My husband, Ronald, and I, renewed our wedding vows to celebrate our 20th year wedding anniversary on March 18, 2007. Our only son, Nick, and I, gave Ron (and Dad) a surprise 60th birthday party. At his party, I ask my husband to remarry me. Nick acted as his dad's best man and handed him a new wedding ring to replace his original ring that had been recently stolen at his gym. It was a moment that our family will never, ever forget. (Thankfully my husband answered YES to my proposal!!! He cried, but I took that as a sign that he really meant yes and not because he couldn't say no with a 150 people there to witness the event!!!) The fact that our son took part in our marrying each other again for a second time is something that we will never forget. (NOTE: Three of the photos above are photos from our original wedding.)
In April of 2011, after the passing of my Mom, and my possible decision to get into the wedding industry full time, I decided to move on from my job, after 23 years, as the executive and personal assistant to a terrific boss, Mark T. Thomas, a founder of two companies; Monitor Company Group and Monitor Clipper Partners, LLP. Not only do I adore Mr. Thomas dearly, but he was, and is, my dear friend, mentor, and teacher. I owe my life to him, as well as his wife, Kelan, for their kindness and guidance, not only to me, but to my family as well. Thank you Mark and Kelan.
1985 I became a Notary Public and to date, continue to perform this community service. Ron and I have been actively involved in Nick’s life since his arrival in this world. Ron served as a Boy Scout Den Leader for two years and Cub Master for four years, while I served as a Den Leader for four years. I previously sat on several educational committees, such as a secretary of an elementary school council, PTO Secretary, Co-Chairwoman of a school yearbook for three years and family school directory. I also sat on a committee for the American Cancer Society “Relay for Life” for the Malden, Massachusetts district. However, the most precious to me, and proudest community service that I have participated in to date, was the education for children with learning disabilities. Ron and I, along with another couple, encouraged our children’s school to participate in the Massachusetts Association of Special Education Parent Advisory Council.
Education is the one thing that I hold dear to my heart. As one of twelve children, college was not an option for me. I had to work my way towards being granted this privilege. Which I did – by paying my own way to evening classes at Harvard University and Fisher Junior College. Children with learning disabilities do not always have this opportunity. Someone needs to help guide them this way, and the first step to do this, is to educate parents of their legal rights when they are a parent of a child with a learning disability. Every child deserves the opportunity to a decent education regardless of a learning disability. That was the mission for Ron and I – to educate the parents of their legal rights. While it is not a subject that any school district wants to deal with, it is your job, as a parent, to fight for the rights of your child. I believe that we contributed to helping a lot of children with learning disabilities, and I will always proudly say that I was part of their accomplishments.
In addition to the above, I am an avid collector of classic films from the eras of 1930 to 1950. There is nothing that I enjoy more on my down time, when I have some down time, than to sit back and watch old films with my hubby! It is my goal to collect every film that was ever made by some of the most well known Hollywood stars, I simply cannot see enough movies starring Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, and Katherine Hepburn! While I love all of the old actors and old films, those three are my favorite classic movie stars. I always tell my husband that if I had not married him, then my dream husband would be Cary Grant first, and then Jimmy Stewart! As a matter of fact, the theme for our wedding renewal above was a classic theme. I purchased an old vintage dress for the occasion. I may not look like Katherine Hepburn, but it was fun feeling like her! (I can dream, right?)
Once my son turned eighteen, graduated from high school, and went off to college, I had come to the realization that I could no longer be involved with his education, I was at a loss. I love being involved and interacting with people, which is one of the reasons that I became a Justice of the Peace.
In 1987, Ron and I were married by a Justice of the Peace. We had a very large wedding, in a lovely outdoor garden at a function hall. Our entire wedding party consisted of my wearing a wedding gown, my husband in a tux, best man, maid of honor, bridemaids, ushers, etc. I was a nervous bride, as we had not had a rehearsal since we were not getting married in a church. On the final day, I had no idea what to expect. Our Justice of the Peace set our minds at ease. He was a very kind, caring, and knowledgeable person who ran the whole ceremony flawlessly. It was a perfect day. As a matter of fact, soon after that, the same Justice of the Peace married my Mom and late Stepfather, as well as my Sister, Cathy, and her Husband, Robert. Those memories stayed with me through the years, which is why I decided to become a Justice of the Peace as well. I wanted to provide to other couples that same wonderful experience that Ron and I, as well as my family, felt when we were married.
