Exeter, NH

Married a great couple in a spiritual elopement ceremony at the Conservation Area on Tuesday. It was cold, but it didn’t feel as cold as we thought it might be ahead of time. All the Best J&K!

McDonnell Conservation Area, Exeter, NH

Presided over a quick elopement ceremony for a great couple at the Conservation Area last Thursday afternoon. The weather was pleasant for early January, and there still wasn’t any snow on the ground! Congratulations K & S!

Great Island Common, New Castle, NH

Presided over a Lite Spiritual Wedding Ceremony for a wonderful couple at the Common on New Year’s Eve afternoon. The couple was accompanied by a handful of family/friends, and the wedding took place on a high point overlooking the ocean. The weather was surprisingly mild for Great Island Common, where the wind in winter will often make it feel colder than it is. Happy New Year, and congratulations again Rick & Mindy!

Retirement

After much consideration, I have decided to semi-retire from my work. I decided this a little more than a year ago, after being told by my financial planner that I was set financially for retirement. For the past year, I’ve been checking out options to keep me busy. I attended some retirement lifestyle seminars, and the major theme I took away from them was that you ought to find “fun & fulfilling” things to do with your time. I’ve been lucky enough to find three places at which to volunteer that meet those requirements – in the theater, at a history museum, and with animals in need.

Now, having said that, although the two things I am currently doing for work (career counseling and officiating weddings) have been “fun & fulfilling”, I have been doing them for quite a long time (career counseling for over 35 years and officiating for over 22), and I don’t want to keep doing them at the same pace or even in the same way. So, with my career counseling I have already cut back to two half-days a week, and I’m announcing today that I am cutting way back on weddings starting immediately.

For the past decade or so, I’ve been performing 80-100 weddings per year. This year it was over 100, and I way over-extended myself. And, I believe it was showing up in my performance and was definitely taking the joy out of it for me. So, this coming year I plan to do many fewer weddings, and only in specific places at specific times. I love performing weddings and this, I believe, will help me to get back to enjoying them more while providing me more opportunities to do my other volunteer work, live a more balanced life, and enjoy my time more fully.

I’m really looking forward to this next phase of my life, and I plan to keep performing weddings on a limited basis for as long as it’s benefiting couples, and it remains, again, “fun & fulfilling”, for me. And know that although you won’t be seeing as many wedding ceremony entries in my journal from now on, I will still be here ready to perform a ceremony for you or someone you know if needed. Thanks for reading!

Wason Pond, Chester, NH

Performed a Classic Spiritual Wedding Ceremony for a wonderful couple at the covered bridge on Saturday afternoon. About 10 guests were in attendance. It was a cold and windy day, but the couple’s love was enough to keep them and all of us warm! Colors were dark crimson & dark blue. Best Wishes Vinnie & Alicia!

McDonnell Conservation Area

Wed a wonderful couple with a Classic Wedding Ceremony at the conservation area on Monday afternoon. A couple of guests were in attendance. Best Wishes Ben & Rita!

Dell-Lea Weddings & Events, Chichester, NH

Wed a fantastic couple with a Classic Wedding Ceremony at the Dell-Lea this past Friday afternoon. The couple created and recited their own vows to each other, as well as repeating traditional vows after me. A unique aspect of this ceremony was the Cord of the Three Strands ritual. Now, the Cord of the Three Strands is fairly common, but what this couple did in their ceremony was quite different. As the ceremony proceeded, the strands were passed from guest to guest so that each person could hold it briefly and offer their blessings and best wishes for the couple’s future. It made its way back up the front of the ceremony so that toward the end of the ceremony, the couple could braid the strands, now containing all the wishes of their guests. It was sort of like a ring warming, only using the strands instead of rings. Very cool! The ceremony was scheduled to be outside, but the weather did not cooperate with us that day, so the ceremony was held inside. Colors were earth tones, with rust, teal, and navy blue. Congratulations Jonathan & Jasmin!

Hampton Beach

Married a very nice couple in an elopement ceremony on the Beach in front of the Lady by the Sea Marine Memorial on Saturday afternoon. All the Best J & L!

Prescott Park, Portsmoth, NH

Presided over a Lite Wedding Ceremony with personalized vows for a very nice couple at The Park on Thursday afternoon. It was a little nippy, but otherwise, the weather was pleasant. About 10 family/friends were in attendance. The couple set up a nice rose-covered trellis under which the ceremony took place. Best wishes K & L!

Searles Castle, Windham, NH

Wed a wonderful couple with a Classic Wedding Ceremony at Searles Castle in front of about 200 guests. The ceremony featured custom vows. Originally, the ceremony was slated to be held outside but, unfortunately, the weather didn’t cooperate, so it was held in a giant tent on the grounds. Colors were navy, dark purple, and bluish-gray with pops of orange. Congratulations Jason & Sarah!