Jacqueline Soares, Non Denominational Officiant

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Music for Fall Weddings

Posted on 7 September, 2015 at 12:59 Comments comments (29)
I have blogged many times regarding Fall Weddings. Fall in our coastal Southern California area is  perfect for wedding celebrations. The sunsets are still gorgeous, temperatures are cooling down, late afternoons have the most beautiful lighting for great photos, venues can be a bit less costly, we have so many almost no cost locations to have the ceremony, the list goes on and on.

Here is a article and video website with 30 perfect songs for your upcoming fall wedding to help with your choices of music. You have 30 snippets of music to decide with.






Fall Evening Beach Area Weddings

Posted on 31 December, 2014 at 14:36 Comments comments (241)
Continuing in the same theme as the last article about Fall Weddings, Winter Weddings can be some of the most enchanting wedding times. The weather is cooler, West Coast sunsets are more colorful , contrasted with clouds and soft oranges with hints of yellows and reds.

Keep this in mind when planning your wedding, often venues will discount their fees for off times and days, such as evening Fall Weddings.

This  Fall Wedding I had the honor to officiate was held on a Saturday's early evening in Long Beach, CA, at the foot of the Lighthouse in the Shoreline Park area. There were several weddings off and on through out the day.

My wedding couple opted to hold their small and quaint wedding at the base of the hill for several reasons. One, the lighting was best for the photographer, second, the back drop to the wedding pictures included artful angles of the lighthouse. Third, they easily turn after the wedding ceremony towards the lovely sunset (appx 4:30-5:00 p.m.) for final wedding shots.

Pictures were important to this couple and honestly they couldn't of chosen prettier backdrops for their pre and post wedding shots. Nature avails itself so lovely during winter's lighting.  This location also has the bay's backdrop, rocks to sit and pose on, the choices are endless.

Shoreline Park is located off Ocean and Shoreline, by the Aquarium. There is limited no cost parking at the park and paid parking over by the Aquarium. (walking distance from the lighthouse location.)  You will need to check specifically with Long Beach Park and Recreation regarding larger weddings.

The Parker Lighthouse Restaurant is a consideration for your after ceremony get together. Yet, there are numerous restaurants  located in this area with easy access, short drives.

Yes, Fall Weddings to say the least are some of my favorites. Do keep in mind that the days are shorter, cooler and can be quite chilly when planning a Fall Wedding, so instruct your guest to bring a coat or sweater to ward off the chill.
White, Greys, Silvers and a warm solid colors are great accents to your outdoor Fall Wedding.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected] if you have any questions regarding this particular location or you are searching for a wedding officiant. Jacqueline Soares 2014



Fall Weddings

Posted on 28 October, 2014 at 15:38 Comments comments (33)
marriage officiant, orange county wedding officiant, minister, beach weddings, idotoday.comYour engaged, Congratulations, now onto the wedding planning 101. Typically brides default to a spring or summer wedding. Normally due to the weather and it has been traditional to do so. Yet, in California we normally have great weather year around. This lends itself  nicely for destination location weddings, in our falls and winters. Fall weddings are so beautiful and the surrounding venues can typically be less expensive (with  the exception of Christmas time.)

Many times our beaches are not thought of as Great Fall Wedding Locations because of the coolness, the early evenings or winds. Yet, do not discount them, for this can be one of the loveliest times of  the year to have a Beach Wedding.

Normally, beach towns/city halls cannot guarantee your specific location on their beach, especially closest to the piers (this can make for lovely and convenient back-drops for the after the ceremony photos), yet for example in October on a Sunday  you can normally find by 3:00 p.m., the crowds have thinned out and there are plenty of nice locations on the sand to set up for that wonderful wedding ceremony spot.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of officiating a wedding on the beach at 4:30 p.m., just outside of the pier's end. The guest along with the wedding couple could see the ocean ( very fitting since in their ceremony we talked about the waves), the sun had begun its downward shift (making for the perfect lighting for the ceremony and photos afterwards), the family /friends could stand close enough to hear everything being spoken and to the couples surprise they had a fan fare up above them on the pier (the claps and cheers went form 25 guest to 100 guest at the ceremony ended with , " you can now begin your journey as Husband and Wife with a Kiss").

It was wonderful, simple, elegant and affordable. 

