Monday, August 15, 2011

The Ceremony: Making Our Commitment to Each Other - Part 1

After our parents read their passages about love and marriage, D continued with the next part of the ceremony...our vows:

D:The vows that a bride and groom recite are a reflection of the people they are and the love they share. C and her Mr have prepared their own vows. Mr, you first.

My Mr’s Vows
(Disclaimer: Aside from stressing out about writing my vows I was also worried about what my Mr had written since we had chosen not to work together on writing but be surprised at the ceremony. I had no idea what his would sound like and I worried that he would either say something inappropriate or completely miss the boat. Yes, sometimes I need to chill out and stopping being a control freak. But when he started to talk all I could think was how much I loved him and the water works started up again...)

My Mr: C, the love of my life.

Today I express to you how much you mean to me and the happiness you have brought into my life.

I cannot imagine another day going by without your unconditional love. I know you are always there for me, whether we are side by side or far apart.

Your love brings me comfort in times of uncertainty. It gives me strength when I am weak, and rights me when I am wrong. With you I am truly complete - as you are everything I am not, and everything I should be.

From the day we met I knew you were special. As our relationship grew, you filled a void in my life that cannot be replaced by anything else. For this I am in your debt, which I can only hope to repay by loving you in return.

You have taught me the true meaning of love. This is the reason I stand before you today and commit myself to you, now and forever. These vows I now take are expressions of my gratitude for all that you have given me.

I promise to always be true to you and to hold dear this bond we take in marriage. I will never take it for granted or lessen its meaning.

 I will strive to be more understanding and to be a good listener. I do my best every day to improve - really. Maybe someday I will actually remember everything you say to me – especially those lectures you give. I am trying, and learning, and always grateful for your patience.

I vow to support you unwaveringly in everything that you do, whether it is your career, your family or as a mother – I am your foundation.

 I promise to keep our love strong. I will do all that I can to keep the fire of our love burning. I will keep an open mind to your interests and do my best to share and experience them however I can.

 I vow to remain honest and open in our relationship. There shall be no barriers between us. I am your confidant in all things.

I will never forget nor forsake this day as it will be treasured as long as I live. Because of your love I will never feel alone. We are in this together: your happiness and pains are shared with me.

No matter how bad things ever get, I take solace knowing you are by my side. Your beautiful smile, joyous laughter and insightful wisdom are enough to get me through the darkest of days.
I love you C. I am proud to be your husband.

Pretty amazing if do say so...pretty amazing...even just reading them again as I share them with you I am struck by how lucky I am to have such a wonderful man for my husband.

Next vows

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Ceremony: Lets Talk about Love

As I mentioned before, we had decided NOT to have a religious ceremony. We also wanted someone that knew and cared about us officiate the ceremony, not a stranger, so we asked my sister's husband to do the honour and he didn't an amazing job. MOH K put the ceremony together by referencing different examples online and adding her own creative touch. It went like this...(Warning: this is a long post!)

Everyone please be seated, Thank you!

We are gathered here today to share in the celebration of the love between C and her Mr, and to personally wish them well on a journey that will be uniquely theirs for the rest of their lives.

Address to the Assembly

Today represents not only the joining of C and her Mr, but also the joining of their families and friends.

C and her Mr would like to recognize their parents on this occasion. They offer their profound gratitude for all the love and care their parents showed in raising them. The unconditional gifts of love and support that you have continually offered have inspired them to become who they are today, and they thank you from the bottom of their hearts. Without you, this day would not be possible.

C and her Mr would also like to thank all of you here for making the long journey in order to share this celebration. Whether you’ve made it here from the city, farther in the province or from across the country, you are all here because you’ve played an important part in both of their lives. They want to acknowledge that they are in many ways who they are today because of the special moments they have shared with each of you.

They have invited you to this beautiful place under this tree to show you a glimpse of an important piece of their love. They wanted to show you its beauty because their love is connected just as this tree, by their roots. Their time together has always been a time of connectedness, growth and of a deepening respect for family, for friends, for nature, and for each other.

