Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Our Wedding Ceremony

So here we are on the other side of our breathtaking wedding ceremony... it feels so surreal. So much amazingness (and craziness) happened before our actual wedding ceremony that I feel totally weird starting out of order. I am starting with the ceremony, however, because it was the most important part, and none of the rest would have been were there not a wedding to celebrate!

Before I go into the details of the day, here you go... our first moments together as husband and wife:

Have you ever seen two people more excited about life? I felt about 3 miles high above the Earth at that moment.

After looking back over the video that my cousin Rob shot of our entire ceremony (Thank God, I love you Rob), it has come to my attention that our ceremony must have been near 45 minutes long. However, at the time, I felt like it went by in less than 5 minutes. When I heard the wedding march start and walked through the doors of the church with my father, all time stood still for a few seconds and I really have no idea how I made it from the back of the church to the front. I swear my feet weren't moving. It was complete tunnel-vision and some sort of crazy time-warp. After those few moments though, when I finally had Jon's hands in mine and I could look him in the eye without tulle everywhere, it felt very real and I felt like I was home. I will never forget that moment as long as I live.

The ceremony itself was just so beautiful but there are really only a few specific snippets of it that I remember clearly. At the rehearsal the day prior we practiced the "I will" portion of the ceremony. Our service was an Episcopal one in which all of the guests participate by saying "we will" and during our rehearsal the priest gave the guests a hard time about not being loud enough. On the wedding day itself, the " I wills" came fairly quickly in the ceremony and I was still a bit nervous from my walk in. When my time came I squeaked my "I will" out and then it was our guests turn, at which point they all YELLED "WE WILL" which completely cracked me up and relaxed me a lot too.

After the "i wills" we were all able to sit down for the music and readings and that made me feel even more in the moment. J and I got to sit in the back a bit, so I really felt like we were getting some moments alone. I had missed Jonathon so much all day and it had been such a whirlwind getting to the church that I was so happy to be able to sit with him and tell him how handsome he was and to just take the whole thing in. Because we were being naughty and talking (we whispered I swear) I missed most of our first solo "Faith, Hope and Love," but I listened during the readings and during the homily.

One of the most memorable moments for our guests most likely came during our homily (basically the part where the priest talks or tells a story). Unfortunately (or maybe fortunate for a good stories sake), our priest completely stopped in mid-sentence, turned to our stunned photographer Ariel who was halfway to the back of the church and said "excuse me but could you please put your camera away because I'm finding myself very distracted." Which, of course, came out very nicely but completely distracted me and I'm sure most of the guests from whatever the heck he was talking about. His homily made no sense to me on the day of the wedding, I think my mind was already in 5 million places, and then once he said that I was a bit shocked, but looking back on the videos he actually did a real good job. :)

There were only three times that I cried during our ceremony and I was very proud of myself for not being a total wreck. Part of the reason that I was not a complete mess, I am sure, is because I did not have much time prior to the ceremony to sit in the church and wait and ponder the intensity of what was about to happen. Although Jonathon was right on time to the church at 2:30 for a 4pm ceremony (he said to me, "babe, it was game day, you know how I am"), I on the other hand was still getting beautiful at 2:30 and managed to get to the church at exactly 3:58pm. This timing is the source of my only regret about our entire wedding weekend. Looking back, I think it worked out perfectly, but I felt a bit guilty for not being there earlier to simmer. I wanted a solid 15 minutes to sit and be calm, but I also know myself and am the type of person that gets overwhelmed and starts sobbing when given too much time to consider such things. At 3:45 however (unbeknownst to me, the watch-less bride), us girls were still at our hotel taking bridal portraits. Those pictures better be DAMN HOT is all I can say because I had a hard time being ok with my tardiness. Once I got to the church everything happened boom boom boom. I'm sure that I was actually in the bride's room for about 10 minutes before I walked out into the ceremony but it all felt like a split second. The wedding coordinator asked me if I was ready and I asked for a few minutes and when she came back 30 seconds later I was ready... I wanted to see my honey.

Anyhow! Cry #1 happened on the way down the aisle, although I was fighting it so hard because I really wanted to see everything and not be a blubbering mess. Cry #2 happened when we were seated listening to our incredibly talented pianist and soloist Brent Reynolds play our second song "Better Is One Day". This song and the readings were the only parts of our ceremony that were personal to us, so sitting there on my wedding day, holding hands with my fiance for the last few moments before we married one another and listening to that beautiful song was such a breathtaking moment. I felt so amazing. I bet you can guess when cry #3 came... During the vows. I have no idea if anyone heard a word that came out of my mouth because it was pretty intense saying them and hearing them, but I think we did fairly well. I will never forget that moment either. :)

After the vows we were blessed and we all prayed and then when we stood up, TAH DAH! WE WERE MARRIED! Next came one of the best parts of the whole shindig, I got to kiss my brand new husband! It was a real good kiss too. :) On our walk out I finally looked around at all of our guests and got to see so many beautiful smiles. I couldn't look around the church during our ceremony because I knew I would loose it and start sobbing if I looked much. I think the only people I made eye contact with besides Jonathon were my brother and our bridal party. After the service the new Mr. and Mrs. Ford took a minute alone in the bridal room and just sort of stared at each other and asked if either of us could believe that had just really happened.

Those 45 minutes were some of the best of my whole life. I can not wait to get our professional photographs back from the ceremony (from before our photographers got banned) because I know they are going to be AMAZING. In the meantime, here are a few candid shots of husband and wife stepping out into the world for the first time together.

There was this crazy transformative moment as we said our vows that took us from two separate people in love to one person in union for life. I really thought I was going to feel all kinds of different at that moment, like being struck with lightening or something, but it didn't, I just felt supremely happy. Over the past week however, I have noticed that it feels very different to be married than it did to be a loving couple. There's this permeating calm that I have never felt before, it's very wonderful, and I also feel closer than I thought possible to my new husband. To me, that commitment is one of the most amazing things a person can do with their life. I just feel so blessed to have the life that I do.

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