Weddings Ideas-Wedding Tips

Awards-2017 Best of Ft Lauderdale

That Wedding Lady has won the Best Of Fort Lauderdale 2017 award for outstanding service to the wedding community. I am immensely humbled for this honor and can only say my passion for my work is the catalyst. Thank you everyone who made this possible for me.

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Picture of award given to That Wedding Lady
Best Of Ft Lauderdale Award for That Wedding Lady


That Wedding Lady Receives 2017 Best of Fort Lauderdale Award

Fort Lauderdale Award Program Honors the Achievement

FORT LAUDERDALE March 22, 2017 — That Wedding Lady has been selected for the 2017 Best of Fort Lauderdale Award in the Wedding Officiant category by the Fort Lauderdale Award Program.

Each year, the Fort Lauderdale Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Fort Lauderdale area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2017 Fort Lauderdale Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Fort Lauderdale Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Fort Lauderdale Award Program

The Fort Lauderdale Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Fort Lauderdale area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Fort Lauderdale Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Fort Lauderdale Award Program

Fort Lauderdale Award Program

Ft Lauderdale FL Rain Back Up Option

You’re all set for a beautiful wedding on the beach. Everything’s ready to go. That’s when the bottom falls out. The sky darkens and suddenly you have to find a place for 45 people attending your wedding. I got your back!!!

Check out Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park (say that 3 times fast) in Ft. Lauderdale, FL (but physically located at a Dania, FL address) and you’ll find their education facility is the perfect setting. It reminds me a bit of a Roman teaching pavilion insomuch there is a center table surrounded by ascending rows of bench seating. The Pavilion is enclosed completely with 4 walls and an entrance. It’s lovely, and better than that, is a large enough structure to keep your guest list dry while you make sweet promises to you honey bunny.

Wedding Rain Backup Fort Lauderdale
Mizell Johnson State Park Education Pavilion

This park, recently renamed from John U. Lloyd State Park, is the largest coastal State Park serving the greater Ft. Lauderdale area and sits directly on the inlet where the boating traffic enters the Intracoastal (including super duper large cruise ships!!) In addition to the Education Pavilion option, they also have large open air pavilions with table seating ocean view. Additionally, it has restrooms, small snack stands and a plethora of amenities.

Three very important things to know about this option:

  1. Don’t speed in this park. You will undoubtedly be caught and ticketed.
  2. When traveling to this location coming east on Dania Beach Blvd, be careful to not take the wrong exit. Dania Beach Blvd, will curve left (north) and you PASS the first exit. The next (and only other exit) is the one you want. Veer right onto the exit and it feeds you directly into the park.
  3. THIS IS IMPORTANT! State of Florida Parks require you to pull a permit for a wedding. Now here’s the deal, I’ve done over 100 weddings in State Parks and none of my clients pulled permits. If you are having an small walk on wedding, it has never seemed like a big deal. I’ve had park rangers walk/drive right by us performing a ceremony and not a one has ever stopped to ask for a permit. If you are having a wedding and 50 people are attending, that might make a ranger pause and wonder. I can’t tell you what to do. Everyone has their own tolerance for risk. I strongly doubt a ranger would interrupt a wedding, learn there was no permit and stop the wedding. Just doesn’t seem likely. He/she may make you come to their shack up front afterwards and pay for the permit fee. So let’s think about this, you’re in a bind. You need an immediate solution. You can either take a chance and maybe get caught/maybe not, and have to go pay the permit fee. If that risk makes you feel queasy, then you can always go to the Park, talk to the folks there and throw yourself on their mercy. My guess is they would make it work. My last choice would be a phone call. It’s so impersonal, and much more likely reach an unsympathetic government minion who doesn’t care. *My personal choice would be to verify the pavilion isn’t in use at the time and date I need it, then I’d have my wedding there. I would post someone at the pavilion entrance who could interface with a Ranger should someone actually stop by. I would instruct my guests to not mention they are attending a wedding as they come through the guard shack. But maybe that’s just me…. BTW-why wouldn’t you just get the permit right before the wedding? It takes anywhere between  30-60 days to obtain a permit and you only have hours or days until your ceremony.

State of Florida, Parks and Recreations Department, Mizell-Johnson Park page.

Your Big Fat Gay Wedding

Hooray your gay and getting married! Lesbian wedding guests, gay men, butch brides, and adorable grooms can pick up fun gay wedding apparel in my store.

Fun Gay Wedding Clothes

Whether you are having a simple commitment ceremony in Florida or someplace else, or sealing the deal with a proper wedding, I’ve designed a variety of fun, tongue in cheek apparel for you and your family. These are too cute ideas for “night before” or rehearsal dinner celebrations. See the entire collection of gay tee shirts and gifts here.

