Not Your Mom’s Wedding

Welcome to our Not Your Mom’s Wedding page. We are taking our blog, previously named Not Your Mom’s Wedding and integrating it with out site. We ask for your patience while we are making this move and please bear with us while we are making this move to our new platform. We are trying to make it as quick and painless as possible.

This move also includes our very opinionated blog, the Practical Heretic. We will have it back up and running as soon as we can. It will be located on the original url of

If you have any advice on what you want to see on either blog, or just want to talk to us, please leave us a message below. We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

After Christmas Wedding Shopping

By now, you and your family have probably made a big dent in the Christmas leftovers, the wrapping paper is in bags ready for the garbage truck, and unwanted gifts have been returned or exchanged. I hope that your holidays were wonderful and full of warm memories, but now that they are over, it is time to start planning your wedding and take advantage of all those after Christmas sales.

  1. Pick your colors and as you go through the piles of extra Christmas decorations, you can pick ones that match your color scheme to use at your wedding. All those Christmas bells can be re-purposed and used as wedding decorations or incorporated into a centerpiece…of course tree trimming balls work too…just let your imagination run wild.
  2. Buy candy to put up a candy buffet or to give out as favors. Right after Christmas (and Halloween too), candy goes on sale for next to nothing, so now is the time to stock up. If you picked red and green as your wedding colors, double bonus!
  3. Jewelry tends to also be really discounted after the holidays, so now is the time to shop for wedding rings or matching jewelry sets for you and your bridesmaids to wear on W day.
  4. Go dress shopping. There are going to be a ton of events surrounding your wedding: engagement party, rehearsal dinner, and maybe even a brunch or lunch the day after. Plus bridal showers and other festivities. So take advantage of the deep discounts on party dresses now and be prepared to put your best forward for any event that comes up.
  5. The same goes for shoe shopping. (I love shoes and think I have a serious addiction).
  6. Update your address book. You just got all those Christmas cards from family and friends, so now is the time to make sure your address book is up to date for sending out save the dates and wedding invitations.
  7. Since New Year’s Eve is right around the corner, now would be the time to try out your new hair style or make up that you are thinking about for your wedding day. This way you get other people’s opinions too.
  8. The end of the year is here too, so it is a good possibility that wedding dresses are also on sale, especially the styles that were put out for winter. So, if your wedding is in early spring or late fall, you just might find the dress of your dreams on sale for a great discount.

I hope that these tips help you get your wedding planning started and well on its way to becoming a full fledged vision for your wedding day. A special thank you to Christine Dryer of Bridal Tweet for getting me started on my own list for using holiday sales to plan your wedding. For help getting your wedding ceremony on its way as well, email Heartfelt Ministries at and get your get acquainted meeting set up for the new year.
Happy Wedding Planning.

Game Over! LOL

Wayne’s friends may be thinking it is game over for him, but for Tammy and Wayne things are just beginning. This very happy couple’s wedding day was fantastic. For one, the weather was almost perfect on top of the hill at the Party Barn in Viroqua, WI and second, two people that are so in love became a happily married couple.

Tammy did one of the most romantic things I think I have ever seen at a wedding on their special day. She sang a special song to her husband to be (at that point they hadn’t taken their vows yet). I know that Tammy was nervous that it wouldn’t sound good, but she sang like an angel for the one she loves.

Including those special touches to your wedding day can make your day even more you own. How would you add a special touch for the one you love? Call Heartfelt Ministries at 800-490-0221 and let us know what you would like to do for your beloved and we’ll help you make it happen.

Water, A Tree, and Me Makes for a Lifetime of Happiness

Some of our best ideas come from our couples, and Melissa and Neil are no exception to that rule. Earlier this spring we got to do a simple tree planting ceremony, but Melissa and Neil wanted to put their own spin on things. Instead of just watering their tree to represent how they will care for their marriage, they did something a bit different.

Melissa and Neil wanted to incorporate the idea of blending their lives together as well as needing to nurture their love into their wedding day. Instead of including a sand ceremony, they borrowed from that idea and blended colored water together to use for the water for their tree. They chose to use blue and red to make the purple that was the color they chose for their wedding, but you could use other colors to either make one that is represented in your wedding or one that has meaning for you.

