February 9, 2014

Our Wedding: The Ceremony

In the spirit of Valentine's Day and all things love, I want to finish reflecting on our wedding. And the ceremony was really the heart and soul of the whole day.

Planning the Ceremony:

When we first got engaged, the first thing I started planning was our ceremony. I wasn't writing it, but I started reading through other ceremonies I found online and started taking bits and pieces that I liked and put them together and then tweaked them to fit us more personally. I did a lot of adding and a lot of deleting. Honestly, I don't know where any of it came from.

I also started hunting for readings. Ones that were special to us. I have always loved English literature. Pride and Prejudice and anything Jane Austen is highly ranked on my list of favorites, and with such splendid love stories I thought I'd be able to find a quote from one of her books, however none that I could find seemed to fit just right. But Jane Austen is not the only one who has stolen my heart in her books. I then looked to the Brontes and found my winner in a quote from Charolette Bronte's Jane Eyre. (See quote with pictures below)

I tried pretty hard to find one from Harry Potter to include in the ceremony as well (because we really are that nerdy) but I just could not stretch anything to the point that it worked.

On to poetry... I found a poem by E.E. Cummings that was so joyous that I got excited for it to be an opener to the ceremony. It incorporated an appreciation for the day, and nature, and it left my heart smiling. (See quote with pictures below)

At first we thought we'd have multiple people do readings, but the closer it got, the more I wanted to be the one that got to say the Bronte quote. When I was talking to my mom about my ideas for the readings, I read the quote to her and it brought tears to her eyes. I decided to give us each a first person reading before our vows. I would read the Bronte quote and we found another poem by E.E. Cummings that Tyler would read.

Tyler's sister Cara read the opening poem.

When we booked our officient, Rev. James,  him and his wife sat down with us and we ran through our story and what we wanted in our ceremony. I had come prepared with everything I had put together so far and I was relieved that they were open to using the ceremony I had put together. They created a ceremony that became even more personal when they included our love story into it as well.

I was so happy that we were so familiar with our ceremony before the actual day, because standing up there in front of all of our family and friends and the love of my life, I was not able to really pay attention to the words coming out of Rev. James' mouth. It was overwhelming and beautiful and happy and dreamlike. It didn't feel real.

The big day in pictures: (all photos by Stephanie Bannon Photography)

Getting ready. I was pretty calm and collected all day, but there was just one moment when I was in the cabin all by myself... No longer a little girl dreaming about a future wedding, I was about to get married for real... I can't really explain what was going through my head, but it was both exciting and a little scary. 

My beautiful bridesmaids Alesha, Erin (my MOH), Becky, and Elise.

The handsome groomsmen: Dan, Jean (best man), and Andy

My mama, beautiful mother of the bride. 

After my time alone, I got to say hey to my guy before the ceremony to calm the little bit of jitters I started feeling. We were around the corner from each other, so we couldn't actually see one another. 

We exchanged gifts, he wrote me a card that of course had me in tears, but the presents brought the smiles back.

We all walked down the aisle to Love Story meets Viva La Vida by Jon Schmidt  (see video below to listen and have your heart melt to the music). My entrance came along with the beginning of Viva la Vida. This was a piece my friends and I discovered in college and we joked about using it in our weddings, but it felt so perfect to actually walk down the aisle to it. 

Everyone kept saying, "Wait until you see the pictures of his face when he first saw you!" His sister told me that it reminded her of a particular picture of him when he was just  little boy... And this is it. My groom. 

Cara's Reading:
i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes
(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)
how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any–lifted from the no
of all nothing–human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?
(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)
- E.E. Cummings

{ From the bridesmaid's copies of Jane Eyre }
My Reading: 
I have for the first time found what I can truly love–I have found you. You are my sympathy–my better self–my good angel–I am bound to you with a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely: a fervent, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my centre and spring of life, wrap my existence about you–and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.
 - Charolette Bronte, Jane Eyre

 Tyler's Reading:
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
-E.E. Cummings 

 Our Vows:
I (Amy/Tyler), take you (Amy/Tyler) to be my (husband/wife), my partner in life and my one true love. In the presence of God, our family, and friends, I vow to cherish our union and love you more each day than I did the day before. I will trust you and respect you, laugh with you and cry with you, loving you faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles we may face together.,I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward for as long as we both shall live. 

For our recessional we used Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (see video below).

{ The Dress }

The beautiful Pere Marquette Lodge

It wasn't only our wedding, Boyfriend Jeep and Girlfriend Jeep are now Husband and Wife Jeeps. :)

The day, the weather, the light, the love... all of it was so beautifully perfect.