Here are some links to surrounding beaches for your convenience and research:


If you have any question please call me directly at 714.625.7841 or email me at [email protected]

I have had the honor and pleasure to perform numerous beach weddings and look forward to serving you. Jacqueline Soares, Wedding Officiant, non denominational minister since  2007.

White Wedding Dress or Not this is the question for you to answer

Posted on 22 May, 2014 at 13:46 Comments comments (16)
     The White Wedding Dress, it has been anticipated by you since you were a young girl. Images of long flowing, lacy, trailed white dress which will only be worn by you on your Wedding Day. Afterwards to be cleaned and stored till who knows when. The white wedding dress hasn't always been the tradition. Previous to the marriage of Queen Victoria to Prince Albert in 1840, it was not uncommon and more traditional to wear black or heavy brocaded fabric dresses. A bride's choice of colored wedding dresses are readily available and some will choose a color to break tradition, second marriage and bottom line they just feel prettier in a color verse the "traditional" white wedding dress.
 
     Skimming the articles for this 2014 wedding season, white on white for this summer is taking a new revival, leading me to this blog entry. Very often we are seek "tradition" without understanding where the "tradition" came from or feeling like we need to conform because it's "tradition" to so by choosing a white wedding dress.
 
      Previous to our times there were limited laundry techniques, laces, fabrics (especially the color of the fabics), obtaining fabrics from forgien regions  and the expense of the fabric, to list a few obstacles that the bride and the seamstress were challenged with when designing the "wedding dress". After Queen Victoria set predence with her long veil, trailed, lacy wedding dress, many American and European families of money saw this as a status symbol for the bride to be able to afford and wear a white dress on their wedding day. It was a way to show the bride's weath.
 
     Today, it has become a "Western wedding routine, especially in the Christian religious tradition.." .
 
     I think a bride should choose the best fitting color for her as a person, style and a expression of her personality. If white is all you have ever dreamed about then do it! Yet, remember traditions have always started somewhere for some reason and don't always match our understandings and beliefs for you today. This make us unique. So before you choose or settle for white at least try on a color, then make the final decision for you , White Wedding Dress or Not.
 
White Wedding, on wikipedia has a great article on this subject (referencing the history of the white wedding day)
 
I always encourage your thoughts and comments, Jacqueline Soares
Idotoday wedding officiant.

Marriage Licenses; Orange County & Los Angeles

Posted on 25 July, 2013 at 20:11 Comments comments (15)
 
 
Orange County, Los Angeles, Marriage License, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, Wedding, OfficiantHere is some useful information when deciding where, when, and how to obtain your Marriage License.  You will want to consider the following:
       Are you coming from out of state to Orange County or Los Angeles and/or is your wedding scheduled for a weekend? The county recorder’s office is only open Monday through Friday, so check for local business hours: (typically 8-4 M-F) 
 
 
 
        L. A. County http://www.lavote.net/clerk/Marriages.cfm
 
  Typically marriage licenses are issued to applicants on the spot.  A marriage license is generally valid for 90 days from the date of issuance. In most states, blood tests are not required. Applicants must be over 18 years of age.
 
   You should be prepared to:
 
  •      Appear together in person
 
  •      Present one form of valid indentification (some  type of government issued picture ID (driver’s license, passport, ect).
 
  •      Provide a certified copy of the Final Judgment of Divorce if divorce was final within the last 90 days ( I encourage all divorced couples to bring your filed copy of Entry of Judgment or Judgment document to be on the safe side).
 
      Fees vary from county to county, state to state so please check your local listings. The following is for Orange and Los Angeles Counties, CA:
 
 
  
    There are two types of Marriage Licenses and these are the general guidelines when making a decision which one you wish to consider and purchase:
 
     License of Marriage- a tradition license requires an officiate to sign it after performing the ceremony and up to two witnesses. (only one witness is required in the State of California, yet traditional two have been used). This marriage license once recorded becomes a public record which anyone can view.
 
      License of Confidential Marriage- only requires the officiate to sign it  after performing the ceremony no witnesses required.  This marriage license once recorded is not open for public viewing.
 
 
What is the difference between a Marriage License and a Marriage Certificate?
 
The marriage certificate is more of a keepsake.  You will receive an original of both the certified license and the marriage certificate. This can take anywhere from to two weeks to a month.  
 