Therefore, I pursued my interest of becoming a Justice of the Peace, and I am happy to say that I did. I am meeting so many wonderful and interesting people. It is a new experience each time I solemnize a marriage. I thoroughly enjoy my part in contributing to a couple's happiness and commitment to one another.
I WELCOME EVERYONE! ~ I will always happily perform all ceremonies (if of course, I am available). It does not matter what your religion or culture is -- it does not matter if it is a ceremony for a same sex couple -- it does not matter if you want your pets to take part in your ceremony -- it does not matter how different, or strange, you want your ceremony to be (Well, of course, there are limits! I will not dress up as Elvis, or any other character! You've got me ~ that is all that you need! I am fun, funny, and very open ~ however, at the same time, I am a professional!).
But I must share with you that my long awaited wish finally came true in September of 2007 when I officiated my first Fenway Park wedding on the Green Monster during the seventh-inning stretch at that!!! AND THE BEST PART -- THE COUPLE WAS FROM NEW YORK!!! Since then, it has been non-stop with Fenway Park weddings, and they keep coming. So should anyone need the contact person's name and number at Fenway, please feel free to contact me at 781-322-8857 OR 617-605-4253, and I will be happy to provide you with this information.
I am a huge Red Sox Fan! So much so, that I actually convinced myself that I would receive a call from Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner to officiate over their wedding ceremony, since Ben is from Massachusetts, and he is a huge Red Sox fan, but unfortunately, I must have missed that call! (SO COME ON RED SOX FANS, DOESN'T ANYONE ELSE WANT TO GET MARRIED AT FENWAY???)
Having said that, I am open and happy to help anyone who wishes to be married. I encourage you to be creative with your ceremony! I encourage you to help me write your vows to make them personal to fit YOUR STYLE. However -- please do not ask me to dress like Elvis! I don't think that a five foot, 100 pound female can help you with this. I am happy to do the research for you, but I would definitely not make a good Elvis! I know that this sounds weird, but I did indeed receive a call with this request!)
The other request that I have is, since we live in New England, and our weather is always unpredictable, that you always have a back-up plan for an out-door ceremony. Recently I performed a ceremony when it began to rain the minute the ceremony began. This wedding party looked gorgeous and they spent a whole day getting ready for this special day, but unfortunately the weather was not co-operating. I saw the face on the bride as I was officiating over her ceremony. She was so upset. While I continued to read their wedding vows, I suddenly notice that their vows were being washed away! As it is impossible for me to remember vows by heart, as vows for each ceremony that I perform are different, I stood there watching the ink fade. My first thought was, please can someone hold an umbrella over the head of this bride and groom and over my head? While I cannot say this while I am performing a ceremony, it was obvious on my face. Suddenly, I saw this umbrella come over my head from behind. Of course, I could not turn around, but when we completed this ceremony, I found this -- what I now call the Perfect Gentleman -- standing over me with the umbrella! His name is Sean. Sean, thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are indeed a Perfect Gentlema! Thank you for saving the day!
So please feel free to call me regardless of how small or large, formal or informal your wedding ceremony may be.
INVITING YOUR OFFICIANT TO YOUR CEREMONY
While etiquette dictates that an officiant should be an invited guest to your reception, I personally disagree. If, your officiant is a family priest, or a personal friend, that is a different story. You do not know me, nor do I know your guests, which would put all of us in an uncomfortable situation. Therefore, I disagree with proper etiquette in this case. I know only too well what the cost of weddings are, and I would not want you to spend money on a person that you do not know. My life is very complicated as well. I am extremely devoted to my family, and to my boss 24/7. Having said that, being an officiant is not my primary job. I love officiating for all weddings, but I also do not want to see a couple who is struggling to pay for a wedding ceremony feel as if they need to invite me as a guest to their wedding reception. This is simply not necessary. And I honestly appreciate it if you did not. I hope that I do not appear as being rude for saying this, but I am only being honest.
GRATUITIES / TIPPING YOUR OFFICIANT
I am often asked the question if I should be tipped for my services. My answer to them is that is up to you. I am uncomfortable with answering this question. There is no correct answer for this question. This is basically based upon what you believe your officiant is worth, as well as, what you believe, is the right thing to do. However, keeping in mind that your officiant is the person who is providing you with a service for the most important part of your wedding day -- your wedding vows -- tips / gratuities are always appreciated. This lets your officiant know what you thought about their services, and is a minor fee compared to what you are paying to your other wedding vendors. In addition, some people are under the impression that a Massachusetts Justice of the Peace is a paid employee by the State of Massachusetts. We are not. We are appointed by the Governor of Massachusetts, however we do not receive any monies, or salaries, from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
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