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Finally, our wedding was about to begin. Our guests were outside in their seats waiting, and someone told me that Kevin and his parents had just walked down the aisle.
The bridesmaids and I all stood by the door listening for our cue.
I took a deep breath and listened to the string trio play the songs we had picked out, while the DJ played the same songs outside for our guests to hear.
Before I knew it the processional song began, “Falling Slowly” from the movie Once, and my first bridesmaid was walking out to the pergola by the river with the rest of them close behind…
Our ring bearer accompanied by our junior usher, and our flower girl went out next. All of a sudden it was just my dad and me left in the foyer. I was so excited to finally walk down the aisle and see Kevin. I heard the song switch to Israel Kamakawiwo’ole’s “Over the Rainbow” and then my dad and I started walking.
The walk seemed so long, and finally my dad and I turned to walk down the aisle. I saw everyone standing up looking at us, I saw our bridesmaids and groomsmen, and I saw Kevin waiting for me at the pergola and I immediately started to cry [tearing up again as I write this].
I finally got to Kevin and I felt nothing but happiness and just pure love. I gave my dad a hug and went to join him on the pergola. I almost gave him a kiss accidentally – it’s just a habit by now – but I caught myself before I did!
On the pergola I could not stop my legs from shaking uncontrollably. I think it was a combination of nerves, excitement, and the wind! Our officiant welcomed everyone and then invited our parents up to the front to put their stones into our Blessing Bowl. We had each guest take a little stone when they arrived, and then drop it into our Blessing Bowl before sitting down. It was our way of asking our guests to give us their blessing. Our bridesmaids and groomsmen also dropped in stones on their way to the front, and our parents were the last to put theirs in.
Before long I felt completely relaxed up there with Kevin and just took it all in as our officiant went through the ceremony we had created ourselves. Next we had our first reading: “I Carry Your Heart” by e.e. cummings. We asked my godparents to read this poem:
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)
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
After the reading we asked our officiant to read a passage called “Union” by Robert Fulghum, which we absolutely love.
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 commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all 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 are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that 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, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.
For after today you shall say to the world –
This is my husband. This is my wife.
Then it was time for the vows and the rings. Unfortunately, at this point our officiant told us that he had forgotten the special vows we were going to say to one another. We were very, very disappointed, but we went with the flow and said the standard vows. We plan to use our special vows to renew in the future. As we said our vows we exchanged rings.
Then it was time for our second reading. We chose “The Art of Marriage” by Wilferd A. Peterson and asked Kevin’s mom to read it.
A good marriage must be created.
In the art of marriage the little things are the big things…
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once each day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is speaking words of appreciation and
demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is not only marrying the right partner…
It is being the right partner.
After the reading we did our unity act. We poured two different colors of sand into the Blessing Bowl that our guests put their stones in earlier. It was our way to symbolize us uniting together with all of our friends and family members’ blessings.
Finally, it was time to kiss and be pronounced husband and wife!
We walked back down the aisle to the strings version of “Starlight” by Muse. All the ceremony songs were strings versions and they all sounded absolutely beautiful, even though they were played by our DJ through speakers. We were so thankful that our DJ saved the day after our strings couldn’t play outside.
After our guests went inside for the cocktail hour, our wedding party and family stayed behind for a little while and we took pictures.
Then everyone else went inside to enjoy cocktail hour, and Kevin and I got some photos alone.
By this time we were freezing and so ready to get inside and enjoy our reception!
To be continued…