Aww….thanks guys!

I am very honored to have been awarded the Wedding Wire Couple’s Choice award for 2014! This makes three years in a row that Get Wed By Ed has been honored with a Wedding Wire award, and something that I am very proud of. Here’s a little bit about the award and the criteria used to select the recipients:


The WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards™ recognizes the top 5 percent of local Wedding Professionals from the WeddingWire Network throughout the United States and Canada that demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism. Unlike other awards in which winners are selected by the organization, the WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards™ are awarded solely based on the reviews from over 200,000 newlyweds. Awards are determined by a combination of excellence in four factors: overall rating (quality), total number of reviews (quantity), review performance from 2013 (recency), and consistency of reviews from year to year (consistency).

Looking forward to a fabulous 2014!

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Alexa and Andy

Alexa and AndyThere were so many special parts of Alexa and Andy’s big day, it’s difficult to decide where to begin. Not only were they a totally cool couple (everyone that gets wed by Ed are), I had the privilege of performing Andy’s sister’s ceremony a year or so prior. However I had no idea just how different the ceremonies would be.

First off, being a transplant to the South I am still shocked at just how loyal to various universities folks down here are. Now, I went to Oregon State (Go Beavs!) and my dad went to Oregon State…but I wouldn’t say they are a part of our family. It was more of a convenience that it was close, had a better ranked College of Business than the other state school, and was as affordable as any university could be. But down here things are a little different- there are families where children are born destined to attend the family school. Fight songs are taught in utero, and outfits are always a combination of two or three colors. This was the case for Alexa, Andy and Georgia Tech…and they did their alma mater proud.

First they selected the Georgia Tech Historic School of Medicine as a venue. This was my first visit to the school, and I was so surprised by how beautiful it was. The ceremony took place in the lecture hall, which as a speaker was a pleasant surprise as the acoustics were supreme. The venue itself is very classic, with beautiful architecture that requires little enhancement. Of course this didn’t prevent a few Navy and Gold additions from our couple.

There were two big surprises, and I mean BIG! Alexa and Andy had arranged for the GT Marching Band to make an appearance just before the processional. They marched on in and performed a few selections for their guests, which I could only imagine the surprise in the audience when they started. As we were lining up, I overheard Alexa’s dad saying how all he wanted was to hear “Ramblin’ Wreck” performed on his daughter’s wedding day in a tone that you could tell hit home. It was very special indeed.

The second surprise came during the photo hour. As a surprise to Andy, they had arranged to have the GT mascot Buzz come in and mingle during the cocktail hour. Of course there were some great photos taken, and it was certainly a hit with everyone in attendance.

I loved this ceremony so much. Not only was it there special day, Alexa and Andy owned it and made it THEIR day. There are no rules when it comes to weddings, and they took it and ran with it. Instead of making them fit the mold of a traditional wedding ceremony, they made the traditional wedding ceremony fit their mold. Of course this makes it all the more special and memorable to everyone that was lucky enough to attend. And I was so grateful that they let me be a part of it with them.

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Hot dates- 2012

So…whose going to get married on October 11th, 2012? Or maybe December 12th? Lots of fun dates out there this year!


Any math geeks out there want to weigh in with some more?

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Last minute weddings / Short notice ceremonies

When out with friends, conversation often times finds it way to the different ceremonies I’ve performed or have upcoming. I love talking about all the different couples- how they met, what they planned for their big day, any funny anecdotes etc. But usually the weddings that get the biggest reactions are those that were last minute bookings. Folks seem to look down there noses a bit at them, and I’m not exactly sure why. There are a ton of reasons as to why folks might want to “get married quick”, but none stick out more in my mind than Jack and Jill (Seriously! I couldn’t make up names like that.)

Jill called me in a rush- she wanted, no needed, to get married the next day. On a Wednesday. Granted, this is even a bit odd even for me. But, I had a light schedule and the evening free so I figured why not. I sent her the standard samples and she quickly picked out a very short and sweet ceremony with an added prayer. Then she asked if I knew any places that we could perform the ceremony. Huh…now it’s getting a little more “outside the norm”, but hey…no big deal. We decided we’d meet at Piedmont Park and wander around a bit until a spot found us.

