How Wonderful Life Is: The Ceremony, Part II

Kelsey, today I give myself to you in marriage.

From this day forward
I promise to stand beside you and love you completely
Through the good times and the bad,
In sickness and in health,
In times of plenty and in times of want,
When our love is simple,
And when it is an effort.

I will laugh with you in times of joy
And comfort you in times of sorrow.
I will respect, trust, support, and care for you.
I will be faithful to you and honest with you.
I will cherish you and hold you in highest regard.
Whatever may come I will be there beside you
All the days of my life.
With these vows, I take you to be my wife.

*

*

Those are the vows we wrote together. I had read them dozens of times before the wedding, making sure they sounded right, making sure they captured everything we wanted to promise to each other. I thought I’d be sick of them by the wedding day, but as Mr. Wiz was reading his to me, I realized that neither of us had ever spoken them aloud before. But hearing him say them out loud, looking me in the eye, holding my hand, stroking my thumb with his, they took on a whole new meaning.

I fully expected to be bawling my eyes out, but in reality, I couldn’t stop smiling. I actually kind of got the giggles (which you can see in our video)!

*

Mr. Wiz reached back and got my ring from Best Man D.

*

I give you this ring as a symbol of my commitment,
With all that I am, and all that I have.
Wear it, think of me, and know that I love you.

Then it was my turn.

*

Jason, today I give myself to you in marriage.

From this day forward
I promise to stand beside you and love you completely
Through the good times and the bad,
In sickness and in health,
In times of plenty and in times of want,
When our love is simple,
And when it is an effort.

I will laugh with you in times of joy
And comfort you in times of sorrow.
I will respect, trust, support, and care for you.
I will be faithful to you and honest with you.
I will cherish you and hold you in highest regard.
Whatever may come I will be there beside you
All the days of my life.
With these vows, I take you to be my husband.

I reached across to get Mr. Wiz’s ring from D.

*

I give you this ring as a symbol of my commitment,
With all that I am, and all that I have…haha, uh oh.

Wait a second, that wasn’t part of our vows! But I couldn’t help but laugh because…I couldn’t get Mr. Wiz’s ring on!

*

Mr. Wiz has “fat knuckles syndrome.” His knuckle measured about a ring size 7.5, but the bottom of his finger, where he’d actually be wearing his ring, measured as a 7. The jewelers advised us to go with the size 7, because the 7.5 would be spinning and sliding around constantly. The 7 would be hard to slide on and off, but Mr. Wiz wanted his ring snugly fit to his finger, so he decided to deal with that inconvenience (as opposed to striking in the middle with a 7.25, getting sizing balls soldered in, or any other option like that). So of course, it was a running joke that I wouldn’t be able to get his ring on during the ceremony…and it turned out to be totally true.

Everyone laughed when they figured out what was going on, and I continued to push and push that ring onto his finger. Finally it passed his knuckle and slid snugly into place, and with a laugh in my voice, I finished my vows.

Wear it, think of me, and know that I love you.

*

We took each other’s hands again, this time both of us fiddling giddily with each other’s new bling. Wizard Aunt took to the microphone again.

Jason and Kelsey have chosen what is called a “self-uniting” marriage. This tradition originates with the Pennsylvania Quakers, who did not have officiants, priests, or leaders in their religious gatherings—rather, everyone at the gathering was equal. As such, Quaker weddings simply required the bride and groom to say their vows to each other in front of two adult witnesses, thus allowing the couple to join themselves in marriage, without an ordained officiant.

Today, the Quaker tradition is made available to all Pennsylvania couples in the secular form of the self-uniting ceremony. Jason and Kelsey have made their vows to each other, and they have chosen their best man, D, and maid of honor, Lefty, to be their two witnesses. The four of them will now sign the marriage register.

The music began again, this time a string quartet rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You.”

Press play and listen along!

We chose this song not only because the string quartet version is beautiful, but because the lyrics of the real song are so reflective of a wedding:

And so today, my world it smiles,
Your hand in mine, we walk the miles.
Thanks to you it will be done, for you to me are the only one.”

My world was smiling that day.

The four of us gathered around the register signing table, and with pen to paper, we made our marriage official.

*

*

D stashed the license back in its binder and we took our places at the front of the pavilion one last time. Wizard Aunt grinned at us and, before turning her microphone back on, she said so that only we could hear, “You really did it!”

