Let’s go back in time for a bit, shall we? Back to last spring when the Beanstalks were still planning their wedding! So, we had our venue…the amazing Sundy House in Delray Beach, Florida. The Sundy House was going to be where both our ceremony and reception were going to take place. With that said, we had no idea who was going to actually marry us! You might remember how I posted about my Catholic upbringing and my personal struggle with a church wedding (to have or to have not)…well, even though we ultimately decided not to wed in a house of worship, I still wanted our ceremony to be religious (or have religious aspects). It was going to be an outdoor garden ceremony and I knew finding a Catholic priest was probably not going to happen. But I still wanted our ceremony to reflect the Catholic faith, to an extent.
Back in the springtime, when I broke my foot and was on my leave from work, I spent my days sitting on the couch, doing wedding research online (what else was a soon-to-be-bride supposed to do?). It was during this time that I realized the clock was ticking and we needed to find an officiant and soon! I had just read Real Simple Weddings (highly recommend this magazine to anyone planning a wedding) and used some of their suggested links to help start my search for an officiant. I still had hopes of finding someone with a Catholic affiliation, but kept my options open. I don’t even remember what I searched for, but I stumbled upon Archbishop Sean Alexander’s website. Sean Alexander used to be a Catholic archbishop but had left the church for spiritual reasons. Sean Alexander’s website sums up his religious walk best: He became “bishop of an interdenominational ministry which enabled him to serve all faith communities, including the catholic faith in a different capacity.”
After exploring Sean Alexander’s website, I discovered that he had different types of wedding ceremonies for couples to choose from. You could essentially make the ceremony as religious (i.e., Catholic) or as secular as you wanted, which I loved! As soon as I told Mr. B about my amazing discovery, we both knew he was the perfect choice to marry us.
I called him the next day and we spoke for a bit. He was very friendly, which made speaking with him so easy! He was available on our date, and we both liked him, so we sent him our deposit with the contract within days of that first phone call. (Planning a wedding from afar, some decisions had to be made on the fly because there was no time to meet with certain vendors prior to the wedding.)
A few weeks later, Sean Alexander sent me a username/password to access the couples-only part of his site. It was here where we were able to pick which format ceremony we wanted. After we picked our format, we were able to really cater it to us. He had the whole process very organized on his site. We were able to select readings, opening prayer, vows, blessing, etc.Being able to pick basically everything really made us feel like we were creating our very own unique ceremony, that was “us” (without having to write our own vows…I love when couples write their own, but I knew early on it wasn’t for us).
I had planned the whole ceremony within a day…but then I lost my notebook where I wrote down all of my selections! To make matters worse, I didn’t even realize this book was lost until a month before the wedding! Things were a bit crazy then, and yes I did go back and re-read all of the options and reselect our choices, but it wasn’t until two days before the wedding that Mr. B and I actually sat down together to finalize the ceremony (again)! But I have to say, it turned out beautifully. It was religious, without being overly so, which was the best combination for the Beanstalks.
Did you have a hand in picking out your ceremony material?