Wedding Articles & News2022-02-21T15:11:18-05:00
The Officiants at Church of Ancient Ways

Wedding Articles & News

News and tips from our officiant team and articles by some classic voices too. It’s all compiled here to educate, inform and amuse you! Enjoy!

Say “I Do” to a Professional Wedding Photographer and Cherish Your Memories Forever

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A wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and capturing those precious moments is crucial to preserving memories that will last a lifetime. While it may be tempting to cut costs and entrust photography duties to a friend or family member, hiring a professional wedding photographer is an essential investment that guarantees high-quality images and ensures a stress-free experience. Not only that, but the final images will be of high quality, which will allow you to create a number of keepsakes and creative projects using a free online tool like Adobe Express. In today’s post on the Long Island Wedding Officiants blog,

Long Island Baby Blessings, Baptisms, Namings, Baptisms and Christenings with Church of Ancient Ways

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On Long Island, The Officiants at Church of Ancient Ways have always welcomed our babies in rich and diverse ways. Baby Blessings, Welcoming Ceremonies, Namings, Baptisms, and Christenings - whether religious, secular, interfaith, and performed by a minister, rabbi or with dual officiants honoring the traditions from both sides - we have always thrived in diversity and are stronger for it in our families and communities. I love staying connected with my couples online and seeing their families grow! After the weddings are completed and the professional photos give way to new selfies, photos of trips, birthdays, dates, and new

Governor Hochul Signs Legislation Allowing Individuals to Become One-Day Marriage Officiants

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Breaking News! Pastor April always said she would be as vocal when it became legal for online officiants to marry couples in New York, as she was about the court cases where couples were disenfranchised by illegal celebrants and the day has come.... or almost come... It looks like Gov. Hochul has signed bill (S.739A/A.6300A) that will, in 90 days, provide a path for not only online officiants, but also friends and family members to legally marry couples in New York State! There has never been a statewide license given to officiants, so verifying identity will be done with a

The Legality of Online Ordinations on Long Island

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Online Ordinations, Are they Legal on Long Island? The short answer is no. If it were already legal, there wouldn’t be legislation before our state legislature in Albany trying to make it legal, or at least expand on who can legally perform marriage ceremonies in New York State. Here is a link to State Senate Bill S430. This is the most recent proposal to expand who was the right to officiate weddings to include online-ordained officiants. The 4 previous bills that have failed to pass are also listed in the above link on New York State’s website. If a new

Mead – Sweet Yellow Honey Wine – And Your Wedding Ceremony

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Since the beginning of recorded time, marriage and wine have gone hand in hand. Many of our couples who are fans of the Medieval and Renaissance periods already know the splendors of the honey wine known as mead that inspired the term Honeymoon. The drinking of this sweet wine for a cycle of the moon or a month, was supposed to sweeten the couple's disposition towards one another. This was indeed something that would come in handy in the days when a couple sometimes met for the first time at the altar. These days mead is a popular beverage for

Getting Out of the Way of Your Kiss

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by Pastor Marie April Gismondi. With so many things to be concerned about on your wedding day, whether or not your officiant will step out of the way of the kiss should not be one of them and it is not something you will ever need to worry about with me and my team at The Officiants at Church of Ancient Ways. There are some websites that say the kiss is a moment for only the 2 of you. Honestly, that's what cropping is for Among the myriad of shots there will be of that moment, some will be close


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(Photo by Anchor and Lace Photography) What is a handfasting? This is one of the most common questions couples who are planning one will hear. It is the symbolic binding of the hands at the end of the ceremony that inspired the terms the “Bonds of Holy Matrimony” and to “Tie the Knot”. Sometimes it is a full Handfasting Ceremony but most often it is a simple binding at the end of a regular wedding ceremony. This custom has been known the world over for centuries. The practice of binding the hands of the bride and groom is not limited

A Civil Ceremony Before the Big Day?

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Thinking of signing the license and having a civil ceremony before the big day? This has been a hot topic as of late and there are many reasons why a couple would want to be legally married before the public ceremony. Health insurance is a biggie! One of my couples signed their license 10 months before the wedding saving over 4k on the bride’s insurance. Pregnancy, immigration, new home ownership, being able to file a joint tax return, even astrological reasons (makes grandma happy in some cultures) are all perfectly valid reasons why the public expression of your love and

What is “Convalidation” in the Roman Catholic Church?