So I met up with Jack and Jill, and was first struck by their beauty. They were a good looking couple that looked made for each other, both with blonde hair, blue eyes and definitely athletic builds. But more than that, it was the way they looked at each other. They were so happy and excited to be starting their life officially together to the point where I was concerned they might burst. The goofy looks, toothy grins…the whole nine yards. I swear they were looking at each other more than looking for a spot that might work for their nuptials. However a particularly striking old oak tree managed to catch their eye, and we had the spot.

5 minutes later they were married.

We made our way to the Park Tavern for a place to sit and take care of the paperwork, and that’s where I got to hear the story behind the “Can you marry us tomorrow?” wedding. As it turned out, there was more planning involved than I knew. You see, there was something very special about that particular Wednesday. Jill’s great grandmother, grandmother, and mother all shared the same wedding date, and Jill wanted to extend the tradition another generation. And taking a cue from her grandmother, she and Jack had decided to elope and then tell the family later. Jack had arranged his leave (He serves in the Armed Forces) and drove from Alabama just to be married, and had to return the next day. So when the judge that they had previously arranged to perform the ceremony had to back out due to the impending birth of his grandchild, Jill began frantically Googling and eventually found me. This story literally almost brought me to tears right there in the tavern…it was so moving to hear them tell it and to hear all the history behind this “last minute” wedding.

This is one that’s going to stick with me for a lifetime, and I was so happy I was able to help them with their plans. Granted, not all short notice weddings have such a moving story behind them, but as the saying goes, don’t judge a book by it’s cover.

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Colleen and Phil- 5/28

If you ever find yourself at a party that Colleen and Phil are attending, find them and stick as close to them as you can for you are sure to have a great time. Both are such open and entertaining individuals, and have story after story to tell. Living in New York, Chicago, Africa…careful, you may become mesmerized if you get them on a roll.

Colleen and Phil took the reins and totally owned their wedding. With King Plow as a venue, it already had a great backdrop to work with, but it’s the little things that matter most. They made sure it was just the way they wanted, and didn’t hesitate a bit to do something “out of the norm” if they felt it reflected them. The cake was inspired by some fabric they purchased while in Africa and Colleen’s dress, each of the tables in the reception area were covered in various African fabric, and acorns were scattered around in various places to compliment the squirrel cufflinks Phil wore…just to name a few.

This level of detail didn’t stop at the reception, oh no. The ceremony was sliced and diced as well with an awesome processional featuring Herb in his too awesome turquoise jacket and Phil getting his moment too by being escorted down the aisle by his parents. They chose their brother and sister as their attendants, with Phil’s sister being “best man” and Colleen’s brother as “maid of honor” (which he completely owned, being the most meticulous dress arranger I’ve seen in a long time). The vows had a little touch where they promised to run errands together, and the breaking of the glass was incorporated at the end as well to honor the Jewish heritage in the family.

But probably the part that stood out the most was the unity ceremony. Colleen and Phil both loved the idea and symbolism that a unity ceremony adds to a wedding, however the traditional sand or candle just wasn’t for them. I threw a couple ideas out to them and when a light bulb went off.

Unity guacamole.

You see, Phil and Colleen had an adventure while travelling through Africa where guacamole was exactly what they wanted, and they spent an afternoon heading to the open air market in Dar es Salaam to gather ingredients. We used this adventure as inspiration, and using the Recipe for Love poem as a base, created a unity ceremony where each ingredient represented an aspect of their marriage they were bringing together. Yes…they made guacamole right in the middle of their ceremony that was served during the cocktail hour! It was such a defining moment…and everyone that attended will remember it for a lifetime. And Phil and Colleen had a blast doing it! Check out these great photos their photographer Caroline Fontenot took of this quirky, yet totally appropriate, unity ceremony.

Photo by Caroline Fontenot

Photo by Caroline Fontenot

Photo by Caroline Fontenot

Photo by Caroline Fontenot

As you can see…they had a great time and a great ceremony. My only regret is that it went by so fast…I had such a good time I didn’t want it to end. I received a ton of compliments from their guests as well, which really confirmed we did a great job making their ceremony uniquely them. Everything went off without a hitch and was a fantastic night, and I was very happy to be a part of their day. I encourage any couple that is getting married to take a queue from Colleen and Phil and make sure your day is exactly what you want. You don’t have to compromise at all!

