After our ceremony, we took photos with our amazing families…
and our sweet, sweet friends…
Thank you Sur La Lune Photography (pictured above <3) for capturing so many beautiful photos that we will cherish for the rest of our lives. xoxo
Now, for my favorite part of the day…the ceremony! Chet and I chose to walk down the aisle together. So, here we are gearing up for the processional. When I saw these pictures I did a serious *face-palm* when I realized I’m holding my bouquet at heart-level when just moments before the ceremony my mom had coached me on their proper positioning down by the belly button. Whoops!
In any case, I loved this moment right before the music cued up. The lighting was exactly how I pictured it and it felt so heart-warming to have so many important people from my life under one roof.
My talented sister graciously provided all the musical accompaniment for the ceremony. She has a voice like an angel and learned how to play all our music requests on the ukulele! We entered to “Here Comes the Sun” by The Beatles.
Our friend Ben officiated our ceremony. For years, Chet and I have looked up to him as a writer and speaker so it felt like such an honor to have him provide both these talents for our wedding. He walked us through each part of the ceremony with ease. And then gave the most beautiful address, equal parts funny and deeply moving, that still makes me tear up to think about.
Finding the perfect readings was a challenge I happily welcomed yet hadn’t banked on being so difficult. In the end, we settled on three pieces that I absolutely loved.
First up, Chet’s cousin Maddie read “Mysteries, Yes” by Mary Oliver.
Truly, we live with mysteries too marvelous
to be understood.
How grass can be nourishing in the
mouths of the lambs.
How rivers and stones are forever
in allegiance with gravity
while we ourselves dream of rising.
How two hands touch and the bonds
will never be broken.
How people come, from delight or the
scars of damage,
to the comfort of a poem.
Let me keep my distance, always, from those
who think they have the answers.
Let me keep company always with those who say
“Look!” and laugh in astonishment,
and bow their heads.
Next, our dear friend Adam performed “The Country of Marriage” by Wendell Berry. Spoiler alert: Chet and I both cried.
I Dream of you walking at Night along the streams
of the country of my birth, warm blooms and the nightsongs
of birds opening around you as you walk.
This comes after silence. A man lost in the woods in the dark,
I stood still and said nothing. And then there rose in me,
like the earth’s empowering brew rising
in root and branch, the words of a Dream of you
I did not know I had dreamed. I was a wanderer
who feels the solace of his native land
under his feet again and moving in his blood.
I went on, blind and faithful. Where I stepped
my track was there to steady me. It was no abyss
that lay before me, but only the level ground.
Sometimes our life reminds me
of a forest in which there is a graceful clearing
and in that opening a house,
an orchard and garden,
comfortable shades, and flowers
red and yellow in the sun, a pattern
made in the light for the light to return to.
The forest is mostly dark, its ways
to be made anew day after day, the dark
richer than the light and more blessed,
provided we stay brave
enough to keep on going in.
I give you what is unbounded, passing from dark to dark,
containing darkness: a Night of rain, an early morning.
I give you the life I have let live for the love of you:
a clump of orange-blooming weeds beside the road,
the young orchard waiting in the snow, our own life
that we have planted in the ground. I give you my love–and this poem,
no more mine than any man’s who has loved a woman.
Then, my brother Andy read from a letter John Steinbeck wrote to his son about falling in love. It lightened the mood and set the stage perfectly for our vows!
We had your letter this morning.
First — if you are in love — that’s a good thing — that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.
Second — There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you — of kindness and consideration and respect — not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.
You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply — of course it isn’t puppy love.
But I don’t think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it — and that I can tell you.
Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.
The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.
If you love someone — there is no possible harm in saying so.
Throughout the ceremony I relished sneaking peeks at our loved ones, especially our parents who were sitting right in the front row and appeared to be beaming!
I was most nervous about our vows. However, once we were in the midst of reciting them, everything else seemed to melt away and I didn’t even notice we were standing in front of an audience.
Chet made a card using one of Corita Kent’s prints (I mentioned her on the blog HERE.) to write his vows inside, and quoted the work within the vows themselves. It was all very moving.
Finally, we signed our marriage certificate. Our friends Ganer and Katie acted as our witnesses (and also held on to our rings until the big exchange ;). Thanks y’all!
And then Ben declared that we were “serving marital REALNESS!”
And we kissed to seal the deal…
And I SQUEEEED!
