Saturday, April 17, 2010

Becoming Man and Wife...

Let’s see...where were we? Oh yeah...the boys came in, followed by the girls...then I made my own entrance with a little help from James Brown (at least it’s a memorable bride’s entrance, right?) and I joined my soon-to-be husband. So there we were, gathered in front of family and friends... Our photographer, Christina Carroll, captured the whole ceremony layout with some interesting lenses and angles...I'll let the picture do the talking...but I will mention that these are some of my absolute favorite pictures!Our ceremony was very special to us. In fact, we wrote the ceremony...and yes, that’s one of those “we” comments that really means “me.” But B did have input and he helped edit things down to where we thought it was a good representation of us. Something that we both knew for the start was that we wanted our wedding ceremony to be personal, a representation of us and who we were as a couple...and, since we’d both been married before, we wanted something different than in either of our previous ceremonies.

For instance, we knew we wanted to incorporate some type of unity ceremony to symbolize our coming together – joining of the families and all, but neither of us wanted to do a candle ceremony. After doing some research online, I was pretty set on having a hand fasting ceremony and lucky for me, B went along with me.

Once I had done some research, and our ceremony was written up, it was a bit on the lengthy side. Dwayne, our minister, was practicing at home several times a week, becoming more familiar with what we had written out for him, and was still timing it at about an hour. Normally, that wouldn’t be a problem for most couples...but we knew that there would be somewhere around 40 children in the audience...getting more and more antsy by the minute. In hindsight...short and sweet might be a better plan. But we LOVED what we had put together, and we just couldn’t cut it down any further. After checking to make sure that Dwayne was ok with the length...and double (or triple) checking the sunset times with Christina Carroll to ensure that we would be able to do pictures after the ceremony, even though it was a lengthy ceremony, we kept it like it was. And I’m SO glad that we did.
I know that I like to talk, but I think that I'll let the pictures tell the story...for the most part, anyway!
We stood in front of family and friends, hands together...We heard words of wisdom, that came from the heart...There was laughter...And possibly a little "ribbing" since it was a friend who married us...But I don't think that we spent any of this time not touching...
He gave me a ring...And I returned the favor...We exchanged our vows...
While our friends and family looked on and struggled not to cry...and fidget...Luckily for us, Dwayne was a little nervous...and we were just a “bit” excited and before either one of us knew it, the rings had been exchanged...the vows had been repeated...and Best Man S stepped up with our hand fasting ropes. I loved this part of our ceremony SO much...I just have to share the words:

“S, take B’s hands palms up, so you may see the gift that they are to you:
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love. They are holding yours on your wedding day, as he promises to love you all the days of his life.
Now B, take S’s hands, palms up, so you may see the gift that they are to you:
These are the hands of your best friend, smooth, young and carefree. They are holding yours on your wedding day, as she promises to love you all the days of her life.
Now, please join hands so that they may be fasted in the ways of old. Remember then as your hands are fasted, these are not the ties that bind…
[Cords are held aloft by Best Man]
The love already shared by your hearts has been strengthened by the vows you have taken.

You will be bound by your love as you are bound by your clasped hands from now until the end of your days.

[As the following is recited, the couples hands are wrapped with cords by Best Man]

These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as you build your future together.

These are the hands that will hold you whenever illness, fear, or grief may find you.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.

These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.
These are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours.
[Binding is finished and cords are knotted]
Bless these hands that you see before you this day.
May they always reach out with love, gentleness and respect.
May they build a loving relationship that lasts a lifetime.
May they always be held by one another.
If you follow these words and heed this sacred binding, your hands will heal, protect, shelter and guide.
Now, you may remove the cords, but remember the knot as a lasting symbol of your binding and commitment.”

[Cords are removed and stored]

**Source from here.
I think that I'm laughing so hard because B was giving BM a hard time about how good of a job he did wrapping us up...taking them off was a little more difficult!

Truthfully, my heart still gives a little tug when I read those words...they were SO powerful and meaningful to us. I literally got a chill reading this part of our ceremony now months after our wedding.

Before we knew it, the ceremony was complete, and it was every bride and groom’s favorite part of the ceremony...our first kiss as man and wife!

**All photos courtesy of Christina Carroll Photography

Need to catch up? Here’s some links:
Girls’ Spa Day
Bachelor/Bachelorette Party
Setting Up the Venue…
Practice Makes Perfect…
Rehearsal Dinner
5 Minutes is All that I Need
A “Quick” Stop at the Hair Salon
A Sneak Peek at the Venue...
Arriving at the Stay!
Getting Dressed
The Maids Pose for the Camera...
Oops - I’m Out of Order!
The Boys Smile and Say “Cheese!”
It’s Show Time!
Here Comes the Bride!

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