Venue: King Plow Arts Center
Wedding Planner: Sashay Events
Photographer: Caroline Fontenot
Guacamole Creators: Colleen and Phil

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Jason and Amanda- 5/14

Potted magnolia tree used for a unique unity ceremony

Jason and Amanda were such a fun couple to work with. They are both very down to earth people, and genuinely nice. I think Amanda’s grandmother said it best when she told me at the rehearsal that “They are just the perfect couple. Now I’m a little biaed here, but I genuinely believe that they are meant to be”. Couldn’t have said it better myself.

The Setting

Jason and Amanda had chosen the Carl House for their ceremony and reception. Tucked away a good clip northeast of Atlanta, this historic house is a wonderful setting for a wedding…with a great garden outside and classic southern charm inside. Fortunately the weather held on the big day, and Jason and Amanda were able to hold their ceremony outside in the beautiful garden area as originally planned. 70% chance of rain!? No way! In fact, it was downright perfect when it was time for the ceremony to start!

The ceremony

Jason and Amanda spent a lot of time on their ceremony, making sure that we included everything they wanted in their way. I think it was a little overwhelming at first, as there are so many options available it’s easy to get flooded with ideas. But after a few phone conversations and meet ups, we were able to zero in on what they were after.

One of the really neat parts of their ceremony was the unity ceremony they selected. While the norm is to go with a unity candle, they don’t work too well for outdoor ceremonies. And as Jason pointed out, you go through the whole thing and then you just blow them out at the end…which kind of goes against the symbolism you are trying to demonstrate. So instead, we looked for other options to convey the symbolism and meaning, and as luck would have it found a perfect option that was not only unique, but fit with their wedding theme perfectly- a tree watering ceremony.

Before the ceremony, a tree in a pot was placed off to the side of where the ceremony would be taking place. During the processional, both mothers walked in with a small vase full of water and added it to a watering can, which I’m sure piqued the interest of a few in the crowd. Then during the ceremony, I spoke to the symbolism of the tree and how it related to a marriage- the stable trunk, the outstreched limbs that offer comfort etc. The water that the mother’s had added to the watering can symbolized the love and nurturing that each family provided to Jason and Amanda as they were growing up. And as Jason and Amanda added water to the tree to help it grow, they were adding the love and nurturing that both families provided to them to their marriage to help it grow.

I have heard of a tree planting ceremony before, but with everyone all dolled up the thought of playing in the dirt wasn’t very appealing. However I think this was a great option to go with, and I received a number of compliments on the “tree part” after the cermeony from guests. I love the symbolism of the unity ceremony, and was very happy to work with Jason and Amanda to come up with an option that fit well for them and is sure to be remembered for some time.

Congratulations to Jason and Amanda…all my best for a wonderful future together!

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Outdoor Weddings and Cicadas

Since moving to the South, I’ve learned so many new things that I had no exposure to growing up in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve met most with good humor- things like specifying Sweet or Unsweet, dealing with SEC football fans, the fact it doesn’t cool down at night during the summer, styrofoam cups etc. However there is one thing I’m still not used to yet…and that’s the bugs. So when my friend Casey mentioned “the cicadas are coming this year”, I said they’ve been here and casually retold the story of when I first heard a cicada and how I thought it was a chainsaw off in the distance. Then he said, “No…the special cicadas”.

Special cicadas? Instantly my brain flashed to a swarm of brain eating zombie bugs that could pick a human skeleton clean of flesh in 4.6 seconds.

Turns out I wasn’t too far off…except for the whole brain eating part. Evidently there are special swarms of these gigantic super loud bugs that sprout up when the weather gets warm enough and basically cover everything. People tell stories of the ground being covered with cicada shells that crunch under your feet on every step and needing a shopvac to clean them up. Fortunately these special cicadas only come out once every few years, which is good. Unless you happen to be holding an outdoor wedding when they show up…that might be bad.

So my other friend Jesse, who is also a transplant to the south and was part of the previous conversation, sent me a link that I want to pass along. Somebody out there really likes cicadas, and have dedicated a site to them and even has a page dedicated to cicadas and weddings. So if you are planning an outdoor wedding, you might want to check out just in case. While you do that, I’m going to look into getting a beekeeping suit and a tennis racket.