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by Rev. Cheryl D. Cavalconte, M.A. of Wedding Ministers RI According to the Canon Law of the Roman Catholic Church, Canon 1161 states that the “radical sanation [healing] of an individual marriage is its convalidation without the renewal of consent, granted by competent authority and including a dispensation from impediment, if there was one, and from the canonical form, if it was not observed, and the retroactivity into the past of the canonical effects.” Most couples who seek convalidation seek convalidation due to lack of “canonical form,” i.e. marrying outside of a church or parish. The position of the Church

Being on Time for The Time of Your Life

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The benefits of being on time on your wedding day... Time is something that is going to fly by on your wedding day, and being on time is important to getting the most of your day. People say “the Bride is always late” or “weddings never start on time”. This is only true for those who don’t care if they get everything they have paid for or those having small home weddings were there are no vendors or time frames, just family and friends enjoying the entire day together. So the things that are important to consider are… Giving your

Your Bridal Party Processional

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When it comes to the wedding ceremony, one of the most beautiful things about being a 21st century Bride is that there are no rules anymore. This is also one of the most confusing aspects of being a bride these days. Many couples don’t know where to begin so let’s begin at the beginning with some things to consider while making your choices! Traditionally, in a Christian or Civil ceremony, the Groom enters down the aisle and goes to his Right. (which is my Left as I face the guests.) Traditionally for Jewish couples this is reversed. Being a matriarchal

Submitting to The New York Times Wedding and Celebration Announcements

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Perhaps having your wedding or commitment ceremony announced in the New York Times isn’t for everyone… But Wow! What a clipping to show your grandchildren some day! New York Times Love - Vows, Weddings and More - Section The New York Times is an Internationally distributed newspaper that was founded in 1851. As a native New Yorker I say with pride that the New York Times has won 98 Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other newspaper. Through out it’s history the paper has announced the engagements and marriages of society’s elite, rock ‘n roll icons, future presidents, sports heroes and

Why We Love to Bring Our Own PA Systems

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I love bringing my own PA for several reasons…… First is that while I can project to the back, to do so, I am yelling in your ear. Including it for free means I almost pay for myself in what you save renting one from somewhere else. Because it’s all wireless and I can move around freely, letting you face your guests at times. Look at the pictures on this page. All these couples are have the mic on. The only thing you can see is the thin cord coming out of my robe. They were heard in natural tones

Diamond Engagement Ring: 15th Century Venice

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by Charles Panati Here is the history of the diamond engagement rings. A Venetian wedding document dated 1503 lists “one marrying ring having diamond.” The gold wedding ring of one Mary of Modina, it was among the early betrothal rings that featured a diamond setting. They began a tradition that probably is forever. The Venetians were the first to discover that the diamond is one of the hardest, most enduring substances in nature, and that fine cutting and polishing releases its brilliance. Diamonds, set in bands of silver and gold, became popular for betrothal rings among wealthy Venetians toward the

Ring Finger: 3rd Century B.C. Greece

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by Charles Panati The early Hebrews placed the wedding ring on the index finger. In India, nuptial rings were worn on the thumb. The Western custom of placing a wedding ring on the “third” finger (not counting the thumb) began with the Greeks, through carelessness in cataloguing human anatomy. Greek physicians in the third century B.C. believed that a certain vein, the “vein of love”, ran from the “third finger” directly to the heart. It became the logical digit to carry a ring symbolizing an affair of the heart. The Romans, plagiarizing Greek anatomy charts, adopted the ring practice unquestioningly.

