We’ve Transformed!

Divine Transformation is now Ceremony Officiants
We are so excited to announce that we have transformed into something beautiful – Divine Transformation Wedding Officiants is now Ceremony Officiants – Rev. Laura C. Cannon & Associates! We’ve updated our branding with a new name, new logo, and new website, but we still offer the same great service from our award-winning team of officiants.

Take a look at the new website and let us know what you think!

http://ceremonyofficiants.com

Romantic Elopement Package in Maryland

We are so excited to announce our new exclusive partnership with The Inn at Peralynna.  We have teamed up with The Inn at Peralynna to deliver an Elegant Elopements Package for our clients.  The Inn is a romantic and modern 17 room estate conveniently located in Columbia, Maryland.  And being within an hour of both Washington, D.C. and Baltimore it makes the perfect location for an intimate wedding, a destination wedding, or an elopement.  The staff is wonderful and caters to all types of couples including LGBT and Military.

We are so thrilled to be the exclusive officiants for the venue offering couples a chance to have a professional officiant included in their package rate.

All packages can be customized to include any of the following:

Elegant Suite
Officiant
Photographer
Wedding Cake
Hors d’oeuvres
Champagne
Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Pure Romance Bubble Bath
Silk Rose Petals about the bed and bath
For more information about pricing and how to book your wedding, contact: 410-715-4600 or email peralynna@aol.com.

Chesapeake Bridal Awards

Thank you to all of our couples who nominated us for Best Officiant!  We officially made the finalist round and voting is open from now until January 29th at midnight to decide the winner.  If you would take the time to visit the facebook pages of Charm City Wed or Bayside Bride to vote we would really appreciate it. Thanks again for the love!

 

Same-sex Marriage Legal in Maryland!

Same-sex marriage is finally legal in Maryland.  Divine Transformation Wedding Officiants have always been supportive of marriage equality and have been waiting for this day to come for quite sometime.  We are so grateful that the people of Maryland voted yes to question 6 and that as of January 1, 2013 we will be able to legally marry our same-sex couples in Maryland.  Technically speaking you can begin applying for the license on January 2, 2013 and after the standard 48-hour waiting period couples will be able to become officially married on January 4, 2013.  While we have been legally marrying LGBT couples in DC for some time now, we have been working closely with Marylanders for Marriage Equality to bring this right to our home state of Maryland and couldn’t be more thrilled with this outcome.

I spoke with a bride this morning who asked if I would marry her and her partner.  During our conversation she shared with me that she had been waiting 20 years to be able to marry her partner at her family farm in Maryland.  My heart was so full that it ached.  What it must be like to feel so full of love for another human being and want to unite with them in the deepest way our society offers and to have been told “no”- for 20 years!  I told her that it would be my greatest honor and privilege to witness a love so full and to officiate her big day.

Our conversation got me thinking about how many others there must be in our community who have been waiting for for so long to make their relationship legal and recognized as equal and valued.  As a result,  we have decided to offer a special to all of our LGBT couples wanting to get married immediately in a space that is more personalized than the court house.  From January 4, 2013- March 30, 2013 we will be offering LGBT ceremonies at a private residence in Columbia for only $99.  Our couples can come for a private ceremony or can bring a few (less than 10) of their family and friends to witness their nuptials.

We would love to create a more personalized ceremony for you and your partner, please contact us for more information.

 

 

 

Having a Friend Perform Your Wedding Ceremony

Joey from Friends performs Monica and Chandler's Wedding

You pretty much could not have lived through the early 2000′s without knowing about the show Friends. Almost everyone is familiar with the episode where Monica and Chandler have their best friend Joey perform their wedding ceremony. So you might be thinking… “Well, I don’t have someone from a church to perform my wedding, maybe I should just use my very own Joey.  It’s certainly cheaper than hiring an officiant and our friend does know us. What’s not to love?”

Over the years I have gotten inquiries from couples who have asked me, “Can my friend just perform my wedding?” In Maryland, the answer is, “If your friend is ordained in any way, including online, then yes!” But my dear friends, just because you can do something doesn’t necessarily mean you should. Even when it comes to something as simple as a guest doing a reading at the wedding there are things to consider. Couples often select a friend to give the reading without giving much thought to whether or not that person is comfortable and capable of speaking publicly.

