ONE-ON-ONE WITH PAMELA NOXON U-T PROFILES OF…
By BY DEBORAH SULLIVAN BRENNAN ;Photo by Eduardo Contreras | midnight Feb. 6, 2016 | Updated, 8:07 a.m.
BY DEBORAH SULLIVAN BRENNAN
Photo by Eduardo Contreras
For busy brides and grooms-to-be, the wedding planning process can be a dizzying trip to caterers, florists and photo- graphers. Pamela Noxon tries to streamline that process by bringing all the wedding pros under one tent at her Wedding Party EXPO in San Diego.
There, engaged couples can sample cake, sip cocktails and meet some 75 experts who can help them celebrate their marriage in style. The next one is on Valentine’s Day. For all the attention to detail, however, Noxon believes that engaged couples should focus on their unique relationship and create a ceremony that reflects their family history and future life.
Noxon, 53, of South Carlsbad, became involved in the wedding business through her work as an officiator, presiding over unique weddings ranging from multicultural and mixed religious ceremonies to same-sex marriages.
From there, she branched out to throwing expos that pull together the many elements needed for the big day, and blogging about the process on her website SanDiegoWedding.com. In a culture focused on “me,” she views weddings as one of the few rites of passage that join two individuals as “we.”
Q: Please tell us about the Wedding Party Expo.
A: There is a process to effectively planning a wedding. You have to find and hire a wide range of wedding professionals and you have to interview them to make sure they are the right people to have actually creating and attending one of the biggest, most personal days of your life with your entire family and world. Personalities play a big role in hiring wedding pros. You need a really good fit. If you are the laid-back, chill beachy couple, you may not want a very rigid event coordinator at your event directing things, and if you are a very structured, corporate go-getter you will not do well with the super relaxed “hang back and grab some artsy photos” photographer. Like the beginning of any relationship, you need to feel the person out to see if you (and your family and group) will mesh well with them. I found that San Diego desperately needed a wedding planning event that brought all the amazing people and things people wanted together in one gorgeous, stylish and fun day.
Q: What are some of the unique weddings you have officiated?
A: One wedding I did brought together a large family comprised of Christians, Jews and Muslims. Clearly a challenge to create a ceremony that would be sacred, yet respect everyone. Not being affiliated with any religion, I always worked to show that we are all the same and love is all that matters. I used to say that I spoke many languages, all of them “love.” I created a ceremony for that couple that they felt really spoke to everyone present.
Q: How do you see the role of the wedding as a rite of passage in our culture?
A: In our Western culture, we live for a very long time as individuals. We celebrate the individual deeply and have amazing opportunities for becoming empowered persons in our own right. But marriage is a completely different way of operating compared to functioning as an individual. To marry is to partner with another human being – you live differently, you decide things differently, you end up using your brain differently because you change from “I” thinking to “We” thinking and that is a huge transition to make emotionally and psychically. A wedding is a ritual that takes your whole world into account and celebrates the transformation of two individuals becoming one partnership. Of course, in our culture many people partner without marrying. But there’s something deep and in our DNA that makes a wedding a little more.
Q: What are some of the trends you see in wedding styles, customs or ceremonies?
A: Organic catering and locally sourced foods for receptions. Philanthropic catering by companies like Kitchens for Good. Much less DIY (do it yourself) than a few years ago; people are hiring experts to create a wedding day, not spray-painting mason jars for vases like during the recessions! More luxurious “Bohemian Luxe” style. Color, color, color. Elaborate cakes and dessert bars. Antique and vintage lounge furniture. Signature cocktails and unique libations. A lot of things that speak to the guests and keep them entertained. And authentic ceremonies that are very personal.
Q: What are any benefits or fundraisers you participate in?
A: I like to incorporate philanthropy into everything I do. SanDiegoWedding.com will donate to a local charity with every ad sold: everything from animal shelters to Rebuilding Together homes and foster kids.
Q: What are your tips for brides and grooms planning a wedding?
A: Stay calm and focus on the bigger picture. Don’t get too bogged down in stuff. Focus on adding elements to your wedding that will generate emotion or connectedness. I actually feel like the planning process, which may sound grueling, is an important step in the transition. A wedding honors the tradition of your and your people’s past, while it reflects the couple as individuals. A wedding inspires people who attend to remember why they love, and it transforms the whole group into something more connected than they were when they arrived; it creates a new tribe or family. That matters.
Q: What’s the best advice
you ever received?
A: “Fill your own cup up to the brim with love and joy, then when you have enough it will overflow to others.”
Q: What is one thing people would be surprised to find out about you?
A: I am one-sixteenth Native American.
Q: Please describe your ideal San Diego weekend.
A: Eating a nice lunch at one of the many great local restaurants with my friends or my mom, reading, relaxing, and going for a drive in the mountains.
What I love about South Carlsbad …
It’s so quiet and friendly – I have great neighbors. I love having a yard that backs up to a wild area so I can pretend I am in the country.