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Jennifer and Kyle- 4/24

Inside the Trolley Barn, pre-ceremony

The first time I met Jennifer and Kyle, we were all fighting crazy traffic to make it to our consult on time. This of course builds anxiety, not only dealing with other, how shall I say, not-so-smart people on the road but also with the fact you might be late to your first meeting and making a bad impression. Fortunately we all made it right on time, and then a funny thing happened. Once we started talking, all that stress and anxiety just melted away. I knew right from the beginning that we had one awesome event in the works.

The Setting

Jennifer and Kyle had chosen the Trolley Barn in Inman Park for their ceremony. It’s a smaller venue, just tucked away between some houses and other businesses blocks from downtown. You’d never know it though, as it’s very peaceful and surprisingly quiet. The weather was gorgeous for an April Sunday, but just in case the ceremony took place indoors. The old beams and contrasting colors make for a very pleasant backdrop, and with windows high up on the wall lights were not needed. In fact, having just the sunshine pouring in made for a wonderful soft light that added a nice cozy feel to the place.

We had met the day before for the rehearsal, and the nerves had begun to creep in. Even with a small wedding party and family in such a cozy location, folks were still sweating all the details. We ran through the processional and the rehearsal twice, and I tried to keep it light to break the tension and get folks to relax. After a little bit of initial confusion during the first run through, all the details were ironed out and folks had their places down pat for the second. We were on our way for sure.

The Ceremony
However on the day of the ceremony, the nerves were back. I spent most of my time leading up to the ceremony with Kyle, as they had elected not to see each other before the ceremony. Kyle was very nervous, and started bouncing back and forth finding little tasks to take care of and trying to ensure everything was perfect. I would occasionally grab him and make some small talk, just to try and distract him a bit and loosen him up. His groomsmen also did a good job of this as well, and we frequently found ourselves talking while standing over the air conditioning vents. It wasn’t particularly warm inside, but the cool air definitely helped add a bit of calm to the excited groom.

When it was time, the family and wedding party made their way outside briefly, and had a very nice processional in. Jennifer was waiting in the parking lot with her father in a towncar, and once we were all in they made their way into the building. They entered from a side door, and with the audience standing Kyle knew she had entered but couldn’t see her just yet. I whispered to him that he could lean over for a better look, and he jumped like a kid on Christmas morning. It’s so heartwarming to see that kind of love in someone’s eyes, and is truly one of my favorite parts of this job.

Jennifer’s father had chosen to stand by her during the fairly long introduction they had chosen, and when it came time for him to give Jennifer away he totally shined. During the rehearsal, he answered simply “I do”, accidently forgetting her mother. However during the ceremony, he took time to call out that it was only Jennifer’s mother and father bringing her to be married, but their whole family. He beamed so proudly as he took his time, and addressed the entire audience…nearly turning completely around in the process! It was very cute, and very moving.

Both Jennifer and Kyle hit all their marks, and made it through the ceremony without succumbing to nerves at all. The huge grins on their faces let everyone know that the day had been a total success! After the ceremony, they went outside to the garden area from some family photos, and the audience enjoyed a cocktail service (and peeking through the windows to watch Jennifer and Kyle have some photos taken). I joined them outside after a little bit, and Jennifer’s father immeadiately came up and thanked me for the ceremony. He almost didn’t get a chance though, as Jennifer’s monther pushed him out of the way and gave me a huge hug to thank me as well! It’s so fulfilling to know that the ceremony touched not only the bride and groom, but others as well. I am so grateful that Kyle and Jennifer allowed me to be a part of their special day, and will remember it for a long time to come.

My best wishes to Kyle and Jennifer…I hope you will look back on your day and hold that joy in your hearts forever!

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Laura and Ben- 4/8/11

Cool as a cucumber….that’s the phrase I’m going to use to describe Laura and Ben. A fun couple with great taste, but never seem to stress about it. Now with the amount of details they included in their big day, I know there had to be a couple closed door freak out sessions. But working with them…I never saw anything close…not even once. They should be proud.

The Setting
Speaking of cool, you can’t get much cooler than King Plow. From the moment you walk in the environment surrounds you, and just adds a bit of swagger. All the old ceiling beams, the dark yet inviting floors and walls, it just screams cool. There is one thing though, and it’s a nit. The floors. While the stained and sealed concrete looks the part, it’s a little difficult to walk on. I don’t know how the girls do it in heels, as I even had a little slip as I headed down the aisle with Ben and his best man Shaun. Thankfully we didn’t have any accidents and eveyone remained upright for the whole ceremony.