After the waters were blended together making a new color, they took it over to their tree and watered to show how their love was a living thing that needed care as well. Since they were not on their own property, they planted their tree later.

I do have to admit that I wonder about one thing: did their tree turn a purplish hue since the water was purple? You know, like dying carnations to be colors not found naturally?

Sorry for the tent being in all the pictures. Mother Nature decided to be nurturing as well and gave us rain on their wedding day, so we were all trying to stay dry. But there is that saying that rain on your wedding day makes for a happy marriage.

Including different traditions is a great way to express how you feel about each other. To learn more about making your wedding your own, call Heartfelt Ministries at 800-490-0221.

An All in One Idea

I love cupcakes! Actually, I love most things that are sweet, and cupcakes are no exception. Frankly, I haven’t met anyone that didn’t like a cupcake. They remind us of childhood, and in today’s bakery market, are quite upscale. Heck, in some cities, you can even get those tiny cakes of goodness from a vending machine.

Here is the number one reason that I love cupcakes: they are multitaskers. Yup, those tasty treats are more than they appear, and for your wedding they can be more than just a tasty end to your evening.

Cupcakes can also be your favor. Just order twice what you would if you are serving them for desert and get some small boxes to put them. Then you just send your guests home with an edible memory of their day with you to enjoy later.

Cupcakes can also be your escort cards. Yup, you heard me, these little beauties can be put on your tables to show guests where to sit or to have your guests place their own cupcake on their plate to hold their place. Admittedly, this is does take a bit of planning and a very steady decorator, but I love the idea of things doing more than one thing.

To use cupcakes as your escort cards, first let your baker know that is what you are doing, and then compile a complete list of your guests and be sure that your baker has it to make your cupcake escort cards. Now, your escort cards are beautiful, delicious, and there are no extra papers lying around that need to be picked up and thrown away. That makes this idea ecological as well, nothing to toss or recycle.

I want to throw out there a special thank you to Natasha at Amelie’s House in the United Kingdom for this great idea and the picture. I hope you enjoyed it and I hope to see lots of cupcake escort cards at weddings this upcoming season.

Children at the Wedding: Yes or No?

There has been a trend over the last few years to exclude young children from weddings and sometimes the reception as well. The etiquette for this trend is shaky and seems to rest on the premise that ‘it’s my wedding, I want it my way’ rather than the more traditional inclusiveness of most families.

Taking that view, then yes, it’s the Bride’s choice on who is or is not invited at the service or at the reception. At the same time the choice to add that little statement at the bottom of the invitation “Children under X years are not invited to the ceremony, please” can cause an enormous amount of bad feeling among relatives with small children. Many parents are quite insulted by their little darling being excluded and just may ignore that line on their invitation completely, and tell the bride to go jump in the lake.  They just bring the kids anyway and don’t want, need or are unwilling to hire a babysitter for the afternoon.

At the same time, the wedding that includes small children has the perils of whining, crying, emergency diaper changes, inappropriate shouting, fights, and sometimes the odd bout of vomiting in church. It happens and not every bride is prepared to deal with that kind of thing happening on her special day.

It may be necessary to find a compromise. If a bride doesn’t want young children at the wedding, she should be courteous and find an alternative place for the young ones. Here are some of our favorite suggestions for keeping the little ones happy,

  • Hire a babysitter or childcare worker with proper certifications from the Red Cross.
  • See if the Hotel or Reception Hall has a separate area where the little ones can have a play area.
  • Hire a clown or magician to entertain the kids.
  • Have coloring books, bubbles and other toys available to keep them occupied.
  • Make sure there is an area for the very youngest children to take a nap.
  • Have changing facilities available for infants and toddlers
  • Have an area for movies or video games for the older kids.

Not having young children at a wedding is still a fairly controversial issue. The underlying assumption is that the children are not well-behaved. Sadly that is often true: many children are not trained to behave with good manners in public. Of course, many times the parents also could use a refresher course, but that is another issue. Screaming children who run all over the ceremony site, getting into things and disrupting the wedding ceremony are never welcome. Children who can sit quietly and watch what is happening and can understand that this is a special occasion are always welcome.

