Wedding Chaplain's Journal

Alan Viau's chronicle of wedding life, and love stories

Honeymoon Feature: Experience Italy with Through Eternity Tours

Newlyweds can join Through Eternity Tours as their guides venture into the heart of Rome in their small group tour entitled Love and Death: Scandals off the Beaten Path. The beauties of the Renaissance city easily hide the scandalous history that shaped its course, but TET gives visitors an exclusive look into the dramatic story of how Rome came to be.


Wander through the cobblestone back-alleys of the Jewish Ghetto and charming piazzas to discover a different side of the Eternal City. The very fabric of the city was shaped by public execution, war, amorous passions of emperors and popes, and assassination. The Rome group tour itinerary will delve into the gossip pages of history, exploring the lifestyles, ideas and morality around which such scandals erupted.

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The lustful journey of the tour will take you through the love affairs of Julius Caesar, Octavian Augustus, Michelangelo, Pope Leo X and other Roman figures. The abuse and corruption of history’s most powerful men were countless, and many were living contradictions between who they portrayed and who they actually were. Follow along their story as the TET tour guides expose some of their most shameful secrets.


This Rome group tour will confront some of the most dramatic and audacious pages in the history of the city by the light of today’s historical knowledge. A healthy dose of the critical spirit and a willingness to question preconceived notions of reality are indispensable to the appreciation of this itinerary.


About TET:

Established in 1999, Through Eternity created their In-Depth tours after noticing a need for intimate tours. Rather than rushing through the Vatican museums with eyes closed and reaching the Sistine Chapel disconnected from its beauty, visitors are allowed to discover and admire what Raphael and Michelangelo studied and praised; immeasurably enhancing the experience. 15 years of success is a tell-tale sign, that Through Eternity has effectively provided quality and meaningful tours for Italian Tourists. Always inspired and motivated by their visitors, Through Eternity will deliver exceptional customer service and tours. Other Tour Locations Offered in Rome, Florence, Siene, Amalfi Coast and Pompeii.


For more information visit:

May 22, 2015 Posted by | Destination Weddings & Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Exciting Trends in Wedding Tech

Does juggling all of the various tasks involved in planning your wedding have you ready to tear your hair out? If so, then it’s time to let the latest in wedding tech give you a helping hand. With the right tech by your side, planning your wedding will soon be easier than you ever thought possible.


Create a Wedding Website

Creating your own wedding website is fun, easy, and hugely helpful. There are a plethora of host sites out there that can help you get set up. If you’re not sure where to start, try The Knot,Wedding Wire, or My Wedding. Your wedding website will give guests a place to go to find ceremony details, peruse your gift registry, and even view your seating chart. The best part? It’s free!

Download Planning Apps

If apps aren’t already a part of your planning process, then you’re missing out on on a whole host of make-planning-my-wedding-easier-please opportunities. Are you struggling to stay on budget? Losing track of all the plans you need to make? There’s an app for that! Try Appy Couple,Wedding Happy, or Our Wedding Planner.

Go Virtual Shopping

The days of going through a tank of gas driving around town to find the perfect dress, shoes, and accessories are gone. Instead, pick up your computer, smartphone, or tablet and go virtual shopping. Pinterest is always a great spot for unique wedding ideas, and with the Wedding Dress Studio app, you can even try dresses on using an uploaded picture of yourself. Other apps such as Wedding Lookbook by The Knot let you shop for and compare accessories, ensuring that you find the perfect look within your budget.

Make a Wedding Hashtag

After your wedding, you’ll want to get consolidate as many candid shots from your ceremony as possible. To ensure that all of your pictures end up in the same place, try creating a wedding hashtag. Set up your hashtag prior to your wedding date, then add it to your invitations and wedding memorabilia so that all of your guests are familiar with it. The perfect wedding hashtag should be short, sweet, and catchy for optimal memorability.

Livestream You Wedding

Keep your long-distance friends and family a part of your special day by livestreaming your wedding on the web. For best results, hire a professional videographer. After your wedding, your videographer will be able to give you a copy of your video to add to your wedding memory box. Wedding videos are rapidly growing in popularity as high-grade video tech becomes ever-more accessible. With the right videographer, your final video will be a beautiful compilation of moments that you can treasure forever.


Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Use Video Technology

For a wedding video that really stands out, try catching a bird’s eye view of your ceremony with a drone. Drone rentals are surprisingly affordable, and can capture some fantastic one-of-a-kind footage. If you’re looking for something a little more down-to-earth, try investing in a GoPro camera. These handy little gadgets can capture all kinds of fun moments. By attaching your GoPro to the bouquet, for example, you are sure to get the perfect bouquet toss footage!



May 19, 2015 Posted by | Wedding Planning | Leave a comment

Harriet Tuppen: Coloured gemstone engagement rings- Part I

The big three: rubies, sapphires and emeralds

If you like the idea of a unique engagement ring that expresses your personality, consider exploring the gorgeous world of coloured gemstones.

Ever since Prince William proposed to Kate Middleton with the 18-carat oval sapphire engagement ring that belonged to his mother, Princess Diana, coloured engagement rings have been very much in vogue. Think of Jessica Simpson’s vintage-style ruby engagement ring or Halle Berry’s 4-carat emerald engagement ring.

If you would like to join this fashionable elite, read on!

Gemstones are divided (rather arbitrarily, one can argue) between precious and semi-precious stones. This article looks at the three precious coloured gemstones: rubies, sapphires and emeralds.


THE MOHS SCALE:The Mohs scale measures the hardness of gemstones. The scale runs from 1 to 10, with 10 being the hardest. It is important to match the durability of the gemstone you choose with your lifestyle. Certain gems are simply too soft or brittle for everyday wear.



Dramatic Rubies

Mohs Hardness: 9.0

Ruby engagement ring

Rubies are a variety of corundum (or aluminum oxide). This mineral is extremely hard and so rubies make a fantastic choice for engagement rings. Not to mention that the colour red symbolizes love, passion and vitality!

If you set your heart on a ruby engagement ring, you will be choosing from an alluring range of reds and deep pinks. The deepest, blood red stones, known as “pigeon’s blood” rubies are the most prized. However, there are many other lovely … and less pricey … shades to choose from.

When choosing a ruby, purity and beauty of colour is the primary consideration. The transparency of the stone is also important, although a flawless stone could indicate that it has been treated or is synthetic. When it comes to carat size, you may wish to purchase a relatively modest-sized ruby. Good quality, large rubies are very rare and can easily exceed diamonds of comparable quality in price!


Stylish Sapphires

Mohs Hardness: 9.0

Sapphire engagement ring

Blue sapphire engagement rings are the most popular alternative to diamond rings. Blue symbolizes faithfulness and sincerity. Similar to rubies, sapphires are varieties of corundum and so make excellent, hard-wearing choices for engagement rings.

While you usually see blue sapphires, you may be surprised at just how many colours of sapphires exist. In fact, other than the shades of red that are classed as rubies, you would be hard pushed to find a colour that these stones do not come in. You can find sapphires of purple, green, pink, orange, yellow, brown and even white.

“True” blue sapphires, without hints of green or purple, are the most sought-after. Look for a vivid, highly saturated colour, without patches of brown or gray. There should also be no inclusions (imperfections) visible to the naked eye.


Cool Emeralds

Mohs Hardness: 7.5 - 8.0

Emerald engagement ring

Unlike sapphires, emeralds come in one colour – deep, glorious green. In fact, the name of this variety of beryl comes from the Greek word smaragdus, meaning green gem. Emeralds symbolize love and virtue.

Emeralds are not as hard as rubies or sapphires. They also tend to have a multitude of inclusions, making them more prone to breakage when impacted. However, a good quality emerald is tough enough to stand up to daily wear and so can still be a good choice for an engagement ring.

As with other coloured gemstones, colour is the most important consideration when choosing your perfect emerald. An ideal emerald is deep green with flashes of blue. You should choose a stone with minimal inclusions to increase its durability.



About Harriet Tuppen

Our featured writer, Harriet Tuppen, owns to help you choose your perfect engagement ring. You will find it full of useful content whether you are researching your own engagement ring, or choosing an engagement ring as a surprise for someone else.

May 18, 2015 Posted by | Harriet Tuppen, Rings & Jewellery | Leave a comment

3 Tips on Using a Microphone at Weddings

The most common complaint at wedding ceremonies and receptions is “I couldn’t hear a thing that was said!” As someone told me, “It makes for a long silent movie”. Certainly this is not what you want at your wedding. There are some very simple things that I do to ensure that the audience can hear and share in the wedding event.


