding the specifics.

Continue reading


From Drab to Fab: Adding Color to Your Wedding


Ben Q. Photography

Turn your special day from drab to fab with these fun and easy tips for adding color to your wedding. Color is a simple way to add character and show off your personality. And now that summer is here, you have an even bigger excuse to incorporate color into your wedding. Summer is all about big, bold, bright colors. And, summer is all about weddings. Put the two together, and you get color-filled weddings. Because life (and weddings) are more fun with color.

You can choose a coordinated color scheme or use every color in the Crayola box. You can use color as an accent or as the main feature in your wedding. No matter what you choose, color can help make your wedding extra special and extra festive.

Check out this list below of ideas and inspiration for adding color to your wedding. Let us know what you think!



Papered Heart Photography


Nicole Hill Gerulat Photography


Laura Jane Photography


Studio Castillero

Continue reading

Win a colorful and custom cake topper from Hello Plum Studio!


Anyone who’s planning a wedding knows it’s easy to get swept up in the details, details, details of their wedding day — and for good reason! Sometime’s it’s the details that makes the big day truly special and unique. By now, you all know that we at Wedding Party are all about having a wedding that’s uniquely you — and we want to help you with a small detail of your wedding day. The cake topper!

This week, we’re giving one lucky bride the change to win colorful and custom initial cake toppers for the happy couple’s wedding cake/cupcakes/desserts! These lovely little toppers, created by the amazing Etsy boutique Hello Plum Studio, are just too adorable! Brides and grooms can choose the letters, colors, and even textures of these fun alphabet cake toppers to match the look and feel of their wedding. They look perfect on wedding on pretty much every kind of dessert (cakes and donuts pictured below…yum!), but can be used for other aspects of your wedding decor as well!

Hana of Hello Plum Studio handcrafts every item in her shop, so you know that your cake toppers aren’t just going to be ordinary — they’ll be extraordinary! Besides cake toppers and wedding goodies, Hana also makes tons of other stylish home and event decor items that lends a colorful and modern touch.

Ready to learn how to win your cake toppers? Read on!

Wedding Initials


Here’s how to enter the giveaway:

1. Follow Wedding Party on Pinterest here: Wedding Party

2. Comment on this post & tell us why you’d love to win the Hello Plum cake toppers!

3. That’s it — you’re entered!


Wedding Initials2

Letters-Numbers Pattern Chart

Get your cake topper initials in all sorts of letters, colors and textures!

So who’s excited to get their cake topper for free?! Hopefully all of you! Make sure to enter our giveaway before next Wednesday, July 22, at 12pm PST. You’ll kick yourself for missing this opportunity if you don’t!

Big thanks to Hello Plum Studio for working with us on this giveaway! Make sure to visit their Etsy shop here to see more of their products, and Hana on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to stay updated on the latest with Hello Plum Studio!

All images via Hello Plum Studio. Curious George? Giveaway terms are here.

Lessons From A (Very Recent) Newlywed: Part II


Heather Hawkins Photography

It’s here. Your wedding day has arrived, and you’re feeling calm, collected and ready to do this thing. Feeling adequately prepared, you’re well rested and ready to tackle all that the day will throw at you. How? You read Part I of Lessons From A (Very Recent) Newlywed, and now you’re about to read Part II, and the duo left you in an ideal state of preparedness. Ready to fulfill destiny? Read on, brides to be.

1. Don’t get too drunk the night before.

Let’s start with the obvious, which is waking up as fresh as possible on your big day. This means saying “sayonara” to puffy eyes or a swollen face, which inevitably means saying “Nope” to that shot offered by your cheering cousins at your rehearsal dinner the night before. Trust me, it all sounds fun in the moment, but the next day you’ll be kicking yourself as you search for the Motrin.

2. Have an escape plan

…For the rehearsal dinner, that is. It’s so easy to get caught up in chatting with your nearest and dearest, but when the clock strikes [Insert your ideal leave time here], it’s time to jet, or you’ll end up closing down the venue before you had time to blink. Assign a committee to cordially pull you away from the crowd. Mine was my mom and sisters, who took me aside and reminded me to Houdini from the party before another conversation started. I did, and was happy to be in bed at a reasonable hour to get my beauty sleep before the big day.

3. Wake up early. Enjoy the morning.

Beyond marrying my best friend, one of my favorite moments of the day was in the morning. My mom, maids of honor and I woke up, threw on comfortable clothes, grabbed coffee, and took an impromptu walk on the beach. We didn’t talk about anything in particular; it was just about enjoying one another before the craziness of the day began. Starting the day this way was the true icing on the cake as it helped to ground me and kept my mind clear from anxiety before all the prepping began, which at that point was exactly what I needed.

Screen Shot 2014-07-15 at 8.19.31 AM

Isn’t That Charming

Continue reading