So, our first look and formal pictures were done, and we were headed to the venue. I can’t even remember who I drove with– doesn’t that say something about my state of mind at that moment! I know it was in the best man’s wife’s car, so I assume that they were there, but as to who else rode with us, if anyone? No idea. Wow. Good thing I’m writing all this down before I forget any more! The venue was only about a mile away from the statehouse, so it was a quick trip.
Due to the fact that we did our dressing and photos prior to the ceremony, we didn’t arrive at the venue until about 20 minutes before “show time.” I think my mom was waiting for us near the front door and herded people upstairs to the ceremony area so that I could come into the dressing room without being seen. I was really not that concerned! There was a tiny little dressing room off of the women’s bathroom, so that is where I went, but it was SO HOT in the room that we just left the doors open and I ended up seeing a few people before the ceremony anyways.
Around this time B’s mom showed up with Stew (she brought him from our house) and he was FREAKING out! So hyper. He hadn’t seen me in about a day, so he was barking, rolling, and running around like a chimpanzee on crack (I would imagine?). I asked someone to go get B to calm him down, because he’s always the best at that. Everyone was like “noooo he can’t be with you before the ceremony!” hah! I reminded them I’d just spent two hours with him so I didn’t think another 5 minutes would hurt. People are funny! And yes– this was in the women’s bathroom. My husband is a trooper!
Then it was GO time!
B headed upstairs to take his place and we went around the back way to come through a door at the back of the room. It seemed so surreal to me because I guess I didn’t think about the fact that I was the last to go. There was a lot of waiting around at the rehearsal and so when we walked out of the door and it was like… TIME… I almost wasn’t ready! I WAS ready, really, but I was startled that it was really happening righthisverysecond. My dad asked me if I was ready, and I said yes, and off we went to the head of the aisle.
My song was playing (here there and everywhere acoustic version being played by my cousin on his guitar– AMAZING), and we headed down the aisle. I remember just staring at B, and not wanting to look anywhere else. I was so nervous at that moment, not at all about marrying him but because there were so many people and they were all staring at ME! I felt like if we could just keep eye contact all the way down the aisle then somehow we were the only ones in the room and I wouldn’t have to think about everyone else. Weird, I know. I was also feeling totally overwhelmed at the idea of my dad “giving me away.” This was one of the most emotional things for me, because I knew my parents were sad at “letting me go.” I couldn’t let myself think about the life I was leaving behind (the daughter in a family of four) or I knew I’d break down… I had to just think about the life I was starting (the wife in a family of two) so that I would be nothing but happy in that moment. Right as we got to the front of the aisle, my eyes teared up and were just about to run over and…… Stew howled at me! haha! That silly dog. He totally lightened the moment and it was just so cute. It was so amazing to have BOTH of my guys waiting for me at the front of the aisle.
My aunt married us and we had two wonderful readings (“Union” and an unnamed sermon by Jackie Clement) which were read by B’s sister and my brother. My aunt said a homily, and then we all sat as my cousin played “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol. I love this photo of us during the song.
Sorry about the funky cropping (I cropped it to get rid of non-blurry faces except ours). I should also mention two things about Stew at this moment. First, the reason I have him at this point is because he was SO BAD during the ceremony. The plan was that my bridesmaid (who he knows and loves and has spent LOTS of time with) would keep him off to the side and then we’d just grab his leash at the end. But throughout the first half of the ceremony he kept barking at us to get our attention! You can’t really blame him because he was excited and there were so many people and none of them were looking at him (as they should be, I’m sure he thought)… but it was problem nonetheless. At various points during the ceremony he was handled by: my bridesmaid, the groomsman, B, myself, B’s sister, and our DOC (my friend). I can’t remember how exactly I ended up with him except I think he just kept whining and I thought if he could get to me he would be quiet (he was). The second thing to mention is that at this time I was totally aware that he was laying on my dress, and I was just so happy that he was being quiet I didn’t care at all. Except that I made a point NOT to look at my mother (who was across the aisle and one row back) because I was just sure that she’d be having a fit that I let the dog lay on my wedding dress DURING the ceremony! lol. Oh well.
For the record, I am still very glad we had Stew there. Even though he was so bad during the ceremony, it was still great having him there. It was very “us” and I feel like it added another element of fun to the ceremony. I really wanted a fun/casual vibe that made people feel like they were really witnessing a piece of our lives… not like we were just ken and barbie wedding dolls that could be dropped into any old ceremony non-reflective of who they were. Plus, he always seemed to bark/whine juuuuust as things got serious and provided for some comic relief. I think, honestly, that he saved me from the Ugly Cry.
The trouble-maker himself.
Back to the ceremony, we also did a Love Letter Ceremony, which was one of my favorite e-discoveries in my wedding planning. The way that most people do it is that they write each other love letters which they then seal and place in a wine box during their ceremony with two glasses and a bottle of wine. On their fifth anniversary they read each other’s letters and share the bottle of wine. If at any time prior to their fifth anniversary they are considering calling it quits, they read the letters at that time to remind themselves of why they married each other.
I loved the idea of it, except for two things. First, B doesn’t drink. At all. So having wine in the box would be kind of strange for us. Second, I’m impatient and five years is just too long to wait to read his letter!
So I came up with a twist (I’m sure I’m not the first one to do this although I’m not aware of other people doing it). We wrote each other letters and we placed them (sans wine) in a box during the ceremony as our minister (my aunt) explained that we had written letters to each other that would be saved for our first anniversary. On our first anniversary we would take those letters out of the box, and replace them with new letters that we’d written to each other, to be read on our second anniversary. We plan to do it each year on our anniversary as a tradition so that down the road we have a real tangible reminder of our love for each other at every stage of our marriage. And of course, so that if or when we ever come across a rough patch so bad that we want “out” we’ll read that year’s letter early and get that reminder of why we love each other in the first place. (For the record, 6 months in and the box remains sealed, but I’m so excited to read his letter this coming February!).
And then we exchanged our vows. We didn’t write them ourselves, but rather researched a lot of vows we found online and cut/pasted together something that made sense to us. I love them:
I, B, take you Lyndsey to be my wife and my partner, loving what I know of you and trusting what I do not yet know. I promise to love you faithfully through good times and bad, regardless of the obstacles we may face together. To live with you and laugh with you. To stand by your side and sleep in your arms. To be the most that I can be for you, when our love is simple and when it is an effort. I eagerly anticipate the chance to grow together, getting to know the woman you will become, and falling in love a little more every day. I give you my hand, my heart, and my love, from this day forward for as long as we both shall live.
We exchanged rings, although I had just a little trouble getting B’s on! I got it done though (and he hasn’t taken it off since that day– so cute), and we had one more prayer, and then we were announced!
This isn’t my FAVORITE photo of us coming up the aisle (that one has too many faces in focus), but I love this one as well because it is hilarious for so many reasons. My happiness is manifesting in a really disturbing face I’m making, and B looks like he’s torturing Stew. What was really going on here is that Stew does not understand walking up an aisle, and he kept trying to cut in front of us and tripping us (I later found out that on the way down the aisle, he made about 10 stops on each side to say yellow to people), so B was just trying to keep my from getting tripped. Still, the pic is too funny.
Next up: the reception!
Anyone else include a pet in their ceremony? Was s/he better behaved than our little trouble-maker?