Address to the Couple

C and her Mr, you are here surrounded by your closest family and friends. Some people here have known you your entire lives and some for less than a year but no matter how long or in what circumstances they know you, I can guarantee that everyone here knows what remarkable individuals you are. You are remarkable for the passion and breadth of your interests and for the fact that you both have an extraordinary understanding about who you are and what you stand for. As individuals you have shined throughout all of your unique and colorful endeavors. That might have been enough, even had you never found one another, but you did find one another and this is cause for further celebration, because as a couple you are able to bring out the best in one another.

Marriage Statement

Marriage challenges us to share the same journey without abandoning the truth of our individuality; to not lose ourselves in one another, but rather walk side by side, heading in the same direction.

A quote (by Anonymous) that C loves says this:

“Maybe…We are supposed to meet the wrong people before meeting the Right one, so that when we finally meet the right person, we will know how to be grateful for that gift. is true that we don't know what we have got until we lose it, but it is also true that we don't know what we have been missing until it arrives

Maybe...the happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way.

Maybe...the best kind of love is the kind where you can sit on a sofa together never say a word, and then walk away feeling like it was the best conversation you've ever had. shouldn't go for looks; they can deceive. Don't go for wealth; even that fades away. Go for someone who makes you smile, because it takes only a smile to make a dark day seem bright. should hope for enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human, and enough hope to make you happy.

Maybe Love is not about finding the perfect person; it's about learning to see an imperfect person perfectly. When you do what you can, love will do what you can't”

C and her Mr, always remember that your friendship and the shared values of respect, honesty and trust are the reason that you have chosen to build a life together. Enjoy the intertwining roots of your independence with your intimacy. I wish you the courage to keep your hearts open to each other for the rest of your lives.

Love Reading #1

Now, if I could invite, C's parents please, to step forward to read an excerpt from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres.

Mom: Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do.

Dad: Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grow towards each other underground, slowly and determined. And when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from our branches, we found that we were one tree and not two.

D: Thank you.

A lasting marriage is not stagnant. The relationship and each individual are continually growing and developing. Your understanding of each other deepens and evolves.

No ceremony can create your marriage; only you can do that – through love and patience; through dedication and perseverance; through talking and listening, helping and supporting and believing in each other; through tenderness and laughter; through learning to forgive, learning to appreciate your differences, and by learning to make the important things matter, and to let go of the rest. It is not this ceremony or the state of being married that will truly join and hold you together, but your ongoing commitment to your relationship and to the kind of life you wish to make together. What this ceremony can do is to witness and affirm the choice you make to stand together as partners in life.

Love Reading #2

I’d now like to invite up her Mr's parents to please step forward and read "Blessing for A Marriage" by James Dillet Freeman.

MIL: “May your marriage bring you all the exquisite excitements a marriage should bring, and may life grant you also patience, tolerance, and understanding. May you always need one another -- not so much to fill your emptiness as to help you to know your fullness. A mountain needs a valley to be complete. The valley does not make the mountain less, but more. And the valley is more a valley because it has a mountain towering over it. So let it be with you and you. May you need one another, but not out of weakness. May you want one another, but not out of lack. May you entice one another, but not compel one another. May you embrace one another, but not out encircle one another.May you succeed in all-important ways with one another, and not fail in the little graces. May you look for things to praise, often say, "I love you!" and take no notice of small faults. If you have quarrels that push you apart, may both of you hope to have good sense enough to take the first step back. May you enter into the mystery that is the awareness of one another's presence -- no more physical than spiritual, warm and near when you are side by side, and warm and near when you are in separate rooms or even distant cities. 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.”