The Honeymoon

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by Charles Panati There is a vast difference between the original meaning of “honeymoon” and its present-day connotation – a blissful, much-sought seclusion as prelude to married life. The words antecedent, the ancient Norse hjunottsmanathr, is, we’ll see, cynical in meaning, and the seclusion is bespeaks was once anything but blissful. When a man from a Northern European community abducted a bride from a neighboring village, it was imperative that he take her into hiding for a period of time. Friends bade him safety, and his whereabouts were known only to his best man. When the bride’s family abandoned their

Marriage Banns: 8th Century, Europe

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by Charles Panati During European feudal times, all public announcements concerning deaths, taxes, or births were called “banns”. Today we use the term exclusively for an announcement that two people propose to marry. That interpretation began as a result of an order by Charlemagne, king of the Franks, who on Christmas Day in A.D. 800 was crowned Emperor of the Romans, marking the birth of the Holy Roman Empire. Charlemagne, with a vast region to rule, had a practical medical reason for instituting marriage banns. Among rich and poor alike, a child’s parentage was not always clear; an extramarital indiscretion

Throwing Shoes at the Bride

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Antiquity Asia and Europe by Charles Panati Today old shoes are tied to a newlyweds’ cars and no one asks why. Why, of all things, shoes? And why old shoes? Originally, shoes were only one of many objects tossed at a bride to wish her a bounty of children. In fact, shoes were preferred over the equally traditional wheat and rice because from ancient times the foot was a powerful phallic symbol. In several cultures, particularly among the Eskimos, a woman experiencing difficulty conceiving was instructed to carry a piece of an old shoe with her at all times. The

Wedding Cake: 1st Century B.C. Rome

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by Charles Panati The wedding cake was not always eaten by the bride; it was originally thrown at her. It developed as one of many fertility symbols integral to the marriage ceremony. For until modern times, children were expected to follow the marriage as faithfully as night follows day; and almost as frequently. Wheat, long a symbol of fertility and prosperity, was one of the earliest grains to ceremoniously shower new brides; and unmarried young women were expected to scramble for the grains to ensure their own betrothals, as they do today for the bridal bouquet. Early Romans bakers, whose

Wedding March: 19th Century England

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by Charles Panati Below is the history of the Wedding March. The traditional church wedding features two bridal marches, by two different classical composers, the precursor of the wedding march. The bride walks down the aisle to the majestic, moderately paced music, of the “Bridal Chorus” from Richard Wagner’s 1848 opera Lohengrin. The newlyweds exit to the more jubilant, upbeat strains of the “Wedding March” from Felix Mendelssohn’s 1826 A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The custom dates back to the royal marriage, in 1858, of Victoria, princess of Great Britain and empress of Germany, to Prince Fredrick William of Prussia. Victoria,

Wedding Rings: 2800 B.C. Egypt

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by Charles Panati The origin and significance of the wedding ring is much disputed. One school of thought maintains that the modern ring is symbolic of the fetters used by barbarians to tether a bride to her captor’s home. If that be true, today’s double ring ceremonies fittingly express the newfound equality of the sexes. The other school of thought focuses on the first actual bands exchanged in a marriage ceremony. A finger ring was first used in the Third Dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Egypt, around 2800 B.C. To the Egyptians, a circle, having no beginning or end,

White Wedding Dress and Veil

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16th Century England and France by Charles Panati White has denoted purity and virginity for centuries. But in ancient Rome, yellow was the socially accepted color for a bride’s wedding attire, and a veil of flame-hued yellow, the flammeum, covered her face. The bridal veil, in fact, predates the wedding dress by centuries. And the facial veil itself predates the bridal veil. Historians of fashion claim that the facial veil was strictly a male invention, and one of the oldest devices designed to keep married and single women humble, subservient, and hidden from other males. Although the veil at various

Bagpipes and Irish Flute For Your Wedding

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By Guest Contributor and Bagpipe Artist: Darius Kaufmann Bagpipes! For many, it is a sound they will never forget: The distant call of the pipes, the stirring notes of a joyful march or a lively dance tune…And who would not be impressed by the sight of a piper in full kilt! For centuries, bagpipes have been played at weddings, banquets and social occasions of all kinds. In the past few years, there has been a resurgence of interest in the pipes for weddings. Why? What a spectacle! The sound and music of the pipes is stirring and uplifting, and a

Empire State Building Valentines Day Weddings

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Every year The Empire State Building holds a contest and 14 lucky couples from around the world, are chosen to get married at the top of the city. Lucky me, I was the officiant in 2008 & 2009! The beautiful winners from those years are here with excerpts from their ceremonies. Congratulations and many happy years to you all! For information on the current years festivities see the ESB website. Special thanks to Nicole Grzywacz of the ESB Special Events Dept and Jennifer Gaonach of who brought all the pieces together and made everything flow smoothly and beautifully from the first


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