Megan and Justin are Married!

Congratulations to Megan and Justin!

A little over a week ago I was very happy to have been part of the wedding of Megan and Justin, two lovely young people from Wood County. See, Aren’t they cute?

Megan and Justin 2013

The wedding was held at the Wisconsin Firefighter Memorial, right on the edge of the Wisconsin River, on the border between Wisconsin Rapids and Nekoosa. This is a marvelous spot for a wedding; it has a lovely gazebo, which is perfect for a fall wedding, as well as several spots for services close to a beautiful view over the water. If that doesn’t catch your attention, the wall of honor for the brave men and women who have given their lives protecting their fellow citizens is not to be missed. If you are in Wisconsin Rapids, take a bit of time and go see it.  Think about the people we seldom know and all depend upon for our safety. Bless every one of them, past, present and future.


Megan and Justin chose to have a ‘paint ceremony’ where they would mix colors on a prepared canvas as a permanent work of art to be hung in their new home. Justin chose a rich red and Megan’s color was a chrome yellow, together they made a glorious mess, swirled and melded together in one happy image!  Sadly, I wasn’t able to get a picture, though. Just as a note to anyone who wants to try that at their own wedding, be sure everything is well protected from any stray breezes—the wind knocked over the canvas and one of the paint vases, but luckily nothing was broken and we were able to go ahead in spite of some spilled paint.

paint ceremony setup 9.21.13

The Brides maids had not only bouquets of roses, and sunflowers, but shielded Megan during her walk to the gazebo using some very pretty lace parasols—what a clever idea!  Justin didn’t see her until she was right in front of him.

.parasol 9.21.13ailse standee 9.21.13


The ceremony did start late, since we were told that the DJ originally scheduled was unable to make it; we were a little upset by that.  One of the groomsmen made a few calls to a friend and DJ on the Go sent Brandon, a marvelous young man who was able to patch in the playlist from Megan’s phone. Despite not having been at the rehearsal, this talented young man ran the music, and was able to mute it during the spoken parts of the ceremony as well.  My thanks to him and his company for being there when they were needed and doing such a wonderful job!


For Megan and Justin, we wish every happiness, now and in the future!


Rev. Zita.

PLEASE READ:  On a side note: We later learned that the reason the original DJ was not able to attend the wedding as arranged was a very sad one. There was apparently a multi-car accident on the freeway, and sadly, he was involved in it. We have no idea if he was injured or not, but we all hope he will be well!

My Appologies to All

Please do not use comment boxes to communicate about your wedding. Thank you.

Please do not use comment boxes to communicate about your wedding. Thank you.

Today, I got an email from an upset bride. It was not good, and I realized that if one person was upset many more may be as well. So, to all brides and grooms that may have contacted us through the comment box on our site pages, I owe all of you an apology.

What happened is that this bride, and possibly even more, tried to contact us through the use of the comment box on the bottom of our pages. She went through the steps to prove she was not a spammer and sent the message. The problem was that we never got it, and we aren’t sure why.

So, of course, I apologized to this bride profusely and gave her the desired information. Then my mind went directly to the people who may have commented and never followed up with us to see if we got the message. Those people must be confused and possibly angry that we didn’t respond. Truly, we didn’t get the message sent through to us.

So in an attempt to keep this from happening to anyone else, we ask that you use the contact information provided on the pages of our site to get in touch with us. It seems to be a much more reliable way to communicate.

This does not mean that we don’t want comments, we do. But please use the comment boxes to leave non urgent information and thoughts on our articles. But for urgent communications, such as about your wedding day, please contact us directly. This way you are sure that we got your message.

Thank you.

Rev. Kelly.

Deana and James got married!

Deanna and Jake were married on May 26th in the lovely city of La Crosse at the International gardens in  Riverside park. The park is only a few yard from the edge of the water and a winding path leads you through flower beds designed with different culture and histories in mind; there is a lovely Japanese garden with Shinto lanterns and smooth stone benches, a Chinese garden with a water fountain of stacked stones, and a very amusing Norwegian garden with sculptures of trolls and Billy goats, like in the old children’s story of the ‘ Three Billy goats gruff’.

