Your wedding lady

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Local romance novelist Lois C. Sullivan has turned her enchanted pen to writing the perfect marriage vows for couples who have made the commitment, “till death do us part.”

Who better than a romance writer to write wedding vows, Sullivan said.

Deborah Fox-News-Bulletin photo: Silk forever bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres are handmade by Your Wedding Lady Rev. Lois C. Sullivan and are available in wedding packages, which include a complimentary videotape of the services.

“I write individual vows for every couple,” Sullivan said. “I’m a romance writer, so my vows are very romantic and special.”

Sullivan puts her passion for love and fantasy into creating uniquely special wedding ceremonies that won’t break the bank.

Your Wedding Lady NM offers nondenominational services that can be performed in a backyard setting, a park or any other special place a couple might want their special moment to take place.

She has even performed a wedding in a hot air balloon for Rainbow Riders, a hot air balloon company in Albuquerque, where she is the minister for its wedding ride package.

Sullivan’s custom wedding packages start at $129, and include a complementary videotape of the ceremony, filmed by Sullivan’s husband, Bob.

“Doing the wedding lady business — we do it together, which makes it really fun,” Sullivan said. “He usually stands over my shoulder and videotapes up close, the people taking their vows.”

They have provided more than 25 wedding ceremonies and a few vow renewals. Customers write them thank you letters praising the wonderful services that made them feel so special, Sullivan said.

“I treasure those thank you notes, because it makes it feel very worthwhile to me that I’m giving them a great event,” she said. “We’ve been having fun doing it, just seeing people starting a lifetime journey together, and seeing the look of love in their eyes … it’s so fun to see that, and be part of it.”

It all started when a close friend wanted to get married, but didn’t have the money for the expenses.

“I became an ordained minister to perform the wedding ceremony for them,” Sullivan said. “It was very meaningful for her because she was my best friend. I just thought, ‘This is so neat,’ and then someone else wanted to get married.”

She officiated at her nephew, Doug Austin’s, wedding, too, and then became hooked, because she enjoyed providing the service so much, she said.

“There’s a need for this,” she said. “There are people who cannot afford a giant wedding, may not feel comfortable or don’t have a religious affiliation, they don’t belong to any church, and they just want to be married.”

She still writes romance novels, but now that Bob is retired, her writing is taking a backseat to spending more time with him.

Deborah Fox-News-Bulletin photo: Your Wedding Lady Rev. Lois C. Sullivan performs unique weddings on a shoestring budget, which can be held in a backyard setting, a park or other special location selected by the couple to be wed. Silk flowers and a portable wedding arch are available upon request.

They have been married for 55 years, and she says the secret to staying together is recognizing men and women think differently.

“Men think one thing, women think another thing, and that’s why the mystery of the ages is, ‘How to fall in-love and stay in-love,’ because they’re thinking one thing, and you’re thinking another,” she said.

“I used to internalize things that he did, and think that he’s doing things against me, or that he’s doing that because he doesn’t love me, you know? He was just doing something because he’s a man, and we’re on different wavelengths. As soon as I got that knowledge, that’s when things started to really click and fall into place. He’s not going to think the way I think, and that’s fine.”

Men aren’t generally as romantic as women, but they can be perceptive enough to follow the woman’s lead.

Keeping the romance alive in a relationship is hard work, Bob says.

“You’ve got to stick with it,” Bob said. “It’s got to mean something to you.”

“Women suddenly look at them and they say, ‘Is that all there is?’ Alright, so where’s the flowers and the hearts and the diamonds and the candlelight dinner,” Sullivan said.

If a woman makes a special dinner and her spouse leaves the table afterward to watch the game on television, it isn’t that he didn’t appreciate the meal, she said.

“Men are thinking, ‘Gee, I think that football game comes on at 7 o’clock, I hope we’re done with dinner by then.’”

It’s not that he doesn’t love her, it’s only that he simply wants to watch the football game.

Fortunately, the Sullivans are both easy-going people, she says, and rarely quarrel, but it doesn’t mean they don’t get on each other’s nerves at times.

“Because when you’re living together, there’s always going to be something that somebody does that annoys you,” she said. “One of the key features of a real good marriage, after you’ve been married a long time, is a big house, because you’re not in each other’s face all the time. I have my space, and I can come here and just be by myself.”

An enduring relationship requires two whole people, not two halves.

Never forget you are an individual as well as a married woman, Sullivan said.

She has always had her own career and both are confident in themselves as human beings. Each is comfortable with some solitude.

Trust is another big factor in any relationship, as is laughter.

“Laughter is such a key ingredient, because when you can laugh together, that also ties you together and keeps your heart happy,” she said. “Don’t take things so seriously that it weighs you down.”

Being up front and honest with each other is important, she said.

Infidelity might be surmountable if there are no lies, and the truth is told.

“Sometimes with men, it’s really not a matter of, ‘If I do this it means I don’t love you,’” Sullivan said. “They could love you with all their heart, but there’s just something in them that just speaks with its own mind.”

The Sullivans have been through some tough times together, losing a child was one of the most horrific. They had been married for seven years when their second son was stillborn after a full-term pregnancy.

“I didn’t let all my feelings out, because I didn’t want Bob to feel bad, and he was doing the same thing for me,” she said. “It was so weird that we were both holding that pain in. What we should have done was just let it out, and share that pain together. It made it harder that we didn’t know enough. Now, we share our pains.”

Ultimately, to weather both the good and the bad together, you’ve got to love each other enough.

“I think there is only one thing that holds people together, and that is that you love them,” Sullivan said. “To keep that love alive sometimes isn’t easy. Sometimes you’re not always going to agree with that person, and you’re not always going to approve of what they said or did, but if you love somebody enough, you’re able to get through it, get past it, get over it.

“The love is holding you together. That’s the tie that binds as far as I’m concerned. That’s the only thing that can hold people together for that long … a good, strong, basic love.”

Your Wedding Lady NM also offers commitment ceremonies for the LGBT community, with a certificate suitable for framing, and wedding vow renewals.

Custom made silk “forever bouquets” are $30, corsages $12, boutonnieres $5 and a white wedding arch can be rented for about $40. The Sullivans will set it up at the location of your choice.

Call Your Wedding Lady at 865-8433 and visit the website at www.yourweddingladyNM.com.


-- Email the author at dfox@news-bulletin.com.