Friday, February 27, 2015

Wedding Week: The Ceremony

The ceremony was a little tough for me.

It made me want to puke thinking of walking down the aisle with everyone staring at me. Traditionally, a girl's dad is suppose to walk her down the aisle, but my dad and I haven't spoken in over seven years. I've heard of untraditional weddings where the bride and groom walk down the aisle together, but that was too untraditional for us. Another thought was to have my sister walk me down the aisle, but that was weird too.

Then came the ceremony itself. We aren't terribly religious people, so it wasn't going to be a religious ceremony. There's the option for unity candles, sand or other creative things, but that seemed like too much. And what happens when the candles are gone or you break the jar full of sand? Sad!

The sweet gentleman that married us is a good friend of my grandmas and a retired judge and when I spoke with him, he told me he'd say anything we'd like.

Turns out, there are traditionall nine parts of to a wedding cermony, so, after lots of online research and lots of thought, we put together this ceremony that we felt fit us pretty well. We both agreed upon a very simple ceremony. So here it is, for your viewing pleasure :)
The parents and grandparents were seated to the song Ain't Leaving Without Your Love from the Nashville soundtrack. I remember waiting in the bridal suite and hearing that song start playing... that's when I finally realized this was really happening. The butterflies started swirling in my stomach, and I swear they played that song on repeat 20 times. My sister was looking through the window and I kept asking her "Now?" "No," she'd say. "Now, are they close?" "No, not yet," she'd reply. I don't know how many times I asked her until finally she said "Okay, now let's go." 

Since it was pouring rain that day, we ended up having the ceremony inside. We left the bridal suite and I used a big white umbrella to shield myself as I walked around the veranda past all of the windows to the big double door. My brother-in-law came to get my sister to walk ahead of me, so I stood outside waiting for our master and mistress of ceremonies to give me the go ahead. The next part was all kind of a blur.

The Opening:

Good afternoon and welcome. Before we get started, let me introduce myself. My name is ____ and I have th eprivilege of performing this marriage ceremony today. If I could ask you to please take a look at your programs, you will notice that toward the end of the ceremony, you will all be taking part as I ask you to join me in pronouncing the couple married. So let us begin!

I walked down the aisle to The Piano Guys version of A Thousand Years. For someone as nervous to walk down the aisle as I was, I don't remember anything but Kelly. As soon as those giant wood doors opened, I found Kelly's eyes and neither of us looked away. 

The Address:

Welcome everyone and thank you for being here on this beautiful October afternoon. Kelly and Allison have expressed how grateful they are for each and every one of you who could make it here today to celebrate with them and witness as they unite their hearts and lives in marriage.

Before we begin today, we'd like to acknowledge those who are no longer here on earth. We find happiness in feeling their loving spirits with us today. For Kelly and so many of us here, we take joy in knowing that Grandpa Jim would have loved to see this bride marry this groom.  

Apparently we didn't rehearse very well, because when we got the photos back we realized that we stood twenty miles apart during the entire ceremony.  

The Readings:
I’d like to invite Kaitlin, sister of the bride, and Chris, brother of the groom, to read an excerpt of the novel ‘From Beginning to End’ by Robert Fulghum.

We didn't have a bridal party; instead, we each had one of our siblings stand up with us. We had them do a reading taken from 'The Union' by Robert Fulghum, alternating who read each paragraph.  

"You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks — all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” — those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” — and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. 
The symbolic vows that you have just made are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed — well, I meant it all, every word.” 
Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another — acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years.  
Now you have said a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this is my husband, this is my wife"

The Expression of Intent:
Do you _________,  take _________ , to be your beloved wife, knowing in your heart that you will be a faithful friend, and a loving companion, forsaking all others and holding only unto her? On this day, in the presence of family and friends as witnesses, do you give your sacred vow that you will always be with Allison and support her in sickness and in health, in times of joy and in times of sorrow?
Do you promise to love her completely, to console and comfort her during difficult times, to laugh with her and to grieve with her, to help make her dreams a reality, to share with her life’s simplest pleasures, to be truthful and honest with her, and to protect and cherish her, for as long as you both shall live?

