The ceremony

Waiting by Inkygirl.
(photo by Debbie)

I’m not quite through my thank yous yet, but I did want to get to a post on the details of the ceremony. In the above photo, I’m hiding out before the ceremony in the ladies’ room with my Aunt Di and my cousin Brandy, who was my bridesmaid.

We decided, for a number of reasons, to have our ceremony and reception in the same location. For me, it was the ceremony itself that mattered, not the room it was held in. I had momentarily contemplated an outdoor location, like the rose garden in Delaware Park, but ultimately, it wasn’t worth worrying about the possibility of rain/heat and the logistics of getting our guests and entertainment from the ceremony site to the reception site. Plus, doing both in the same location meant no additional ceremony costs, which was definitely a bonus!

(Photo by Debbie)

Here, my dad waits for me to emerge so we can begin our walk down the “aisle”. In our case, the aisle was a path along the edge of the tables where our guests were seated through the center of the tables to the brick archway where we held the ceremony.

across the universe by jennimi.
(photo by jennimi)

As I had already mentioned, Ron played a lovely acoustic version of “Across the Universe” for me to make my entrance.

IMG_7904.JPG by Inkygirl.

Rand’s brother Dan, a minister, performed the ceremony for us. We worked very closely with him, selecting the vows, readings, and other personal touches we wanted to include. We very much appreciate his help and support in our endeavor!

A great deal of people commented on our vows, believing them to be personally written by us. They weren’t…I found them online, and I was moved to tears reading them:

I, Rand,
take you, Erin,
to be no other than yourself
loving what I know of you
trusting what I do not yet know
with respect for your integrity
and faith in your love for me
through all our years
and in all that life may bring us.

I, Erin,
take you, Rand,
to be no other than yourself
loving what I know of you
trusting what I do not yet know
with respect for your integrity
and faith in your love for me
through all our years
and in all that life may bring us.

ceremony4 by Allisona.
(Photo by Allison)

For the ring exchange, we used this:

I give you this ring as a reminder that I love you every day of your life.

Short, simple, and to the point. 😉

We had three readings during the ceremony…the first was done by my friend Vicki:

DSC_8343.JPG by you.

She read a poem called “Looking for Your Face” by Rumi, a favorite of ours. I decided to give Vicki this one because I knew she could handle the word “effulgence.” 😀  (the poem is the first one on the page linked to above.)

Second, we had my Aunt Di read from Ecclesiastes:

DSC_8346.JPG by you.

Ecclesiastes 4:8-13

Two are better than one
Because they have a good reward for their toil.

For if they fall, one will lift up the other
But woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help.

Again, if two lie together, they keep warm
But how can one keep warm alone?

And though one might prevail against another, two will withstand one.
A threefold cord is not quickly broken.

And Rand’s brother David read from John:

DSC_8350.JPG by you.

let us love one another
because love is of God;
everyone who loves is begotten of God
and has knowledge of God.

The man without love has known nothing of god,
for God is love.

God’s love was revealed in our midst this way:
he sent his only Son to the world
that we might have life through him.

Love, then, consists in this:
not that we have loved God,
but that he has loved us
and has sent his Son as an offering for our sins.

if God has loved us so,
we must have the same love for one another.

No one has ever seen God.
yet if we love one another
God dwells in us,
and his love is brought to perfection in us.

My father sang while we lit the unity candle:

Erin & Rand - Wedding 095 by Korak.

Erin & Rand - Wedding 092 by Korak.

(photos by Walter)

Instead of blowing the individual candles out, we left them burning…we did this to symbolize joining together in marriage while still retaining our individuality.

We ended with something a little bit different…we did a reading of our own. We chose a reading called “Because,” and I don’t remember who it’s by or where it came from…I’m sure Rand knows. We alternated segments of the reading:

Because to the depths of me, I long to love one person,
With all my heart, my soul, my mind, my body…

Because I need a forever friend to trust with the intimacies of me,
Who won’t hold them against me,
Who loves me when I’m unlikable,
Who sees the small child in me, and
Who looks for the divine potential of me…

Because I need to cuddle in the warmth of the night
With someone who thanks God for me,
With someone I feel blessed to hold…

Because marriage means opportunity
To grow in love in friendship…

Because marriage is a discipline
To be added to a list of achievements…

Because marriages do not fail, people fail
When they enter into marriage
Expecting another to make them whole…

Because, knowing this,
I promise myself to take full responsibility
For my spiritual, mental and physical wholeness
I create me, I take half of the responsibility for my marriage
Together we create our marriage…

Because of this understanding
The possibilities are limitless.

So many people commented on how personal and special the ceremony felt, and this made both of us *very* happy!

08 by Looly Huheet.

(photo by Dave Wheeler)

We did it! Yay! Our thanks to everyone who helped us make it happen, especially Dan and the team at Pearl Street, who were instrumental in making sure it worked logistically. Our readers all did a fantastic job, as did our musicians. My dad’s vocal performance was great as well, and it was incredibly meaningful for me to have him sing at my wedding.

We are truly, truly blessed.

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4 responses to “The ceremony

  1. Sounds like a wonderful service. The Ecclesiastes and John readings were well chosen.

  2. Your wedding day looks so beautiful! Congrats to you and your husband!!

  3. Thanks so much for sharing – what a beautiful choice of readings and vows. I love it. Congrats!

  4. Thanks, everyone! 😀

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