You will need additional copies of the marriage license for the name change, first, with Social Security and then with the DMV.

Wedding Music-Streefree, Spectacular, Affordable

Posted on 4 June, 2013 at 1:27 Comments comments (10)
 
What makes a wedding? The right music.
 
Music creates emotion; especiallyat weddings. Music (words and sounds) inspires more feeling, memories, andsentiment than any other expression. Everyone has, at some time, felt euphoricjoy or been moved to tears by certain songs. However music, along with food andother arrangements can be costly. The question is, then, how do you includemusic (and enhance feelings and memories) without stressing, and breaking the bank? Hint: smaller weddings, and combination wedding/music packages.
 
Wedding trends
 
A new trend in toward smaller, economical weddings is emerging. Why? The majority of people are waiting longer before tying the knot mostly for career and economic reasons. [1]The average age of a bride in the US now is 25.3 (27 for the Groom). Also, one-thirdof those getting married each year have been married before and therefore have already experienced large lavish weddings. What this translates to is a growing trend toward small to mid-sized affordable weddings that, yet, don’t skimp on service and quality.
 
           
THE NEW MOVEMENT: a solo musician/vocalist
 
Other way to save money is to make appropriate music choices.Traditionally, there have been only two options for music: a live band or a DJ.Either of these can be appropriate depending on the type of event you are planning. Additionally, many high-end weddings use separate musicians for the ceremony,post-ceremony cocktails, and dinner/dance reception.The total costs for music alone (DJ or Musicians) can exceed $4800. Why not have a single music resource for all of theseevent essentials?
 
Technology now allows a solo musician-vocalist to reproduce the sound and quality of a full band with the use of studio backing tracks (video). And, some professional soloists can also provide “Lite DJ” services for people who want awide selection of dinner & dance music without the thumping volume, fogl ighting, and conga-train dancing usually required at younger first-timeweddings.
 
Advantages
 
There are several benefits when opting for a solo musician/vocalist:
 
Less stress: You can work directly with one professional –communication and planning are easier
 
Logistics: music selection can be planned for the Ceremony (guest arrival, processional & recessional songs), cocktail reception, anddinner/dance or any combination. Sound systems and microphones can be easily moved or pre-positioned prior to the event.
 
Affordable: working with a professional soloist can save thousands in music expenses. For example, the cost for a ceremony, cocktail dinner, and dinner reception, can be under $1000.
 
How to save $$$
 
The average cost of a wedding used to be $20-30K. However, with the awful economy,everyone is looking for ways to save money while still creating their once-in-a-lifetime wedding experience. All this means that people are budgeting more, planning carefully, and, in many cases, opting for small to mid-sizeguest lists and facilities that offer ceremony/reception packages for theirwedding. The Advantages are many:
 
·      Smaller events require less work and less stress, the savings in lower “plate-counts”can be applied to other areas, e.g., to enhance food and beverage options
 
·      Music costs and arrangements can be made more efficient and easier (see below)
 
·      Fewer guestsallow for the marriage couple to choose popular ceremony/reception combination facilities where the ceremony and reception take place in one area.
 
For example, my own wedding was held at a lovely outdoor patio area at a country club. We had the ceremony and reception in the same place. Our guests didn’t have to take a single step to relocate or gather their things to another area.  We saved thousands while everyone relaxed and enjoyed the event. 
 
There’s no place like home
 
Another popular option is tohave the entire event at home (or at your friend’s house with the beautiful view of the ocean). I personally have performed at dozen’s of house-party events where catering, officiants (ministers), music, etc. are conveniently arranged and casually enjoyed.
 
Why should a loving couple be denied a wonderful event due to economic conditions? 
      
Economic conditions
 
Let’s face it. Weddings canbe expensive. Many people just don’t have a huge budget these days for such anevent. Worse yet, some start out their lives together by going into a financial hole because they feel they have to have extravagance for their family andfriends. Why should a loving couple be denied a wonderful event due to economic conditions?
 
Article submitted by DonCovel, owner of Don Covel Entertainment serving Orange County for over 20years. His warm guitar and smooth vocals are often compared to James Taylor. He also provides wedding music planning assistance including popular Lite DJservices for small to mid-sized weddings. Consider the above guidelines whenchoosing musical entertainment.
 