Then we both say our "I Dos" ! 
The Vows:

*We wrote these ourselves, but decided to say them privately to eachother on the night of our wedding. We felt it was too personal and emotional for us to say in front of all of our guests :)

The Ceremony of the Rings:
*It was very hard for me not to insert some Lord of The Rings "One ring to rule them all...."  Can I get some props for keeping it traditional? Here's how it went...
May I have the rings please? The ring is a symbol of the unbroken circle of love. The love that has been and the love that will be, freely given evermore. May thse rings always remind you of your promise made today.  

Then we did something super cool (can I say that, I can say that right?). There's a song that's purely instrumental and starts nice and quiet and slow, then crescendos until the 1:20, when it fireworks into a beautiful, happy burst of music. We timed it so that happy burst would hit right when we had our kiss. You can listen to the song in this link, it's called 'Once there was a hushpuppy' by Benh Zeitlin.

Music Starts:

The Ring Vows:
______ , as you take this ring and place it upon _______'s finger, please repeat after me these words;
_____, I marry you with my loving heart, with my willing body, and with my eternal soul."
Today, you have received the blessing of family and friends, made vows and exchanged rings. Everyone, please pull out your programs and join me in this pronouncement, saying together:

The Pronouncement:
Another on of my favorite parts! We had written in our program that everyone was to pronounce us husband and wife, so every one of our guest all together said: ‘We now pronounce you husband and wife!’

The Kiss:
____ , you may kiss your bride.”

The End. :) 

{Photos by Meg Day}

I'll be back with one last wedding post- a picture overload of the reception with all of our friends and family. 

To see all the places we went on our honeymoon road trip, visit 'Honey, I'm Home', 'Honeymoon, Part 2', 'Bear Lake, Colorado', and 'Last of the Honeymoon'.


  1. :) love it! I told Elizabeth between you and this blog and Brantley coming home I've been teary eyed a lot this week. But in a good way.

    1. I'm so glad you like it! I'll have your pictures on the stick soon, promises :)
      & I can't wait to go see him, it must feel SO good for them to have him home!

    2. can't wait to see them-I have a new frame for one of them :) keep forgetting to ask how the kitchen is going?

    3. It's going! Ended up taking out ALL of the cabinets, demolishing the pantry and swapping the location of the fridge & stove. Small projects....haha. I think we're about ready to put up the drywall- finally! Nothing like neverending projects :)

  2. My mom could hardly handle that you had the bride and the groom side reversed... I had to smile at her. And you sure did stand far apart :D Hehe. I'm thankful that you are taking me on this journey... I'm loving it.

    1. What!! Haha - you should tell here that I didn't even know that there WAS such a thing! I'll just pretend we did it on purpose to be horribly untraditional ;)

  3. That made me laugh out loud :D

  4. So the tears are rolling down my cheeks and I have a lump in my throat It's was a great day.

  5. Oh. My. God. Allison Paige!!!

    I have so many comments...
    1. You were absolutely the most stunning bride to date! Stunning!
    2. You both look so freaking happy. The glow is real!
    3. I need to hire you as my wedding planner.
    4. All I can hear in my head is Kelly as a 6th grader (when I had the worlds largest crush) saying, "she's just so perfect". It's a real life fairy tale!

    I'll be done now but I'm so happy for you!

    1. Awe!! Thank you so much! I love #4 haha that's too funny. And I can tell you for a fact that I would MUCH rather plan someone else's wedding, so just call me!!

      Thanks for reading, it's good to hear from you! :)

  6. Allison, just saw your blog for the first time! It is AWESOME!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing!!!!!!!!

    1. Thanks, Monica! And thank you so much for the very important part that you played at our reception! :)

  7. This was a perfect wedding reception! I really enjoyed reading your story. It was great and very emotional too. Love the way you shared your wedding experience! Anyways, thanks for sharing your wedding photographs.


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