our wedding: ceremony

Of all the wedding posts I’ve written, this one has been the hardest.  I’ve been opening it and looking at it and thinking about it and giving up, over and over again.

Our wedding ceremony was easily the most meaningful part our wedding day.  The music played, the words spoken, the covenant made.  The moments were sacred and special and changed our lives forever.

Right before we (the bridal party) lined up and walked down the aisle, we met for some last minute snacks, a time of prayer, and, of course, a make-up touch up, since I had been bawling all morning and afternoon long.  The guys did the same, but in the room next door (and probably minus the make-up and crying).  These moments are so precious to me, as well as the pictures that help me remember them.

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As I’ve mentioned before, the location our wedding was stunning.  My dear friend Kaci also went above and beyond in creating decorations to add some special touches.

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My mom and Danny’s mom entered first, and lit the unity candles at the front of the church.

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Then my grandmothers were escorted by ushers, Danny’s friend Austin and my cousin Zach.  What a gift it was to have both of my grandmas there on my most special day.

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Following them was our bridal party, accompanied by “How Deep by the Father’s Love for Us.”

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^^ Danny’s friend Tom and sister Rachel ^^

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^^ Danny’s friend Nick and my friend Kaci

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^^ My brother Eric and friend Whitney ^^

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^^ Danny’s friend Brandon and my friend Kristen ^^

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^^ Danny’s best man (and brother) James and my maid of honor (and friend) Andrea ^^

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^^ Our ring bearer (and my cousin) Paul ^^

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^^ Our flower girls (and my cousins) Katie and Michaela ^^

The doors to the back of the church closed after the sweet flower girls, but reopened once they had sprinkled their petals and taken their seats.  Our musician, James Guerra, began playing JJ Heller’s “All I Need,” and then…

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…my parents walked me down the aisle, all three of us tearing up the whole way.  Our pastor, Alan Kraft, from our beloved Christ Community Church, welcomed the congregation and prayed.  Afterwards, my parents gave me away.Everett-0629

My dear friends, Amanda and Sarah, read two different passages about love and Jesus and marriage (the exact verses escape me) from the Bible.

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The readings were followed by a homily and prayer.

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While Danny and I were in China in September and October of 2012, he wrote a song for me, to be played for the first time at our wedding.  It is entitled “Hello Beloved,” and he now plays it frequently in the evenings when I’m writing or washing dishes after dinner.

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Finally it was time to exchange our vows and our rings.

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Danny’s good friend, Tim, read another passage of Scripture.

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Following that, we lit the unity candle from the two candles our mother’s lit at the beginning of the ceremony, as James played “Love is Not a Fight.”

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And then, one of the most meaningful and memorable parts of the ceremony, at least for me.  Danny and I washed each other’s feet, and if you were there, you know that I had significant trouble putting his socks back on, resulting in a couple of laughs from the peanut gallery (a.k.a. bridal party).

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We finished the ceremony with a prayer, a blessing, and our presentation as a couple!  We kissed somewhere in there, too.

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We recessed down the aisle to James playing “God Gave Me You,” and basked in the moment.  We were (are) married!!

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We celebrated with our wedding party in an adjoining room, and made it all official by signing the marriage license.

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Read the first five posts in the series on our wedding here (gifts and registering), here (preparations), here (getting ready), here (first look), and here (bridal party).

***All images courtesy of Caroline Leigh Photography.

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