Christian Wedding Ceremony
All photos are thanks to the absolutely extraordinary Amilia of Amilia Photography.
After managing to make my way down the aisle without doing something incredibly clumsy, I would have been perfectly happy to just stare at Mr. Blue Moon forever. Of course, we all know that’s not the way this works! Mr. Blue Moon and I carefully crafted our wedding ceremony to reflect the two respective Christian traditions we were raised in, as well as adding some of our own personal touches. Since we were married by a family member, we had a lot of freedom in incorporating elements that spoke to us.
Our officiant, Steve, started with a welcome, where he described how long he has known our family and all the ways he has been involved in our family’s marriages, from the time my mom was four years old and the flower girl in his wedding until now.
He also described how, for most people, today is a totally normal day, but for us, it is special.
You know, this morning I was up early, and I thought about how, for most folks, this is just a totally ordinary day. But for at least two people here, and really even more than that, this is truly an extraordinary day. And I also thought that the day that you met was probably an unremarkable day. You got up, you went to school, there wasn’t anything out of the ordinary about that day. Just going about your business, you met, and I don’t know about Miss Blue Moon, but for him, it was fireworks, it was lightening. He says it was love at first sight, and she says she took her time, but I know what he felt like: like you can breathe in, but you can’t breathe out. Your pulse beats a little faster, and you get a little weak in the knees…and six years later, here we are.
Sadly, I have never been one for ladylike giggles, and my laughter comes out in the form of belly chuckles and huge guffaws, as pictured here. Steve was cracking me up with his description of the beginning of our relationship, and he also threw in some jokes about our childhoods and how interesting our arguments are going to be since we were both college debaters. I love ceremonies full of decorum, but clearly, ours did not go down like that. Steve had us and our guests laughing during different parts of his welcome and personal remarks, and I loved every bit of joy in that sanctuary. It was so perfectly us!
Statement on the Gift of Marriage & Declarations of Intent
After his introductory remarks, Steve read from Genesis 2:24, which says “for this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother, and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” Steve spoke for a few minutes on marriage, noting that it is a partnership of two equals, and describing some of the ways our life would be changed by our union, before moving into our declarations of intent.
Mr. Blue Moon, understanding that God has created, ordered, and blessed the covenant of marriage, do you affirm your desire and intention to enter this covenant?
Miss Blue Moon, understanding that God has created, ordered, and blessed the covenant of marriage, do you affirm your desire and intention to enter this covenant?
Next, we moved into the parents’ blessing, a special part of our ceremony that Steve agreed to incorporate though he had never included it in a wedding ceremony before.
At this time, I would like to ask Blue Mom and Blue Dad, and Mama Blue and Daddy Blue, to rise. Today, as we join Mr. Blue Moon and Miss Blue Moon in marriage, we celebrate them as they begin a new family together. Yet we also know that this new branch of the family tree will be strengthened and enriched by the love, traditions, and knowledge of their family roots.
Will you, Blue Mom and Blue Dad, and Mama Blue and Daddy Blue, bless Miss Blue Moon and Mr. Blue Moon in their marriage? Will you celebrate them in their times of joy, and bolster them and their marriage in times of hardship?
Then all four of our parents said “we will” in unison.
After the blessing by the parents, we came to our readings. We chose a secular reading and two scriptural readings to incorporate into our ceremony, and decided to have two readers (our officiant read the last one).
One of Mr. Blue Moon’s dear childhood friends read first, from 1 Corinthians 13. This has always been my favorite holy description of love, and while I know it would have sped up our ceremony to only read part of it (people are generally most familiar with verses 4–7, where it describes the attributes of love), I think the whole chapter is beautiful.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.
Next, one of my dearest college friends read from Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “Sonnets from the Portuguese 43,” which is a familiar poem, but one that Mr. Blue Moon and I both find beautiful.
For the last reading, Steve told one of my favorite bible stories from the book of Ruth, where a mother-in-law must return to her homeland after her husband and sons pass away, but one of her daughters-in-law refuses to leave her side. Steve explained that, though this is love in a different context, Ruth’s words to her mother-in-law still ring true when applied to a marriage. Then he read from verses 16 through 17, which say
But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”
The first part of our ceremony probably lasted about 20 minutes, but we weren’t quite done! We still had vows to get to, which meant that the hardest part wasn’t even over yet…
Do you need to catch up?
- My girls and I indulge in some R&R.
- We have a fancy bridesmaids’ luncheon.
- We rehearse, eat, and forget to take pictures.
- I get ready with my girls.
- My dad and I pretend like we are not the most awkward people on the planet.
- We have the hottest first look of all time.
- Our wedding party takes a hike.
- We share all the little details.
- My inner diva comes out.
- We wait impatiently.
- The family and bridesmaids walk.
- I walk down the aisle without embarrassing myself (too much).