Custom Designed for You

Would you like a shirt designed specifically for you and your special someone? Hit me up with an email at as I can customize any item you see in my store with your names, wedding or commitment ceremony date or even just some funny personal piece of text meaningful to only the two of you.

Here are some quick examples of what you might find in the store:

gay wedding apparel
Companion tee shirt set for lesbian bride 1 and her adorable bride 2.
clothes for lgbtq wedding
Groom 1 and Groom 2 Tee Shirt Set for Gay Men
clothes for gay women
Two brides in love; rehearsal supper tee shirt for gay brides
Gay marriage tee shirt
Here comes the grooms gay wedding t-shirt

Visit store now to buy online.

Eco Friendly Confetti-Beach Weddings

Biodegradable, environmentally friendly, green weddings are popular as folks choose better sustainability options. This eco-friendly confetti is an excellent choice for guests to throw after the big kiss.

Biodegradable Wedding Confetti is Safe for the Environment

Made from fully recycled, compostable material, this wedding confetti completely dissipates in water. It is FSC, PEFC and SFI certified and meets the highest standards for environmental safety. It’s also acid free, has a neutral PH balance and has is colorfast so it won’t stain clothes. Plus it’s available in tons of colors so you can match it to your wedding palette.

Perfect Beach Wedding Decor

Florida beaches need your help. Never throw anything on the beach that you can’t pick up and throw away. This includes flowers (pesticides=bad) or silk flowers (not biodegradable) or risk getting a ticket, or worse yet, people on the beach sticking their nose into your ceremony to complain.

Here it is on Amazon:

biodegradable wedding confetti & table decor
Ivory Eco Friendly Wedding Confetti
Eco Friendly Wedding Confetti
Gold Biodegradable Wedding Confetti
Green Weddings Confetti-blush and gold color
Blush & Gold Beach Wedding Confetti
Peach & Gold Eco Friendly Wedding Confetti
Peach & Gold Environmentally Safe Wedding Confetti
Rose & Gold Biodegradable Wedding Confetti
Rose & Gold Eco Friendly Wedding Confetti
Wedding confetti that dissolves
Teal Environmentally Friendly Wedding Confetti
Beach Safe Wedding Confetti
Red Biodegradable Wedding Confetti
Lavender & Gold Beach safe confetti
Lavender & Gold Beach safe confetti
Mixed colors biodegradable confetti
Silver metallic eco safe confetti
Silver metallic eco safe confetti
Beach friendly wedding confetti
Red & Gold Beach friendly wedding confetti

Ft Lauderdale Beach Wedding Ukulele Musician

Find the best beach wedding ukulele musician for your special day right here in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Top rated ukulele player TWL personally recommends for wedding ceremonies, commitment ceremonies and vow renewal ceremonies lends the perfect atmosphere for your seaside event.

Somewhere Over Your Rainbow

Have you dreamed of a wedding ceremony beside the ocean, toes in the sand, people you love around you and soft ukulele melodies serenading you as you make sweet promises to your special someone?

Pacific Island Ukelele Musician (yes I know it’s misspelled-it’s on purpose)

Meet my friend and music instructor, Typhoon Olopai “Ty” from whom I’ve been taking ukulele lessons. A big, adorable, cuddly teddy bear of a man originally from Micronesia, who performs at hundreds of wedding ceremonies and other events throughout the year.

ft lauderdale ukulele player business card
Ty’s Business Card-Click thumbnail to enlarge.

During one of my lessons, Ty and I discovered we are both wedding service providers, and I hastened to share this information with my brides, many seeking a simple service with a pacific island sounds in the background to complete their vision of a beach wedding.

I highly recommend Ty from a professional and personal experience standpoint. He is affable, amiable and completely willing to assist you in creating a music list to meet your needs. Why, even if he doesn’t know a particular song, I’ve watched him listen to it and learn it nearly on the fly, although I doubt there is a wedding song you could throw out that he hasn’t played a million times prior. Choose from a popular set of wedding songs (yes, including Somewhere Over the Rainbow) or create your unique playlist.

Watch YouTube Video Short

Below is a very short clip of Ty at one of my lessons playing a snippet I requested of him that is hands down the quintessential beach wedding song that 100% of my brides request.

Top 12 Wedding Ceremony Songs

Your best list for Wedding ceremonies, commitment ceremonies, vow renewals – the  most popular wedding songs I hear.

