Beach Wedding Blog

Monthly Archive: May 2016

Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water in Seal Beach

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The weekend was cloudy, the May Gray was in full effect. The day of the ceremony, the clouds cleared, and the sun was shining, only to be clouded by the smoke of the fire at the end of the Seal Beach Pier. By the time of the ceremony, the haze was gone, and there was a cool breeze through the air.

Firefighters work to put out a fire at the end of the Seal Beach Pier on Friday morning.  The fire damaged the pier and destroyed the former site of Ruby's restaurant which closed in 2013.  ///ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Slug: sealbeachpier.fire.0520.jag, Day: Friday, May 20, 2016 (5/20/16), Time: 7:33:15 AM, Location:  Seal Beach, California - Seal Beach Pier Fire - JEFF GRITCHEN, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Alexa and William were so in love, that the fire and passion in their hearts burned brighter than that fire, and they continued on with a beautiful walk on ceremony in Seal Beach.

I convinced them to get married not only toes in the sand, but toes in the water. We stood at the edge of the waves. With the water softly kissing our ankles, I performed a beautiful ceremony for the couple and their two guests.

They incorporated a sand ceremony, which turned out amazing. I had placed some sand from the beach to immortalize that moment, that spot, forever.

I told them, if the clouds or smoke of trouble hides the sun in their lives, they can always remember it’s still there. As long as they have that burning fire of passion in their heart, they lives will be filled with joy.20160520_161135

From Nashville,Tennessee to Malibu, California

woody1Woody performed a beautiful walk on ceremony in Malibu for this wonderful couple.

They are originally from California, so they traveled all the way from Nashville to get married, toes in the sand, at Point Dume.

With the waves crashing along the rocks, and the cliff as a backdrop, the couple exchanged vows and i dos.

They had a couple’s rose exchange, a perfect first gift for their married life together.

Lana Farfan from Caught in the Moment Photography captured this beautiful moment.

(photo credit Lana Farfan, Caught in the Moment Photography)woody4woody3 woody2woody5

The Germans, Their Baby, The Beach and the Bobby Pin Ring


Marco and Sandra along with their two-year-old baby were traveling through the western US on vacation. Her parents joined them on the trip as well.

They decided they wanted to get married and have their wedding ceremony on Santa Monica Beach. Their first stop was a few days before at my office in Long Beach to get their marriage license. Then today we met again at the foot of the Santa Monica pier and ventured out to one of the lifeguard towers. Since it was Monday the beach was relatively empty so we have the whole area to ourselves.

Their English wasn’t very good so I spoke slowly and they repeated 1 to 3 words at a time. When it was time for the rings they wanted their daughter to hand them to them.

She had other plans, as two year olds usually do. She wanted to keep the ring and when they took it away from her she broke down in tears.

So thinking quickly I scoured the area in front of me and noticed a bobby pin playing on the ground. I fashioned it into ring and handed it to her. She stopped crying and was so excited that she had her ring that she showed it off to everyone. We were then able to continue the ceremony. At the end her mother read something to them in German. I pronounced them a couple and they gave each other the biggest kiss.


They said Danka Schoen (thank you) and I said  Auf Wiedersehen (good bye).

Not your usual folks

IMG_2921Not your usual folks, Manolo Fregoso and Kimberly Cope, who exchanged sacred vows on Balboa Peninsula, over-looking the vast Pacific Ocean.  They are in the best sense “hipsters” and at the same time they are deeply committed to God and to following Jesus their Lord.  Joined by family and friends, and led by Rev Dr Gary Barmore of Great Officiants, the couple read beautiful “love letters” to each other and then pledged their everlasting love.

A beach wedding for Great Officiant Greg!

20160430_170246Great Officiant Greg had the honor of marrying Missy and Nick Giaone on the sand on April 30, 2016 in Long Beach, California.  The Catholic Light ceremony with the “blending of the sand” included their three children, which was very special!  Although the ceremony is serious, the setting was beautiful and casual, and Reverend Greg made it heartwarming and just a little funny and light.  With five colors of sand, the final container, representing their blended lives, was very colorful and a wonderful keepsake!

Nick and Missy’s friends and family, many who traveled from Arizona and Chicago, commented on how much they enjoyed the ceremony by Reverend Greg.

Many thanks to Suvin and Amber with So Cal Beach Wedding (A division of Great Officiants) for their very professional set-up, and to Beth Gates at Lei of Love who supplied the archway, bouquet, boutonnieres and wedding flowers.20160430_170614 20160430_170617

Diana Alvarez and Rob Cintron were wed at sunset, Sunday May 1, at Little Corona del Mar beach.

stephendianarobDiana Alvarez and Rob Cintron were wed at sunset, Sunday May 1, at Little Corona del Mar beach.

Their two best friends were in attendance.  Family and friends were watching the happy proceedings via Skype in New Jersey.

A brilliant sun, cool breezes and serene beach made for a wonderful ceremony.

Congratulations Diana and Rob!!stephendianarob3 stephendianarob1 stephendianarob2

A Wonderful Intimate Beach Wedding

rogerzulmiraRoger married Alan & Zulmira this last weekend.  They flew out from Virginia to get married on the sunny beaches of So Cal in Santa Monica….  It was going to be a small, intimate wedding of maybe 10 people and they wanted Roger give them the perfect, quaint wedding.  And that is what Roger did !  This couple and their family were really special to Roger.  What a great wedding !

Catherine Arnpriester and Thiago Paes were wed Saturday afternoon, April 23, on Zuma Beach.

stephenthiagoCatherine Arnpriester and Thiago Paes were wed Saturday afternoon, April 23, on Zuma Beach. The reception followed at the Sunset Restaurant, just steps from the ceremony area.

Stephen officiated, with 100 guests in attendance.

A destination wedding (Catherine and Thiago reside in Houston), friends and family traveled from Texas and Brazil.

All the best to the happy couple!stephenthiago1

2 Great Officiants, 2 Great Couples 1 Great Beach in Malibu. 

SHARI and I booked booked a beach wedding on Point Dume in Malibu on the same day an hour apart. So we carpooled through early morning traffic and arrived at 930 am. There was almost no one at the beach and it was a perfect combo morning waves crashing against the rocks.

Shari had the first wedding at 10am. They showed up promptly dressed to the nines. She issued them their license and ventured down to the point where some dolphins and whales were cruising by in the backdrop.

Alan’s 11 o’clock couple did not show up till 1230. They had so many mishaps along the way. Their phones both died, they had car trouble and she had accidentally put your hand into some road tar that she couldn’t get off. Making it to the beach was the ultimate test for their marriage. If they could make it there with all the crazy stuff that went on to get them there and they were destined to be together. And in the end they gave each other and amazing kiss and we’re happy that they made it and endured their crazy adventure.

And they all liver happily ever after.

Wedding over-looking the surf in Huntington Beach

IMG_2795For their wedding over-looking the surf in Huntington Beach on Sunday afternoon April 17, Nathan Gayton and Alina Castro were thankful for four things: that her father was well enough to attend and escort the bride (that’s him in photo); that her maid-of-honor made it all the way from Ventura, almost on time; that Rev Dr Gary Barmore of Great Officiants met with them, planning and conducting the perfect ceremony of love, commitment and joy; and most of all, they were thankful for each other and their deep appreciation for the love given by God to live out every day of their life together.