OK—before I start writing about the ceremony, press play to get into the mood! Track #1 (Goldfrapp, “A&E”) was playing as people were finished getting seated, and track #2 (Nico, “These Days,” covered by Vitamin String Quartet) was when doors were closing and our families were walking in.
Playlist via 8tracks Radio. Image: our ceremony setup during the day
A few minutes before go time, we took the elevator downstairs and sneaked into the ballroom to line up. EEP! My heart was racing—after having such a relaxing few hours, it just didn’t seem like it was actually going to happen, but here we were.
Starting to line up! Wolfman’s sister and my brother. In the background, our reception decor starting to take shape.
By then I could make out the chords of the Nico song and slowly but surely, the group with me started to shrink and it was just me and my brother.
I can’t really remember what was going through my head while I was walking down the aisle. I tried to pay attention to my processional song—you should be on track #3, “Staralfur, by Sigur Ros—as I’d been listening to it and picturing that moment for a long time. Oof, the song! It still makes me tear up a little bit. I had been worried about being sad—for me, and for my mom—but it was hard to feel anything but happiness when I could see everyone I like the most in one room.
My mom told me later that, because of where she was sitting, it was hard to see if I had come into the room yet. But she said she knew because she heard audible gasp from the back of the room. This is probably my mom indulging a bride’s vanity, but boy, I love that story.
My brother stood with me and our officiant, Bill, asked who gave me away. My mom said, “her family.”
It was great to see Wolfman again, even if it’d only been a few minutes since we had been hanging out upstairs. I was just so happy—proud—that we were making this public show of our love. I still have this feeling of, “hey look, this guy likes me!” There’s so many opinions about the importance of having a big wedding, but for me, it was the biggest public display of affection that I could imagine. And I love PDA.
All that said, a confession: throughout the entire planning process, we really didn’t get excited about the ceremony. I know it’s the main event and all, but it also seemed like something we had to get through to get to the good stuff”¦so I was surprised that this was my absolute favorite part of the night. I underestimated how much fun it would be to listen to other people talk about our relationship—and how romantic it would be to have an audience for our readings and vows. It was awesome.
We timed our ceremony with the sunset. It was perfect so that by the time we actually began, the lights and candles we put in the window really started to glow.
We wanted a pretty short and sweet ceremony. After some perfunctory introductions and declaration of intentions, we had the first of two readings. We wanted these to be 1) easy to understand and 2) represent us. As I mentioned before, we also incorporated our families into the readings, and asked Wolfman’s sister to do the first. We chose a short passage from Ernest Hemingway’s “A Farewell to Arms:”
Our venue happened to have this amazing old-fashioned microphone. Such a small detail, but so many people commented on how cool it was.
“At night, there was the feeling that we had come home, feeling no longer alone, waking in the night to find the other one there, and not gone away; all other things were unreal. We slept when we were tired and if we woke the other one woke too so one was not alone. Often a man wishes to be alone and a woman wishes to be alone too and if they love each other they are jealous of that in each other, but I can truly say we never felt that. We could feel alone when we were together, alone against the others. We were never lonely and never afraid when we were together.”
I liked that it was sort of nontraditional and written by one of my favorite authors (we chose to ignore how bad he was at marriages). It was also short, which I know SIL appreciated.
Up next: our second reading, vows, and a rockstar recessional.
Did your ceremony meet your expectations? Were you excited about it or did you just want to get it over with?
All photos by Emily Clack Photography.
Previously on WWW: