Heartfelt #12

Sent to me from one of my honeymooning couples—this is the heart that helped me know I had made the right choice!

I love you
because the Earth turns round the sun
because the North wind blows north . . .
because only my love for you
despite the charms of gravity
keeps me from falling off this Earth
into another dimension
I love you
because it is the natural order of things

—-Nikki Giovanni

Heartfelt #11

And now I look for hearts at every wedding I officiate!

Translated, heart suggests a familiar, universal
device but internal chemistries vary—
though components be the same & not uncommon.

–Rangi McNeil

And I find them everywhere!


Heartfelt #10

My couples have generously embraced the heart!

Tonight I lingered over your name,
the delicate assembly of vowels
a voice inside my head.

—Naomi Shihab Nye

Heartfelt #9

A night of brainstorming with girlfriends birthed the name “Spoken Heart Ceremonies” —-I realized, I had to embrace the heart!

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though I have closed myself as fingers
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring comes
(touch skillfully, mysteriously)her first rose

–e.e. cummings

One of my friend’s helped me work it into my logo!

Heartfelt #8

A gift from my husband.

Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, And therefore is wing’d cupid painted blind.  –William Shakespeare

Heartfelt #7

From Oaxaca, Mexico—on a trip with my sister. By this point, I’ve accepted that however cliche, hearts are part of my life.

Love is the art of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.

—Peter Ustinov

Heartfelt #6

Love, it is said, is blind, but love is not blind. It is an extra eye which shows us what is most worthy of regard. —J.M. Barrie

I found this piece while traveling with my husband . . . and fell in love with it!

I think it was the first piece we bought together, but I had another heart on my own.  Once I had two….  the collection began!












Unique Wedding Ceremony Ritual

I tell my couples:  if you have an idea, we can work together to come up with something totally unique.  We often think of ritual as something that’s been done before, but ritual is more about connecting symbol and metaphor and meaning in our lives.  Ceremony is a way of telling a story about ourselves using symbol.

Here’s an example:  After exchanging vows & rings, this couple created a lasting memento of the day & of their love.


A&S are very fortunate to have a friend who has created an amazing gift for them.  It’s a brand with their initials intertwined together.  It’s been heating in the coals beside us and in a moment, A&S will be pressing the brand to a piece a of wood, to burn their initials into it.

This brand is a reminder of the commitment that they have made to one another.  The forging of this brand wasn’t a simple process; it took time and skill to create.  At some point, it was soft and malleable and shaped into their initials, but now having been cooled, it is strong and enduring.  It is solid and powerful.  It can take the heat.  And in the same way, A&S recognize that love isn’t simple; it takes skill and time to create, but once forged, it is strong and unshakeable.

A&S, you may now create your brand together.


Wedding Reading: Foundations Stones

A lovely selection suggested by one of my couples who met 20 years ago, drifted apart, and then re-connected in a serious way.

Foundations Stones

Here is my past–
what I’ve been proud of,
and what I’ve pushed away.
Today I see how each piece
was needed, not a single
step wasted on the way.

Like a stone wall,
every rock resting
on what came before-
no stone can be
suspended in mid-air.

Foundation laid by every
act and omission,
each decision, even
those the mind would
label “big mistake”.

These things I thought
were sins, these are as
necessary as successes,
each one resting on the
surface of the last, stone
upon stone, the fit
particular, complete,
the rough, uneven
face of these rocks
makes surprising,
satisfying patterns
in the sunlight.


Heartfelt #5

Made by a student when I was teaching . . . there’s something deeply compelling about a heart.

You, Beloved,
Who are all the gardens
I have ever gazed at, longing.

—Rainer Maria Rilke

Heartfelt #4

I found hearts everywhere in art . . . this one in San Antonio while traveling….  bought it for my husband.

If ever two were one, then surely we.

—Anne Bradstreet

Heartfelt #3

I find hearts constantly in nature . . .

If thou must love me, let it be for naught
Except for love’s sake only.

—Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Heartfelt #2

I kept finding hearts in unlikely places… on a tree in a forest while hiking.

“I love you,
Not only for what you are,
But for what I am
When I am with you.”

—Roy Croft

Video ~ Personal Statements

One of the best ways to personalize your ceremony is by dedicating a few moments to telling each other why you love each other!

Alayna + Gerardo’s Wedding Highlights from TwoFish Weddings on Vimeo.

Heartfelt #1

I never meant to start collecting hearts …. they just seemed to find me.

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it

–e.e. cummings

Vows: “I do!” vs. “I choose you to be my partner in life…”


Vows that Matter Photo by Dustin Finkelstein

There are two primary ways couples choose to say their vows.  #1) The officiant asks the couple a series of questions to which the couple replies, “I do!” or “We do!”  #2) The couple reads their vows to each other.  There are other ways, but today I’ll focus on these two.

