Awakened Wedding Ceremonies Blog
Ceremony Ideas, Great Couples, Beautiful Locations
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Dazzling Decor

It's always astonishing to see how a large, plain room can be transformed into a magical environment with the right draping, lighting, and table design. Distracted by Decor created this luxurious reception area for the Albuquerque the Magazine Bridal Showcase. From the crystal chandeliers to the opulent, ruffled table cloths to the ostrich feather displays...it was truly a breath-taking sight. Kudos to Rob of Distracted by Decor  - a great artist! Distractedbydecor.com

If you're looking for an elegant ceremony to match your opulent wedding vision, give me a call at 505-205-3520 to set up a no-strings-attached consultation. Or drop me a note at info@awakenedweddings.com to set up an appointment. Visit AwakenedWeddings.com and learn how a smooth ceremony is the best way to start your brilliant wedding day celebration.
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Celebrating LGBT Weddings

On December 19, 2013, the New Mexico State Supreme removed all blocks to same sex marriages. And since that time, I've had the privilege in presiding over many same sex couple ceremonies. It is truly heart-warming to be part of a ceremony that honors these couples and recognizes their commitment to one another.
Couples often come from out of state to be married. I'm often astonished at the longevity of these relationships! 10 years, 12 years together...14 years together, 21 years together....27 years committed to each other; and finally they are recognized as a married couple.
As you might guess, it's often an emotional moment! 

Yes, I believe in love, however it shows up!
Whether it's an intimate ceremony in my office (yes, I can supply witnesses), a small ceremony with close friends in your home or in a local park, or a full-on celebration at a local hotel or resort, I'd be honored to create a meaningful and memorable ceremony for you.

You can learn more about my services by visiting AwakenedWeddings.com or just call me for a no-strings-attached consultation.
May love rule!
Joyfully, Linda M. (505) 205-3520
PS:  I'll be performing ceremonies for 5 lucky couples as part of the Pride Guide Bridal Show on May 4, 2014. For more information:
Pride Guide New Mexico.

Lovely Locations in Albuquerque

Yes, New Mexico offers up many gorgeous locations for your ceremony!  One of my favorites is historic Los Poblanos. Even in winter the grounds make you feel you have entered another timeless realm where romance is s alive. Many thanks to Elizabeth Waldron Yuhas for the photos...


that amazing first look! 


...a light-hearted moment during the vows,



... leaving the hacienda for the garden photo session.



More photos below!




Another wonderful location is the Casa Rondena Winery.
When the bride's best friends are mostly guys, your bridal party might look like this! 8 guys plus one bridesmaid.
These photos from Kyle Zimmerman. Thanks, Kyle!
For relaxed and easy ceremonies tailored to you, give me a call 505-205-3520 or visit www.awakenedweddings.com

All
the best for a beautiful wedding day!
Linda Mertz
Head Officiant

That Important Rehearsal (reboot)

(This is a reboot of a blog I did last summer.)
At a recent ceremony I officiated, the couple didn’t want a rehearsal…and (without telling me) the bride gave the groom’s ring to her Maid of Honor. When it came time for the exchange of rings, the Maid of Honor was holding both her own bouquet and the bride’s and the ring. She juggled the two bouquets a moment…and dropped the ring on the ground.  She leaned over and her strapless dress began to creep down. She dropped a bouquet to hold up her dress and stumbled to her knees on her high heels. She tried to grab the second bouquet and crushed the bride’s bouquet in the process. Both the other bridesmaid and I scrambled to help, but still the Maid of Honor was embarrassed and distraught. She finally got the ring, and with some help from me and the bridesmaid, got to her feet and handed me the ring.

I was thinking… “if only we had a rehearsal”… In cases like this, the Maid of Honor simply hands her bouquet to the next bridesmaid and easily handles the ring and the bride's bouquet.

At a rehearsal, we practice the processional and recessional. We practice all the parts of the ceremony, from the father’s hug to you and handshake to the groom, to the hand off of your bouquet to the Maid of Honor, to the Sand Ceremony or other extra ceremony, and the ring exchange.

When you, your father, your soon-to-be-husband, your Maid of Honor, and your Best Man all have practiced their parts and developed some “Muscle Memory,” your ceremony will flow smoothly and gracefully.

In addition:

-       - The photos taken during the ceremony will look organized, with all bridal attendants focused on the bride and groom

-       Your attendants will understand the time commitment they have made to you, from pre-ceremony photos to post-ceremony photos. They understand they may not get to the reception until an hour or more after the ceremony.

-       Your Maid of Honor will know how to handle two bouquets, manage your train and veil and looked poised at the same time.

-    YOU will feel confident and poised when you walk up the aisle that the ceremony will go smoothly.

Yes, you might save a few dollars if you skip it, but it's better to invest in your peace of mind with a rehearsal! That way, you can truly experience the extraordinary joy of pledging your love to each other, forever.
Learn more about how about how beautiful your ceremony can be at AwakenedWeddings.com or call me for a no-strings-attached consultation (505) 205-3520. Happy Wedding!
Linda

Gorgeous Locations! Beautiful Brides!