(My FIL stood with my MIL for support but wasn't comfortable reading...or so I was told. He then surprised me by taking the microphone from my MIL after she finished to give an impromptu thank you to all of the guests for coming. Basically at this point I am shoot a panicked "WTF" look to my Mr as this was NOT part of the ceremony. Obviously in his nervousness he forgot that they would have a chance to say their thank yous at the reception during speeches. Everyone went with the follow and I never said anything to him and I'm sure to this day he's oblivious that it wasn't the appropriate time but it will definitely one of the memorable points in our wedding and a test to me going with the flow for the day)

D: Thank you.

Love – as we call it – is a most marvelous thing: it is rarely found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a divine accident, and the most wonderful of all things in life.

C and her Mr, you are very fortunate to have found this kind of love. Many paths have led you here, to this place where you know you belong. Your journey has brought you here, to the beginning of the rest of your life together. To witness this is inspiring to all of us.

Next up...We exchange our vows.

The Ceremony: Making an Entrance

4:00pm has finally arrived, I'm speeding walking behind some trees to be in my spot when the DJ starts to play "Master of the Wind" by Manowar which is the cue for the guys to start making their way to the ceremony.

The song is just over 5 minutes long so it was more then enough time to get the guys to the alter and my Mr with his parents.

When my MIL saw that both of my parents would be walking me down the aisle she requested that my FIL also join her in escorting my Mr to the alter.

Now remember when I mentioned during the rehearsal my Mr and his parents weren't paying attention? Well this is why...when they turned onto the grass they made a beeline to the alter, skipping the middle aisle completely and just coming in from the side. How they didn't notice the groomsmen walking down the aisle minute before them, I have no idea. Since I was behind the trees, out of my Mr's view (he hasn't seen me since Friday as he opted out of the "First Look" picture session) I didn't get to see them mess up and don't really care as he made it to the alter and that's what matters...right?! But it is very typical of the three of them not to realize that there was actually a plan and to just do their own thing.

 At the alter (I've been calling it alter, even though this isn't a religious ceremony for lack of a better word so go with it please), my Mr hugs his parents before they take their seats and he joins his groomsmen.

And then the music changed to the instrumental "Evenstar" from the Lord of the Rings soundtrack, the cue for my bridesmaids to start their walk up the aisle.

First, my BM K...

 And then MOH K...
 Lastly, MOH M
(guest picture of our singer)

 Once they all made it to the alter, my friend, MOH K's SIL, started to sing a slightly revised version of "May It Be" by Enya (also from the Lord of the Rings soundtrack) which was my cue to start my walk up the aisle with my parents on either side of me.

By slightly revised, I mean that a few of the lyrics were depressing so my friend tweeted them abit:
May it be an evening star

Shines down upon you
May it be when troubles fall
Your hearts will be true
You won't walk a lonely road
Oh! How you have found a home

Mornie utúlië
Love has helped you find your way
Mornie alantië
A promise lives within you now

This is about the point where I notice everyone that is waiting for us and it hits me that all of these people came to see US and I'm overwhelmed with how luckily and loved we are...long story short...this is when the water works started for me and didn't really stop until the end of the night. I never thought I would be a crier during my wedding but apparently it can happen to the best of us!

And now that we are all where we are suppose to be, the ceremony can begin...

{Unless otherwise creditted, all photos taken by Darren Hull Studios}

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Ceremony: Waiting

While the girls were rushing around getting dress, my Mr was waiting at the venue with his parents and groomsmen for the go ahead to start making their way to the ceremony.

(my Mr looking serious)
(his groomsmen)

(my Mr with his brother, best man B)


 And while they waited for their music que to start walking, our guests were taking their seats...

 (picking up ceremony programs & iced lemon water)

(the ceremony programs...assembled the night before!)

While they waited for everything to start, my Mr's playlist of music from Lord of the Rings, Braveheart, Gladiator soundtracks and a few heavy metal songs played in the background....

{All photos taken by Darren Hull Studios}

The Morning of our Wedding: Getting Dressed Up

With less then 2 hours to go before I was walking down the aisle, we made our way back to the camper where my Mr's cousin, our professional photographer, waited for us to take pictures well we did touch ups and got dressed...

