(Semi) Homemade Memory Book…Made with Love

Sarah Ritchie NYC Insiders Tips, Readings & Vows, Wedding Ideas, Your Ceremony

  Celebrity Chef, author, and “First Girlfriend” of New York State Sandra Lee has made famous the term “semi-homemade.”  In books and on the food network she promotes recipes of partially pre made items, couple with homemade additions.  Hopefully this include quick, relatively easy dishes that have a home cooked feel for time impoverished cooks. I borrowed the concept from …

Herzlichen Glückwunsch und Weihnachtsgrüße!

Sarah Ritchie Real Stories, Your Ceremony

In the heart of Christmas season I was fortunate to officiate the German-inspired wedding of Jean and Jim.  This lovely couple had a particularly sweet story, having first met 30+ years ago in a theatre group at St. Matthias Roman Catholic Church in Ridgewood, Queens (which still offers a weekly mass in German).  Having found love “the second time around” …

Locks of Love

Sarah Ritchie Real Stories, Your Ceremony

Over the last dozen years, “love locks” have begun to appear on important bridges around the world.  To express their undying devotion, lovers attach padlocks, often personalized with inscriptions or other decorations, to bridges of note. I first became familiar with this endearing custom in Paris, where they appear on several bridges including the Pont des Arts, Passerelle Leopold-Sear-Senghor, and …

To Us!

Sarah Ritchie Uncategorized, Your Ceremony

The little touches makes the ceremony, whether it is telling the couple’s romantic story, describing what’s special about the rings, or drawing out meaningful religious or cultural customs. Earlier this summer I delivered a simple, small ceremony for an out-of-state couple at a sentimental place in Central Park.  I told their story, drew their friends into the ceremony, and provided wedding …

A Wedding Custom for Earth Day & Every Day

Sarah Ritchie Real Stories, Wedding Ideas, Your Ceremony

Today is Earth Day, so it seemed like an appropriate time to recognize a custom that I adopted several years ago, following the first wedding I officiated.  After I graduated from the Celebrancy Foundation, one of my young co-workers graciously invited me to participate in the development of her wedding ceremony.  Jennifer and David were unusually creative in their ideas—open …

Dotting the i’s and Crossing the t’s

Sarah Ritchie Elopement, NYC Insiders Tips, Your Ceremony

New York City has become a popular “destination wedding spot” for couples from abroad.  Over the years, I have worked with brides and grooms from many countries including Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Austria, Germany, Sweden, Poland, Australia, New Zealand, Dubai, Mexico, and Brazil, among others.  I find that among these couples there is a good bit of confusion about the …

Every Kiss Begins With “K”

Sarah Ritchie Real Stories, Wedding Ideas, Your Ceremony

Much of contemporary advertising, I believe, portray the kind of society and culture that we think—or more probably, hope exists.  Advertisements related to engagements and weddings typically feature young, shiny, perfectly airbrushed couples.  Not present are more accurate depictions of individuals and families.   Only rarely does the so-called wedding industrial complex grapple with the modern phenomenon of blended families, men …

Sizi karı koca ilan ediyorum: Love in Any Language

Sarah Ritchie Real Stories, Your Ceremony

More years ago than I care to remember, I was a bridesmaid in my good friend and college roommate’s wedding in Ponca City Oklahoma. One of the many sweet memories in Carole and Kyle Keffer’s wedding was the performance of the Sandi Patti song, “Love in any Language,” by the talented Valerie Rockhold Ericson. The soaring melody contained lovely sentiments …

Halloween + Wedding = A Very Happy Day

Sarah Ritchie Elopement, Real Stories, Wedding Ideas, Your Ceremony

As Halloween approaches, I recall fondly a private wedding I officiated–in “costume” for a very nice local couple. The couple had met when they were very young. They went on separate journeys and reunited many years later. Pure romance. In a sweeping romantic gesture, the couple “eloped” and planned to surprise their friends and family members later in the day, …