The Ceremony
This story begins more with the rehearsal than anything else. Each side had nine attendants….NINE!!! Just getting that many people on the same page is difficult, even without all the wedding nerves. But the crew did exceptionally well and everyone hit their marks like champs. However to Flowergirls of 5 and 3…there’s a big difference between walking down a plain old boring aisle during rehearsal and walking down a rose petal covered aisle on the big day. I think they were maybe two steps in before the temptation became too great and they both dropped to their knees and started playing. It was certainly a moment of comic relief- the two girls tossing petals in the air making it rain, the ring bearer standing mortified not knowing what to do, and everyone in the wedding party stunned and not sure what to do now. Fortunately Skylar, Lexi and I had some play time during the rehearsal so I was able to semi-wrangle them up to the front and the ceremony continued. Definitely not planned, but what a great photo op! I hope they have some great pics!

Of course the mood instantly changed when it was time for Laura to walk down the aisle, and watching Ben watch her was fantastic. The ceremony we crafted was very sweet, including a short prayer and an exchange of roses. This was very sweet as Ben had brought along a rose when he proposed to Laura and I loved the tie in. Everyone hit their marks perfect, and after the Pronouncement the DJ kicked in and the entire wedding party danced down the aisle and headed towards the reception. And I have to be honest…Ben’s dad had the surprising moves of the night! Great job Roy!

I was able to catch up with Ben and Laura for a brief moment before they moved to the reception, and both of them were absolutely beaming with delight. It’s such a joyous moment to be able to share…and I’m very grateful that I was able to be a part of Ben and Laura’s moment. All my best for the future guys!

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Chris and Anna- 4/2/11

The ceremony site complete with hay bales, with the hay barn and dinner tent in the background

When I first met Chris and Anna, I remember asking them to describe the wedding they were planning. Their response was something like “Just a small backyard wedding with family and friends”. Now I’ve been to a few “backyard weddings” before, but I have to say Chris and Anna’s was something very special.

The Setting
The backyard in question was a family friend’s place, and it rivaled many of the outdoor venues I’ve seen. Perfectly “Southern Country”, this backyard featured a haybarn, a side area that was converted into an outdoor bar, a pool with a huge stone patio for gathering, and many large flowerbeds with a fantastic water feature and stone steps leading to the ceremony site. All of this was in front of a lake, which was further down the hill and made for some fantastic photo opportunities. In keeping with this theme, Chris and Anna had hay bales for guests to sit on during the ceremony, a catered BBQ dinner (which smelled fantastic) and two kegs of beer which they had brewed themselves just for the reception. There were also a number of photos placed about as well, which added to the excitement of looking at all the neat decorations already in place in the backyard.

The Ceremony
Prior to the ceremony, the wedding party were all gathered in the house, which sat up slightly from the ceremony spot and provided a great vantage point for Chris, Anna, the moms, and everyone who was a bit curious to peek out and see which guests had arrived. When it was time to begin, the three brothers exited the house and stood at the top of the hill, each playing a guitar. Then their respective bridesmaids came to join them and they all made their way down to the ceremony site. The procession was unique but very fitting, each person or couple exiting the house and making their way down the hill through the small crowd of guests and to their respective places. The ceremony was a very simple and sweet one, including a very nice prayer and some very powerful vows. During the Statement of Intent, Chris jumped the gun a little bit saying “I do” a little early, but it was easily laughed off and I think it helped to break a bit of nervous tension as well. Even though this was an outdoor wedding, the weather cooperated nicely, only offering up one large gust of wind that called for a pause, but otherwise it was absolutely beautiful.

Once I got to introduce the new couple, the entire crowd erupted in cheer and you could not help but be happy for everyone there. The party had officially begun, and I think everyone’s heart was a little fuller and brighter. After signing the wedding license, I exited down towards the reception site with Chris and Anna, still beaming and glowing from the event. As I began to make my way to the edge of the crowd, I saw them beginning to share in the love with their family and friends, and knew the day had been a total success.

Great job Chris and Anna! I wish you all the best for a wonderful future together!

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