Sunday, March 1, 2015

Unity Love Knot / True Lover's Knot In Your Wedding Ceremony

“Tying the Knot” in your wedding ceremony is another way 

 to symbolize your coming together as one.

The “true lovers knot” which is the strongest there is will 

not break, and will only become stronger when under 


The rope itself will break before the knot comes undone.

The two separate cords represent your past and lives 

before today.

As you intertwine your pieces, you are joining your two lives into one, representing the present.

The finished knot symbolizes your future.....

 Your two lives are now bound together as one....

For more ideas on optional ceremonies for your wedding, 

please visit my website, the options & info tab here 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Paint Pouring Ritual During Your Wedding Ceremony -

One of the newest wedding ceremony traditions is Paint Pouring!  Every painting and every marriage begins with a blank canvas…

Paint Pouring set up at marriage ceremony site as guests are escorted to their seats.

Bride and groom add their two different colors to the canvas to symbolize their lives blending together. 

Bride and groom applying their paint to the canvas.

Bride and groom applying their paint to the canvas to create their unique painting.

Pouring their paint :)

The painting that you created together will symbolize your wedding day.

The finished painting.

"Work of Art" ready to be displayed in newlywed's home. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Wine Ceremony during your Wedding -

Including an 'optional ceremony or tradition' into your wedding ceremony is a great way symbolize the joining of your lives in marriage. They add a 'visual effect'.  Your guests are more likely remember what they see.  One of my personal favorites is the wine ceremony..

Long ago, wine was revered as the blood of the earth.
When a bride and groom pledged themselves to each other, they drank wine from a single cup, signifying that they were becoming one blood, one family and one kin.
Cup-raising was an invitation to witness their oath and hold the persons to their words.

Wine is a symbol of abundance, joy and life. 

Your officiant can describe the properties in the wine that are symbolic of 'Life's Journey'.

Those who drink deeply from the "Cup of Life" with an open heart and willing spirit, invite the full range of challenges and experiences into their being.


May you find life’s joys heightened, it’s bitterness sweetened and all of life enriched.

A venue with a vineyard is the perfect place to include this ceremony.  Contact me for details.

#WeddingCeremony, #WeddingOfficiant, #WeddingMinister, #JusticeofthePeace, #Celebrant, #WeddingChaplin, #Elope, #Elopement

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Wedding Ceremony Family Bible Signing

A Family Bible is a time-honored tradition.  It is handed down through a family and each successive generation records information about the family's history inside it. 

I was recently honored to officiate the wedding ceremony of a couple that wanted to include the signing of the Family Bible during  their wedding.
The bride's grandparents had given them (and all of their children and grandchildren) a Family Bible as a wedding gift.  They wanted to honor them by including them and the signing in their ceremony.

Officiant invites the grandparents to join us and sign the Family Bible.   (They had no idea this was being done, it was a complete surprise!) 

Wedding Officiant signs the Bible.

Bride signs her Family Bible as her grandmother and the groom observe.

Groom signs....

This is a wonderful way to pass on stories, family faith and traditions from one generation to the next.  

To see a complete list of all optional ceremonies and traditions that I am happy to include in your wedding ceremony (at no addional fee), please visit the 'Options and Info'  page ( my website: -   Thanks for stopping by!  

**These photos courtesy of Sarah Holder Photography in Greenville, SC 
**Ceremony location:  Mary's Cottage at Falls Park - Greenville, SC 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Tree Planting In Your Wedding Ceremony

Just as you symbolize the joining of two individuals in the Unity Candle or Unity Sand Ceremony you can also plant a sapling during your wedding ceremony to represent the same thing. You can then transplant it to your yard after your wedding or when you purchase a home.

You will need a sapling, two containers of dirt, two trowels and a small watering can.

Your officiant can speak about building strong roots for the foundation of your marriage.

And as you provide sun, soil and water for your tree,

remember to nourish each other with words of encouragement, trust, and love. 

A special thank-you to Milan Morgan Photography and Augusta Manor in Greenville, SC for these images.  +Brenda M. Owen - Wedding Officiant Minister - 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Love Letter on your Wedding Day -

Bride and Groom before your wedding day, write a love letter to each other.

The letters should describe the good qualities you find in one another, the reasons that you fell in love, for choosing to marry as well as your hopes and dreams for the future.

Seal your letter in individual envelopes and have your photographer take photos of you reading your letters.

These letters will always be a special memory, memento of you wedding day.  

Brenda Owen Wedding Officiant, Minister -

These photos courtesy Jon Torres ~

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ring Bearer Ideas, Inspiration -

Who say you have to put your wedding rings on a pillow?  Not me! Following are some ideas you can incorporate into your wedding.  Let your imagination run free!

