Rich reached out to me a little over a month before his wedding to Maisie. They already set the date at an extraordinary venue, secured an amazing photographer, but still hadn’t chosen a wedding officiant to actually marry them yet! Rich said he dug my vibe – I’m pretty sure that’s a direct quote, which made me laugh because I thought I was the only one who still says that! He really wanted me to chat with him and his fiancée to see if we were a good fit. Spoiler alert: We were.

Planning

They chose to have virtual consultation with me on Skype due to everyone’s busy schedules. I felt a connection with them pretty quickly. Rich is a sweet surfer dude at heart from right here in Southern California and Maisie is a self-described Valley Girl who just wants to make good art and live a good life. Their love was palpable as we talked. They were so gentle and joyful with each other. I immediately understood what they wanted their wedding was about: authenticity, genuine love, and sheer joy to celebrate their union with all their nearest and dearest. After going over our appointed time because we were having so much fun chatting, they officially invited me to perform their ceremony as their wedding officiant.

During their ceremony planning session a week or so later, we talked about life, spirituality without religion, and what this wedding meant in their journey together over some really good coffee. They had already been through so much – a serious health scare, some job changes – and they had come out stronger and more appreciative for it. They positively glowed as we discussed their wedding ceremony and decided upon wording options. This is the stuff I live for as a wedding officiant – the story behind your journey.

The result was a wedding so sweet and authentic, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

The Wedding

Minister Marie Bel Air Bay Club wedding officiant

They kept to tradition and didn’t see each other before the ceremony. And when Maisie came walking down that aisle, I gave Rich a tissue as we both welled up.

Groom sees bride walking down aisle

Groom smiles bride walking down aisle

Part of the reading they chose for the Charge to the Couple, by Robert Folghum:

You have known each other for years, through the first glance of acquaintance to this moment of commitment. At some moment, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks – all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. Just two people working out what they want, what they believe, what they hope for each other. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.

I had a blast writing their love story. We mentioned “The Californians” SNL sketch (Rich has a great sense of humor and loved this because he’s a surfer named Radford!). I teased them about how they met (he had to ask for her number a few times before she decided on him). And then I shared some of my personal thoughts with them on long-time love and the sweetness marriage can bring if you remain open to each other.

Malibu wedding officiant

For their closing blessing, Maisie had me add this:

When the one whose hand you’re holding
Is the one one who holds your heart
When the one whose eyes you gaze into
Gives your hopes and dreams their start,
When the one you think of first and last
Is the one who holds you tight,
And the things you plan together
Make the whole world seem just right,
When the one whom you believe in
puts their faith and trust in you,
You’ve found the one and only love
You’ll share your whole life through.
And with a kiss, they are officially the Radfords!

Their Dream Team

Venue: Bel Air Bay Club (Shout out to Ashley for coordinating!)
DJ: DJ Cassidy from Dash Entertainment
Design: Archive Rentals
Florals: Krista Jon Florals
Makeup: Be.NYLA
Photography (including all the images seen in this post): Logan Cole
Videography: Shutter and Sound Films
Photo Booth: Night Owl Photo Booth

Are you interested in having me be your wedding officiant in Malibu, Pacific Palisades, or Santa Monica? Fill out the form below to get more info!