Room 501 at La Fonda, I have sweetly named “La Ministerial Suite 501”, as it has become one of my favorite venues for a “just the two of you” or “just a few of you” wedding or vow-renewal. Beside this lovely living room, there is a wrap around balcony overlooking Santa Fe. The bedroom is quaint and, as you are probably wondering, the bathroom has been remodeled with all updated amenities; yet still in sync with the authenticity of the old Santa Fe. On the same floor as this room is the well know “Bell Tower”, a wonderful place to sit at sunset in the summer and have a cocktail with your “betrothed”!
The Four Seasons Encantado in Santa Fe offers not only beautiful southwest designed accommodations, but one of the most lovely experiences of being in our precious “high desert!” They offer multiple locations for an intimate “just the two of you” wedding.
This winter I officiated a wedding inside their lovely teepee. The wind was rather cold so we opted to “climb in”. The cozy atmosphere, with the wind blowing outside, added a womb like loving quality to the words and feelings of the “I dos!”
With the sun mostly always shining here in Santa Fe, a wedding just out front of the teepee is special too any time of the year. When you stay at the Four Seasons, you can choose from various locations for your intimate wedding. Most are shown on my blog, or call me and I am happy to describe the beauty of each.
Many are surprised by our luscious colorful Fall here in Santa Fe. Our Aspens, Cottonwoods, Elms, and even a few Maples, grace our town with hues of yellows, golds and reds. And most days are still warm; sometimes even into November, with our New Mexico sun heating our 7000ft. town. Outside venues for an intimate or large wedding are generous here, with options to move inside, if your day becomes a forecast of winter to come.
On a beautiful summer day some years ago, I officiated a vow renewal for a couple who had mentioned to me that they wanted this vow renewal as they had just gone through one of those “very rough patches” that almost ended their marriage. As part of their renewed vows and renewed deep contemplation on the meaning of their unique marriage, they asked me to read this. I do not know the author. It sure touched me and brought about further contemplation. It may also touch you!
“You can connect from all kinds of places – energetic harmony, sexual alchemy, intellectual alignment – but they won’t sustain love over a lifetime. You need a thread that goes deeper, that moves below and beyond the shifting sands of compatibility. That thread is fascination – a genuine fascination with someone’s inner world, the way they organize reality, the way they articulate their feelings, the unfathomable and bottomless depths of their being. To hear their beingness cry out to you again and again, and to never lose interest in what it is trying to convey. If there is that, then there will still be love when the body sickens, when the sexuality fades, when the perfection projection is long shattered. If there is that, you will swim in love’s waters until the very last breath.
Hotel Santa Fe now offers this lovely venue where your wedding can have the luxury of the inside and outside. There is a fireplace and the iconic teepee on the other side of the lawn. This is a wonderful location for a medium size wedding. Their guest rooms are pleasant with Native American accents. This intimate hotel offers all you need for a lovely Santa Fe wedding and is close to the downtown plaza.
One of the newer and larger indoor wedding venues, here in Santa Fe NM, is the wedding chapel at the Eldorado Hotel, in downtown Santa Fe, on our historic San Francisco Street. With white marble floors, white seating and straight architectural lines, creating a contemporary feel, is this golden wooden carved altar bringing in a historical old antiquity feel. The recessed lighting can change in color to add any “hue” one desires. “Starkness” blended with “Ornateness” was my first impression and a good one! I have officiated weddings here at Christmas, with red poinsettias gracing the altar, and weddings, like the photo, where the white ambiance is accented with white lilies and a hint of lavender hue.
Next to the chapel is an elegant large dressing room with full length mirrors and makeup counters. You will really feel like a queen and king on your special day!
David Stone, one of Santa Fe’s “best” with wedding co-ordinating, is the sales and catering manager who will make sure your day is perfect! Having worked with him as the wedding officiant/minister for many years, I can promise you this.
I have also noticed, when officiating weddings in this lovely chapel, that the acoustics for myself, as the minister, and the music are very good. The lifted altar makes for perfect visibility of your “beautiful happy selves” and your wedding party for all your guests – no matter if seated far or near.
A beautiful contemporary ballroom is close by for your reception with cocktail hour in the adjacent newly decorated lobby.
This is one of the most profound excerpts on marriage that was given to me to speak at a wedding. I wish I knew who to credit as authorship.
The act of marriage has many consequences, both social and personal. Marriage requires “love”, a word we often use with vagueness and sentimentality. We may assume that love is some rare and mystical event, when in fact it is our natural state of being.
So what do we mean by love? When we love, we see things other people do not see. We see beneath the surface, to the qualities which make our beloved special and unique. To see with loving eyes, is to know inner beauty. And to be loved is to be seen, and known, as we are known to no other. One who loves us, gives us a unique gift; a piece of ourselves, but a piece that only they could give us.
The secret of love and marriage is similar to that of Spirituality itself. It is the emergence of the larger self. It is the finding of one’s life by losing it. Such is the privilege of husband and wife ; to be each himself, herself and yet another, to face the world strong, with the courage of two.
To make this relationship work, therefore, takes more than love. It takes trust, to know in your hearts that you want only the best for each other. It takes dedication, to stay open to one another, to learn and grow, even when it is difficult to do so. And it takes faith; to go forward together without knowing what the future holds for you both. While love is our natural state of being, these other qualities are not as easy to come by. They are not a destination, but a journey.
The true art of married life is in this; an inner journey. It is a mutual enrichment, a give and take between two personalities, a mingling of two endowments, which diminishes neither, but enhances both.
A True Marriage is caught not taught.
Four Seasons Encantado offers this lovely setting for an elopement or small wedding. I officiated Kelly and Bill’s wedding outside on this intimate patio, with views of the Jemez Mountains. There are heaters on the patio for the winter. Adjacent to the patio is a small room with a fireplace. If the weather is too cold or if there is rain, your ceremony can be in front of the fireplace or in front of the open patio doors. A private lunch or dinner can be held in this room as well as your wedding. Miranda May, whose enthusiasm for each couple to experience their perfect wedding matches mine, is the wedding consultant who will help set all of this up for you. Cake and champagne too!
When consulting with couples about personalizing their wedding ceremony, I always add the option and suggestion of writing your own vows. Many times the immediate feeling or thought is that this would be too difficult, too intimate, or that reading wedding vows to their partner from a piece of paper, would not “look” good for the ceremony. And…”I or my partner would just cry and not be able to read.”
It is my observation and experience that writing your vows to your “be-loved” can be a fun, deep and meaningful experience in that it allows one the time and contemplation to muse over why this person is so important to them in their life. It can also be a wonderful point of “sweet humor” coming into your ceremony. I have noticed many times that when one is expressing their appreciation for their partner, the partner is hearing, sometimes for the first time, an aspect of why they are loved so much. This is a joy to behold!
Some couples write their vows on lovely little book-like stationary, in little scroll form with a ribbon tied around, or just take the folded up notebook paper out of their pocket. I or the maid of honor usually have the bride’s as she does not have a pocket. It is just my romantic opinion, but reading your vows off of your iPhone is not what I would suggest! I always make sure that the couple keep their original paper written vows with their marriage license so that they have them for keepsakes. And if you “love-cry” while reading; well, we all are very, very happy to wait with full hearts. I will hand you a kleenex. If the bride, your maid of honor will fix your eye-makeup right after the ceremony. And, we all will know there sure is “true love” present!