I personally, as a minister, don’t mind. Some of the most memorable moments of weddings I have done have been provided by young children and I have always enjoyed them. It’s up to the bride to decide whether she is going to ban all kids or just those under a certain age group. At the same time, if she does, it is then up to her to provide for the youngest class of guest at the wedding.

Celebrating the Journey to the Altar with Photos

Before we get to the actual post for this week’s blog, I want to say a special thank you to Michelle Nahom who wrote it for us. Thank you so much for all these wonderfully creative ideas on what to do with our pictures.

You’re getting married!  After the excitement of sharing your news with friends and family, you’ve got quite a bit of planning in front of you.  You’ve probably spent many hours poring over the details of your wedding.  Putting your own special stamp on your day is so important.  Being true to what inspires you will help make your special day unique!

Photos play an important part of our wedding day.  The photos taken the day of your wedding are a wonderful remembrance and the start of your life with your loved one.

However, the photos I am going to talk about represent the journey of your life, the memories and experiences that have shaped your very being.  Working with a photo manager can help you create unique photo momentos and displays for your wedding that will allow you to re-live those good times with your loved ones who are sharing your special day with you.

A wedding guest photobook is an original and fun way to record your guests’ well wishes.  Your guest book can include pictures; quotes; or even journaling of special memories together, such as how you met, funny stories, the moment you knew he was THE ONE, or the proposal.  You might also consider posing questions to the guests such as “when did you know we were right for each other?” or “what is your favorite memory with us?”  Provide a pen for your guests to write in the book…a guest book of stories like this is sure to be fun to look back on!

Reception Book Jill - Page 002 Reception Book Jill - Page 020Reception Book Jill - Page 002


(photos courtesy of Doris St. Pierre)

Set a frame on an easel at the reception.  Friends and family can sign the mat during the reception.  Add your favorite wedding photo afterwards and custom finish with glass for a wonderful remembrance of your special day!

You may want to incorporate photos into your table displays.  Create a display with a table number that corresponds to pictures with the bride and groom’s ages.  For example, Table 6 would have a picture of the bride on one side and the groom on another, each at age 6.  Sweet Shoppe Designs.Com shows some great ways to use glass block frames, which are available at craft stores.  Although the ideas shown don’t show a wedding theme, they could easily be adapted!  Another option is clear magnetic frames from the Canetti Design Group.  You could use these with engagement photos as part of your head table centerpiece.

Honor your parents and grandparents by displaying their wedding photos at your wedding.  At a more vintage event, you might consider placing photos in glass jars.  Take a look at this tutorial from Rikki Hibbert Photography on reusing, recycling, and repurposing glass jars as photo frames. 

If you would like to honor the memory of a loved one, check out this wonderful “In Memory Of” chair from the Mr. and Ms. Adams blog.  This is a lovely way to remember a special person. 

Another idea is to take your favorite photo of the two of you and have it printed on a canvas alongside of a quote.  In fact, the word art concept could be used on all sorts of materials you might consider printing your photos on, such as wood, slate, metal or even acrylic.  Here’s a beautiful canvas from GeeZees Custom Canvas.

If you love the idea of using custom photo projects to add a unique twist to your wedding, but are short on time or creativity, help is available.  A photo manager can help you tell your story through photos and journaling, and offers services such as scanning, photo organization, video creation, and custom design of albums, momentos and other artistic options.  


Michelle_Nahom_picMichelle Nahom has been helping people tell their family stories and create legacies for their families since 2003. As the owner of Creative Photo Solutions, LLC, she combines her love of photography with her passion for stories, offering photo management services to her clients.  She is a member of the Association of Personal Photo Organizers (Appo) and the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), and has mentored others in the same industry, helping many women and men build successful photo organizing businesses.  In 2008, she was privileged to work on site at the ABC-TV Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, creating traditional and digital photo albums for the family featured, and she has been a featured speaker on photo organizing in a number of venues.   You can follow her on her blog, A Dish of Daily Life, on Twitter at @dishofdailylife or @CPhotoSolns, or on Facebook or Pinterest.



