The Ties that Bind…

Considering that the whole entire purpose of a wedding is… (wait for it)… to get married (!!! who knew, right?), it was shocking how little focus there often is on planning the ceremony that actually binds two people together.  Of course, we were no different – waiting until what felt like the last minute to really get down to the nitty-gritty of our ceremony.  But once we began talking about what we wanted said – to our guests, about our idea of marriage, and to each other – it really sank in how monumental those 20 minutes were going to be… the first 20 minutes of our lives together.

We chose a simple, non-denominational ceremony, officiated by one of my parents’ friends from the 70s who became a minister later in life.  It was very special for me to have someone who was present at the beginning of my parents’ relationship present at the beginning of our union.  While the ceremony was Christian-based, we really focused on choosing music and secular readings that were meaningful to our lives together and writing vows the described our thoughts on what a good partnership should be.

We hired a string trio (2 violins / 1 cello) to set the tone for our ceremony – Arundel Ensemble – and they were wonderful!  I’ve heard lots of brides say that they didn’t even notice the music as they waited to walk down the aisle, but every note to me was clear and added to my excitement and reverence for the moments to come.  As the families were seated, “Simple Gifts” was played – Evan’s favorite piece of classical music.  The bridesmaids processed to Canon in D – one of those traditional weddings songs that I absolutely adore and wanted to put somewhere, but not as my dad and I entered.  As a “surprise” to Evan, I asked Arundel to play “The Ludlows” from Legends of the Fall as my dad escorted me down the aisle, which is one of our favorite movies and an extremely beautiful piece of music.  Of course after one too many glasses of wine about 3 months prior to the big day, I let the cat out of the bag.  Oops.  But it was still very special!

Our readings were very different but each very much an expression of how we interact together as a couple.  The first, read by my adorable college roommate Sally, was “Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog” by Taylor Mali.  As much as I would have liked to have her there, our baby-child The Boom is way too ill-behaved to behave in front of so many people.  But she is a huge part of our relationship, and as she’s been with us since our 3rd months together (umm yeah, that could have turned out badly – wtf were we thinking?), she really was a huge part of us falling in love.  So this poem was a perfect reflection of our little family and how we’ve grown and developed together.   The second reading, read by my aunt Joy who has played so many rolls in my life (family, friend, mentor), was a selection from The Velveteen Rabbit that we dubbed “What is Real.”  Neither reading was particularly lovey-dovey or romantic – but each depicted our real love and respect for each other – all the ugly parts and wobbly bits included.

We did write our own vows together with Sam (our officiant) during one of our premarital sessions and each phrase meant something particular to us.  My favorite line was {From this day forward, I promise you these things:… I will}… Speak to you with encouragement.  With two attorneys in the house, this is always a good reminder of how to behave when we’re off the clock!

After we were pronounced “Husband and Wife,” we recessed to “Ode to Joy” to a private area where we enoyed a beverage and some appetizers… letting it all sink in that we did it!

Some photos of the ceremony:


{Side Story:} I apologize for the quality of this photo, but its the only one I have of this moment… As my dad and I were walking down the aisle (a very treacherous set of stone steps), I think we were both about to lose it emotionally.  All of a sudden, my veil caught on something, violently jerking my head back.  There was an audible gasp from our guests (some people in the front rows thought I’d fallen) but I caught myself before I landed on my bum.  With nothing lost but a little bit of dignity, I gave my best fist pump and yelled “I’m okay!” as Gina untangled me and sent us on our way.  As ungraceful as that moment was, everyone got a huge kick out of it and it really cut the emotional tension – I surely would have cried all my false eyelashes off had it not been for that little bit of comic relief!








Next up… My Favorite Details of the Day!

* as listed, photographs from SMS Photography.