You know how more than anything else, I wanted my wedding to be unique, fabulous, and totally us?
Well, I kind of lied. Actually, more than anything else, Ian and I wanted our wedding to be a celebration of not only us and our relationship, but also of our relationships with our families and very special friends. A celebration that was particularly unique, fabulous, and totally us. And it absolutely was. Everything from the rehearsal dinner up through the reception had the details that we worked so hard on to inject our personality into even the traditional elements of a wedding. Especially the ceremony.
*Photos by Meagan Jepson Photography
I've noticed that in a lot of modern-day weddings, the ceremony seems rushed-through. As if everyone knows it's necessary, but just get it over with so we can get to the party. Some folks just want to do the strictly traditional readings and responses, and that's fine. However, I really wanted the ceremony to get the highlight that it deserves. It truly is, after all, the most important part; it's the part where you are married! The part where you stand up in front of everyone important in your life and promise your life to the one you love.
I also didn't want to simply stand up in front of everyone. Ian and I wanted some of the most special people in our lives to be a part in the ceremony.
For instance, the music.
I had always known that I wanted acoustic guitars and a piano at my wedding (no organ for this girl) and there was absolutely no better people who could have provided these things for us. Joel and Zack are not only excellent musicians, but they were a big part of my growing up in FISH, my high school youth group at the church we were married at. Tim, the amazing piano man, was a youth group leader of Ian's growing up and was one of Ian's first friends that I met when we started dating.
The ceremony began with Tim playing some beautiful piano music as the guests started arriving. When it drew near to 3:30, Zack whipped out his ukelele and played his original song, A Song About Love. You can hear the song on his Youtube channel here--I just love this song.
Next, the grandmothers and moms were sat by the ushers to the guys playing You Are My Sunshine, the song my Pop used to sing when I was a kid. It was a particularly emotional moment when my dad heard the song at the rehearsal the night before as we stood in the back; it's one of his favorites.
Although picking out the music for the ceremony was one of the hardest things, I knew that somehow, there would be a Beatles song or two. It was only fitting, so naturally, the bridesmaids walked down the aisle to In My Life.
I really didn't want to walk down the aisle to the Bridal March; it just really didn't seem me. A Beatle's song, however, did. So when Zack began to strum the opening bars of Here, There, and Everywhere, it was time for the big moment.
Even though walking down the aisle at the time took FOREVER (not only because I couldn't wait to get to Ian, but also because we had to walk sooooo slooooooow so we didn't get there before the first verse of the song ended!) I wish that I could rewind time and do that part all over again. Entering into the sanctuary and seeing a blur of just about everyone who has ever been important to me in my life, all in one place. Picking out a few particular faces, wanting to look around and wave to everyone because I was so excited that they were there, but not being able to take my eyes off Ian at the front. Walking at my dad's side, knowing that life was about to change big time and that pretty soon I wasn't going to be his little girl anymore (although I guess I always will be to him). And, oh yeah, trying not to bawl my eyes out.
I finally reached the front, my dad gave me a kiss on the cheek, and the ceremony began, which leads me to the next awesome thing about making our ceremony us: we had two pastors.
I had also always known that I wanted Anne, mother of one of my best friends/bridesmaids, family friend, and coffee mom (maybe one day I'll explain that term) to do my wedding when the day came. But I did also want someone who was a part of both me and Ian's lives to do it too. Jonathan was a former youth pastor of Ian's, longtime family friend, and the pastor of the church we had both been attending for the past year or so of dating. So what the heck. We had both of them.
Seriously though, what an awesome dynamic it set for the ceremony. I had sat down with Anne a couple weeks prior when I was writing the ceremony and she gave me guidance with the traditional readings and ideas for the order of the ceremony. Jonathan provided an awesome message and his witty and goofy personality. The two of them split the pastoral duties, and it turned out amazing. It was so awesome to be married by two important people from different times of our lives.
We had my godmother, Aunt Peg, do the reading from 1 John 4:7-19.
Everyone sang Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, one of my favorite hymns of all time.
During the hymn, Ian looked at me and said "Remember this moment--this is our wedding!"
We said our vows, and I tried not to bawl some more.
And then we were married!
We walked/danced out to James Taylor's How Sweet it Is (To be Loved By You). Because just as naturally as the Beatles needed to be part of the day, so did James.
The receiving line took forever, but in a completely good way--I was so excited to see each and every person that came through.
We finally burst out of those church doors into the sunshine, with the bells chiming and people cheering...
...and hopped into our totally sweet '63 Avanti, provided by good family friends the Colwells (who also provided the beautiful flowers at the ceremony!), to be whisked off to photo time.