Thursday, May 3, 2012

Our Ceremony Part 1- Processional and Giving Away

Hi, blog! I'm back! April was a rough month for anything that wasn't work. I think I'm back now.  

I have several drafts in process about people in the wedding, but I decided to post about the ceremony instead.  The ceremony was really the most important part of the day to me.  It's the part I remember the best, and the part that was the most meaningful to me.  A lot of time and planning went into the different elements. Everyone involved on any level was someone very important to me and John.

While our guests were seated, our good friend Amber played hymns and other classical music on the piano (you may remember that our first musician backed out about 5 days before the ceremony. No fault of her own, but a necessity.  Amber was already scheduled to sing and did a great job.)  I have known Amber since she was about 2.  She was in my children's ministry at one point! This makes me feel old.  But she is someone I love and am so glad she's still in my life.  I really wish I had gotten a picture with her that day, and I would post it here.

Camille, Memorial Flower Attendant
The ceremony started with what we called a Memorial Flower Ceremony.  John's father and brother both passed away several years ago.  We wanted to honor them during our ceremony.  We had a table set up with an 8x10 picture of each of them. We ordered a vase that said "In Loving Memory of Michael Last Name and Shawn Last Name." To open the ceremony, my sweet friend Camille walked a bouquet of flowers to the vase and put them in the vase.

For the processional, we used hymns.  I love so many hymns on many levels. I love the words, the meaning behind them, and they also are beautiful musically. The mothers and grandmothers walked in to Great Is Thy Faithfulness. This is my mom's favorite hymn, so she chose it. I had asked each mother to choose one, but then realized we couldn't use both.  We used the other one, The Lord's Prayer, as part of the prelude.

My aunt that I'm really close to has two sons. These are my "nephews."  They were our ushers. They first escorted my grandma to her seat.  They then went back and escorted the mothers.

Funny story while this was happening.  My dad and I are waiting around the corner for the doors to close before I go out there. Suddenly, I realized I had to go to the bathroom.  (I think it was really just nerves.) I knew if I didn't go then, it would be what I focused on the whole ceremony! So I was like "Dad, I need to go to the bathroom!" He was like "Oh no!!!!! Should I get one of your bridesmaids?" I was like "No, they may miss their cue!" But I was a little scared about managing the dress and all the underlayers.  But, it worked. (I had read a very helpful tip on message boards about this.) And I did not miss my big entrance.  Though I have a feeling they wouldn't have started without me. :) Not to be bridezilla, but there are advantages to being the bride.

Gage escorting John's mom
Cole and my mom

They were nervous, but did a great job. In the one of Cole and my mom, you can see him snapping his fingers. It's his nervous habit. :)

Unity sand is now in place!
Lisa and Chris

The bridal party walked in to Pachabel's Canon.  Part of me didn't want to use it because it's used so much these days. But I've loved it for a long time - even before I started hearing it at so many weddings.  It's such a beautiful, light piece. Somewhat difficult to play on the piano (I've played it for a couple weddings!) but a very beautiful composition.
Dyanna and Phillip

Daniel and Linda

Sarah and Stephen

Delia and Cameron
Ashley (Maid of Honor) and Jason
Ashley, Matron of Honor (note the children in the back, Evan with pillow)

Now for what was probably the funniest part of the ceremony - the entrance of the toddlers. Keep in mind, we had a 1 year old, 2 2 year olds, and a 4 year old. One 2 year old was severely jet lagged and had slept through rehearsal. The 1 year old had not been at rehearsal.  The plan was for the ring bearers to walk down followed by the flower girls.  This did not happen. (I knew this was a very real possibility and I wasn't concerned.)

Step 1: Children at the back of the aisle. It appears Caleb is trying to convince Evan to walk down. Caleb's mom had told him if Evan wouldn't walk, to go without him. His dad had told him not to go without Evan. (Cameron and Delia had already walked down.) 

Step 2: Emily runs halfway down the aisle. She then turns, runs back to her mom (in the teal dress) yelling "I did it! I did it!!!" 

Step 3: Cue much laughter from the crowd. It really doesn't get much cuter than an adorable girl running like that with such joy in her voice proclaiming she was finished. I could hear from my place at the back there, and I was laughing too. (Please also note the concerned look on my dad's face. He had looked around to see what was going on!)

Step 4: The other children start down the aisle.  Notice Evan's complete lack of pillow and smile. However, Caleb remains in professional mode with his wonderful smile.  (If you see Emily in the back, her mom was telling her "Honey, you were supposed to go all the way down the aisle by where Daddy is!")

I love Evan's full-fledged pout here.
Step 5: Emily obeys her mom as quickly as possible. In the first picture, you can see her coming up on the group. She then runs THROUGH the other three children (the gap between Caleb and Taylor proved helpful at this point.) This causes Evan to look even less happy and Caleb to kind of side-eye Emily, losing his professional smile.

The other three somewhat bewildered continue their journey.

Step 6: Flower girls unite at the end of the aisle.

For my music, we used the processional from The Sound of Music (my all-time favorite movie). I think it should go without saying that we did not use the part where the nuns start singing after the main processional "How do you solve a problem like Maria?"
This was a fun moment. Walking down the aisle seeing all my guests. We counted at one point and we had 3 countries and 8 states represented. Maybe more than that.... I just counted and came up with 8. So needless to say, there were lots of people there that I hadn't seen for awhile.

After I was "given away," our parents prayed over us. This was my pastor's idea, but we really liked it so we incorporated it into our ceremony. We thought we had told our parents, but apparently it was a surprise at rehearsal. Oops. :)

They forgave us and prayed anyway. It was too late to reprint the programs. :)

Aerial view

Part 2 coming soon!

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