  1. “At Last,” Etta James
  2. “I Won’t Give Up,” Jason Mraz
  3. “You Are the Best Thing,” Ray LaMontagne
  4. “All of Me,” John Legend
  5. “Better Together,” Jack Johnson
  6. “A Thousand Years,” Christina Perri
  7. “Everything,” Michael Buble
  8. “First Day of My Life,” Bright Eyes
  9. “Then,” Brad Paisely
  10. “Make You Feel My Love,” Adele
  11. Bruno Mars’ “Marry You”
  12. Norah Jones, “Come Away With Me”

Although not on this list, my personal favorite is Sugar by Maroon 5. If you haven’t seen their music video, watch it here. They surprise brides and grooms on their wedding day performing at their weddings, and the lyrics incorporate wedding themes like “red velvet.”

picture of piano keys



The Absolutely True Adventures of Brides Gone Wrong

This article is about wedding ceremonies and helps brides understand that their wedding dress choices, and other decisions, are best made when full consideration has been given, not only to how fabulous it looks, but to also give thought to the setting of the ceremony.

Photo of frustrated bride

Sugarplum Wedding Visions

Every bride has her own unique vision of her wedding day, or, more specifically, her wedding dress. She can picture the style; she can see the veil, the neck line, and she knows she’ll feel like a princess in it. Weddings are about emotions and feelings. Most brides choose their dress based on how it makes them feel when they put it on with little thought given to whether it makes sense for the setting.

What happens though, to the bride who chooses her dress based on
how it looks only and doesn’t consider the practicality of whether it’s appropriate for the setting. The answer ranges from mild irritation to near catastrophe, and everything in between.

I live in Florida, and my job is to marry people. My vocation though, is making dreams come true. Sometimes, though, things don’t go as planned. Take a look at these examples below to get an idea of what I mean.

Beach Wedding Boo Boo

The beach wedding goof that was funny. She was a beautiful bride. Her hair and make up was gorgeous. She wore a full wedding dress with a long gorgeous train made of thick creamy lace. The problem? The bride had neglected to consider the terrain across which she was walking. By the time she got to the front, she had sticks, shells, and seaweed stuck in the train of her wedding dress. Her dress look like a fishing net with a bunch of garbage stuck in it.

The fix? Think about the surroundings where you plan to get married. Choosing a dress with a shorter train, and satin material would’ve been a better choice. Look to dress style with a mermaid train for a look that suits the theme and is less likely to collect debris as you walk.

Unity Candle Close Call

One couple chose to light a unity candle during the service, and even after discussing the pitfalls, such as flames that blow out, and the danger of clothes catching fire, they were still sure it was what they wanted. During the rehearsal, they were coached to carefully avoid the flame, especially the bride since her clothing was so drapey.

During the unity ceremony, the bride was super careful but when she turned to leave, her veil wafted up behind her catching the flame and setting it alight. The groom had to yank the veil off her head.

The fix? Consider what activities you’ll be doing in the ceremony. Will you be walking around to perform an activity? Do you need to take care during one of the activities? Choose a dress that moves well if so.

The Stuck Bridesmaids

Another couple chose a lovely local country club setting for their ceremony. To get married in the gazebo, the wedding party had to walk across the lawn in the procession. After raining for two days, the weather cleared up 24 hours before the big day. Although it had been mentioned to the bride that the lawn was soggy, she merely pooh poohed the thought of trouble away.

During the promenade to the front, three bridesmaids walking single file got halfway across the lawn when their high heels sank into the soft earth. The more they fought against it, the more the ground sucked at their shoes. They literally had to step out of them and walk bare foot.

Next came the bride, who, having been hidden away from the groom, didn’t see the bridesmaids’ fiasco and began to walk blissfully to her destiny. You know what happened next already, don’t you? That’s right. Beautiful pointy gorgeous shoes that sank straight into the ground.

The fix? Most brides hate changing anything about their plan once it’s been set, and fair enough. Yet, there’s something to be said for having a back up plan. You can purchase high heel covers for the pointy end of the shoe from most local department stores. They look like little dinner plates or flying saucers that prevent heels from sinking into a soft surface.

At each of these events, the brides were able to laugh about it later saying it gave them a great forever story though I bet they wished they didn’t. A little forethought would have created a different outcome for each of them. But hey, who doesn’t like a great story?

Bio – Rachel Smith McMurray, That Wedding Lady, is a wedding officiant in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida with an inordinate almost absurd passion for buttercream frosting. Find more thought provoking wedding factoids and advice on her blog at and save your adventures for another day.

Beach Weddings-Sand Pouring Unity Ceremony

Florida beaches are the perfect settings for beach wedding ceremonies. Hand in hand is the sand pouring unity which is a little activity in the middle of the service where the bride and groom each pour some sand into a keepsake vase while the wedding officiant speaks wise words of love.

Once the trip is over, the happy couple has a pretty memento to look at from time to time and fondly remember the very spot on Earth where they made these promises to each other.

Here are some photos of my clients’ sand pouring unity keepsakes.

wedding ceremony unity activity

sand pouring unity keepsake vase photo

colored sand pouring unity vase photo

sand pouring unity with flowers photo