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Thursday, May 3, 2012

And it Comes Back to Us: The Ceremony

Be prepared -- this post is picture and description heavy since I'm making the entire ceremony into one post!

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After our portraits and our minor wardrobe malfunction that set us back a half hour, it was finally time to get our ceremony rolling.  Our chaplain, Mr. L, and his best man Jonathan made their way to the altar as I stayed inside to wait for my cue.




When my MOH lets me know it's time to get loaded in the carriage, we head to the front of the house where I make this super creepy excited face and we step up into the beautiful carriage.


By the way, those are totally mules.  Awesome right?!


The carriage drops us off at the archway, and my dad helps my MOH down and then me.  I think that's when it hit me that "OhcrapI'mgettingmarriedpleasedon'tletmyheelsgetstuckinthegrassholycrap!"



After we exit the archway, my first surprise to Mr. L starts playing...and in order to attempt to recreate the ambience, you should press play on this:





Oh yes, I walked down the aisle to The Imperial March.  Mr. L was pretty shocked considering I'd vehemently vetoed his idea that involved HIM walking out the Imperial March, ha!  I guess great minds think alike!


I obviously got a huge kick out of, and Mr. L did too.  He later told me he wanted to run down the aisle to high five me, and I totally wish he would have haha.  It would've been gold on the wedding video!



Then we brought the ceremony back to Serioustown and got down to business.  Our chaplain delivered a beautiful speech on the beauty and sanctity of marriage, and my father handed me off to my almost-husband for the rest of the ceremony.





Since our wedding happened to fall on Armed Forces day, we made it a special point to dedicate a few moments of prayer and recognition to all those who have served and are serving in our nation's military.  The prayer is as follows:
Father, we could never thank our military men and women enough for their courageous service and sacrifice to our country and its people.  Yet today we lift up our voices to express gratefulness and honor to these military troops both from the past and present.  Show us ways in our communities, churches, and families to thank and love them better.  Keep and protect these heroes and their families.  In the powerful name of Jesus, Amen.

Then we turned to one another and said our vows.
I, "Mr. L", take you, "Mrs. L", as my friend and love, beside me and apart from me, in laughter and in tears, in conflict and tranquility, asking that you be no other than yourself, loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not know yet, in all the ways that life may find us. I, "Mrs. L", take you, "Mr. L", as my friend and love, beside me and apart from me, in laughter and in tears, in conflict and tranquility, asking that you be no other than yourself, loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not know yet, in all the ways that life may find us.

Up next was the exchanging of the rings -- nothing new or exciting here, just the traditional wordage.


And then we made it to the rose ceremony.  We wanted to incorporate a tradition into our ceremony like the unity candle, but we didn't want to risk any wind constantly blowing the candles out.  I also didn't like the idea of a sand ceremony since, as military, we would probably be making multiple moves throughout our lives that would involve our pretty sand getting all mixed up and perhaps even broken.  So when I came across the idea of a rose ceremony, I was sold.

This paragraph from our ceremony pretty much explains what the rose ceremony symbolizes:

Those of us who are already married know that marriage, like life, brings with it many joys and also many challenges. We also know that love, while beautiful, does not always show its prettiest face. There are days when we may find it hard to express the depth of our love for one another. It is my hope and prayer that the two of you will set aside a special place in your home for roses, ancient symbols of love. When words fail you, or when the challenges of life or marriage begin to weigh on you, go out and get a rose, and put it in that special place in your home, so that the other will be reminded of this moment, and of the love you feel for one another. As a token of that love, I would like to ask you to make these roses your first gifts to one another as a married couple.

However, we ended up adding a twist since we also wanted to include our mothers in this ritual (which was a complete surprise to them, by the way).

This wedding is not just a pledge of devotion between "Mr. L" and "Mrs. L"; it is also a celebration of the joining of two unique families who stood separate until today.  Now we unite these two families with this marriage.  "Mr. L" and "Mrs. L" would each like to honor the separateness of their families and now the togetherness with the giving of these roses to their mothers.  They would also like to acknowledge the love and sacrifice that each mother has made to make her children who they are today – a man and woman who are ready to be in a committed, loving marriage of their own.
After our officiant spoke these words, Mr. L handed his rose to my mother and I handed my rose to his mother.  They were very touched!

Unfortunately I don't have any pictures or video of Mr. L giving the rose to my mom =(
 After the rose ceremony, we were finally pronounced husband and wife!


We turned to face the crowd (and my SIL captured my favorite picture of the day!), were introduced, and one of my favorite songs ever began to play:






We recessed down the aisle as our MOH/BM and family followed.  (I also don't think I mentioned that our bridal party as almost non-existent -- we only had one attendant each one various reasons!)


I love my MIL =)
And I love my parents!
Overall, it was a pretty amazing ceremony.  It went off without a hitch, and we even snuck in a couple of surprises.  I wouldn't change it for the world!

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Missed something?  Catch up here!

Before the Big Day
And it Comes Back to Us

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