Bride’s Choice 2012 From Wedding Wire!

Cleveland, Ohio – February 10, 2012 – WeddingWire, the nation’s leading wedding Marketplace, is excited to announce Rev. Susanna Margaret Goulder and A Wedding To Cherish has been selected to receive the prestigious WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2012 for Officiants!

The esteemed annual awards program recognizes the top local wedding vendors from the WeddingWire Network who demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness and professionalism within the wedding industry. While many industry awards are selected by the organization, Rev. Susanna Margaret Goulder and A Wedding To Cherish was selected based on its stellar reviews from past newlywed clients.

Rev. Susanna Margaret Goulder and A Wedding To Cherish is recognized as part of the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire local vendor community, comprised of over 200,000 wedding professionals throughout the United States and Canada. The Bride’s Choice Award recognizes the best local wedding vendors across 20 service categories, from wedding venues to wedding photographers, based on their overall professional achievements throughout the past year.

“WeddingWire is thrilled to honor the success of the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire Community,” said Timothy Chi, CEO, WeddingWire. “Since the launch of the Bride’s Choice Awards™ program four years ago, thousands of outstanding wedding professionals have been recognized by the bridal community for their supreme service and dedication to the wedding industry. It is with great pleasure that we congratulate Rev. Susanna Margaret Goulder and A Wedding To Cherish for their continued professionalism and commitment to enriching the wedding planning experience for engaged couples.”

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Bride’s Choice Award 2011

I would like to thank my fabulous brides and grooms for nominating me to receive the Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011.  It is an honor for me to have been by your sides as you were united in marriage. I cherish you.

Cleveland, Ohio – January 27, 2011 – WeddingWire, the nation’s leading wedding technology company, is thrilled to announce A Wedding To Cherish and Rev. Susanna Margaret Goulder has been selected to receive the prestigious annual WeddingWire Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011 for officiants!

Recognition for the Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011 is determined by recent reviews and extensive surveys from over 750,000 WeddingWire newlyweds. Our past clients are among those that shared their experiences on WeddingWire, the largest wedding review site in the nation.

A Wedding To Cherish stands among the top five percent of wedding professionals in the WeddingWire community, representing quality and service excellence within the wedding industry. Awards were given to the top wedding professionals across 20 service categories and were based on the overall professional achievements throughout the past year.

“WeddingWire is honored to celebrate the success of the top-rated wedding professionals within the WeddingWire community,” said Timothy Chi, WeddingWire’s Chief Executive Officer. “We applaud Rev. Susanna Margaret Goulder for her professionalism and dedication to enhancing the wedding planning and ceremony experience last year.”

We are happy to announce that Rev. Susanna Margaret Goulder is among the very best officiant within the WeddingWire Network, which includes leading wedding planning sites WeddingWire, Martha Stewart Weddings, Project Wedding and Weddingbee.  would like to thank our past clients for nominating us to receive the Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011.

For more information on the Bride’s Choice Awards™ 2011, please visit www.WeddingWire.com.

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Tips For Choosing Your Wedding Vows

Vows can be the foundation of your marriage and guideposts for your lives. Take your time in choosing your vows so inevitably they will be sincere and personal, will help you stay the course, and be the husband and wife you aspire to be.

Your vows can look in all directions of your relationship. They can honor the beauty of your history together and they can reach into the future to proclaim your intentions of what the future will hold. In preparation for choosing vows begin to think upon what makes your relationship strong. Consider including these attributes as a way to promise to keep them alive. Then begin to think of yourself in the years to come. What are your fears? Write them down. What are your hopes? Write them down. Choose vows that will alleviate your fears and elevate your strengths as a couple.

Here are some questions to ask as you look at vow possibilities:

What do I intend to promise my beloved (and myself) so that our marriage will be strong?

What can I promise my beloved so I will be the best husband/wife I hope to be in our marriage?

What do I need my beloved to promise to me so I will feel secure, honored and cherished in my marriage?

There is nothing as touching as the bride and groom who look deeply into each other’s eyes as they sincerely offer vows from their hearts. That being said, choose vows you can extend truthfully from the bottom of your hearts. Don’t succumb and accept vows that are meaningful to your beloved but not comfortable for you. This is the start of your marriage and partnership. Take your time with each other and find the words that convey the highest truth and vision for each other through the years.

A bride recently asked me how long her vows should be. Some brides and groom like to be direct, short and to the point with their vows. Others like to use this portion of their ceremony to personally express the depth of their feelings, pay tribute to their relationship, and paint a picture of their future together. Both are equally good. It’s not unusual for a bride and groom to have different opinions about which way to approach their vows. If this is true for you, be patient with one another and try to find a happy medium. Whether short or long, make a point of creating vows that are memorable so you can tuck them into your heart and remember them when you need them most.

Recently I had an occasion when I needed my vows to remind me of the promises of love my husband and I made to one another. Thankfully, they were indeed a significant source of support and guidance for me when I needed them. As I revisited them I was pleased to see that the vows chosen way back when still rang true through the years. Give this gift to yourself too.

One of the pitfalls I run across all too often is when couples choose beautiful metaphoric vows that don’t have real substance. These romantic and lyrical vows are certainly worthy of being included! However, these words can be fleeting so be sure to include promises that will be definitive and therefore everlasting. For instance, is it important that your beloved knows that you will accept him/her through all the changes that life may bring? Then say it. Or, is it important to say that this will be your only love? Then say it. Or, is it important that you promise to be honest with each other? Then say it. Choose vows that are the principles that you want to live by. This is how you’ll create vows that will remain in your hearts and mind.