Microphones seem to be a very scary thing. People seem to fear using them. I often hear a speaker say, “I don’t need to use this, right?” If you ask – you do. And when they do, it is used so improperly that they may has well not have a microphone at all.
Microphones and other sound amplification systems are there to help you be heard. They are tools to properly pass your message along in a crowd setting. My rule of thumb is to use a microphone for an audience of over 100 people.

Tip #1: Put the microphone on your chin with the knob pointing straight up.  Notice in the first photo the person is reading his notes and holding the microphone away from himself. Often times the person never brings the microphone any closer while they are reading forcing the DJ to crank up the microphone which results in feedback.

In the second photo, this gentleman is holding the microphone in a better position to make it easier for the microphone to pick up the person’s voice and allow the DJ to turn the mic which avoids feedback. By holding the microphone below your mouth, the air passes over the microphone which avoids those annoying popping “p” sounds. If you are standing at a podium avoid standing to the side of the mic since most podium microphones have a narrow pick up pattern to avoid feedback and you won’t be in range if you are off to the side.


Courtesy of Oak Street Studios

Courtesy of Oak Street Studios

Tip #2 You still need to speak up. It is a sound amplification system. It must have sound to amplify – so use your stage voice. Let the sound technician worry about the levels – give them something to work with. One other tip is to resist yelling. When you yell, your voice usually goes into an upper register. You may sound screechy – especially for women. So speak from your belly.

Tip #3 Slow down and enunciate. A large room that contains more than 100 people will bounce sound around. To be heard clearly, you need to slow down and pronounce each word. This also plays to the concept that people hear at a slower pace than they can think or speak. Slowing down gives them time to digest your message – and get your jokes. Listen to comedians – they tell their jokes slowly so you get it!

One final note, great DJ services, like Quality Entertainment, have a variety of microphones to suit your use and purpose. Talk with them to determine what is best for your wedding – from wired mics to wireless headsets. 
Taking care of these tips will ensure that everyone has heard what you have set out to say during your speeches – that you love each other and wish to share a future of happiness together.

This Post is sponsored by Quality Entertainment

May 8, 2015 Posted by | WeddingChaplain's Tips | , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 3 Tips on Using a Microphone at Weddings

Lara & Dan Invent the Unity Ice Cream Sundae Ritual

There are some couples that I meet who are really unique. They stand out on their own. I love working with them because their ceremonies are totally creative and reflective of them. So it was with Lara and Dan who have created a new Unity Ice Cream Sundae Ritual.

Let’s face it. Weddings are about tradition. You may feel that you are already pushing the edges by having an officiant perform your wedding at a special location instead of a church. And that is OK.

Some couples really go all out and embrace the wedding as a celebration of who they are and what they are becoming as a couple.

Dan & Lara met in a musical instrument repair course in Alberta. Dan continued in that passion while Lara went to a oil rig camp to be a pastry cook. When I asked Lara what riggers liked – she immediate responded chocolate cake. If she went and explored anything fancier- pushed the boundaries – it was just not eaten.

During our wedding preparation it quickly became evident that they wanted to explore the boundaries of a wedding celebration.

I always meet the bride before the wedding. As you can see from the picture of Lara and her bridesmaids, the fun was just beginning with lollipop bouquets.

Lara & Bridesmaids

They were each dancing down the aisle for the entrance


After the vows and rings, Lara and Dan created a Unity Ice Cream Sundae Ritual. Similar to a  Unity Sand Ritual, they wanted to incorporate elements of themselves and family gathering together.

Here are the elements of the ritual and their symbolism, each element added on top of the other:

  • vanilla ice cream – the foundation that represents trust and communication
  • chocolate and caramel sauces – represents two families becoming one
  • walnuts – because they are nuts for each other
  • rainbow sprinkles – because life should always be colorful
  • whipped cream – light and fluffy; is representative of having their heads in the clouds with their dreams of their future together
  • cherry – the love that brings it all together

Ice Cream Sundae Prep

The bride and groom tasted it first and gave it a thumbs up. The bridal parties and parents also shared the treat to complete the ritual.

Finally, after I declare them married, Lara and Dan took a moment to take a Selfie, post it on Facebook and change their relationship status. Then they kissed to make it official.


I received this wonderful note from them later: “Dan and I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you for everything. Our wedding went perfectly, and our guests said it is one that they will remember for a long time. Thank you for doing such a stellar job as our officiant. We really appreciate it!”

May 6, 2015 Posted by | WeddingChaplain's Real Weddings | , , , , | Comments Off on Lara & Dan Invent the Unity Ice Cream Sundae Ritual


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