Although we spent months planning “the party”, we all know that what truly matters on the wedding day is the ceremony. It felt so surreal to hear the organ playing as my bridesmaids walked down the aisle and I made my way to the door of the sanctuary, arms linked with my parents’ ”” my mom to my left and my dad to my right.
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View inspiring wedding ceremonies and read tips for writing your own ceremony.
One of the disadvantages of getting married in a small town is the lack of limousines to rent for wedding day transportation. The only limos available are from about 1980, and people drive them around as their actual cars. Driving around in one of those on our wedding day? No thank you. Luckily for us, Mr. Mascara’s dad happens to own a 1936 Chevy Sedan that he’s been fixing up for the past year or so.
I think this picture was taken before a lot the fixing up began. It looks much better than this now, I swear! It is definitely better for us to leave the ceremony in this rather than in Mr. M’s truck, although that would be pretty funny, and not that surprising in the UP.
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I’ve been collecting ceremony readings for a while, and it’s about time to get our selections finalized! From what I know, most tropical, outdoor ceremonies go by pretty quickly, so I wanted to have several readings so that our ceremony isn’t over in the blink of an eye! I’ve picked a selection of both religious and non-religious passages that I think represent Mr. K and I as a couple. The only problem is that I’m not quite sure how many readings is TOO MANY. I’ve weeded some out and I think I’ll be able to incorporate the passages below without putting our guests to sleep.
Union by Robert Fulghum (Minister Reads)
You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks – all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will”- those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe”- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “ You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed- well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this- is my husband, this- is my wife.
Well… to me at least. Not so much to the rest of my family. You see, I was raised Catholic. My grandparents, as well as some of my extended family, are very much practicing Catholics. In the past several years I’ve really drifted away from the Church and I don’t really know how to spiritually “classify” myself now. I’ve always dreamt of being married outside, as nothing would make me happier than to marry Mr. D with sunshine on my shoulders, surrounded by God’s creations.
The only problem with out lovely outdoor ceremony? It isn’t exactly valid in the eyes of the Catholic Church. My grandparents are going to figure out it isn’t a Catholic ceremony, because not only is it outside, but we also have a female officiant. I thought about finding a Catholic priest to perform the ceremony outside, but it still wouldn’t be recognized in the Catholic Church and it wouldn’t be considered Catholic by my extended family, either.
My mother, sister, and all of my aunts on my mother’s side have been married in the Catholic church. One of my aunts was divorced before I was born and remarried several years ago, but not in the Catholic church. She worked hard to have her first marriage annulled so that she could still remarry within the Catholic church. So, you can see the importance that my extended family puts on being married in the Catholic church.
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Ever since I was a small kid I’ve liked doing origami. I can’t say I’m great, but I can certainly fold a thing or two. I’m going to be integrating origami into our escort cards (I’m hoping to finally be able to blog that soon, it’s been a bit of an nightmare!), but I think there are a lot of other places we can integrate some of my origami skills.
One area where we are lucky enough to save money? Ceremony decor. Our ceremony will take place on a lawn that overlooks the beach and turquoise sea.
We don’t need to mess with nature too much to have a gorgeous ceremony. However, I can’t help wanting to design the space just a little bit. I’d like to add enhancements, if you will.
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I’ve never really been much of a “feminist”. Yes, I believe women can do anything they put their minds to, and we deserve every right and every penny men receive. However, I’m not going around burning any bras or anything crazy like that. I’ve always been an independent woman, capable of doing whatever I want or need to do. And I’ve definitely never felt like I belonged to anyone.
So, when it came time to decide who would walk me down the aisle, I kinda balked at the idea of having my Dad give me away. Um, hello? I’m not a cow. There is no dowry exchanging hands. I am not becoming Mr. CC’s responsibility. Do I really want to uphold this tradition?
My parents split when I was 16. My dad left abruptly. I had a very “Leave it to Beaver” childhood before then. My mom stayed home and my dad worked. They never fought, at least not in front of us. So, my dad’s unprecedented departure from our home was a shock to everyone. It hit my mom the hardest.
She had spent 12 years as a stay-at-home mom. She packed our lunches every morning, was president of the PTA, the Popcorn Lady, the Penny Power Lady, the Snow Cone Lady, and she taught Sunday School at our Church for 10 years. We had a home cooked meal every single night. Our Halloween costumes were always homemade (I still cringe at the idea of store bought Halloween costumes). She went on our field trips with us. She chaperoned our dances. She was our Girl Scout troop leader. I won’t lie and say that we appreciated it then (in fact, sometimes we were downright embarrassed by her involvement in our activities), but as I look back on it now, I wish I had the time and money to do the same thing for my daughter.
When my dad left, my mom was lost. She was propelled into a workforce she was unfamiliar with, and had no marketable job skills, to boot. Her bachelor’s degree in microbiology was all but null and void.
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I had been searching for meaningful readings that were a little different from your average wedding poem or religious passage. Something that would be thoughtful and sweet, but wouldn’t make my 76-year-old grandmother scratch her head in confusion. This was easier said than done.
I’d considered E. E. Cummings poems, a selection from The Velveteen Rabbit, religious readings and more! But I had come up empty-handed. Nothing seemed… right.
That is, of course, until I stumbled upon Robert Fulghum’s poem, Union. Check it.
You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks ”“ all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” ”“ all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” ”“ and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.
… read more
Our ceremony was like a dream. It was so amazing to hear every word my Myrtle was saying, and knowing that she so painstakingly crafted our ceremony with words from her heart. And boy, it was nothing we could EVER have submitted to her and said, “Here. Read this.” She and I had originally sat down and wrote the backbone for what was to eventually become the most important 20 minutes of Mr. Peng and my life thus far. She took that copy and ran with it, virtually changing every part to be so incredibly personal to us, It really took my breath away. I was marrying the most compassionate man I knew, and being married by the most compassionate woman I knew. Life couldn’t have been better than at that moment! (It’s all been downhill from there, you know. Kidding) 🙂
But there was one aspect of this perfect match between officiant and couple that I just couldn’t believe ’til I saw it:
Would our marriage be legal?