When it is a friend that you want to do the entire ceremony you need to consider even more things. Officiating is more than just public speaking. That friend also needs to know how to coordinate the wedding processional, write the ceremony, handle props, and assist you in making decisions about what needs to be included in the ceremony. Often when people start to realize all that is involved they start leaning toward the professional officiant.

This post is not meant to discourage you from having a friend perform the ceremony, quite the opposite. While having a friend perform the ceremony can mean a bit of extra work it can also be that much more special, just like it was for Monica and Chandler!  So if you know that you definitely want a friend to perform your ceremony and you also want to make sure that they do a professional and outstanding job then you need to know about my friend and colleague Maureen from Lyssbeth’s Wedding Officiants.

Maureen is a wonderful woman who runs Lyssbeth’s Wedding Officiants, an officiant company that performs weddings in California, Colorado, and Oregon.  Maureen has created an amazing product for couples who want their friends to perform the wedding.  Write Your Own Ceremony E-Kit is an amazing product that she sells for under $20 bucks.  I HIGHLY recommend this product to anyone who wants a friend to perform their ceremony.  It includes:

  • Wording options for every part of your ceremony
  • Creative components that you may want to include in your ceremony
  • Cultural/ethnic/religious traditions that you may want to add to your ceremony
  • Templates and step-by-step instructions
  • Scripts of actual wedding ceremonies
  • Instructions and tips
  • A checklist for your officiant
  • A list of possible “could-go-wrong” situations and contingency plans for each
  • Tip sheets

And best of all a FREE phone consultation with professional wedding officiant, Maureen Thomson.  You can check out more information about and purchase the Write Your Own Ceremony E-Kit by clicking HERE.

Running Hare Vineyard Winery Wedding

I spoke with a bride the other day about doing a destination wedding for her in Napa Valley, California. As we got to talking I found out that the only reason she was going to travel across the country for a wedding was that she wanted to get married at an authentic Tuscan style vineyard. Little did she know that she had exactly what she was looking for right in her home state of Maryland. I told her about the gorgeous wedding that I officiated at for Val Quartararo and Rob Roy last August at Running Hare Vineyard in Calvert County.

If you have not heard of Running Hare and wine is your thing, heck, if just beautiful venues are your thing, check this place out.  Running Hare Vineyard opened in August 2008 as a commercial winery.  In April 2010 they added a gorgeous Tuscan Building.  It boasts over 8,400 square feet including the covered porch and can seat 260 people, also making it one of the larger venues around.

Certainly any couple who rents a venue this amazing also needs to have an equally amazing photographer to capture it all.  Luckily, Val and Rob knew that and secured the incredible Maria Vicencio and Drew Miller of Maria Vicencio Photography to document the day.  Thanks to Maria for sharing these shots from their vineyard ceremony.

The Vows

The Ceremony

Mr. and Mrs. Roy!

CHECK OUT THE GRAPES!!!

As you can see, a beautiful couple, a beautiful venue, and beautiful pictures. While I would have loved a free trip to Napa Valley, I am so glad that there is one more person that now knows about Running Hare Vineyard. I look forward to working out there again, maybe at your wedding!

Getting Engaged on Facebook

You probably remember the story of the man who updated his relationship status to “married” on facebook while standing at the altar. As a side note, we actually went to school together in our younger years. It turns out it’s not just weddings that are happening on facebook. As you can imagine I hear a lot of engagement stories. From Kindergarten classes holding signs asking “Will you marry me?” to planes with banner ads, I’ve seen it all… or so I thought.

Last week my friend Ally’s boyfriend, John, posted this picture on his facebook wall:

Ally, will you marry me?

When Ally saw it she was so surprised she wasn’t sure if he was just teasing her. Luckily he knew that popping the question is not something you tease a woman about. Indeed, he was serious. The first facebook marriage proposal! In true tech style, Ally responded with a post of her own:

Yes, John. I will marry you!

Congratulations to Ally and John! Way to be creative and high tech.

Do you have a favorite engagement story? Please share it in a comment below.

