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Wedding: Ceremony Thoughts

by Meghann on February 4, 2013

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On Friday I shared our ceremony script with you, today I wanted to share what was going on in my head the moments lead up to, during, and after the ceremony.

After the first look, Derek and I took photos with our bridal party and families (I’ll share more about those later), then I was rushed to the bridal suite to hide and wait for the ceremony to start. My stomach was grumbling at this point so one of my bridesmaids grabbed me one of the cookie favors from the table. It was quite honestly one of the most delicious cookies I’ve ever had. Snickerdoodle. Yum.

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(photo credit: Ashley)

Man, brides sure do get the short end of the deal in the moments leading up to the wedding ceremony. All I wanted to do was walk outside and greet all my friends and family who had all traveled near and far for the wedding, but I knew I couldn’t leave the room. I was actually jealous of Derek, who could leave, and encouraged him to go and greet everyone as they entered. I was thankful for my bridesmaids who stayed with me. They kept offering me a shot or beer, but I politely declined.

I never hired a day-of coordinator, so I was very nervous about making sure we started on time and everyone knew their place. I requested to speak to my uncle (our officiant) and asked him to double check with the DJ about timing. Turns out, I really had nothing to worry about. Right on time, I got word that the grandmothers were being seated and it was time to start making our way out for the entrance. Three cheers for the punctual DJ!

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(photo credit: family friend)

My dad and I hid behind the barn while the bridesmaids and flower girls exited from the barn’s main entrance. My view was obstructed and terrible, but I was able to see a little bit of what was going on. My dad could see a little better and was giving me a play-by-play.

From what I could hear, our flower’s girl entrance was just a cute and memorable as Derek and I were hoping. When we got engaged last January, our niece Marley was barely 7 months old and not even close to walking. We weren’t sure what to expect a year from then, but we knew we wanted her as our flower girl either way. The plan was to have her walk down the aisle on her own, but worse case scenario, I asked her mom to carry her.

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(photo credit: Michael Stinson)

We bought Marley a beautiful dress, made her a crown out of baby’s breath and a sign to carry. Marley LOVES her Uncle Bubba (Derek), so our plan was to put the baby’s breath on her head at the last minute, then ask her to bring the sign to “Uncle Bubba.” She did great in rehearsal, but having the chairs full of so many people might have been a different story.

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At first she wasn’t sure what was happening and sort of wandered around. Luckily Tyler (her dad) knows his daughter better than anyone and came prepared. Before the ceremony he stashed a container of goldfish behind the alter and pulled them out as Marley was making her entrance. He squatted down and gave the container a good shake to encourage Marley to come forward.

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The goldfish worked like a charm. She waited until she got to the end of the aisle, threw her baby’s breath crown off her head, then put her hand out for her goldfish.

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(photo credit: Michael Stinson)

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(photo credit: family friend)

Only she couldn’t have one until she gave “Uncle Bubba” a kiss.

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I missed all of this and am really hoping my videographers caught it on film so I can eventually watch it one day. From what I’ve seen in photos (and heard from friends and family) it was a really touching moment.

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(photo credit: family friend)

When the DJ started playing ” Marry Me” by Train, that was our cue to walk. My dad immediately started joking, “look at all these people who came out to see me today.” It made me laugh. :)

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(photo credit: family friend)

My first thought was how full all the chairs were. There were a LOT of people there. Did they really come here all for us? Gulp. And now they’re all staring. I hope I don’t trip. It’s really hard to walk in these heels with this dress. “Dad, don’t let me fall.”

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Then I caught Derek’s eyes. He had the biggest smile on his face and I had the biggest smile on mine. When I’m really happy/ excited, I make the goofiest faces and my father-in-law later told me how much he enjoyed watching my emotions on my face through the ceremony. When I’m really happy, it’s hard for me to hide it!

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I was really tempted to kiss Derek when I finally got to hold his hands (and several other times during the ceremony), but kept reminding myself I had to wait until the end. Do you know how hard it is to wait until the end to kiss your groom?

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(photo credit: family friend)

The ceremony flew by. I tried to take in as much of it as I could, but it really did pass in the blink of an eye. My favorite part was when we read our personal vows to each other. I knew almost every word of our ceremony by heart, except for the vows Derek had written. They were his sweet surprise to me and I treasured every word he said.

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I was doing so good keeping the tears away… until we got to the vows. I was a lost cause after that.

After the ceremony, Derek and I traded vows. He has the handwritten vows I wrote in his wallet and I have the vows he wrote in mine. If we ever need a gentle reminder of the other’s love or commitment in the future, we can pull the vows out and reflect on the words we exchanged on our wedding day. Heck, I like pulling them out just because. :)

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Sealing our vows with a pinky promise was a personal touch that reflected our goofball personalities. I think I saw it on Off-Beat Bride or something and immediately wanted to recreate it. Derek’s face lit up as soon as I told him about it and we immediately inserted it in the ceremony. It was one of my favorite moments from the day. After all, there are no take backs in a pinky promise!

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I had moved my engagement ring to my right pinky finger during the ceremony so my left ring finger was empty for the ring exchange. My hands were sweaty from all the nerves and Derek had to give my wedding band a good push to get it over my knuckle. I’m not sure anyone any the audience noticed, but the extra effort made us both laugh.

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His went on effortlessly. Now sweaty fingers for Derek!

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And that was it. We were officially married! I could finally kiss my groom!

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The wedding party followed quickly behind us and it didn’t take long for Tyler to grab me in a big bear hug and call me “sis.”

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The tears started flowing immediately. I was so happy to be a part of this family. I had another brother, another sister-to-be, another set of parents, grandparents, etc. Derek’s family was now officially my family and I loved them so much for accepting me with open arms and bear hugs.

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Hugs followed with the rest of the bridal party and it was one big, emotional sobfest of happy tears all around.

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We had chosen not to do a receiving line so my bridesmaids immediately pulled me behind the barn for cover. One of them grabbed my cowboy boots and we did a quick shoe change behind the barn.

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My feet let out a huge sigh of relief as soon as the boots went on. Best. Idea. Ever.

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While our bridesmaids, groomsmen, and guests went on to enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvre for the next hour, Derek, our photographer, and I set out on our own for some more portraits.

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I’ll be back with another post to share the wedding portraits. ;)

Photo credits: Andrea Hubbell Photography unless otherwise noted

*Other wedding-related posts can be found here*

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