"Ring Protection Agent" 

Love birds nest dish.

Log Ring Dish perfect for a rustic or country wedding.

 Heart shaped ring box.

Wedding Bloopers - How to Keep them from Happening to You! -

There is no such thing as a perfect wedding. . . and if there were, would you really want it?  Perfection is probably not your goal. No doubt this is a red-letter day in your life. You want it to be special. You want your family and; friends to celebrate with you and have a good time. However, little unexpected things happen. When you keep things in perspective, these don't have to ruin your day. Of course, you don't want major disruptions or distractions because of poor planning and; preparation. That's why you want to avoid pitfalls #'s 2-5.  Do this: On your wedding day, give yourself a good talking to and remind yourself what your wedding day is really all about.

f your wedding rehearsal is an exercise in frustration, you don't have much time to get over it! Likely your wedding is the next day. Do this: You can reduce the chances of problems at the wedding rehearsal in a couple of ways:  One, have a professional director if possible. At the least, you need a friend or family member with strong enough personality (without taking over your wedding wishes) to get people moving and to be there for the wedding to remind everyone what to do/when.  Two, know before going to your rehearsal exactly how you want your wedding to go. Rehearsals are not a time for working this out, but for practicing what you've already decided. This doesn't mean that you won't see something at your rehearsal that you want to change. But, if you go in with no plan, well-meaning friends & family may take over your wedding.

Pitfall #3: NO BACK-UP PLAN IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN IN YOUR WEDDING:  Children are precious in weddings and if you want them in yours, then certainly include them. However, for the sake of the children, have a back-up plan.
Even children who are outgoing have trouble sometimes when they see "all those people." You don't want the children to be embarrassed, frightened, and upset.
Do this: Increasing, couples have children (ring bearers, flower girls) come down the aisle and then immediately go sit with family on the front rows.
This way, they feel included in the wedding and; "get seen" but then are relieved from the pressure of the spotlight.
What if children are hesitant to come down the aisle by themselves? A possibility is to have them walk down with one of the attendants. What if a child won't stand still and; becomes a distraction? Have a family member who will come get the child and; take them to a seat.
Children's little mess-ups are cute, but quickly become a distraction to your ceremony.

Pitfall #4: USING RECORDED WEDDING MUSIC - This may be the most frequent goof-up I see at weddings. Invariably, the person doing the music can't find the on/off button, plays the wrong song at the wrong time, or abruptly ends the bride's processional music with a loud click of the off switch.
Do this: Have live wedding music if possible. It sounds better and; you don't have the problems mentioned above.  Or, hire a DJ.  I know some that will do the ‘ceremony music only’ for  $75 - $100
Recorded wedding songs can work nicely, but if you rehearse anything, make sure you rehearse the music; what songs when, how long they run, and when to fade them out.

Pitfall #5: AN INEXPERIENCED WEDDING CEREMONY OFFICIANT - Perhaps I'm biased here, but I have seen and have heard many horror stories about ministers and other officiants who do a poor job. Calling the couple by the wrong names, leaving out the bridal kiss, speaking too low or too long, are just some of the problems. Weddings are not the easiest things to do. Experience can make a difference.

Do this: Use an experienced wedding minister or officiant!  An experienced wedding officiant will know what do when unexpected things happen. Did the best man lose the ring; what to do now?
Perhaps there is someone very special to you as a couple that you want to perform your ceremony even though they don't have much wedding experience. In this case, spend a lot of time with them going over exactly what you want in the ceremony. Make sure any inexperienced officiant is at the rehearsal and go through the ceremony a couple of times.

 Brenda M. Owen Experienced Wedding Officiant, Minister -

Avoid these 5 pitfalls in planning your wedding and you will decrease your odds of wedding bloopers ruining your wedding and your memories.  

About the Author:
Ralph Griggs is a life-long non-denominational minister in Nashville, Tenn. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Wedding Venues I Recommend SC GA NC -

The High Hampton - Cashiers, SC

Following is a list of some of my favorite wedding venues.  They are a great place to get married, or they wouldn't be on my list :)  I have officiated wedding ceremonies at these places and I     recommend them for different reasons: They are very beautiful, some are  all inclusive (e.g. all you need to provide are your Flowers, Officiant, Photographer), different  styles e.g. Southern Mansion vs. a Contemporary/Industrial look, inexpensive, no charge and they are just a great place to get married!  I have photographs  of most all, let me know if you want me to send you the pics or have questions.      
I serve 3 states; I am listing all.  I try to keep the list updated, please let me know if any of the information changes (event manager, email address, phone number, etc).                                                          