Win 2 Free Tickets to the Great Room Bridal Show

Want to win two free tickets to the Bridal Show at the Great Room in Savage Mill, Maryland on Sunday January 29 from 12-3pm???

If you “like” and then share our facebook page on your wall and encourage friends to like us, you will be entered in a chance to win 2 free tickets to the show!  Hurry!  Contest ends Thursday, January 26 at midnight.  Winners will be notified on facebook.

There are two pairs up for grabs!

What are you waiting for?  Visit us now!

 

Couples Yoga with Laura and Tim

Couples Yoga Workshop with Laura and Tim

 

Take a break from the craziness of wedding planning and relax with your partner or a friend.  With Valentine’s day right around the corner this is a great way to do something besides the typical dinner and a movie.

This is a fun workshop where we will explore poses where two are better than one. Together we will find strength, balance and relaxation. Try familiar poses with a partner and create new and unfamiliar poses only done with two people. In partner yoga we are able to deepen our understanding of trust and communication while building strength and flexibility in deeper and more effective ways than we could alone. Most importantly, partner yoga is also playful, relaxed and fun!

Bring your friend, parent, child, spouse, or neighbor, and an open mind and playful spirit to this workshop. Yogi’s and non-yogi’s welcome.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

7:00- 8:00 pm

$30 per person

Coreworks Fitness, Columbia, MD

Advanced Registration Required

Sign up online at www.coreworksfitness.com

 

 

 

Rev. Laura’s Favorite Things for 2011

A seminar I attended about marketing to brides said that brides only care about one thing: their weddings. I have to say I strongly disagree. Behind every couple is not just an engaged person but a REAL person. With this in mind, I write this blog not to a bride or a groom, but to you as a whole person. Sure, I want to give you valuable advice about your wedding and you will find that here. But, I also want to share myself with you and have a real conversation, like REAL people. I am more than an officiant, and you are more than a bride or groom. If the marketers are right you might be thinking, “Why do I care about Rev. Laura’s list of Favorite Things of 2011? GIVE ME WEDDINGS!” In which case, you should probably stop reading now. But, if I am right and there is a real person in there who just wants to learn about some cool new stuff, then this is for you.

Rev. Laura’s Top 10 Favorite Things of 2011

1. Kettlebells- If you are wondering what the heck a kettlebell is, it’s a weighted bell that you swing and do various exercises with. It is great for cardio and serious strength building. Best of all, it produces serious results fast. And if you are trying to get in shape for your wedding, or for your life, this is a great option. There are plenty of classes around; just search the Internet for Kettlebells to find a class near you. I go to an awesome place called Bright Spot Wellness in Howard County, where the workouts are all just 39 minutes. Perfect if you don’t have hours to spend in the gym but want a body that looks like you did. Right now they have this awesome 21-day sprint program that you can try out. If you want results and you want them fast, check out kettlebells!

2. My Naturopath- I am surprised to find how many people don’t know what a Naturopath is. “Naturopathic Medicine is a distinct profession of primary health care that integrates the science of contemporary, evidence based medicine with the wisdom of traditional healing methods.”

Earlier this year I visited Dr. Julie Walsh, a naturopath in Ellicott City. During my consultation she looked at all of the blood work from my primary care doctor and actually listened to me when I told her what was going on. She didn’t sit there and click a computer screen and she didn’t keep me waiting for an hour. Most importantly she looked at me right in the eyes and she listened. It is incredible to be able to actually sit down and talk to a doctor instead of being rushed in and rushed out. In 30 minutes she was able to catch all of the things on my blood work that my primary care doctor had missed. She made recommendations for supplements and further testing. Long story short, within 3 months of following her advice my health improved dramatically. If you have ever just wished you could ask a doctor anything about your health, find a naturopath. She is even offering a 30 minute consultation for only $99 right now. Trust me, it is a small amount to pay to have someone who really knows her stuff!

3. Zevia Cola- For those of you who knew me way back when, you know that before I was a health nut I was a full fledged addict. My vice? Diet Coke. I seriously drank the stuff by the gallon. When it started having serious adverse effects on my health I knew I had to give it up. I was so frustrated that there wasn’t a healthy substitute. I prayed, literally prayed,”God, if they have stevia (a zero calorie healthy plant based sweetener) why can’t they use that to flavor soda instead of aspartame?” A few years later and my prayer was answered… enter Zevia. Dear God, thank you for this product. While it’s no Diet Coke, the cola flavor gets pretty darn close. Close enough that this former diet coke addict is very, very pleased. Visit their website for a $1.00 off coupon.

