Saturday, October 1, 2011

Our Wedding Day: The Ceremony

The church has a beautiful, old pipe organ and the organist at the church is also my godfather and there was never a question that he would be paying the music for the ceremony. He started to play Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring as my girls headed down the aisle. It was strange because I was getting pretty anxious as I waited with my dad but part of me wanted to be in the sanctuary so I could see my girls come down the aisle! They all looked so beautiful.

Waiting with The Dad.

As my matron of honor turned around the corner to walk into the sanctuary, she turned back and reminded my niece and nephew to not follow her. My dad stepped forward to make sure they didn’t take off. It was pretty cute. My nephew looked at me because he knew Aunt Amber and Uncle Pilot were in charge! When it was time, my dad told them to go. Again, I wished that I could have seen them! I heard the congregation laugh and I had no idea what was going on! My sister-in-law was one of my bridesmaids and was going to go fetch them if one of the kids froze but I guess they made it all the way down the aisle just fine. I think what got people laughing was that my nephew realized everyone was looking at them and so he looked at my niece and they giggled at each other. My sister-in-law’s parents were waiting in the front row to usher the kids to sit down. I knew having them to stand through the whole ceremony was too much to ask of wiggly little kids.

It was time! Once the kids made it down the aisle, it was my turn! My godfather started to play Pachelbel’s Canon in D and my dad and I walked into the sanctuary. The walk down the aisle was a little bit of a blur. I remember seeing my friend Monica right when I entered the room and then when I made the turn to walk down the aisle, the only person I could see was The Pilot. Just like with our first look, I was tempted to walk faster just to get to him but I ended up needing to slow my dad down! I pulled back on his arm partly because I wanted to enjoy the moment but also because my shoes were a little loose and I didn’t want to lose a shoe on the way down the aisle! I don’t remember seeing anyone else in the congregation until we were almost to the altar. It wasn’t until then that I remember seeing my uncle Kent, my dear friend Lauren who was doing a reading during the ceremony and then my mom. As my dad and I approached the end of the aisle, my mom stepped out into the aisle so both of my parents could “give me away.”
When The Pilot and I were alone and had the chance to reflect on the day, we both agreed that the ceremony was our favorite part of the day. That surprised me. So much planning goes into a wedding but much of the work is focused on the reception-the music, food, cake, decorations- but the ceremony sort of takes care of itself once you have met with the pastor and selected the readings and scriptures. My sister-in-law shared will us that when she married my brother (in the same church), she honestly forgot that everyone else was there. She felt like it was just her, my brother and the pastor. That was reassuring for me and The Pilot because we were both a little nervous to stand up there in front of all those people.

I do remember that at one point right at the beginning of the ceremony, I thought I was going to drop my bouquet. When the pastor said the first prayer, I still had a lot of nerves and I was holding The Pilot’s arm tightly with my right hand and holding my bouquet in my left hand. For some reason that bouquet started to feel like it weighed 50 pounds! At one point I thought I was going to have to hand it to my MOH before we even got to the vows! This is when I reminded myself to not lock my knees. I also had a strong urge to lean over to The Pilot and remind him to not lock his knees either! I refrained and when the pastor asked us to step up onto the altar for our vows, I instantly calmed down and stopped worrying about the bouquet and our knees.

We only met with the pastor twice before the ceremony but in that time, I think he got to know The Pilot and I well. He personalized the ceremony so well that I don’t think I could have written it better myself. I think he knew that The Pilot and I are somewhat casual and we didn’t want anything too stuffy but I think he knew that we take marriage seriously. We did talk about it previously but he customized the entire ceremony, including the vows. We didn’t have any desire to write our own vows but wanted to personalize them a little. So I vowed to be patient during airport delays and The Pilot vowed to wait patiently for me during my marathons. As we said our vows, just like my sister-in-law shared, I completely forgot about everyone else and it really felt like I was exchanging those vows with just The Pilot in the room. It was perfect.

There was also something unexpected during the vows. Tears. For the second time that day, I cried. After the first word came out of my mouth during the vows, I got really choked up. My voice wavered and my eyes filled up with tears. The words just meant so much and I couldn’t help it! I didn’t want to ruin my makeup or cry so much that our guests couldn’t hear me so I took a deep breath and somehow, by the end of the vows, I had recovered. It also helped that The Pilot was squeezing my hands and looking right at me, calming me down.
During the ceremony, one of my oldest friends (5th grade!) did a reading for us. I did a reading at her wedding 5 years ago and I couldn’t imagine her not being involved in my wedding also. I knew we didn’t want a religious reading so after some searching on the internet, I came across the perfect reading. It was all about how marriage is like riding tandem bike. It was perfect not just because we are cyclists but because we already had some cycling touches in the wedding (more on that later).

A Marriage Build for Two
A successful marriage can learn a lot from bicycle riding.
You should promise each other that you will not be fair weather riders, but venture out together in the wind and the rain. Only by braving the storms as a team will you reap the rewards when the sunshine arrives.
Look after each other. A well oiled bike will run smoothly and change gears easily.
Marriage is like a tandem…keep pedaling or the one at the front shouts at you!
You should promise each other to not only enjoy new adventures and explorations, but appreciate the same old routes you know and love.
Marriage is a promise to each other to endure the climbs so that you may chase the swoops and swerves of a perfect singletrack.
The journey may be long and may have hills ahead, but if you climb together with love and passion, you will be able to achieve everything you both desire!
Wishing you all the best from the start line of the greatest endurance event of your lives.

At the end of the ceremony, we turned to the congregation and the pastor introduced us as Mr. and Mrs. for the first time. We did it! My godfather started to play Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, the congregation stood and applauded. The Pilot and I gave each other a high five and came up the aisle as husband and wife!
My MOH and sister-in-law met us so we could bustle my dress for our exit. I also gave up on the heels. I slipped into my running shoes. Hey, marriage is an endurance event; you might as well gear up and get comfortable! The rest of the bridal party handed out hot pink kazoos as our guests exited the church and waited for us to make our “grand exit.”

To be continued...

No comments:

Post a Comment