Wedding Week – It's Ceremonial!
Our details were planned – we were going to get married at our own local church and we decided that the reception for our 200+ guests would take place at a little nearby jazz club called Cafe 267. First we attended several weeks of marraige consouling through our church and were able to adapt our pastor’s standard ceremony to fit our own distinct personalities and desires.
Speaking of ceremony – it was probably the most special part of our wedding day. Not because it is the moment when “the two became one” but because it was when Jeremy’s classical and mature style merged with my whimsical and passionate style. Opening our ceremony was a welcome speech from Jeremy’s father, Pastor Dad. Basically it was a warning that the coming ceremony was going to be just like the boyfriend and I – a little bit different
After he welcomed all of our guests, it seemed only appropriate to have a couple of our bridesmaids lead the people who were there to celebrate our ceremony in a couple of songs proclaiming the beauty of love and praising our Creator for allowing us to find one another! Afterall – God was really very generous to Jeremy…dontcha think? heehee. That’s a joke baby
Then the ceremony officially began. We decided a long time before that the ceremony would be extra emotion-evoking to both Bride and Groom if we had music throughout the entire thing. Sortof like a soundtrack. And we were right. Afterall – Braveheart had music throughout their wedding ceremony – and you can’t tell me that William Wallace didn’t look especially in love when you heard those bagpipes
All of our music players who rocked out a variety of instruments including drums, guitar, piano, and flutes, were special friends of the family and volunteered their talents for our big day.
Then Pastor Doug (who did our marraige counseling and preaches to us each Sunday) entered the church. We decided that he, as a representative of our God, would also walk the aisle symbolic of how our faith goes before us…preparing our way into this journey called marraige.
Then as the music changed, with an emphasis on the drums, Jeremy and his group of merry men marched down the aisle. The old people got a little startled at the sound of the music but we felt that my very masculine boytoy shouldn’t have to walk down to a girly tune. In the end, it was really quite manly – and a few of the groomsmen loved the idea so much that they incorporated it into their own weddings since.
Following the men, we employed the services of little kids that we are totally smitten with. These “celebration children” came skipping down the aisles (we had three) saying “THE BRIDE IS COMING!” and ringing their bells and waving thier ribbon wands. There was originally ten kids that we asked, but several of them got scared or sick so these brave four were our ‘little wedding fairies’ that got all the folks ‘awwing’.
Soon the tune changed from the magical twinkling fairy music to a more romantic feel to introduce the women of the bridal party. The girls in my crew all carried small fishbowls with clear stones and a singular votive candle. The glow in the dark room really added to the ambience of the entrance – and as they walked down the aisles, the room became more illuminated. I like to think of these gals as the ones who bring light into my life
But the girls weren’t the only ones who were lighting up the room – the entire stage and center aisle was sparkling with candles.
And as the bell rang five, the traditional Canon in D was playing, and my father escorted me down the aisle. I felt truly like a princess (and part weepy mess) as I clung to my dad’s arm and to my grandmother’s family bible.
I did want to mention that our good friend Kent did a few readings during the ceremony. They were mostly scripture but with music (of course) in the background.
And our Maid of Honor – my sister Lori and Best Man – Torrey, were there to hold our hand. Not literally.
Then came my favorite part of the ceremony…our ring exchange. We decided that it would be too hard for a five year old to hold still during our entire fifteen minute ceremony (c’mon…they have a difficult time with a two minute time-out) so my nephew Braden stood in the wings until his own special entry time came. As he carried a little wooden box that held our rings, he was the center of attention as he brought them to the stage and offered them to both Jeremy & I. (He did absolutely amazing too!)
Then Jeremy and I were able to give our golden gifts to one another. But as we slipped them on that all-important finger, we recited a memorized ‘ring ceremony’ that looking back was the boldest, riskiest, and most meaningful part of our day.
It went like this: (oh and I choked through the first line and we went back and forth with each line of our sentiments)
I give you this ring as a token of my heart and my love.
I give you this ring as a token of my devotion and my commitment.
The ring has no beginning and no ending, an emblem of my enduring faithfulness.
I give you this ring as a symbol of love,
a symbol of faith,
a symbol of all that we have promised,
and all that we shall share.
I give you this ring in God’s name as a sign of my faith in our strength together with the Lord and our Savior
a visible and constant reminder of my promise to be with you for as long as we both shall live.
A promise to protect
A promise to defend.
With this ring, I commit my heart to you. it is my gift to you. freely given
humbly accepted – an eternal symbol made of precious gold – it symbolizes that your love is a precious element in my life.
May it remind you always that you are surrounded by my enduring love.
The ring is perfectly balanced – reminding us that we can remain in balanced lives only in the Lord.
An eternal symbol of this joyous day and I will wear it gladly
I marry you with this ring, and join my life to yours
As I place it on your finger, I give you all that I am and ever hope to be – I choose you to be my wife this day and forevermore.
I am honored to call you my husband
and you my bride.
Right after the ceremony, we slipped away for a private moment in the church library…only we discovered later that it wasn’t as private as we thought. Good thing we didn’t do anything too obscene in church
So that’s it – a total recap of all the little special ins-and-outs of our ceremony. Looking back – I still can’t believe we made it through the ring ceremony without a single falter or prompt from our pastor. How funny would it have been if all of a sudden we drew a blank and yelled “LINE!” And with all that adrenilene, it was a very real possibility to have a complete mental fart. Did you dare to memorize anything for your own wedding day? Maybe it was the vows? Or maybe you just had a certain part of your ceremony that stood out? What was it? I need you to spill those ceremonial beans