Happy Wedding Wednesday! I’m excited to share one of my most favorite memories of our wedding day with y’all today. Going into the planning of our ceremony, I knew the importance of it, but between all of the decisions and details of the reception, I didn’t realize that my ceremony would easily become one of my favorite memories from that day. There is just nothing to come to the feeling of joyfully becoming husband and wife!
Our biggest wish for our ceremony was to create a service that was just as meaningful and reflective of our relationship, as it was of our relationship with Christ. As I mentioned when we selected our venues, part of the reason we chose to get married at St. Luke’s was less because it was closer than my family’s church, but because it was the church I was baptized in, and spent most Sundays during my childhood. It was the place where I could envision Jody as my groom for the first time, and it sure did not disappoint. When those big wooden doors opened to view my groom at the end of the aisle, I was left completely breathless. Ribbons with hints of blush and gold lined the aisle, along with the words of 1 Corinthians 13, the pews were adorned with hydrangeas and filled with the people that we love most, and my most perfect groom waiting for me to become his bride. It gets me every. single. time.
We also had asked my uncle, who is a pastor, to officiate the ceremony. It was overwhelmingly beautiful to have someone who was so close to us guide us through vowing our love to one another and before God.
For being someone who has spent entirely too much time watching videos of other peoples’ weddings, I knew from the start that I wanted to have personalized vows. I think it is so beautiful when you can take pieces from your story to make these promises to one another even more special and real. Thankfully, Jody agreed to take a moment to share these vows in front of our family and friends. Because we chose not to share our personal vows with one another until the ceremony, I asked to share mine first. We also chose to repeat the traditional vows to each other — they are just that good! I will never forget the feeling of staring into Jody’s eyes as I made the promises I had heard for so many years, feeling the weight and importance of every word as I vowed to cherish him forever.
To continue our drive to keep our ceremony meaningful, we chose three readings, all which were read by close family and friends. Our two biblical readings were Ephesians 5:21-33 and Hebrews 13: 1-4A, 5-6B. We found it so important to include what God asks of us in our roles as husband and wife, the desires for our lives together, as well as the life-changing promises that He makes to us, which has an impact on all portions of our lives — including our marriage. The other reading we chose was “Blessing of the Hands”, which speaks directly to our here and now, as well as our desires for the future of our marriage. It also provided a smooth transition to our unity selection — a hand washing ceremony.
We chose to have a hand washing ceremony to symbolize the purity of beginning our lives as one, while cleansing any faults of our past. Our beginning was a fresh start, no longer as individuals, but a journey that we would embark on together for the rest of our lives. We also chose to partake in communion, just the two of us, in remembrance of the love that our Lord has for us, as we both believe that we can love each other only because of the greatest love that He gave for us. We had our pianist play “Sanctuary”, a song we both grew up singing, while we served communion to one another. That private moment for the two of us was unexpectedly one of the most emotional moments for me during the entire ceremony.
After our first kiss as husband and wife, we walked back up the aisle to “Ode to Joy”, the same song that my parents exited to at their wedding! I loved that we were able to honor both of our parents marriages during our ceremony by using songs that were played during wedding years before. It was such a blissful moment — the chords ringing out, mixed with clapping of our family and friends, while simultaneously realizing that we were officially husband and wife — I would go back and repeat that moment every day for the rest of my life.