Which is right for you?  It depends.  If you love the idea of standing in front of your partner, looking into their eyes, and making them your promises, then you should read your vows!!  If you love the idea of saying “I do!” or if the idea of standing in front of people and speaking makes you too nervous to enjoy your ceremony, you should consider going with questions.  Does it matter?  Not really—the only thing that matters is that you and your partner take the time to choose the vows you want.  Whether you write your own or use the extensive resources I offer, it’s the deliberate selection of the promises that is most important.  Your vows are the foundation of your relationship—your relationship “charter” or “constitution” if you will.  They are important. Selecting the ones that mean something to you as a couple is critical.  The format —questions or statements—that’s more a matter of what makes you most comfortable.

Here’s an example of the same vows in two different formats:

Vow Statement:

I take you to be my partner in life, my friend and companion through the unknown of the future. I will support you, love you, and be faithful to you for the rest of our lives. I promise to share my time and attention and to bring joy strength and imagination to our relationship. I promise to share my time and attention with you and to bring joy, strength, and imagination to our relationship. I promise to strive to build a home that is compassionate to all, filled with laughter, patience, communication, understanding, and love. I promise to work together to foster a relationship of equality, knowing that we will create a life together far better than either of us could imagine alone. I promise to comfort and strengthen you through life’s joys and sorrows, regardless of the obstacles we may face together for as long as we both shall live.

Vow Questions:

Bride/Groom, do you take this man/woman to be your partner in life, your friend and companion through the unknown of the future, support him/her, love him/her, and be faithful to him for the rest of your lives? I do!

And I ask of you both, do you promise to share your time and attention and to bring joy, strength and imagination to your relationship? We do!

Do you promise to strive to build a home that is compassionate to all, filled with laughter, patience, communication, understanding, and love? We do!

Do you promise to work together to foster a relationship of equality, knowing that you will create a life together far better than either of you could imagine alone? We do!

Do you promise to comfort and strengthen each other through life’s joys and sorrows, regardless of the obstacles you may face together for as long as you both shall live? We do!

I can always help you personalize & re-format any vows so that they are just what you are looking for!  Contact me & set up a free consultation!

Vows Based on Relationship Science

laughing vows jpgWriting vows can be a real challenge—after all, these are the promises that you are making to the one person whom you never want to hurt.  These are promises you want to keep forever.  No pressure!  I always encourage couples to consider and discuss the vows they want to make, regardless of whether they write their own or borrow from already beautifully written vows.  The important part is that you make promises you can keep and promises that will strengthen your relationship.

Here are 10 vows written by Samantha Joel, each one based on a aspect of relationship science.  If you want to read about the science, you can read the complete article here.

I promise to respect, admire, and appreciate you for who you are, as well as for the person you wish to become.
I promise to support and protect your freedom; because although our lives are intertwined, your choices are still yours alone.
I promise to seek a deep understanding of your wishes, your desires, your fears and your dreams.
I promise to always strive to meet your needs; not out of obligation, but because it delights me to see you happy.
I promise to be there for you when you need me, whenever you need me.
I promise to nurture your goals and ambitions; to support you through misfortune and celebrate your triumphs.
I promise to keep our lives exciting, adventurous, and full of passion.
I promise to persevere when times get tough, knowing that any challenges we might face, we will conquer them together.
I promise to treat you with compassion over fairness, because we are a team, now and for always.
I promise to show you, every day, that I know exactly how lucky I am to have you in my life.

Wedding Reading Wednesday: Marriage Equality

James & Jason's Wedding - 19Looking for a way to express your support for marriage equality?  Consider including Justice Anthony Kennedy’s beautiful words from the landmark Supreme Court decision Obergefell vs. Hodges:

Kennedy writes, “No union is more profound than marriage for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were.”

But before this ruling, Judge Margaret Marshall from the State Supreme Judicial Court in Massachusetts wrote another beautiful passage:

“Marriage is a vital social institution. The exclusive commitment of two individuals to each other nurtures love and mutual support; it brings stability to our society. For  those who choose to marry, and for their children, marriage provides an abundance of legal, financial, and social benefits. In return it imposes weighty legal, financial, and social obligations….Without question, civil marriage enhances the “welfare of the community.” It is a “social institution of the highest importance.” …
Marriage also bestows enormous private and social advantages on those who choose to marry. Civil marriage is at once a deeply personal commitment to another human being and a highly public celebration of the ideals of mutuality, companionship, intimacy, fidelity, and family…. Because it fulfils yearnings for security, safe haven, and  connection that express our common humanity, civil marriage is an esteemed institution, and the decision whether and whom to marry is among life’s momentous acts of self-definition.”