Valentine’s Day Wedding in New York

Are you planning a last-minute wedding or thinking about eloping in NYC?  Valentine’s Day is approaching and it is a wonderful time of year to get married in New York City.

Common Ground Ceremonies offers packages that can include a photographer, flowers, or anything you can think of to make your big day complete.

You can choose from a civil ceremony (humanist ceremony) or spiritual ceremony depending on your preferences.  Our NY Wedding Officiants will perform any type of ceremony you choose and also file the license for you afterwards (saving you a trip back down to the city clerk’s office.)  We can also provide a witness if you are planning to come by yourselves, but also recommend hiring a photographer who can sign for you, in addition to taking you around the city for amazing photos.

For those of you planning to renew your vows, Valentine’s Day is a romantic time to do so.  Contact us and we will assist you with planning your vow renewal ceremony.

A Unique Love Lock Ceremony for your Wedding

We have all heard of the famous bridge in Paris, Pont des Arts where for many decades, lovers would leave a lock and toss the key into the River Seine, signifying there everlasting love.  Unfortunately, this tradition is no longer practiced there, but now you can create your own love lock ceremony in your wedding ceremony.  As a NY Wedding Officiant, I am always looking for unique ways to celebrate your love and I personally love this idea.  

The Lovelocks “Tree of Life” ceremony is a unique ceremony idea using heart shaped padlocks that lock one time only-there is no key! The couple personally engrave their names, special date or special messages on them.

Following an ancient custom, you can “lock your love” to that person or those people important in your life. Engraving your own personal message on a Love Lock is the ultimate way of saying “I love you” and solidifying those special relationships in your life. No matter the person—or even pet –with a love padlock from Love Locks, Inc. you can celebrate love, family, and friendship. So when words simply aren’t enough, let Love Locks do the talking. We are dedicated to continuing the tradition of expressing one’s love and commitment by offering a personalized padlock for your special occasion.

You can purchase your Lovelocks Tree at www.lovelocksonline.com.

2018 Wedding Trends to Watch Out for

Happy New Year!!  Engagement Season is here!!!  In 2017, we saw some really cool DIY wedding ideas and lots of unique touches ranging from non-traditional dresses to having personal pets as guests or ring-bearers….eek!!  Some trends were really awe-inspiring while others were more traditional as we have  witnessed them in the past. We know how much time engaged couples spend researching ideas online, so we thought it would be great to put together some wedding trends to watch out for this year.

Smaller Weddings

One of the most pursued wedding trends this past year was smaller, more intimate weddings. Couples have started thinking more logically than ever. They know how important it is to save money, so instead of going overboard with over-the-top decór or elaborate Viennese tables, they are choosing more intimate celebrations and spending more of their budget on their honeymoon and down-payments on their new home after they are married. In 2017, smaller weddings were trending and still seem to be popular this year. As a result, only your nearest and dearest are in attendance and there way fewer expenditures to worry about after your event.

Bridesmen & Groomsladies

Yes, you heard it right! Times have changed and there is no place for typical weddings anymore. In the coming year, it is expected that wedding parties will take place with some really great innovations. With parties changed and new roles being defined, we cannot predict how bridesmen and groomsladies will dress. Maybe they choose to dress like the opposite gender, who knows? After all, it’s a whole new era of wedding traditions shaping up for the future.

Cross-cultural Weddings

With the growing use of the internet and awareness being spread everywhere, in 2018, it is anticipated that weddings will take place with a glimpse of some other culture and tradition. Couples like to experiment on their special day and marrying their loved one in a unique style, will surely inspire them to follow this new trend. Traditional weddings have those same frocks and gowns, but if you go for cross-cultural weddings, you can get to wear traditional dresses of other countries.

Buffet Food

People are very choosy about their dietary habits. They don’t like to eat unhealthy food and items they don’t like. It can be really very difficult to take care of choices of all the guests. This is the reason why the trend of gourmet buffet food will grow rapidly in 2018. Couples will have more time to hang out with the guests at a place where they can serve a buffet-style meal. Every guest will get a chance to eat their favorite dish without any difficulty.

These are some wedding trends that will transpire in 2018 and transform wedding celebrations completely. These trends can really make your wedding ceremony unique and even more special. If you want to make your wedding celebration memorable, you should look for new and improved ideas and some of  the ideas discussed here, are certainly worth considering.  As a NY wedding officiant, I have seen many trends come and go, so our company provides wedding officiants and planners with years of experience and cross-cultural knowledge to keep up with the international couples we serve. We can help you create a whimsical wedding ceremony by incorporating all the latest wedding trends. Common Ground Ceremonies has recently won their 8th consecutive The Knot-2018 Best of Weddings award so please contact us today to discuss your wedding and for a chance to make your wedding day more special.

 

Planning your Jewish/Catholic Wedding Ceremony?

Are you engaged and planning a wedding that incorporates your Jewish and Christian backgrounds?  Many of our couples face this challenge and do not know where to even begin.  Our experienced interfaith minister, Rev. Samora Smith has created and performed these type of ceremonies for hundreds of couples and offers some great advice.

First consider:

  1. Are either of you more religious than the other?
  2. Are you comfortable with the mention of Jesus or Adonai in the ceremony?
  3. Will you have a Rabbi & Priest present or an interfaith minister to represent both faiths?

