If you missed our previous wedding recaps, please check those out first! Here are the most recent:
- We’re Married! (Photo Sneak Preview)
- The Day Before (Rehearsal Dinner & Meet + Greet)
- Why Running on the Morning of my Wedding was an Awesome Idea
- Getting ready & THE dress!
- Bridesmaid & Groomsmen Portraits
Unless otherwise noted, all the photos in this post are credited to our awesome wedding photographers, Ben and Taylor, of Ben Powell Photography. They did SUCH a great job!
Before I start talking about the ceremony, I first have to say how lucky we were that it didn’t rain. Thank you again, weather gods, for being amenable to our plans.
Our wedding ceremony was held on the lawn of beautiful Rosemont Manor in Berryville, VA. I was awed at how gorgeous everything looked – the venue’s on-site coordinator and our florist, Flowers Unlimited, did such a beautiful job putting everything together. This was all their vision because I had no idea what to do in terms of decorations, but I loved it! Simple and classic.
After getting ready and taking our solo photos, the girls and I waited upstairs, sneaking peaks out the window at the guests arriving. Eep! (I was cold, hence the pashmina.)
Before I knew it, they were calling for us to line up. All of us would walk out of the house, onto the front portico with the beautiful pillars, down the stairs and down the aisle. The men lined up downstairs while we lurked upstairs out of view. At this point, I started feeling kind of nervous. I remember hearing the music start outside. This was really it! Gah!
We hired a string trio from Labrador Entertainment to play during the ceremony. They did a wonderful job, highly recommended.
The entrances began with Matt taking my grandmother, my mother, and his mother down the aisle. Apparently everyone was laughing because he kept walking in and out!
Next up, the groomsmen made their grand entrance:
Matt, walking down the aisle to join them up front:
My beautiful bridesmaids:
Still in love with the bouquets. So beautiful!
And our cheap Joanne Fabrics ribbons worked out perfectly for a splash of color on the dress!
And then it was my turn.
Walking down the aisle was completely surreal. I remember taking a deep breath and the doors flying open. Pachelbel’s Canon in D began to play. This was really it. There Matt was, there EVERYONE was, waiting for me. I get chills just thinking about it now.
Matt and I came up with our own ceremony program with the help of the Internet. Neither of us is particularly religious, so we didn’t want a lot of traditional language, and we also wanted some cute, quirky readings that reflected our personalities.
After welcoming everyone and our declaration of consent, we had our sealing of the “Love Letter Box.”
The Love Letter Box was a fun idea that I found online while perusing some ceremony program options. Here’s how our Officiant explained it to everyone:
At this time I’d like to draw your attention to the box beside Matt and Anne. They have written letters to each other expressing their feelings as they begin
their marriage. They have detailed why they fell in love and what they truly admire about the other person. These letters were sealed before they could be
read and given to their mothers for safekeeping. Together we will place the letters in the box and seal the box. On the happy occasion of Matt and Anne’s anniversary, they will open the box and read the letters together. Each year, after reading their letters, they will write new ones to seal in the box for the following year.
After the box was sealed, our readings started. First, we asked Matt’s sister-in-law (and now my sister-in-law, too!) Jess to read the following:
“The Art of a Good Marriage” by Wilferd Arlan Peterson
A good marriage must be created.
In the art of marriage the little things are the big things…
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once each day.
It is never going to sleep angry.
It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.
It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is not only marrying the right partner…
It is being the right partner.
Matt and I loved that passage – we looked through tons online and it really stood out to us among the rest. When Jess started to read, the microphone didn’t work, so our Officiant went over and held out his lapel mic for her instead.
Next, we asked my cousin Keith to read the following untitled passage by Victor Hugo.
You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving.
The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness. We pardon to the extent that we love.
Love is knowing that even when you are alone, you will never be lonely again.
And great happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved. Loved for ourselves. And even loved in spite of ourselves.
Following the readings, our Officiant offered his homily. Matt and I met with him a number of times before the ceremony to talk details and share more about our relationship and why we love each other, and he created his presentation based on that. We had NO idea what he was going to do but it ended up being perfect – so quirky, sweet, and casual.
He started with an analogy, using rice (he jokingly shared that he had gotten brown rice instead of white since it was for us) and large walnuts. He stated that in this case, the brown rice was the “little stuff.” The stuff that happens every day, that you need to get done, but it isn’t necessarily anything huge. The walnuts were the “big stuff” – so our relationship, our family, things like that.
He held up a jar. First, he put all the brown rice into the jar. He explained that this is often what happens. Everyone gets caught up in their own lives, all the little stuff that’s stressing us out every day, everything on our to do list, and all of that. With all of the brown rice in the jar, he next tried to fit in the walnuts, or the “big stuff.” But, surprise!, there wasn’t space.
Then, he emptied the jar, and put the walnuts in first this time. This, he explained, should be your focus. The small stuff should come after the bigger stuff. When the walnuts were already in the jar, he poured the brown rice in around it. And what do you know? It all fit.
A good reminder, especially during these busy days, to always remember what really matters. He gave us the jar with the brown rice and walnuts inside to keep as a nice reminder of this and our big day.
Next, he juggled little hacky sack cows as an analogy that things can be crazy and upside down, but you can still end up with something good (a “milkshake” – hilarious). No, I’m serious. Matt and I were cracking up like, where is this going? And even more hilarious was that he dropped them the first time. It was all so quirky and awesome. He definitely nailed “us”.
Next, it was time to get serious again. We were ready to say our vows!
“I, Matt, take you, Anne, to be my wife, to have and to hold for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, from this day forward until death do us part.”
“I, Anne, take you, Matt, to be my husband, to have and to hold for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, from this day forward until death do us part.”
And then came the exchange of the rings, which Matt had given to his brother, Chris, to hold on to right before the ceremony.
Chris handed our Officiant the rings, and then… he dropped them. I heard an audible gasp from the crowd, and Matt and I promptly burst out laughing. Thankfully, they didn’t roll away!
Okay, now we’re really ready.
“Anne, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love for you, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you.”
“Matt, I give you this ring as a symbol of my love for you, and with all that I am, and all that I have, I honor you.”
Runaway veil! Lol.
“By the power vested in me, I now pronounce you husband and wife.”
“You may kiss the bride!”
“Ladies and gentlemen: I now present to you – for the first time – Mr. and Mrs.!”
Above photo via Elle
And with that, it was official!
We all retreated into the house to grab a snack and get ready to head outside for more pictures.
Stay tuned – my next installment in the wedding recap series will be photos from our official wedding party and new married couple photo shoot! I’ll share those sometime in the next week or so. Sorry it took so long to get this post up!