Weddings and Weather—Not a match made in Heaven

tree in fog You’ve dreamed of your wedding day for ages: white dress, your favorite flowers in big bouquets, your friends all in their pretty bridesmaid dresses, Dad walking you down the aisle and your beloved looking dashing in his tuxedo.

What you didn’t picture was your beloved dashing through rain or hail, the flowers wilting because of heat, your dress possibly spattered with mud or your friends freezing in chilly, wet weather.

If you are having your ceremony in a church or reception hall, the weather won’t be too much of a factor in the planning of your day. On the other hand it can be a major factor if you want an outdoor ceremony such as in a favorite park, or in a backyard or on a family farm.

To help you plan for such nasty events, here are some tips you may want to put to use:

  • After you pick your date, check an almanac for the past history of weather on that day. If there is a more than 60% chance of foul weather or storms for that time of year, make a plan for a backup ceremony location that is sheltered.
  • When using a tent or Marquee, ask about renting the side fabric as well as just the roof. This way if the rain falls, you can keep it outside and yourself and the guests dry. Find out the charges for setup and take down, and if there is an extra charge for hanging the curtains.
  • When having a ceremony in a public park see if there is a park building that you may be able to get as a backup if it isn’t too far outside the budget.
  • Talk to your reception hall and find out if they can pull together a nice bit of decorating in case you are rained out of the outdoor location. Most hotels and halls can be very accommodating. Never just assume that the management is willing to help, though. Some places may not have the staff or experience to be able to do that for you. Always ask first so that you aren’t unpleasantly surprised.
  • If the wedding is on a family farm, it may become necessary to clean the barn or a large shed or hay shed. This should be done in advance, since nobody wants to be cleaning stalls in a tux. I really don’t think the rental shop would be all that understanding about those sorts of stains.
  • If the ceremony and reception are not the same location, make sure that you can get everyone there quickly, as well as moving all the chairs and decorations fast enough to avoid damage. Put one of the ushers or groomsmen in charge of disaster prep. A little forward planning is a great advantage and everyone will be happy that you were ready for anything.
  • Make certain to warn your vendors such as the caterer, the florist, and the band or DJ of where the alternate location will be. If there is need, have the designated groomsman inform them of the need to move and give them as much help as they may require to ‘bugout’ when the time comes.

We love outdoor weddings and they have a charm all their own if the weather cooperateSky_0572s. When it doesn’t, a little planning can make all the difference from a mere change in location and a good party or a soggy, cold and nasty catastrophe. Your wedding should be a day to remember, but not for the wrong reasons. Think ahead and you can just have fun and laugh at anything the skies throw at you!


Rev. Zita


Our “Dream” Weddings

We love each and every one of our couples. Everyone brings something unique to the day and all of them are fun and great to work with. That being said, Zita and I were talking about what weddings we would love to officiate that would be fun and unique, one day while driving to meet a couple. These are the lists we came up with, one for Zita’s, one for mine, and one that we share.

Rev Zita’s Dream Weddings

  1. Western/cowboy: Chuck wagons, six-shooters (presumably squirt-guns) hoopskirts and a lot of fake western accents. Who doesn’t love a lanky Stetson-wearing fella going “Aww, shucks, Ma’am”?
  2. Sci-fi or Star Trek theme: This could be a lot of fun. Imagine it as one big costume party, with everyone dressed as their favorite character or alien.
  3. Jimmy Buffet wedding: Margarita Ville and leis, relaxed music, Hawaiian shirts and barefoot at sunset. Oh, yeah!
  4. Skiing-themed wedding: elaborate sweaters, fancy hats, boots, hot chocolate and they can kiss and take their first run down the hill as man and wife.
  5. James Bond wedding. Or just as a spy theme.
  6. Pink Panther themed wedding; the original, not the remake.
  7. Harry Potter theme would be pretty fun

Rev. Kelly’s Dream Weddings

  1. A hockey themed wedding (and Braden Holtby, if you are listening, I would love to perform your wedding. When you have it, that is)
  2. A wedding at Lambeau Field
  3. A summer, moonlit wedding
  4. A poker wedding (Two of a Kind, anyone?)
  5. A princess wedding (where the minister gets to be the fairy godmother)