“As a guitar/vocal soloist musician, I provide my clients with a combination of classic rock and smooth jazz that is very popularat Orange County venues. All of this is enhanced with a full sound system and backing-track production. You are free to contact me personally for more music ideas at NO COST or OBLIGATION.”
 
Musically yours,
Don Covel
Info: 949-855-6581

www.DC-Entertainment.com
 
Technology now allows a solo musician-vocalist to reproduce the sound and quality of a full band…
[1]http://www.soundvision.com/info/weddings/statistics.asp,  US CensusBureau http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/2003/cb03ff02.html
 

How a Wedding Professional Can Save You Money

Posted on 27 April, 2013 at 20:16 Comments comments (12)
 
How a Wedding Professional Can Save You Money
 
 In the current economy wedding couple’s budgets are gone over with a fine tooth comb. More and more brides are finding themselves doing all the planning, searching for vendors and negotiating in the hopes of staying within budget and saving money.
 
 
With all the information today on the internet it is true they can find many services and extras at bargain basement prices especially if they can plan for an off season event (traditionally weddings are held here onthe West Coast area April through September with June through September the busiest wedding season for vendors).
 
Yet let me pose some questions that may be often overlooked, what is your time worth, what is your peace of mine worth and how canan expert actually save me money? 
 
Your time is worth money right; here you spend your time efficiently with professionals who can share the most current wedding dresschoices based on your dream and body style. From the dress to the accessorythese professionals assist you every step of the way.  
 
These professionals come with their little (big) black notebooks full of vendors and ideas, saving you time and money (remembering your time has a price too) with referrals and recommendations of tried "other wedding and event specialist", now at your finger tips. 
 
Planners will take an assertive part yet gently guide you in understanding how your special day can become the beautiful reality from the best venue pricing to estimating guest count all the while keeping your budget in mind every step of the way. 
 
They offer Full Service plans which are perfect for the clientwith a fabulous vision, yet has a busy schedule that will not allow all the desired details to be handled without some assistance.  
 
Day of  The Wedding Coordination plan, for the bride “who has already planned the perfect event and would like to simply enjoy themselves having assurance that their plans and details will be carried out.” 
 
For the bride who needs “A La Carte” services which again can also save you time and money in helping you to stay within your budget.These services can be picked from variety of task at an hourly rate.  
 
In closing, quoted by Alison Tomko from Alison ElizabethEvents, “Whether you would like a “little or “a lot” of help with your plans we are committed to helping make your “dream day” a reality.” 
 
Event Coordinator's sites for your convenience: 
 
 
 
 
 

Wedding Ceremony 101

Posted on 20 March, 2013 at 14:13 Comments comments (10)
 
Wedding Ceremony 101
I do today and forever more…
 
Couples are surprised to find there is no mandatory design for a wedding ceremony.  Ceremonies can be traditional or as unique as each couple; it’s your day – you can have it your way.
 
 
Although there are a few standard lines an officiant needs to incorporate into your ceremony, for the most part it is all about your sonnet from one heart to another.  If you want a ceremony created especially for you, make sure to choose an officiant who acts as guide and co-creator, rather than a director.
 
 
Frequently Asked Questions
 
What are some of the most important things to consider in creating your wedding ceremony? The questions we hear most often are: 
 
How long is the ceremony? Typically 15-30 minutes. 
 
Do you write the vows or do we? We can, yet normally we co-create with the couple giving them samples and choices to help with their decisions. 
 
Can we use our own vows and readings? Yes. 
 
Do I need to remember anything? Basically, the answer is “no” unless you wish to. We understand you will be tired and nervous all at once when you finally get to the ceremony part of your celebration. Normally the officiant will feed you your lines and please remember look at each other when saying the vows, not at the officiant.  
 
Can a friend or family member do a song or reading? Yes, we encourage involving anyone you wish to make this day special for you and your guests. 
 
Do we have to be solemn or can we be light and funny? It’s your day - have it your way. If you want it light and funny, make sure you pick an officiant who can deliver this for you. 
 
Can we use contemporary readings or are religious orscriptural readings required? When itcomes to vows and readings there is not one requirement. Be as creative as you like. 
 
