After our first reading, our officiant, Bill, went through his remarks. When we first booked him, he sent us each a worksheet with questions about us—basic stuff like how we met, how the proposal went down, etc. We sent our answers to him (without discussing them with each other) and he would use our responses to craft his remarks.
This was pretty genius. It meant that we basically wrote the ceremony ourselves, but were still surprised by what he said. It was a perfect combination of funny, sweet, and not too serious. It didn’t matter that we hadn’t known Bill for years—it sounded like he’d been with us from day one. I think even if you do write your own ceremony, his approach—using our different answers to the same questions—is a good and easy way to start.
This was probably when Bill was telling the story of how Wolfman got a different girlfriend after we met.
Our second reading was a shortened and slightly edited version of Sandol Stoddard Warburg’s “I Like You” (which was the book I gifted my bridesmaids). This is also a known-but-not-SO-common reading, and I thought it perfectly encapsulated our relationship. It got some laughs—I knew my brother would read it in a way that easily let people know it was a funny, cute reading, if that makes any sense. Sort of how you would read a book to little kids.
I like you and I know why.
I like you because you are a good person to like.
I like you because when I tell you something special, you know it’s special
And you remember it a long, long time.
You say, ‘Remember when you told me something special?’
And both of us remember.
And I like you because when I am feeling sad
You don’t always cheer me up right away
Sometimes it is better to be sad
You want to think about things
It takes time.
I like you because if I think I am going to throw up
then you are really sorry
You don’t just pretend you are busy looking at the bushes
You say, maybe it was something you ate
You say, the same thing happened to me one time
And the same thing did
I like you because
Everything that happens is nicer with you
I can’t remember when I didn’t like you
It must have been lonesome then
I like you for so many reasons
On the 4th of July I like you because it’s the 4th of July
On the fifth of July, I like you too
If you and I had some drums and some horns and some horses
If we had some hats and some flags and some fire engines
We could be a HOLIDAY
We could be a CELEBRATION
We could be a WHOLE PARADE
Even if it was the 999th of July
Even if it was August
Even if it was way down at the bottom of November
Even if it was no place particular in February
I would go on choosing you
And you would go on choosing me
Over and over again
That’s how it would happen every time
I guess I don’t know why I really like you
I guess I just like you because I like you.”
After that, it was vow time. For 95% of our engagement, we planned to write our own. I had a rough draft, but nothing finalized, and was kind of starting to panic when Wolfman came up with a different idea.
He suggested that we use E. E. Cummings’s “i carry your heart” poem as our vows. I loved the idea—I was going to at least print a Cummings poem in our programs (huge fan), and even though this poem in particular is somewhat common at weddings, I think the way we used it made it really special. It worked beautifully, like so:
Me: i carry your heart with meWolfman: (i carry it in my heart)
Me: i am never without it
Wolfman: (anywhere i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done by only me is your doing, my darling)
Me: i fear no fate
Wolfman: (for you are my fate, my sweet)
Me: i want no world
Wolfman: (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
Me: and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant and whatever a sun will always sing is you
Wolfman: here is the deepest secret nobody knows
Me: (here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
Wolfman: and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
Me: i carry your heart
Wolfman: (i carry it in my heart)”
I almost kept it together, but that last “i carry your heart,” I started crying a little.
It was going by so fast, and next thing I knew we were ready to exchange rings. Side note about these: not only did Wolfman almost lose them at the rehearsal, but also about two weeks before our wedding, he tried on the Yurman ring we’d bought months prior…and it fell off his hand. Like, not even close to fitting. I was so frustrated! We figured that his hands swelled up due to the hot showroom and glasses of champagne that night, and really inflated the size he bought. He’s never worn rings, so didn’t know that was something that happened to him. Clearly there wasn’t time to get anything re-sized, so we pulled a Mr. Armadillo and ordered a $20 band from Amazon, which is what we used in our ceremony. Somewhat to my dismay…this is the band my husband is still wearing, almost five months later. I honestly think he likes it better than his many-times-over-cost Yurman ring.
We kept our ring exchange simple: “With this ring, I thee wed, and pledge my love.”
One thing left to do—kiss!
Bill announced us as man and wife and we got to our most anticipated part of the ceremony—the recessional! You should be on track four of the playlist—M83’s “Midnight City.”
We LOVE this song (most of you will probably recognize it)—it just makes me so happy every time I hear it. Our DJ edited it so as soon as we were walking down the aisle, the song picked up and I just felt like a total rock star.
Wolfman just looks surprised that it all happened. Ha.
Up next—I get a perfect wedding surprise.
Did you have a “rock star” moment in your ceremony? Any nontraditional vows? Ring drama?
All photos by Emily Clack Photography
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