I’m not sure I can accurately describe what it’s like to get married. And I don’t mean the entire experience of having a relationship, planning a wedding, and doing things that “married” folk typically do. But walking down the center of a crowd that has seemingly parted for you, sharing your deepest feelings in front of your loved ones, committing yourself for the rest of your life to someone who still gives you butterflies; it’s an out of body experience to really submerge yourself in the act of getting married. I was sure I knew what to expect and feel when I walked down the aisle towards Andrew but nothing could have ever prepared me for what I felt when I finally locked my gaze into his gorgeous blue eyes. So cheesy but hey this chick tells it like it is. And his eyes really are that blue.
I adore these photos of my Dad and I walking down the aisle together. The plan was to hold hands, not link arms, but I think he couldn’t help but hold on with his other hand. And that was perfectly fine with me. I’ve never seen my Dad look so proud or happy nor have I ever been so proud to call him my Dad. I especially love the third photo from the top; one the righthand side is my college gymnastics coach Kathie, peering down at what looks like to be the back of my gown. If anyone has seen me at my complete worst and watched me evolve into the woman I am, it would be her. On the left handside of the photo, is my Dad nudging my brother Josh halfway through our walk together. It was a cute little way to let him know we love him. And that we could see him sitting in his aisle seat with his cute little smile-smirk. I love you guys so much and am entirely thankful I’ve been blessed with you as family members.
Our ceremony was special to us as we completely built it based on what represented us as a couple. We left out traditional ceremony readings and long winded verses and instead included a poem, kind-hearted and good-natured advice from our officiant and we exchanged personal, handwritten vows. Incorporating both of our Moms and all of our guests into the ceremony was equally important, so we asked our officiant if we could put a twist on the standard ring ceremony. Andrew’s sister and her husband took our bands and walked them to the back of the room. One side of the room was handed my band and the other was given Andrew’s. The guests were asked to pass the rings along and bless it with words and love before passing it on to the next person. Once the rings ended up at the front our moms came forward and passed the ‘blessed rings’ to our officiant to give to us. We made sure to do this during the signing our of license so guests wouldn’t feel restless or bored; it worked perfectly and was one of my favourite parts of the day.
My sweet girlfriend and one of the people I’ve become closest to in just the past few years did a reading near the end of our ceremony. It was important for me to include her in the most meaningful part of our celebration. She read a Louise Cuddon poem called “I’ll Be There For You,” and did it perfectly; I could tell she had practiced and practiced. I found myself smiling bigger and bigger which each line she read as many of the things in the poem had actually happened during Andrew and I’s five years of dating. A few guests laughed at specific points in the poem and it was the perfect way to wrap up our ceremony before the declaration of husband and wife.
{The Details}
the wedding party walked down the aisle to: Nothing Fancy by David Barnes
the processional: Winter Song by Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson (love)
first kiss as husband and wife: You Are The Best Thing by Ray LaMontagne
vows: Personal. We wrote them ourselves and kept them private until the ceremony. Mine are here.
readings: Love is Patient, Love is Kind (Andrew’s pick) and “I’ll Be There For You” by Louise Cuddon (mine)
Andrew I loved marrying you!

What was the best part of your wedding ceremony?