The “out”

Dad and I wait upstairs at MacMurray's Annie Merner Chapel while guests are seated. 15 September 2001 Photo by Zuzana Killam
Dad and I wait while my sister Nicole (far left), and best friends Tracy Mazurkiewicz and Michelle (McIntyre) Davlantis chat. Not pictured is Steve's sister, Janet (Warmowski) Jackson, also a bridesmaid. She was the first one to walk down the aisle, which is probably why she isn't in this photo. 15 September 2001 Photo by Valérie Berta Torales


I’ll never forget the option my dad gave me before walking me down the aisle on my wedding day 15 September 2001:

Dad (looking at the door to go outside): We can walk out the door if you want to, Tiffy.

Tif: What do you want to do, Daddy?

Dad: No, Tiffy. What do you want to do?

Tif: I think I’ll walk down the aisle.

It might seem weird to be given that option moments before walking down the aisle, but in honesty, I have always been grateful for that “out.”

When we were walking down the aisle, dad said to me, "Tiffy, I've been thinking about this day for a long time." Here we are just before that. My cousin, Amy Bennett, was our flower girl. I was the flower girl in her parents' wedding 18 years before. 15 September 2001 Photo by Valérie Berta Torales


Before our good friend Esther married Steve’s mentor, Archie Lieberman, Esther’s aunt told her, “Five minutes before is better than five minutes after.” Esther didn’t take the “out.” But she never forgot about her aunt offering to her, either. Esther and Archie were married 60 years before his death in 2008.

We’ve had 3 couples cancel or indefinitely postpone their weddings this summer. But believe me, there are no hard feelings here! Making a lifetime commitment is not something that you should do just because you have been planning a wedding for months or because people will be disappointed if you decide not to go through with it.

I hope that all couples work as hard on preparing for their marriage as they do planning their wedding (if not harder!). And if they reach a point in that process where things don’t feel quite right, then taking a step back and taking a good hard look at things just might be the right thing to do, whether the wedding is months, weeks or days away.

**Photos Copyright Warmowski Photography 2010** Blog post by Tiffany/Warmowski Photography Tiffany & Steve Warmowski were married in Jacksonville and photograph others’ weddings in Jacksonville and around the world.

Unity Candle II

There are a couple of ways I’ve seen unity candle ceremonies done, and I wanted to share them.

One of the first things to figure out is whether or not you have your backs to your friends and family.

(below) For Alison and Chris (3 March 2007), the decision was simple. The chapel was very intimate and it was much easier for Alison (and her dress!) for them to light the unity candle from the front. Be sure to keep in mind the space available to you as well as your wedding-day attire.

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Another thing that Alison and Chris did that worked with their limited ability to move around a lot, was the placement of the candle. Alison and Chris had their unity candle set off to the side, instead of in the center of the alter behind the pastor.

(below) Alicia and Matt (29 December 2007) lit their unity candle and also signed their wedding certificate while facing their friends and relatives. The bride may need some help from the groom in this situation, depending on the length of her train.

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(below) Jaimee and Ken (21 June 2008) had their unity candle on the alter and there wasn’t the option of going behind. The alter area didn’t really accommodate having the unity candle elsewhere.

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Some other things to consider when deciding where and how to light the unity candle:

-if you are planning to have music during the lighting, and you don’t plan to have any other activities during the song (such as giving roses to parents, etc.), you may wish to face your friends and family, and stay where you are behind the candle for a minute or two, since they will be looking at you during that time. I always think it’s sweet when couples take this minute or two to chat or just stare at each other!

-just like everything on your wedding day (except maybe vows and signing the marriage certificate) whether or not to do a unity candle ceremony can be a decision, not just a given. One thing you might want to think about when making that decision is to research the tradition and history of lighting a unity candle and see if it’s something that fits your personalities and relationship.

-of course, if location rules dictate, or you want to do something different, there are several alternatives to a traditional unity candle ceremony. But that’s for another blog entry.

Unity Candle I

I loved the simplicity of the unity candle at Christine & Bob’s wedding (10 May 2008), as shown in the photo taken before the ceremony. The ribbon colors matched the color scheme Christine and Bob had chosen for the day.

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During the lighting of the unity candle during the ceremony, it seemed that Christine and Bob forgot the rest of the world existed as they whispered to each other and Christine planted a kiss on Bob’s cheek.

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