(The view from our campsite)
(Our rented camper from kijiji)

First thing we had to tackle was our hair...remember how we were assured that hair and makeup would last through the day and night? Well they were half right, our makeup stayed on until the next morning but our hair was not so lucky. With the exception of MOH K's hair style, which was a bump with a pony tail...think Duffy..., we all had to make adjustments and touch ups. My sister, MOH M, took hers completely apart and redid it herself, where as BM K & I had to pull out the curling iron and hairspray to re curl our ringlets...

I had told the hair stylist that I wanted to look like "me" which meant leaving my hair down and curly, she decided to take that advice and use a curling iron to force my curls into controlled ringlets. I thought it looked really nice but was concerned that the humidity of the morning and all of the moving around would weigh on my hair and flatten it. She was very confident and just gave it another shot of hairspray but 5 hours later my hair was almost straight! So BM K meticulously re curled my ringlets and sprayed each one with a good dose of heavy duty hair spray.

Our hands had been tied when we booked our hair stylist because she was a package deal with our makeup artist, but I do feel bad that my bridesmaids and I had to pay $75/each for something that didn't even last the morning and wasted an hour of our time crunched day repairing. She was a really nice person but it doesn't change the fact that we paid professional prices for sub par results...

While BM K was fixing my hair, the other girls were getting dressed.

My MIL made the girls' dresses and she had some difficulty with MOH K's. Originally it was suppose to be strapless but it didn't want to stay up and kept sliding down her chest. She also had difficultly sizing the dress, first being too loose and then being too tight, since MOH K seemed to be between a 6 & 8 on the pattern sizing. After multiple alterations, we finally got a dress that fit but the band between the skirt and the chest was really wide. Not wanting to tell my MIL that she needed to fix yet another thing with the dress, we decided to shop for a wide belt to go around her waist and hide that portion of the dress. Originally we thought we could find a grey belt so that wouldn't stand out but after multiple stores we settled on a black one from Forever 21.

(Adjusting MOH K's belt to cover the dress's mid band)
(Picking out their black nylons)

(Touch ups)

When MOH K was dressed, our photographer D and her took my dress outside to take a few shots. It doesn't have the crinoline under it so it looks a little flat but I'm all for the detail pictures...

The girls also worked on transferring their ceremony reading to smaller paper that would be easier to handle..

 And then came the time to get me into my dress...

 With the help of MOH K & M, we got my crinolines fluffed under the skirt of the dress, my bra off and started tightening up the corset.
 I can not express how much I love corsets. I could honestly where one, happily, every day. They make me look two sizes smaller and I don't need a bra!

One downside is the inevitable back fat that creeps up and over the corset. I had my MIL make me a bolero to cover this but it was so warm out that I could bare to wear it for the ceremony and forgot to put it on later. Trying to remember proper posture was my only defense...that and not showing you any pictures where the back fat is really obvious! Its nice to have creative control...

 And yes, I'm aware I have alot of cleavage...I'm okay with fact I love them...
 Lastly, I put on my jewelery. My friend, a massage therapist who designs jewelry on the side, made me this custom pearl necklace with broach (that she picked up a Michael's and fastened a turquoise stone to the center which matched with the turquoise necklaces I had her make for my bridesmaids). She also made pearl drops earrings to match.
With us also ready to go, we got into BM K's car and had her husband drive us over to the ceremony. Since we were getting married outside and I didn't want people to see me before walking down the aisle we got dropped off behind the tree line and made our way around to our starting point.

This is the point where I showed a little stress. You see we hadn't thought to have someone wait behind the trees to notify the DJ when to start the music but had just said to start at 4:00. I was worried that we would be late and everyone would be wondering why I wasn't coming down the aisle! Luckily it all worked out.

Up next...our ceremony

{All pictures were taken by Darren Hull Studios}