Differences between a Jewish and Catholic Ceremony:

  1. Processional
    • Christian:  Groom waits at the Alter and Bride is walked by her father
    • Jewish: Groom and Bride are escorted by both parents
  2. Vows
    • Christian:  Bride and Groom recite vows and answer “I Do” in the ceremony
    • Jewish: Vows are not traditionally recited but are instead written on a Ketubah for the couple to sign in the presence of family and clergy before the public ceremony.
  3. Scripture Readings
    • Christian:  Most ceremonies include readings from the Old or New Testaments in the Christian bible
    • Jewish: The wedding ceremony does not include any scriptural readings
  4. The Pronouncement & Kiss
    • Christian:  Clergy will pronounce the couple married followed with “You may now kiss the Bride”
    • Jewish:  The Jewish wedding ceremony does not include a kiss but many modern couples have incorporated it into their ceremony.  Most Jewish ceremonies end with the “Breaking of the Glass”

Rituals and their Meaning

  • Christian
    • Lighting of the Unity Candle- Two tapers are lit for the couple and then a larger candle is lit by the couple to represent the joining of the two becoming one.
    • Bible Verses There are many bible verses that can be included in the ceremony.  (Corinthians 13, Ecclesiastes and Old Testament do not mention Jesus.)
  • Jewish
    • Ketubah- A contract containing promises that each promises to each other.  It is usually written on a beautiful piece of art for the couple to display in the home.
    • Chuppah-A four-pillared canopy that the ceremony will be performed under.
    • Kiddush Cup-The couple will share a cup of wine with a blessing
    • Breaking of the Glass- Usually done by the groom with the sentiment that it will take as long to put the glass back together as their relationship will last (forever)

As an experienced wedding officiant, many of my couples don’t know how to include both faiths in their wedding ceremony.  Your ceremony is an opportunity to show your families how your faiths are similar and honor your upbringing.  If you choose a ceremony that is less religious, you can incorporate some of the rituals as symbolic gestures to your faiths.

Book your Holiday Elopement or Vow Renewal Today

Holiday Season is fast approaching and one of the most exciting places to renew your vows or have an elopement is at Rockefeller Center. Rockefeller Center weddings are magical and the holiday spirit is everywhere. The famous Christmas Tree is surrounded by beautifully lit sculptures and figurines from famous holiday stories. Common Ground Ceremonies will provide your NY Wedding Officiant and we also offer photography packages. Contact us today to discuss your exciting celebration!

Unique NYC Wedding Location with Views

Looking for an artsy, scenic location for your small wedding in New York City?

The High Line offers a unique location for your elopement in NYC.  It is built on a historic freight line and elevated above the streets downtown on Manhattan’s West side.  It runs from the West Village’s trendy Meatpacking District up to 34th Street.

It offers views of the Hudson River and the rooftops of buildings of Manhattan.  There are many unique nooks for a small ceremony and an ideal spot for a sunrise or sunset ceremony.

Contact Common Ground Ceremonies to discuss all the different locations to elope in NYC.  There are many wonderful restaurants and the famous Chelsea Market are under the High Line.

Please call us at 646-709-2090 to book your unique wedding ceremony today.

Elopement at The High Line Park in New York City
Elopement at The High Line Park in New York City

Surprise Vow Renewal in Central Park

Scott contacted Rev. Samora of Common Ground Ceremonies with a plan to surprise his beautiful wife of 20 years with a vow renewal in Central Park.  He waited at Cherry Hill Fountain with his sons while his wife Angela and daughter went for a horse and carriage ride.  As Angela dismounted the carriage, Scott got on his knee and re-proposed.  Of course she said “Yes”!!  Rev. Samora was secretly waiting nearby at Wagner’s Cove to perform a beautiful Vow Renewal Ceremony for Scott and Angela to celebrate their 20 years together and renew their love for each other.  They were so thrilled to renew their vows with 3 of their children there as witnesses.  It was an amazing day!!  Please contact us at (646)709-2090 if you are interested in having an amazing wedding or vow renewal.

20 year Vow Renewal in Central Park
20 year Vow Renewal in Central Park

Valentine’s Day honors NYC Immigrants

 

Each year Times Square Arts features an art installation for Valentine’s Day.  This years piece honors NYC immigrants and is titled, We Were Strangers Once Too created by the Office of Creative Research.  

The sculpture consists of 33 red and pink metal poles representing data derived from a 2015 American Census Survey.  They are “inscribed and hued to represent the national origins and shifting populations of foreign-born NYC residents.  When viewed from a certain vantage point, these poles take the form of a heart.

The sculpture will be on display for a month beginning Feb. 7th at Times Square’s Father Duffy Square.

The Knot Best of Weddings 2017

We are so excited to announce our 6th year being chosen as The Knot Best of Weddings 2017 winner.  Each year brings new excitement and joy when we have the opportunity to marry couples from all over the world.  This year we won in New York City and Long Island.  Please contact Common Ground Ceremonies to assist you with your upcoming wedding, especially if you are interested in a personalized, heartfelt ceremony that truly celebrates you as a couple.  We offer all styles of ceremonies, marriage and pre-marital coaching and interfaith support.  We look forward to hearing from you.

 

Grand Central Wedding in NYC

Many people travel to New York City to get married!  One of the most amazing and historic places is right smack in the middle of the city.  Over a hundred years old, Grand Central Station is a hub where artists, commuters, travelers, and wanderers come together. It’s been featured in many movies and television shows and is an amazing location for photographs.  It also offers a great option for a quick ceremony indoors for anyone looking to elope.  Contact us today at 646-709-2090 to discuss your New York City wedding plans and possible locations for your NYC wedding.