Please tell any that you contact that you found them here and that  I referred you.  
Thank you, Brenda~ 

- South Carolina - 

Twigs Tempietto Garden - Greenville - http://Twigs.netA lovely place for an intimate garden wedding.  They cater and always do a great job.  Click on Wedding Events.   Ask for Sam or Kris - event manager - . Email:

Holly Tree Country Club -  Sharon Wells  Event Manager - 864-967-9511 - A Beautiful old Southern Mansion Simpsonville, SC -

Chattooga Belle Farm - - Wonderful mountain vistas here!  Ed and Kitty Land, owners - Damascus Church Rd, Long Creek,SC 864-647-9768

The Red Horse Inn - Landrum - Beautiful mountain views from the West Arbor or the beautiful stone veranda! Mary and Rogers Wolters.  
864 909-1575 - Email:

The Bleckley Inn  151 East Church St AndersonSC  A beautiful, historic, rustic spacious venue - downtown Anderson - Shelby Clardy- manager- 864 225-7203 

Boxwood Manor A beautiful, historic home/farm built in 1790 and has remained in the same family.   Available as a venue for weddings and special events.  Conveniently located 3 mi from exit 19 off of I-85 in the Sandy Springs / Pendleton area. Contact Annette - 864-261-8430 "Get married at Grandma's house!" 

The Oaks Event Venue - Anderson, SC -  Awesome venue!  864-293-3606 ask for Event Coordinator Brittany. 

Events at Sapphire Creek - Simpsonville, SC - 
Karen Harnesberger - 864-238-9392 -

Events at the Davenport Event - - Greer, SC - Ask for Christie Early.

Liberty Hall Inn – Pendleton, SC - Ask for Brandi, the owner – Beautiful Southern Mansion built in the late 1840s.  Email: -  621 S. Mechanic St. 864-502-2228 -mobile: 909-289-2830

Occasions at Wedgefield - Central, SC - Cynthia Phillips owner - all you need to add is Me (officiant), Photographer, flowers and cake...they do the rest! - email:

 Table Rock Mountain Lodge - 2 floors, patio & covered porch. - (Pickens, SC) - Cindy Morris 864 878-9813 - email:

River Street Baptist Church Sanctuary located in Anderson, SC - The Sanctuary rents for $350. The Social/Fellowship house (next door) is $250 for all day and DOES include a rehearsal night before. You can have rehearsal and decorate the day before your wedding! This historic home is large enough for your ceremony and reception if you choose not to rent Sanctuary.  Contact me for details. 864-365-6022 

McConnell Hall - Anderson,SC   Contact Richard - (864) 844-3846

Calyx Farms - Walhalla, SC  - - Janet Neville, owner - 864-903-2840 -  

Larkin's on the River - Greenville - Lots of weddings held here! On the Reedy River downtown Greenville: - Ofc 864 467-3020

Symmes Chapel - "Pretty Place" -"Breathtaking" chapel on top of Standing Stone Mountain - Marietta, SC (Greenville county) - Contact: Diane Jacques, Chapel Coordinator. 864-836-3291 X-100 email: - website:

The Cliffs at Glassy Chapel - Awesome! Chapel on a mountain top - 98 Cliffs Parkway Landrum, SC 29356 -   Email:
Mary's Restaurant at Falls Cottage - Falls Park -Greenville, SC - Lovely overlooking Falls Park.  Ask for Mary Jones, Owner - Email:
- Phone: 864 298-0005

The Reserve at Lake Keowee - Beautiful! - Maria Stewart - Service Director -

Mariott Hotel - One Parkway East - Greenville - Joelle Vance - Event Mgr - 864 297-0300 or 864 679-1106

Embassy Suites Hotel - Greenville -670 Verdae Boulevard - See the large covered venue on the terrace on the photo - -  Ask for Stacey or Rob - 864-676-9090

ZEN - - A contemporary venue - Rhonda Morris - 924 S Main Street Greenville, SC 29601 (864) 235-5770 - email:

The Pavilion at Walker Century Farms - Anderson, SC -  Contact Kathie Erwin 864-933-6862

All Occasion Celebrations - Mauldin, SC - A contemporary venue -  Krystal Donald and Eric Kruse, Owners - 108 N. Main St. Mauldin, SC 2966 (864)284-6686

Victoria Valley Vineyards - 2 miles from Table Rock State park (below)with wonderful mountain vistas. - Karen Law - Event Coordinator  864-414-6509 or 864-859-2780 - Email:

Gassaway Mansion - - 106 Dupont Dr Greenville, SC 29607 -
(864) 271-0188
  ask for Linda.

