Okay, no preamble here, I'm just gonna jump into it.
So we had this amazing procession. Matt and I, our parents, and our bridal parties, led by our wonderful minister, started it up. Matt's brother - on guitar - and cousin - on euphonium - walked behind us playing "All You Need Is Love." EVERYONE fell in behind us, and we had the biggest, most love-filled procession EVER. Ah-mazing.
We were both so floored by the power of this walk. We kept looking at each other and saying "this is insane!!"
We arrived in the garden. We had about 45 chairs set up, and about 140 guests. The ceremony was short, so we figured some people wouldn't mind standing. We wanted people to be close to us, and be part of the action, so we encouraged them to stand behind us, next to us, in front - whatever they wanted. I was a little nervous about this, but it worked out super well. ALSO, the weather cooperated! That morning, it was dark and stormy, and I was a little anxious, but I made a decision not to worry, and it turned out to be a perfect October afternoon. The sun came out, and the cold snap hadn't started, so it was crisp but not too cold. Someone told me later that the sun broke through just as we said our vows :)
My uncle kicked things off with a heartbreakingly beautiful speech. I wish I had the text so that I could quote it. I'll try and get my hands on it so that I can share. Lets just say for now that I had several people - NOT sentimental types - come up to me later and tell me that his talk was the best part of the whole day. Yay uncle P!
Listening to Uncle Peter work his magic...
Our officiant, Carmela, was the mother of a dear friend of ours, and she did an incredible job. She has such a warm, loving spirit, and she was SUCH a great support and help during the planning process. She gave us exactly the ceremony we wanted, and I don't think I'm being too biased when I say it's the best ceremony I've ever been to :) This picture is jumping ahead a bit - I just love Carmela's expression here - it captures the joy and love and enthusiasm she brought to the ceremony perfectly.
My mother and Matt's father each chose readings. We let them pick whatever they wanted, as long as it wasn't the same thing! My mom read the classic biblical verse about love ("love is patient, love is kind.."). It's a classic for a reason people! it was part of my parent's ceremony, my sister's, and my brother's, so I was so glad she chose it. My father-in-law read something totally non-secular and just as moving. But I'm a terrible daughter-in-law and I don't even remember the AUTHOR, never mind the text. I'll have to get that up later as well...
I cried. A LOT. I knew I would - I'm a big crier - but I had no idea how ridiculously copious my tears would be! It was just hard to talk, and I felt like Carmela just kept asking me me to say more and more and more :) Matt was SO sweet. he kept brushing my tears away. It was weird, but I have never felt so unselfconscious in my life as I did that day. So the crying didn't bother me until later, when I started looking at everyone's pictures, and I'm like "dude! can we find one where I'm NOT making an ugly cry face???"
Aren't my bridesmaids lovely?!!? They each chose their own yellow dress, and then some of them wore blue shoes and some of them wore pink. I bought them each a wrap to match their shoes. They looked gorgeous and bright and sunny!!
Really, all I could think about after we exchanged rings was kissing my husband. Carmela said some BEAUTIFUL words (which, luckily, I had read beforehand, so that I was able to fully absorb them and also so that the crying was kept to a minimum), and my sister and Matt's brother (the moh and best man, respectively) read the benediction:
Now you will feel no rain,
for each of you will be a shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now you will feel no loneliness,
for each of you will be a friend to the other.
Now you are two people,
but there is one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place
and enter into your togetherness.
And may your days be good and long upon the Earth.
Then, we smooched. It was the best kiss ever.
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