The standard order for the vows are:

Declaration of Consent

Vows & Promises

Blessing and Symbolism of the Rings

Ring Vows

You can choose all four categories and eloquently elaborate on your love and devotion for each other. Or, you can choose, for example, an apt Declarations of Consents as your vow, and combine it with, “With this ring I thee wed” if you wish to keep speaking to a minimum.

Choosing your vows can seem overwhelming at first, but it’s simpler than you think. Start by deleting that which is not appealing. Then begin to look at the possibilities that speak to you. Take one option at a time and let the cream rise to the top. Before you know it you’ll find the way to express your love, devotion and commitment in ways that are unique, touching and fitting for the two of you.

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Marriage Is A Dance

I love this quote by Amy Bloom. It reminds me of my wedding day and how I came to look at marriage.

“Marriage is not a ritual or an end.
It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together,
and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance
and your choice of partner.”

Mere moments after having been pronounced in marriage, with jubilant feelings all around, our dear friend Grace came over to congratulate me. Being that she had been married for over 60 years, and was a very wise woman, I asked her if she had any advice for this just-married bride. “Marriage,” she said with a penetrating glance, “is a dance.” Her words hung in the air as I looked into her tender blue eyes came to a new understanding of marriage within minutes of my “I do’s”.

Grace had long been my image of the ideal wife in the perfect marriage. In her revealing eyes I saw that there was no such thing as a ‘perfect’ wife or a ‘perfect’ marriage. I realized that there is the one man and the one woman who are willing to move into the dance of marriage together. Sometimes they’ll move together gracefully and in sync. Sometimes they’ll step on each others’ toes and lose the beat.  And sometimes they’ll struggle to lead or follow. It was a dance that would have its ebbs and flows with time.

In that moment I felt lighter than I had since being engaged. Lifted was the pressure to be the ‘right’ person and do the ‘right’ things in order for my marriage to succeed. I knew now I simply needed to be willing to hold my husband and be held by him as together we dance through the intricate and intimate moments that our marriage will surely bring.

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So you’re engaged, NOW what!!?!!

So you’re engaged, NOW what!!?!!

A couple came to me last week clueless about what to do about their ceremony. She had grown up in a rich church tradition. He had not. They no idea where to begin when thinking about their ceremony.

Are you mystified about how to have a non-denominational, interfaith or multicultural wedding ceremony that will honor your distinct and different faiths or religious perspectives? Have no fear! You can have a ceremony that will respect and delight you both.

Jessica and Michael fell in love over e-mail correspondences at work. When they decided to get married, they didn’t know what to do. She was Catholic. He was Jewish. They didn’t want to offend anyone from their families or communities. Plus, she had visions of a ceremony that she’d had since she was young, and he was accustomed to traditions from his background. When they began to talk about their ceremony, they were concerned that someone would be offended, or, even worse, that their ceremony wouldn’t be as touching and meaningful for each other as they’d hope it would be.

Once we got beyond their fears, we began to talk about what they would want to bring from each of their traditions to their ceremony. For Jessica it was the ‘Unity Candle’. For Michael it was the ‘Breaking of the Glass’. Including one ritual from each of their traditions made Jessica & Michael feel very comfortable with their ceremony. It was that easy.

Once we unraveled the problem and sufficiently respected their traditions that’s when the fun began! We started by talking about what Jess and Mike had in common. They both had a deep regard for their parents, and they both loved sports! In fact, Jessica was from Pittsburgh, a staunch Steeler’s fan, and Mike was from Cleveland, growing up devoted to the Browns. Their was a delightful rivalry between them. When I proposed an option to honor the families by presenting their mothers with flowers, their eyes lit up!

Picture this…on their wedding day, after Mike and Jessica processed up the aisle in their beautiful garb, Unity candles ablaze having been lit by their mothers. Jessica and Mike walked to an alter table where there were elegant bouquets of flowers and gift boxes adorned with ribbons. They proceeded to walk over to Mike’s mother and father, and handed Tracey, Mike’s mother, the bouquet of flowers, while handing Joel, Mike’s father the gift box. They did the same thing with Jessica’s mother and father, handing the flowers to Pat and the gift box to Al.

The laughter started between the parents, and then, like a wave, filled the entire room when Mike’s dad, an ardent Browns’ fan, opened the box to see a Pittsburgh Steeler’s jersey, and Jen’s dad, the dedicated Steeler’s fan, received a Browns’ jersey. It was a hilarious unifying experience that had us all in stitches. Amidst the laughter, the deeper meaning was beautifully implied. The ceremony was concluded by the breaking of the glass and the united words the crowd cheering, “Mazel Tov!”, which means, “Congratulations!”, “Best of Luck!!”

Your ceremony can embrace who you are and be very personal for you both. It can make you laugh with delight, and bring you to tears of joy.

The first step is for you and your fiance to get clear about what you want to bring from each of your traditions, backgrounds or philosophies. The next step is to choose to include elements that personify the two of you. With your distinct personalities brought into your ceremony, your wedding will be a day you will cherish for a lifetime.

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