Kilgore - Lewis House - - This is a beautiful southern mansion and home to the Council of Garden Clubs so beautiful flowers and plants all year with a pretty pond in back. 560 North Academy Street, Greenville, SC  Contact Judy: (864) 232-3020 ‎ Email:

Upcountry History Museum - Greenville - - Kim Adams Event Manager, at 864-467-3100 x128 or

The Lazy Goat Restaurant - Greenville - You can have the wedding outside on the patio by the Reedy river/fountain and the reception inside the restaurant.  They also have a wonderful banquet room perfect for smaller weddings it overlooks the Reedy River and Wyche Pavilion -

Garden House B/B in Simpsonville, SC - - Roy and Frances Shelton, owners (they have a beautiful garden in back- perfect for your ceremony.)

TimbeRock  at the Historical Hopkins Farm - Simpsonville, SC - A Beautiful, 175 year old 'working farm' was called a "horticultural jewel" by South Carolina's ETV and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Carol Hopkins (864) 243-4010

Willow Creek Conservatory - Landrum - 864-498-2136 -

Sawmill at North Main - Greenville - (A Larkin's Venue)   Ask for Tammy

The Venue  - Traveler's Rest - - Joan Buchanan - 864-303-5184

Greenbrier Farms - - just 15 minutes from Greenville in Easley - Amy Bishop - 864-855-9782

Historic Ballenger House (Seneca Women's Club) - Seneca SC. 212 East South Third St Seneca, SC 

Rooftop Deck at Lilia Spa Anderson, SC - A historic circa 1880 building with old world charm / new world feel. The view from the roof top deck is beautiful; overlooking downtown Anderson, enjoy the beautiful Urban skyline and sunsets!  Also a 2 Bedroom Loft Apartment available . 864-226-0818 

Marshall Orr House Historic Home - Anderson, SC - Historic Southern Mansion - Very reasonably priced!!  You rent the entire mansion and grounds - It has a kitchen and plenty of on-site parking.  Ask for Elizabeth Simmons -

Hilton Garden Inn - 115 Destination Blvd - Anderson, SC - Deborah Hord-  

864 328-0199

The Loft Apartment above Soby's on the Side Restaurant - Greenville - Have the wedding on the rooftop deck, reception in large dining room, kitchen, bar area with a personal chef! 

River Lodge and Old Mill Garden at Falls park on the Reedy River: - map - "Old Mill Ruins" located bottom right corner:

Rock Quarry Garden - 200 McDaniel St. Greenville :  See link above for Falls Park.

Legacy Park - Greenville:

The Pond House - - "Gorgeous!" - Starr, SC - Owner - Jimmy Drake 864-352-3774 - more photos here: - click on the 'photos' button - click on photo to enlarge. There is a farm house for bride to dress and an old school house on the property for the reception.

Lindsey Plantation - Taylors, SC - - they have a 'stable' for your reception. Estela Lindsey, owner - 864-304-8664 - email:

Red Shutter B/B in Starr, SC - Michael Crump & David Sanders - Phone: (864) 352-6771 email: They cater.

The Gray House -Starr, SC -
111 Stone's Throw Ave - Starr, SC (864) 352-6778 they cater.  Ask for Kathy - owner.

Sleepy Hollow B/B in Pendleton, SC - - (864) 207-1540

The Old Depot - Belton - - 100 North Main Street Belton, SC 29627 Phone: 338-7400

Biggerstaff Center on Lake Keowee - Seneca, SC also: scroll down to the bottom of the page - click on biggerstaff Retreat center- Contact: Ray Burroughs - 864-882-3337 - There is a pavilion for reception but no alcohol allowed on premise.  It you want to serve alcohol,  you can have reception at The Depot in Walhalla (above) not far away.

Maloney Family Lake House on Lake Keowee (for rent) - -
9 Bedrooms + Convertible bed(s), 6.5 Baths (Sleeps 26-32) - Have the ceremony on the deck or in the backyard by the lake with a dock and Gazebo!

Walnut Lane Inn (Historic Home - Lyman, SC) - 864 949-7230 - They cater (good food!). Owners- Hoyt or David 

Woodburn Historic Home - Pendlelton - - Jacqueline Reynolds, President Cell # 864 650-0003 email: - you will need a caterer and may want to to set up a tent outside.