We just want a simple ceremony. We have learned that “simple” is in the eye of the beholder. Simple to one person is 10 minutes of I do’s and you may kiss the bride. To others it’s more about keeping the ceremony light and not too heavy on the religious side.
 
 
A Typical Ceremony
 
 
To give you an idea of how a ceremony might be structured, here is the one of the most common ceremony templates used: 
 
Opening Words of the Officiant: This is where we welcome your family and guests.

TheGiving in Marriage: (Optional)The father or family member gives the bride away.

An Opening Prayer or Reading: Nice place to have a guest or family member do a favorite reading of the couple’s choice.  The officiant is also more than happy to recite your choice of reading or opening scripture.
 

Definitionof Marriage: (Optional) The officiant can define the marriage withyour choice of words.

Wedding Vows: Traditional, non-traditional,religious. This is the first time you will recite a piece to each other with the assistance of your officiant feeding the lines to both of you.

SecondReading or Song: (Optional) Very commonly a guest or family member reads or sings a song.

Exchangeof Rings:  You will choose a ring exchange vow that suits your heart.

Closing:(Sometimes called a Benediction) Usually the officiant recites your closing thoughts to the family and guests.

DeclarationOf Marriage: "By the power vested in me by the State of _______, I now pronounce you____________” and the best part for last, “you may now kiss the bride or life partner.”

Introductionof Newlyweds: The officiant usually introduces the newlyweds by the married names you are taking. 
 
Other Bits of Wisdom 
 
You have worked hard atmaking this the most memorable day of your life for you and your guests.  Please make sure that they can hear your ceremony. Your DJ or venue will normally have a wireless mic that theofficiant can use or a microphone that can be set up. Your guests and loved ones really do want to hear your vows and this allows them to be part of your special celebration, the first day of your married life.
 
 
Make sure if there are any special announcements you wish the officiant to make that you let them know before the ceremony. They can announce this after you and your wedding party leave the staged area.
 
 
There are many free and paid sites on the internet these days that have samples of wedding ceremonies. Yourofficiant will also be able to give you sample ceremonies they have already performed, or samples of vows and readings. Make sure the ceremony is a truereflection of the both of you. It’s your very special day…forever more.
 
 
 
October 2008 revised and printed 2013
 

Wedding Ceremony 101

Posted on 23 January, 2013 at 15:28 Comments comments (12)
 
Wedding Ceremony 101
I do today and forever more.. 
 
Wedding ceremonies can be traditional or as unique as each couple. If you want a ceremony created especially for you, make sure you choose an officiant who acts as a guide and co-creator, rather then a director.
 
 
There is no specific way or design that has to be done within your ceremony. There are just few standard lines the officiant needs to incorporate into your ceremony (we will address them later in this article) yet for the most part it is all about your sonnet from one heart to the other.
 
 
Frequently Asked Questions
 
 
What are some of the most important things to consider in creating your wedding ceremony? The questions we hear most often are:
 
 
How long is the ceremony? Typically 15-30 minutes.
 
 
Do you write the vows or do we? We can yet normally we co-create with the couple giving them samples and choices to help with their decisions
 
 
Can we use our own vows and readings? Yes.
 
 
Do I need to remember anything? We understand you will be tired and nervous all at once when you finally get to the ceremony part of your celebration. Basically the answer is no, unless you wish to. Normally the officiant will feed you your lines and, remember, look at each other when saying the vows not the officiant.
 
 
Can a friend or family member do a song or reading? Yes, we encourage involving anyone you wish to make this day special for you and your guest.
 
 
Do we have to be solemn or can we be light and funny? Its your day have it your way. If you want it light and funny, make sure you pick an officiant that can to deliver this for you.
 
 
Can we use contemporary readings or are religious or scriptural readings required? When it comes to vows and readings there is not one requirement. Be as creative as you like.
 
 
We just want a simple ceremony. We have learned that “simple” is in the eye of the beholder. Simple to one person is 10 minutes of I do’s and you may kiss the bride. To others it’s more about keeping the ceremony light and not too heavy on the spiritual side.
 
 
A Typical Ceremony
 
To give you an idea of how a ceremony might be structured, here is the one of the most common ceremony templates used:
 
 
Opening Words of the Officiant: This is where we welcome your family and guests

The Giving in Marriage: (Optional) The father or family member gives the bride away

An Opening Prayer or Reading: Nice place to have a guest or family member do a favorite reading of the couples choice.  The officiant is also more than happy to recite your choice of reading or opening scripture.