The 2014 Wedding Season has begun! I'll be at the Bridal Expo on Sunday, January 26 at the Isleta Resort and Casino. I'd love to meet you and learn more about your wedding ceremony vision! I'm on the first row on the left, on the wall near the front, Booth # (Lucky) 7.
I officiated destination wedding in September at the lovely Inn and Spa at Loretto in Santa Fe. With the trees and landscaping, it's hard to believe this is in downtown Santa Fe! Thank you to Borrowed and Blue, a website devoted to destination weddings and to Jasmine Nicole for the great photos! This couple used an unusual container for their sand ceremony that beautifully showcases their wedding colors - purple (just because) and an orange adobe color. It also included a photo and a poem as well as the sand. And what a kiss!




















Another beautiful fall wedding took place at Sandia Resort and Casino. Thank you to Maura of Bryan's Photography for these dramatic and magical shots that made the most of the misty day and the beautiful Sandia grounds.
 
Whether your wedding is big or intimate, lavish or DIY, having an experienced officiant perform your ceremony is the best way to begin your wedding day celebration. A smooth and meaningful ceremony sets the tone for a relaxed and memorable day.
Our officiants arrive early to make sure the ceremony area is prepared; and they go over the processional and ceremony details with your father or escort, your husband-to-be, and your bridal attendants. All you need to do is look gorgeous! Give me a call 505-205-3520 or visit: www.awakenedweddings.com for more information. Call soon! The 2014 schedule is filling up quickly. May your wedding be all you dream it will be!

"I've got my love to keep me warm!"

Baby, it's cold outside! Brides have many wonderful choices for a memorable winter wedding in Albuquerque!
One of our most beautiful and historic venues is Los Poblanos. During the holiday season, the rooms are filled with candles, greens, and golden holiday decorations, including a huge Christmas tree in the ballroom! It is truly magical. I performed a ceremony there the day after Thanksgiving and the rooms were gorgeous. Ashley, Susan, and the rest of the crew are always attentive to their guests needs. It was a warm and wonderful day.

Another elegant and historic venue in Albuquerque is Hotel Andaluz. The hotel was originally opened in 1939 and has recently been modernized without sacrificing its intimate elegance and New Mexico flavor. The soaring lobby offers unique views of the ceremony (and great photos!) and simple swags across the lobby
space create a dramatic setting for your ceremony.
The sand ceremony including children was the perfect symbolic ceremony for this blended family. Special thanks to April at Kevin's Photography for the photos and to the crew at Hotel Andaluz.

A few weeks ago, I performed a vow renewal for a couple up on Sandia Peak. They've been celebrating their marriage by renewing their vows every year in a different location. Here's a view of their "wall" of Vow Renewal certificates! Nine years and counting!
And, just for fun... a shout-out to the staff at Alfred Angelo Bridal. They sponsored a lively "Girls Night Out" and invited local wedding vendors to mingle with brides and their friends. Thank you, Karen Chavez and team!
If you are looking for an officiant who will make your ceremony relaxed and beautiful, give me a call at 505-2053520. Or visit www.awakenedweddings.com and learn what other brides say about our ceremonies. Enjoy the holidays!

How a Rehearsal affects Your Wedding Photos

Hello brides! How are you wedding plans going? I recently performed a wedding at Albuquerque's beautiful Elena Gallegos Open Space. This savvy bride had some very specific requests for photos of the ceremony, and wisely invited the photographer to the rehearsal the day before.
By setting up the shots the bride wanted before the ceremony, I was able to move out of the camera's way at certain times during the ceremony, such as at the kiss.
This also gave the photographer the opportunity to communicate with the bride whether her "vision" would match the the reality of what the camera could capture.
The result? Beautiful photos that captured those special moments as well as the spectacular landscape vistas of Albuquerque!
Many thanks to Matt Beckmann Images for sharing the images from this wedding...and taking the time to make a bride's photo dreams come true.
If you are looking for an officiant who will help you create your perfect ceremony - and the perfect photos! give me a call at 505-205-3520 or visit www.awakenedweddings.com and learn more about what New Mexico brides are saying about Awakened Wedding Ceremonies.

Opps! Joni BILDERback Photography

Joni was gracious enough to let me use her beautiful photos and I misspelled her name.
It's Joni Bilderback (not Briderback!!)...  www.jonibilderback.com/
Thanks again, Joni and sorry for the mistake.

September Ceremony Diary: Part 2

A guest list for a destination wedding may only include family and a good friend or two, but the heart is still moved at even the simplest of ceremonies. This couple chose the garden behind the guest house at Los Poblanos for their intimate ceremony. Desiree and Seth Jones of Jones Photo Art captured the romance and lushness of the gardens in these these romantic photos. Thank you, Desiree and Seth!


This happy couple waited over 20 years to be legally married. I was honored to perform a short and sweet ceremony in Old Town Albuquerque to make them "legal."
Congratulations!

September Creative Ceremony Diary: Part 1

I've worked with Photographer Joni Briderback on ceremonies at Los Poblanos and Nature Pointe this past summer.













Joni captures the beauty of Los Poblanos and the delicacy of the sake sharing ceremony in these photos.

Including the sake ceremony was an opportunity to recognize the groom's Japanese heritage, as well as giving the guests a glimpse of a part of a traditional Japanese marriage ceremony.


And at the ceremony at Nature Pointe in Tijeras, we can see that poignant moment when a father ceremonially recognizes the groom as his daughter's beloved.

... and when the very solemn groom lets loose with a huge smile after the ceremony!
Thank you, Joni!