Our Wedding: The Ceremony

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Our ceremony took place on the front lawn of the venue just after 4:30 p.m., while the sun was still high in the sky…

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Jonathan greeted all guests as they arrived, which I think made him a little nervous — but he was a trooper and people mentioned later that it made them feel so welcomed. (That picture above is him with his dad!)

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Ha, and my stepfather-in-law (the cat whisperer) of course made good friends with the resident kitty. :)

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One of the reason I picked this particular ceremony spot (there are several options on the property) was because of its close proximity to the main house where the girls got ready. We were able to watch guests arrive and settle in, could hear the music playing, and it made timing our exit quite a bit easier!

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Oh my god, this whole part was a blur! I was so nervous; it felt kind of like high school when I was making my entrance for a play… I’ve just never gotten comfortable with any situation where I know every. single. eye. is on me.

The girls and I all walked out to Jónsi’s “We Bought a Zoo” and I timed it so my dad and I stepped out at the 1:02 minute mark — it felt like a movie!

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My father walked me down the aisle and he performed the ceremony. Being a P.K. (“preacher’s kid,” for the uninitiated), I grew up adamant that I didn’t want my dad officiating my wedding. After getting engaged, I started to change my mind. I’m so happy I did!

He’s performed over 100 weddings, easily, over the last 30 years and it was obvious by how comfortable and natural he was.

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Early on in the ceremony, my dad asked us to turn out to the crowd and “bear witness to those who have gathered here to celebrate your love.” It’s the first wedding I’ve been to where the bride and groom did that and we thought it was so sweet to see everyone’s faces and take a moment to really breathe in the moment.

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In addition to a homily (a short sermon he wrote full of anecdotes and thoughts on marriage, which was especially personal given that he is my dad), he did two readings — one Jonathan and I picked, another he picked…

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“Love is Friendship Caught Fire” by Laura Hendricks (our pick)

Love is friendship caught fire; it is quiet, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection, and makes allowances for human weaknesses. Love is content with the present, hopes for the future, and does not brood over the past. It is the day-in and day-out chronicles of irritations, problems, compromises, small disappointments, big victories, and working toward common goals. If you have love in your life, it can make up for a great many things you lack. If you do not have it, no matter what else there is, it is not enough.

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“For Marriage” by John O’Donohue (my dad’s pick)

As spring unfolds the dream of the earth,
May you bring each other’s hearts to birth.

As the ocean finds calm in view of land,
May you love the gaze of each other’s mind.

As the wind arises free and wild,
May nothing negative control your lives.

As kindly as moonlight might search the dark,
So gentle may you be when light grows scarce.

As surprised as the silence that music opens,
May your words for each other be touched with reverence.

As warmly as the air draws in the light,
May you welcome each other’s every gift.

As elegant as dream absorbing the night,
May sleep find you clear of anger and hurt.

As twilight harvests all the day’s color,
May love bring you home to each other.

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Jonathan and I wrote our vows (that morning!) and I’m amazed I didn’t crumble into an ugly cry during his, and even more astounded I made it through mine at all.

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“You may now kiss my daughter.” HA! :)

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We picked Greg Laswell’s “How the Day Sounds” for our recessional — starting at the :47 second mark to keep up with that “film score” vibe I was going for. ;)

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First moments alone together as husband and wife. <3

I know I’m pretty biased, but I felt like our ceremony was pretty spectacular. It was short (but not too short), sweet, and intensely personal — and I credit my dad for that. I’ve been to a lot of weddings where the officiant obviously did not know the couple well, or it was a friend of the couple’s who, let’s just say, had clearly never performed a wedding ceremony before. My dad’s familiarity with us and his expertise, I think, elevated everything for us and for the crowd. Yes, guests are always super complimentary to the couple at weddings, but it felt truly heartfelt when people came up to us later and praised, with an air of surprise, my father and us for such a beautiful, engaging ceremony.

Check in tomorrow to see the pretty portraits we got to take right after the ceremony. :)

(Photos by Joe Gunn and Justine Divine)

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