In the center is a large gazebo with the old-fashioned millwork and wooden trim that is so hard to find these days; it’s a perfect and romantic setting for a spring wedding. It was the perfect setting for Deana and Jake, and I was very happy to have been a part of their special day.

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The colors for the day were Robin’s Egg Blue and silver, and Deana showed excellent judgment in securing small bouquets of silk flowers and silver ribbons at the many corners of the octagonal gazebo as part of the decorations. The effect was festive but not over the top, and very pretty, like the location.


With their family and friends gathered around them, our couple said their vows and were united. I always get a little misty at weddings, and I hope that never changes—but I could wish the weather had been a little warmer. Misty guests are sweet, misty skies, not so much. Still the weather didn’t dampen anything but a few leaves; everyone’s spirits were pretty high, thank you very much!


Deana and James with some of their family

Deana and James with some of their family

And get a look at the carriage Deana and James left the ceremony in—these two know how to do romantic right!


So to Deana and James, we here at heartfelt ministries wish every blessing and happiness! Way to go!

Did you miss me?

Maybe you did and maybe you didn’t, but we have been gone from blogging for a while. First it was because I wasn’t feeling well, then because I had surgery and was recovering. Now, it is because after years of keeping this blog up and writing every week, I have run into what seems like a terminal case of writer’s block.

So, saying all that, I need your help. What do you want to read about? Should we start posting videos instead of writing? What should those videos include?

Leave me a comment below and let me know what you want to know about and how you want to know it. Can’t wait to hear from you.

One of my favorite Weddings

I want to write about a wedding I did last year for a very special couple, Alexis and Doug.

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Alexis and Doug met when she was recuperating from an illness. Doug is a nurse and told us that he knew he’d found his soul mate the moment he saw her, even though she was not exactly at her best. On her part, Alexis managed to see through her pain-killer induced haze and saw a man she knew matched her. Time proved them right, and I was proud and happy to be the officiate for their wedding day.

Smiley’s in Plover, WI. Was the scene, in the new indoor chapel with its white arches and fairy lights behind us to make the perfect setting for this marvelous couple. Doug wore a grey suit and looked very handsome. He was accompanied by his son, Joey and the best man, who were very proud to be with him on this day.

Lauren and Tyra, ages twelve and fourteen were her attendants. The came down the aisle in style to a string quartet rendition of ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ and took their places in perfect grace.

Alexis was escorted by her Brother, Charlie, who was obviously very proud to be there. His grin when he placed her hand in Doug’s lit the room. The song was ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ by the same string quartet, and it was the perfect song for these two.

Alexis’ gown was spectacular, and I only wish I had a picture of the maillot-style back with its lovely beading—it was gorgeous and she looked amazing in it, but the gown was only the backdrop for her happy smiles that day!

The crowning moment for me was when Alexis and Doug exchanged the vows that they had written. Alexis spoke of how she would be by his side together and work to make their lives rich in love and how their lives were so much better together. Doug’s vows spoke of how she inspired him, how she made him stronger, and how not even illness or struggle would ever make him stop loving her. He spoke of how his love would grow, and it was plain that he meant every word.

Their children were not forgotten, either. To celebrate the combining of their families, Alexis and Doug chose to use a family Sand Ceremony with a color chosen by and for each child. The result was a crazy rainbow of layers that showed how they had come together and created a new and very loving family. If that doesn’t make you a little misty, you’re on the wrong blog.

While I love every wedding I do, this one was special because of the people in it and the enthusiastic support and love of all their families. I can’t remember a harsh word being spoken that day, and even though it rained, you certainly didn’t miss sunshine—it was too happy of an occasion.

So to Doug and Alexis and all their kids and friends, thanks for letting me be a part of your day. I will remember it always. If you have a special wedding you remember, drop us a comment and let us know, we’d love to hear about it!

Find your peace, friends.

Rev. Zita.

Fox News’ Marriage Boo-Boo!

