Missed the "Getting Ready" post? Check it out here.
Once we were dressed and ready, the girls loaded into the limobus and made our way to the church. We staged a quick photo-op during the drive, and then we were on our way.
My bridesmaids were my roommates from college, and my maid-of-honor was my younger sister. My mom came along with us at this point too.
Note the snow on the ground. Remember the wedding took place in January so I opted for gray boots outside and saved my high heels for inside. As for my bridesmaids, all I can say is thanks for braving the temps and you guys looked great! The dresses are cocktail length J.Crew silk chiffon and they could pick whatever shoes they liked. Nice choices girls!
The guys were still at the hotel and were able to get a few pics in the lobby. A big plus of having a winter wedding is all of the holiday decor. The hotel lobby provided a festive backdrop.
Another shot, this time on the steps of the church. Ryan's dad, brother, nephew, best friend, my dad and my brother.
We opted to get married in the Presbyterian Church. We aren't Presbyterian, but we are different religions and they have a pretty flexible interfaith (although we are both Christian) marriage policy. Lucky for us, my mom happens to be the office manager at a (bonus!) beautiful church with ornate woodwork and stained glass windows. All of the church employees were so kind and accomodating. There were decorations here for the holidays as well, basic greenery and white lights, which was perfect. We added a ton of white candles in cylinder vases at the altar. I thought the candle altar was probably the most beautiful aspect design-wise of the whole wedding and we got many compliments on it!
Another small touch was this DIY wreath for the pulpit. My mom, dad, and I made a few more of these to use as centerpieces at the reception. We started with a styrofoam wreath and figured out that lots of hot glue was the best attachment method. Highly scientific crafting going on.
I made the programs myself in MS Word and assembled them with the help of my parents and sister. The snowflake image on the front is a stamp that I embossed on each of the covers. Embossing was a really fun project, probably the most enjoyable DIY thing I did. It was so satisfying to see the stamped image raise up with the heat gun. I realized during the design process that if I printed a small dot centered on the cover page, I could perfectly align the stamps effortlessly. I know this little stroke of genius saved many, many misfit off-center snowflake programs.
The church was great because they had a nice little parlor where the girls could sit and wait before the ceremony. The guys arrived not too long before we started off and waited in Pastor Chuck's office. Ryan said he wasn't nervous but he looks a little on edge here as they walked in.
Did I mention we had a ring bearer? Ryan's 2-year old nephew decided to make his debut a little early and announced to the church full of guests "I'M READY" and made his way with Ryan's parents. No biggie. If you decide to involve children in your ceremony, please repeat after me, "Roll with it." Your sanity will thank me. We had two babysitters in a separate room during the ceremony (also during dinner at the reception) which I also highly recommend.
Once the little guy, Ryan's parents, my mom with Pop-pop, and the bridesmaids entered, it was my turn. I wasn't nervous at all until the last few minutes before the I walked down the aisle with my dad. Major jitters at that point, but as soon as we came through the doors my nerves subsided. The photographers didn't get any shots of Ryan here, but I still remember the look on his face. I don't think I noticed anyone else in the room.
My dad handed me off and we started the ceremony. My mom and Ryan's aunt both read a passage. We used the standard wedding passage from Corinthians and "Blessing for a Marriage" by James Dillet Freeman. I love the last line:
"May you have happiness, and may you find it making one another happy. May you have love, and may you find it loving one another."
A close friend of ours sang "You Raise Me Up" while we lit a unity candle. Then a sermon, which I don't remember at all. We didn't have a videographer, so it will remain a mystery. We used traditional vows, and the whole ceremony only lasted about twenty minutes or so.
You may kiss (hug?) the bride.
Married! Done and done.
Next and final installment will be the reception recap. By this point you're (I use you losely, since my own proofreading may in fact be the only reader of this marathon post. So maybe I should say I'm? I digress.) probably ready to move on to other things here on the blog. Yes? Good, because we have some exciting stuff coming up next week. So the reception recap will probably have to wait until after.