4. Sun Warrior Protein Powder- I had been searching for a protein powder that was vegan, raw, and wasn’t disgusting. I searched high and low at every store I could find. I had tried the most popular brand and still couldn’t figure out how anyone thought it was edible. Then, thanks to the vegan body building website I found out about Sun Warrior Protein Powder (Vanilla). Holy amazing! Only 70 calories for 15 grams of raw vegan protein, thank you! Two scoops of powder, plus water, plus a handful of frozen berries = low calorie, high protein deliciousness.

5. Crazy Sexy Diet by Kris CarrKris Carr, I love you. Talk about a true spiritual warrior. This woman is astounding. In her early 30′s she found out that she had an aggressive type of cancer. It totally rocked her world and instead of becoming a victim to disease, she became a champion for health. She even made a documentary about it (Crazy Sexy Cancer). This book is not a ‘diet’ but really an informational book that also offers a 21 day plan for “igniting your spark and living like you mean it.” Tim and I have done the plan 3 times this year and felt amazing every time. Some of the principles we even keep now in our normal routine, like fresh green juice every day and a day of fasting once a week. If you want to totally ignite your health, check it out.

6. Breville Ikon Multi Speed Juicer-Thanks to Kris Carr and her amazing book I realized I needed a juicer asap. I searched high and low for a juicer that would do everything I need and not cost me hundreds of dollars. I was able to score this one for under $175 with my Bed, Bath and Beyond coupon! Tim and I use it every day. It works great and cleans up fast. Before we switched to juice I argued that making my coffee was faster. Tim timed me. Turns out I can wash the produce, juice it, and clean the juicer before the coffee is even close to done. Green juice it is!

7. Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Nebulizer Diffuser- I love essential oils and yummy fragrances in general. I was pretty addicted to those plug-in scents. Then I realized how bad for you they are and sought out to find something that would still be a treat for my nose without all the chemicals. Enter the Humbar Ultrasonic Aromatherapy Nebulizer Diffuser. I have it next to my bed and fill it each night. It acts as a humidifier and an aromatherapy diffuser in one. No more lugging out my huge humidifier, this thing is less than half the size and does the trick.

8. Lululemon Athletica Reverse Groove Pants- Lululemon makes the best fitness clothes ever, hands down. Are they pricey? Well, yes. But they are totally worth every penny. I am in love with their groove pants. Ladies, if your other half gives you a hard time about the cost of these pants, just let him see your buns in them. What they do for the derriere is unbelievable. Trust me. Besides that, they last for a very long time. I run in them, do kettlebells in them, kickbox in them and teach yoga in them. I pretty much live in these pants. I have had a few of the pairs I still wear for over 7 years!!! They still look like they did when I bought them. I couldn’t live without them.

 9. Spotify- Thanks to my friend Dan Smith for tipping me off on this one. “Spotify is a new way to listen to music. Millions of tracks, any time you like. Just search for it in Spotify, then play it. Just help yourself to whatever you want, whenever you want it.” That’s right people, it is FREE. “Think of Spotify as your new music collection. Your library. Only this time your collection is vast: millions of tracks and counting. Spotify comes in all shapes and sizes, available for your PC, Mac, home audio system and mobile phone. Wherever you go, your music follows you.” Sound awesome? It is. Thanks, Dan.

10. The Four Hour Workweek by Timothy FerrissWhat can I say? If I wasn’t married, I would be stalking Tim Ferriss. This book (well in fairness, I listened to the audio version) changed my life. This is a great read for anyone who can see the insanity of the ‘deferred lifestyle plan’. If you have always thought that it doesn’t make sense to work like a dog during your vibrant years just so you can have free time during your elder years, read this book. Find out what the “New Rich” like myself are doing. For example, I am writing this blog, planning my 2012 mini-retirement in Peru and getting paid while I do all of it. Sound good to you? Check out this book.