Lesbian couple unwittingly poster people for "traditional marriage." I have been dying to use this picture in a blog post, mostly because it makes me proud to support gay marriage; this couple looks so in love, and secondly because it makes Fox News look like fools for keeping on their “traditional” marriage message.

I admit it, I am not a fan of Fox news, and most of their stories are biased dribble, but every once in a while, I find that their mistakes are gold for the real world. This picture may represent a mistake to Fox news, but to us it represents progress. If someone so narrow minded to dismiss the feelings and needs of some Americans can see that this couple is in love, the rest of us should have no problem seeing it all.

And I am so happy that our President is appealing to the Supreme Court to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and make it so that the whole country, not just a few select states, recognizes gay marriage legally.

So, now I got my wish and got to use this picture in a blog and got to voice that marriage is marriage, this couple didn’t get gay married, they got married. End of my story, but the beginning of theirs. May they always be blessed and as happy and in love as they were when the picture was taken.


Kelly and Mitch married in Iverson Park….outdoor beauty.

Kelly and Mitch at their wedding in Iverson Park, Stevens Point, WI Kelly and Mitch are now happily married and have been for months, especially since their wedding was during the warmth of summer in Iverson Park in Stevens Point, WI. A place of beauty in the middle of the city.

Kelly and Mitch centered most of their wedding around nature and being outdoors, since that is where they spend most of their free time. Mitch even asked Kelly to marry him in different park, but still outdoors spending time in the places that make them happy.

To start the ceremony, Kelly asked her step dad, her brother, and her mom to stand in support of their marriage and even had an introduction that explained why they were there to do such an honor. The idea of having a family member stand in support of the marriage is traditional, but having three is a bit less so. It made her feel loved and supported on her wedding day to have both men and her mom stand by her side.

And like most of our couples, Kelly and Mitch made me cry a little when they took their vows and exchange rings. It was so touching when the promised to compromise exactly 50% of the time. And even more touching when Mitch place the engagement ring back on her finger, especially considering it was only removed for the ceremony to place the wedding ring closest to the heart.

Kelly and Mitch, may you always have a life marked by abundance and delight. Your kindness and love for each other and those around you is remarkable.

To put your personal touch in your wedding ceremony, please call Heartfelt Ministries at 800-490-0221. We would be honored to make your day great.

Top 5 Reasons Your Friends Make Lousy Wedding Officiants

Your wedding day should be special. We get that you want a personal wedding ceremony. We get that you want your friends and family to be involved because it makes for a more personal experience. We get that you want to save money. In spite of those reasons, your friends and family (unless they are a minister or judge already) will most likely make a lousy wedding officiant for your special day. Here is why, in no particular order:

  1. They don’t understand the procedures for getting and filing a marriage license. Wisconsin requires a marriage license to be applied for and filed in a particular way in order to make your marriage legal. Your friends and family probably don’t know the system and understand it. Instead hire someone who has been working with that system for years.
  2. Friends and family are normally not public speakers. I am not saying that we are perfect, and we are not. But, we do have experience speaking in public and that means that we have experience dealing with the unexpected; like the flower girl who punches the ring bearer as they come down the aisle or the rainbow that suddenly appears over your wedding ceremony. An experienced wedding officiant will be able to handle those little unexpected moments and make them into a fun, positive memory rather than the opposite.
  3. Your friends and family may know you best but do you really want them to reveal what they know on your wedding day? At your wedding you are going to have a guest list that includes all sorts of people from your life from grandma to your boss (maybe) to distant relatives. Do you want your best friend to reveal to them some embarrassing story from your past? Probably not. An experienced wedding officiant will ask you questions and tell stories that are appropriate for all your guests. Save those other stories for sharing with a group that will appreciate them and not shock grandma.
  4. Do your friends and family know what Wisconsin requires in order to have a wedding ceremony be deemed legal in the state? Probably not. But an experience wedding officiant will know and will tell you exactly what you need to include in your wedding ceremony. Additionally, an experience wedding officiant will have a ceremony that flows nicely from one element to the next. 2011-06-18_00001
  5. Lastly, do your friends and family know what all the parts in a wedding ceremony are used for? Why do we have readings? Why do we say vows? Why do we exchange rings? And a million other details go into a wedding ceremony. An experienced wedding officiant will go over all those details with you and ensure that your wedding ceremony is the exact experience you would like.