Our recessional song was “Emmylou” by First Aid Kit (which my sister does a beastly version of; seriously, you should hear it!). Afterwards, there was definitely a sense of WE DID IT…now let’s party! And party we did. More tomorrow!
(Photos by Sur La Lune Photography.)
On the big day, we got to our venue early in the morning, and thanks to a tremendous amount of help from our family and friends, everything was set up in no time.
Once the furniture was arranged to our liking, Chet was holed up in a basement kitchen for most of the day. He lovingly prepared a gumbo (and a vegan gumbo, too!) for our guests. Feeding people is a strong love language with this one.
In no time at all, we were ready to put on our wedding duds!
We claimed an upstairs ballet studio, and my mom arranged my hair into a beautiful up-do. Although we had gone through several practice-runs on the hair, this was her best one yet! And for the finishing touch, tiny white flowers pulled from the previously mentioned Trader Joe’s bouquets. (Great value, if I do say so myself.) Finally, I whipped my gorgeous dress off the hanger and slid it on. So excited to finally debut it! Spoiler alert: I changed my mind.
Meanwhile, Chet was getting dressed in the studio next door. So handsome!
As if she hadn’t already gone above and beyond in making my wedding a dream come true, my mom also gave me this gorgeous diamond necklace. She had it made from one of the diamonds in a set of earrings my dad gave her as an anniversary present. Since my father has passed, she wanted me to have a piece of him by my heart on my wedding day. I was so honored by this special gift and will cherish it forever.
Chet and I chose to see each other before the ceremony so we could brush off the nerves and take some photos. When we finally met up, dressed in our wedding attire, we hugged and spent a little time fawning over each other…
…before capturing a few snapshots in this remarkable ballet studio (that arch!) with our friends and photographers Carrie and Ganer.
And with one final touch…
…we set off for a whirlwind photoshoot in Downtown Lexington. More on that tomorrow!!!
(Photos by Sur la Lune Photography.)
After a week and a half of whirlwind last minute prep in Lexington, Chet and I got married on July 9th at Arts Place. The whole weekend was an absolute dream come true. Chet flew in from Miami on Thursday evening. I immediately whisked him away to enjoy dinner and drinks downtown with a few sweet friends who came in early to help us celebrate. On Friday, my ride-or-die ladyfriend threw me a bridal luncheon (complete with tiny hats), and that evening our tribe gathered at a local park to eat tacos and rehearse the ceremony.
I was a little nervous about getting everything done on The Big Day. The venue had to get set up and decorated the morning of. But these things have a way of working out when you have a crew of family and friends willing to go above and beyond to make sure every detail comes to life. I even had time to slip away to pick up platters of food and cake (from Good Foods Co-op!!) and grab a quick lunch/makeup date with my friend Katie. Meanwhile, Chet spent the day in a basement kitchen cooking a gumbo to feed all our guests!
Before I knew it everything was ready and my mom was twisting my hair into a gorgeous chignon. In my old ballet studio, no less! Chet and I decided to see each other before the wedding. And I’m so happy we had that time with each other to play and shake off the nerves. Our dear photographers/best friends, Carrie and Ganer, expertly ushered us around and kept us laughing.
The ceremony itself was everything I had hoped for. Our beautiful ceremony participants offered up their voices and their love and their signatures on our wedding certificate(!). My sister sang three perfect songs. Our friend Ben was the BEST officiant we could have ever asked for. The care he put into each little detail touched my heart and his words won’t ever be forgotten.
We ate gumbo, drank local beer and wine, and danced to our favorite songs. Chad and Ganer each gave us one hell of a toast. (I’m still blushing about their kind words.) And afterwards I ate a cupcake baked by my extraordinary mom. She made TWO kinds!
Our guest list was small but full of the sweetest folks you’ll ever meet. Aunts and uncles. Friends who live too far away. Neighbors that have watched me grow up. I was humbled to have each and every one of them present on such an important day in my life.
The reception wrapped up and we kept the party going at a bar just a stone’s throw away. And stayed until closing time…reveling in all the electric love and excitement. (And, like, when you buy a gorgeous dress that you can only wear once…you gotta keep it on as long as poss, right?!)
So, that’s a little overview of how my dream wedding weekend went down. I can’t wait to show you more photos. I’ll do some more detailed posts when I get them, if you’d like! Until then, thanks so much for reading. I’m excited to get back into the swing of things here on the blog!
Photos by Sur La Lune Photography, the very best in the biz! We can’t thank them enough for the care they took with capturing this special experience while also being such an important part of the experience, too. We love you!