I Thee Wed: Planning a Ceremony

We’ve been engaged for 229 days, and I’ve only just begun thinking about the ceremony.

This should be shameful, but really, it’s not because I’ve found cupcake choices and belly bands to be of more importance. It’s just because our ceremony is relatively straightforward – no readings, ring warming, hand fasting, high masses or moments of silence. Our goal is 20 minutes, end to end.

However. This past weekend we had our first meeting with the Reverend who will be marrying us, and he’s given us just a bit to think about.

For one thing, Mr. Ladyfingers has recently revealed to me that, all this time, he was under the impression that we were writing our own vows. Cue freak out.

I’m didn’t freak out because I’m against it. In fact, this came up precisely because I asked him what he thought of the idea. After reading lovely stories like those of Mrs. Tarlet and Mrs. Cardigan’s, I thought personalized vows would be a nice touch for two writers such as ourselves. No – I just freaked out because it was another thing to do, and really the MOST IMPORTANT thing to do, aside from getting the marriage license and showing up.

At first, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to put into words why I love him. Then I sat down and 20 minutes later, I had a pretty solid first draft of my vows. Why do I love him? Well, for starters…

  • He loves me even though I’m a complete lunatic sometimes. His patience continually floors me.
  • He’s kind and loving to those he loves and wastes no time on playing games or posturing for those he doesn’t know. He dedicates his time and effort where it’s most important, and he’s very real.
  • This may sound weird, but the way he acts with our dog makes my cold heart melt, and I can see the way he’ll act with our children. It’s all just so precious.
  • I’ve never felt more comfortable around and at the same time more passionate about another human being. In fact, I didn’t think it was possible.
  • He totally gets me. There isn’t another human being who gets 100% of what I say, all the time – stupid jokes, weird references, and all.

Among other things. See? My love is relatively easy to explain. I’m largely using Mrs. Jam’s “I love you because…because I love you” template that so many others have relied upon. It’s pretty foolproof, no?

The next matter at hand is the actual type of ceremony we’ll be using. Rev. Shook has given us three options: A classic religious ceremony, a contemporary religious ceremony, and a nonreligious ceremony. We can also mix and match elements, add our own, etc. We’re taking practically nothing from the classic religious ceremony, only because it doesn’t really match our style. But we like certain elements from the contemporary religious ceremony and will likely mesh that with the nonreligious version. And can I just say? Reading any of these ceremonies makes me bawl my babypants eyes out. Which may also be a big reason why I haven’t started thinking about the ceremony in detail until like, last week.

One thing we’re doing that neither of us had seen before is the blessing by both sets of parents – not just my dad. After I’m in place with Mr. Ladyfingers, facing one another, right hand in right hand, the Reverend will ask my father and Mr. LF’s parents to stand, and ask if they give their blessing in our union. Hopefully, they’ll all say yes and we can get on with it. We like this a lot, because it’s important to us to involve our entire family in the union.

We briefly considered a ring-warming ceremony, but decided I would be too nervous with our rings being passed around among 80 of our nearest and dearest (although I do really like how Mrs. Hippo finally arrived at a workable solution). Not that I don’t trust them, and since we’re not having kids there, the rings would probably stay out of our guests’ mouths. I just don’t want to take any chances or sit there obsessing about one more thing than necessary.

As I’d mentioned before, the issue of the ceremony arch has been taken out of our hands by Mother Nature, and we’ll use two palm trees at the far corner of the ceremony lawn as our focal point. And as for decorations? I’ve got a little something up my sleeve that involves engagement photos, paper, and a border punch – STAY TUNED. I’ve been a paper crafting fiend lately and I’m pretty excited to start showing off my stuffs.

What path did your ceremony planning take? Did you involve friends and family in readings? Did you include cultural or other special traditions to make it your own? I love hearing these kinds of stories – and you never know. It could totally change my mind about what to include.

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