Of course we would like to have your friends and family be involved, since that does add to the personal experience of your wedding. Ask them to recite a reading or say a prayer. They will be just as honored that you want them to be a part of your day without the pressures to do a job that they may not fully understand and may even overwhelm them.

For a personal wedding ceremony, call Rev. Kelly and Rev. Zita at 800-490-0221 and let them help you create the perfect wedding ceremony for you.

Something has gone wrong! Comfort for the Bride

UFO Danger sign

It’s January and a lot of weddings are in the very early planning stages. You’ve booked your reception hall and chosen the colors and flowers, or maybe you are farther along than that and have most of the major planning already done. If so I salute you, you master organizer, you!

Whether you are nearly done with the planning and are just waiting on the execution of those plans, or you are still trying to find the perfect spot to say your vows, there is something you absolutely must be aware of…

Something will go wrong.

Take a deep breath, all you Brides out there, and relax. I am not trying to scare you; I am just making you aware of possibilities.  From Mothers-in Law that are ready to stage a cage match to Bridesmaids who need their iphone surgically removed before the ceremony, it’s the people that will really make your day, one way or another.

The Best Man may lose the rings or someone might lose a bouquet before pictures are taken. Grandma forgot to change the batteries in her hearing aid and keeps yelling ‘what did he say?’ during the service. A flower girl panics at all the people staring at her and refuses to go down the aisle. Someone’s tux pants split, a gust of wind flips a hemline higher than is decent, yada, yada, yada.

I’m not being all doom and gloom, here, I’m just being practical. As a wedding officiate, I have been to a LOT of weddings, and only a few have gone off without a hitch of one kind or another.  My Grandmother had a saying: ‘Hope for the best, plan for the worst, and you generally will get something in between’.

So how do you deal with the crises that will inevitably happen on your perfect day? Well, Grasshopper, listen closely and I will tell you.

First of all, be cool. Yes, it is upsetting, but smile and keep going and most folks won’t even know that something has gone wrong until you tell them.

Secondly, is this something for which you had a contingency plan in place? Weather, missing musicians, the power has gone out, etc. are all easily countered: head for the backup location, plug in the Ipod with the wedding playlist that your Maid of Honor is carrying and have everyone hold up their phone like at a concert, it’s awesome!

See? You can do this. It’s not so bad.

And thirdly: Delegate!

This is the mantra you must have in your head. No matter what happens, be it storm, fire or flood, you are a competent, intelligent person and you had the good sense to assign someone else to deal with all this crap! Whether it is the Maid of Honor or your wedding planner, on the day of the wedding it is not your job to solve a problem. It is theirs.

They can sell tickets to the MIL’s death match, get the groomsman another pair of pants, and bully, intimidate, threaten or blackmail any other problems into submission. Not you, since you are the bride and it is your job to marry the person you love and be beautiful. End of story.

Attitude is everything, and if you take the view that a few slip-ups here and there will only make your wedding memorable, that is exactly what it will do. Instead of a viral disaster video on YouTube, you can have a memory that will make you laugh in a good way. So my advice is to plan for those disasters and accept that they will happen, relax and enjoy the day, no matter what happens. So my advice is to plan for those disasters and accept that they will happen. You’re getting married and that is the most important thing.

Rev. Zita.

Alternative Ideas to Candy Buffets

A candy buffet at a wedding.

A candy buffet at a wedding.

The Central Wisconsin Wedding Professionals posted a blog of a few alternatives to candy buffets that can be used in your wedding. The list was assembled by Jennifer Keller of Designer Events and Weddings here in Stevens Point.

“By now you have either attended a wedding that had a candy buffet or at least have heard of the candy buffet concept, but what if you want to do something different than candy? What are the alternatives? Jennifer Keller of Designer Weddings and Events gave us a list of some ideas that may be more appealing and cost effective.”

Read more, go to the CWWP’s Tricks, Tips, and Other Ideas page.

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