Definition of Marriage: (Optional) The officiant can define the marriage with your choice of words.

Wedding Vows: Traditional, non-traditional, religious. This is the first time you will recite a piece to each other with the assistance of your officiant feeding the lines to both of you.

Second Reading or Song: (Optional) Very commonly a guest or family member reads or sings a song.

Exchange of Rings:  You will choose a ring exchange vow that suits your heart

Closing: (Sometimes called a Benediction.) Usually the officiant recites your closing thoughts to the family and guests.

Declaration Of Marriage: "By the power vested in me by the State of _______, I now pronounce you ____________” and the best part for last, “you may now kiss the bride or life partner.”

Introduction of Newlyweds: The officiant usually introduces the newlyweds by the married names you are taking.
 
 
Other Bits of Wisdom
 
 
You have worked hard at making this the most memorable day of your life for you and your guests.  Please make sure that they can hear your ceremony. Your DJ or venue will normally have a wireless mike that the officiant can use or a microphone that can be set up. Your guests and loved ones really do want to hear your vows and this allows them to really be part of your special celebration, the first day of your married life.
 
 
Make sure if there are any special announcements you wish the officiant to make that you let them know before the ceremony. They can announce this after you and your wedding party leaves the staged area.
 
 
There are many free and paid sites on the internet these days that have samples of wedding ceremonies. Make sure the ceremony is a true reflection of the both of you. Your officiant will also be able to give you sample ceremonies they have already performed, or samples of vows and readings. It’s your very special day, forever more.
 
 

How to Choose an Officiant

Posted on 28 September, 2012 at 13:54 Comments comments (14)
marriage officiant, orange county wedding officiant, minister, beach weddings, idotoday.comYour ceremony is the heart and soul of your wedding and will likely be the most 
personal memory of this special day.  So choosing an officiant is more critical than most people realize.  Many couples, especially those who do not have a regular place of worship, plan in advance for everything but the wedding officiant!  Personal referrals can give you a sense of security but make sure the officiant meets your individual needs and requirements.  There are many things to consider: 
 
The Officiant 
 
     If at all possible, meet personally with the officiant to make sure you are comfortable in their presence.  It helps to discuss in advance what you are looking for as a couple so you are prepared to ask questions about everything that is important to you.  Are they available for your wedding date and can you imagine them presiding over your special day?   Do you like their voice and will it carry?  What will they wear?  Do they appear to be sensitive and flexible in relating to you?  Do you sense they can collaborate with other wedding professionals to make your day joyful and elegant?  Remember that your officiant should be able to reflect your values, beliefs and the meaningful aspects that are unique and special about your relationship. 
 
Pre-Marital Education
 
     Does the officiant require your participation in pre-marital education or counseling?  If not, are you interested in participating?  Even when not required, pre-marital education is an excellent investment in your future.  Learning more about each other’s strengths and weaknesses and gaining enhanced communication/conflict resolution skills ensures the best possible foundation for a happy marriage.  
 
The Ceremony and Vows
 
     Will the officiant work with you to develop a special ceremony which honors you as a couple?  Can you use contemporary readings or are religious or scriptural readings required?  Can you write your own vows or add special touches?  Your ceremony should be an authentic expression of who you are as individuals and as a couple.  For the most personal and unique wedding ceremony, your officiant should act as a guide and co-creator (not a director).
 
Location
 
     Do you want to be married in a church, on the beach, or at some other special 
location?  Is your officiant registered in the state or country where you plan to be 
married?  Do special location arrangements need to be made and who will make them? 
 
Fees and Other Considerations   
 
     Fees vary depending on services and travel requirements.  Do you want the officiant only at the wedding ceremony or will you require them to be present at a rehearsal?  Do you want to invite them to the rehearsal dinner and/or the dinner/reception after your wedding?  Don’t assume anything without asking about each of these possibilities and receiving clear answers from your officiant.   
 
     Finally, do you believe your wedding officiant will act as a trusted advisor capable of meeting your needs through listening and encouragement, linking you to other resources, or providing direction if desired?  This is your day – choosing the right wedding officiant will create a special memory for years to come.    2007
 
 
 
 

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