Both Rev. Kelly and Rev. Zita would like to do these weddings:

  1. Medieval: Gotta love the fairytale aspect of it, and we already have the perfect outfit.
  2. Civil war reenactment or ‘Gone with the Wind’ Wedding: Similar to the cowboy wedding, this one would be a little more formal, but just imagine those lovely ball gowns!
  3. Biker wedding: Can’t you just imagine the bride in white riding leathers? Unusual and fun!
  4. On a sailing ship: Sunset over the ocean  as they take their vows; Aww. It would be wonderful to do a wedding on a tall ship, don’t you think? Although in this area a river and a pontoon boat may have to do.
  5. Pirates!
  6. Movie star costume party wedding: come as your favorite classic star. Can you imagine a room full of Marilyn’s and Bogies, Betty Davis’ and Clark Gables? How much fun would that be?
  7. Candlelight ceremony at Christmas. Imagine all the garland and tinsel, soft carols and classical music, snow falling outside. It would be gorgeous.
  8. This is silly, but a ‘Princess Bride’ themed wedding would be a hoot. We’re not sure we could say ‘have you the wing?’ with a straight face, though.
  9. Twilight theme for the romantics. (Team Edward or Team Jacob?)
  10. X men, maybe, but we refuse to wear spandex. No one needs to see that.

If you want to do any of these weddings, or even a fantasy wedding of your own, call Heartfelt Ministries at 800-490-0221 and we’ll help you make it come true.

Straight manners at gay weddings

Heartfelt Ministries has had the pleasure of blessing a few Domestic Partnerships this year. I truly wish that they could have been true weddings, but that’s the way the law is currently written, sadly. In time I am hopeful that we can stop the discrimination, but until then I’d like to offer a few tips for straight folks and family members who are attending the bonding ceremony of their gay/lesbian child or friend.

Of course, if you are completely against the entire idea of same-sex marriages, then don’t attend. Send back the invite with a polite refusal and leave it at that. There’s no need to be a barbarian about it. For those who want to support their friend or family member, I offer these simple suggestions.

  •  First of all, please relax! Nothing weird is going to happen, it’s just a party. I doubt either Borat or Caligula will be hiding in the flower arrangements, despite what you may have been told by certain kinds of extremists.
  • Bring a gift or at least a card. No matter how you may feel about same –gender marriage, your hosts are truly of the mind that this is their wedding day. 
  • Be polite. Gays and lesbians are people, no more and no less.
  • Chat. Strike up a conversation, since you don’t want to be too aloof. Football, politics, work, the news, elections, you name it. They have an interest in current events, just as you do.
  • Don’t stare. It is highly likely that there will be bonded couples present, most probably as friends of the hosting couple. There may be public displays of affection such as handholding or discreet kisses. Don’t freak out. You have been warned.
  • At the reception, if someone makes a pass at you, be polite and thank them for the compliment but turn them down. My standard line in those cases is “Thanks for the compliment, but I’m straight.” It usually is taken as a polite refusal and no harm done.
  • Don’t ask about their sexual practices. It’s incredibly gauche and awkward, not to mention a terrible invasion of privacy. How would you like a stranger asking about your sex life in public?
  • Like any other wedding, have a good time!  Enjoy the food, the music and have fun. Your friends will appreciate your good wishes and be glad you came.

It’s all about being a good guest, like any other social event. Most adults have the good manners to do that even in a group they may be unfamiliar with. If you are really uncomfortable then stay for an hour and then make your excuses and leave. At least you showed.

I’m assuming that you may not be all that familiar with the gay and lesbian community, so some of these suggestions might seem obvious. You’ve been invited to celebrate an important event in their lives and that means you have some importance to the couple. Hopefully these suggestions will help you to feel more comfortable in a social situation you may not have encountered before.

Please leave us a comment with your tips on being a good guest at any social function. You never know, you may give us an idea for our next blog.

Christian Louboutin outlet, Christian Louboutin replica, Christian Louboutin outlet, Christian Louboutin replica, Christian Louboutin replica
Christian Louboutin outlet, Christian Louboutin sale, Christian Louboutin outlet, Christian Louboutin replica