*

Mr. Wiz squeezed my hands. I squeezed his back. I bounced on the balls of my feet. We were grinning like fools. We really had done it—we were married! But there was still one more important thing left…

Wizard Aunt took to the microphone again and closed our ceremony with a blessing.

Now you will feel no rain,
For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness,
For each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two bodies,
But there is one life before you.
Go now,
And enter into the days of your togetherness.
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

*

Jason and Kelsey, please seal the promises you made to one another with a kiss to begin your new life together.

I was positively giddy. I couldn’t wait to kiss my new husband!

*

So that’s exactly what I did.

*

*

In fact, I decided one kiss was not enough, and promptly pulled him in for another one!

*

I could have kissed him all day, but I knew we needed to finish the ceremony, so I managed to pull myself away. :)


*

We grinned at each other as we turned around to make our debut. It honestly felt like there was no smile big enough to equate to how I was feeling. I just couldn’t believe it. We were married! I had a husband! I was a wife!

*

Family and friends, it is my pleasure to introduce to you for the first time, Mr. and Mrs. Jason and Kelsey [Lastname]!

*


Press play again!

Our processional song burst through the air, Cousin T whooped and cheered, other guests whistled and clapped, and off we went!

*


This was the first time I had seen my aunt and uncle that weekend, since they got lost on their drive up and I was in bed by the time they got there Friday night. I was excited to see them! / *

The way I felt walking up the aisle can’t possibly be described. Elated…jubilant…euphoric…overjoyed…none of it even begins to come close to how it felt to be holding hands with my husband (husband!), the perfect song trumpeting triumphantly over the scene, everyone cheering and clapping and grinning for us. My heart was swelling, my smile could not possibly have gotten any bigger, and I felt like I could fly.

Guest photo

Michael met us at the top of the aisle, snapping away behind his camera, cheering us on. “All riiiiiiight, you did it!!”

*

Yes we did.

Miss something? Follow along here!

First, I kick things off with our wedding video.
I go stir-crazy, and almost choke to death, the week before our wedding.
We had a pretty bad venue setup/rehearsal day.
I’m the bride with the weak stomach.
The crew arrives, and the ladies get pretty.
Hairstylist B accidentally shares a little secret!
Bride and groom exchange cards and a surprise gift.
Tying bow ties is a comedy of errors.
Finally, I become a bride!
All the little details.
A special lady gets a special gift.
Here comes the sun, and the bride (a.k.a. our first look).
We took some family photos.
We processed, and got married!

All photos by MichaelWill Photography unless otherwise noted. Images market with an (*) are edited by me, with permission from Michael.

BLOGGER

Mrs. Wizard

Location:
Pittsburgh
Wedding Date:
June 2012
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comments

  1. Member
    scottishmrs 2823 posts, Sugar bee @ 7:08 pm

    That’s so lovely! And I couldn’t get my husband’s ring on right away during the ceremony either. Everyone laughed. The funny part is that it was too big for him when we got it in the winter and we almost sent it back for a smaller size! I’m so glad we didn’t. Apparently his fingers fluctuate with the cold the same way mine do!

  2. Member
    Mrs. Pony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 7:08 pm

    I love your ceremony wording, so beautiful! Your vows are just perfect!

  3. Member
    bridesmomma 1186 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:57 pm

    What a perfect wedding ceremony!!

  4. Member
    Mrs. Scepter 333 posts, Helper bee @ 8:06 pm

    The ceremony wording was beautiful!

  5. Member
    Mrs. Toadstool 2485 posts, Buzzing bee @ 8:54 pm

    You really know how to make a girl cry Wizard, that was lovely.

  6. Member
    Mrs. Wallaby 2807 posts, Sugar bee @ 5:43 am

    That’s so sweet!! Your ceremony sounds like it was beyond beautiful.

  7. Member
    ChicagoDreamer 509 posts, Busy bee @ 8:31 pm

    I love how hand-crafted your ceremony was. And I adore your vows. So sweet!

  8. Guest
    Truly, Guest @ 8:47 pm

    I know this is way after the fact and you will probably never see it, but I love the self-uniting ceremony!

    I had never heard of it until I started reading your recaps, and now I can’t imagine a more perfect way to have a ceremony.

    Thank you!

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