McFalls Landing on Broadway Lake  in Anderson County - VERY inexpensive with wonderful lake vistas!  Nice community center only $190. for eight hour rental - tables, chairs available. Call 864-231-7275 - email: -  Photos here:   McFalls Website  here

Chau Ram Park - Westminster, SC 
beautiful park on the Chauga River Telephone: 864.647.9286

Pendleton Village Green (park) - Pendleton, SC -

Cannon Chapel Amphitheater / Pavilion and Kresge Hall- Clemson (On Lake Hartwell): Call Janay at 646-7502

South Carolina Botanical Gardens at Clemson:

Madren Center at Clemson Owen Pavillion (on Lake Hartwell) - Event  Manager - Dori Kidd 864-656-4401 -   Also

Galley Restaurant and Banquet Facility on Lake Hartwell - Anderson - On Lake Hartwell -great lake vistas! click on The Galley Restaurant - They cater and have a Gazebo by the lake - upstairs banquet facility above the restaurant - ask for Dawn Falkowski - event manager 864 287-3215 -

Recreation areas on Lake Hartwell - most have covered pavilions that you can rent for the day for about $40. There are picnic tables, BBQ grills, bath houses, beaches for swimming, playgrounds with sand for children. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on 'recreation areas' - Some are in GA, some in SC so be sure you stay in SC if you have a SC license. - no alcohol!

The Duncan Estate -Beautiful Southern Mansion - - 840 Union Street - Spartanburg, SC 29302 (864) 529-7287

Indigo Hall Event Venue - A Beautiful, spacious contemporary venue. 90 Ezell St, Spartenburg, SC Call 864.253.8895 -

Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve - Spartanburg, SC - 820 John B White Sr Blvd -(864) 574-7724

Cateechee Golf Club
 - Hartwell GA - -         click on Meetings and Events- Ask for Mimsy Barfoot - 706 856-2314  -                     Please tell her I referred you!

Splendor Mountain - 195 New Gate Dr - Tigar GA - near Clayton  -Chevin & Stephen owners -  404 218-7638

Glen Ella Springs Inn - Clarkesville, GA - Beautiful historic Inn Nestled in the beautiful mountains of Northeast GA  - - Ask for Luci - 706- 754-7295

Kingwood Resort and Golf Club - In the beautiful North Georgia Mountains - Clayton, GA - Golf Club resort with restaurant, beautiful wedding gardens, reception areas - they cater.  Ask for Sylvia Hicks - (706) 212-4143 

Trimbley Bald Resort Wedding Chapel - Toccoa, GA   - Amanda - 706 886-9069 -

Walter McNeely Lakeside Pavilion - On Lake Russell - 2650 Russell State Park Rd, Elberton GA 30635 -  Click on the "Group Shelter". Large cabin with BBQ pit, patio, full kitchen, restrooms, folding tables and chairs, fans and large grassy playing area.  Located near waters edge, wonderful lake vistas!  

706 213-2045

The Community House - Cornelia, GA - - The recently renovated building has 2500 sq ft on each level and features a commercial kitchen and an elevator. The grounds are nicely landscaped and a large rock fountain graces the front lawn, making it a popular place for outdoor weddings.. The main hall is 60 X 40 and is spacious enough for indoor weddings, receptions or dancing.

Saghorn Chapel- Nicholson Ga 30565 - Contact: -

-North Carolina-

High Hampton Inn - Cashiers, NC - Beautiful venue in the mountains on a pond /golf course.  Reminds me of the summer hotel in the movie 'Dirty Dancing'. -  Caroline Grogan event manager - 828-743-2411

1927 Lake Lure Inn and Spa on Lake Lure, NC- beautiful and part of the movie "Dirty Dancing"was filmed here! - Contact Christopher Patrick Bryant - 

Serenity Chapel at Trillium: Cashiers, NC - -  

888 -464-3800 or 828-743-6161  email: - a lake & golf community nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina — 


On The Verandah - Highlands, NC Beautiful Restaurant/deck overlooking lake - 828-526-2338

Sunset Rock - Highlands, NC  Beautiful vistas. (call me on this one, no website)

Inn At Half Mile Farm - Highlands, NC 828 526-8170

Sawyer Family Homestead- Outside Cashiers, NC
(828) 743-5456

Augusta Manor - Greenville, SC
Braselton Stover House - Braselton, GA
Chateau Elan - Braselton, GA
Old Scottish Rite Children's Hospital - now a wonderful Event Venue - Atlanta, Georgia
Kingwood Resort - Clayton, Georgia
Twigs Tempietto - Greenville, SC

Brenda M. Owen Wedding Officiant, Minister Upstate South Carolina, Northeast Georgia, Southwest North Carolina.~