Well y'all this is it, my last wedding post. It's been fun reminiscing and sharing some of the special details but it's time to move from being a bride to being a wife. I've saved the best part of the day for last - the ceremony!
My biggest non negotiable regarding the day was the ceremony. I grew up Catholic but Shaun did not want to get married in the Church, which I could agree to as long as we had a religious ceremony. Please don't take this as judgement on anyone else's relationship ( if you recognize yourself as married than I do too because marriage lives in your heart and shouldn't be subject to anyone else's standards) but to me, in my heart, being legally married and married in the eyes of God is not the same thing. Legal marriage can be legally undone and while I think it's a smart idea to have ones marriage recognized by the government for practical purposes it is not a strong enough commitment for me. The till death do us part, better or worse, sickness or health - those are commitments stronger than any legal document and it is making those commitments not just to eachother, not just before friends and family but before God that demonstrates the seriousness of the commitment. We don't go to church every week and we don't talk about our faith very often so some found it surprising that we had a strong religious tone to our wedding but I just couldn't imagine not inviting God into our relationship.
Our ceremony followed the traditional format that you see at most weddings and yes we had 1st Corinthians (love is patient, love is kind . . . ) as one of our readings. One thing we also felt was really important was to include a unity portion of the ceremony and for this we choose sand. Most couples who do this use clean sand from the art store but because we really wanted this to represent us joining together we used sand from locations from our upbringings (for Shaun we got sand from the beach his mother took him to as a kid and for me I got sand from the beach across from my family's old beach house).
Like most couples we exchanged rings as a symbol of our vows.
And of course we shared our first kiss as husband and wife
Our minister, Don Riley, was wonderful and we really enjoyed our time with him leading up to the wedding and his words during our ceremony.
I say the ceremony was the best part of the day not because we did anything really special or unique but it is what actually makes us a married couple and we are touched that our family and friends would choose to witness that moment. When I was a younger adult and was invited to a wedding my thoughts were either sweet, fun party or aww man, now I have to spend all my fun money that paycheck on a present. But as I attended more weddings I realized that while the receptions are nice and couples certainly do appreciate when guests are thoughtful to send them a gift it is that very moment of saying I do and witnessing two people start their family that matters. There may one day be another fancy party, beautiful dresses, and even exchanging nice jewelry but there will only ever be one wedding ceremony and ours was everything I ever wanted it to be.