I was shaking as we made our way (sneakily) up the stairs to hide in a little galley kitchen before the boys would see us. I was surrounded by my best friends and my family. This was when everything started to become less dream-like and more real to me. I stood behind my girls, who chatted quietly and excitedly. Every now and then, the girls would check in with me. But it was good to have the 10 or so minutes of quiet reflection for me. I had been waiting all my life for this...for the proposal, for the engagement photo session, to ask my best friends to stand with me, to find the perfect dress, to pick our wedding bands that we'd wear for the rest of our lives...as well as all the other joys and frustrations that come as you plan a wedding.
Just then, I heard the boys lining up on the other side of the door! Someone made Patrick laugh and once I heard his voice, my heart skipped a beat and the tears welled in my eyes. This was it! It was actually here and happening! I was so happy! I heard the string players begin, and knew that my mother-in-law was being led down the aisle by our cousins, then my little brother escorted my mother to her seat.
Next, the boys headed down the aisle!
They were followed by our sweet ring bearer and flower girls --- who took their jobs QUITE seriously!
After my lovely bridesmaids each made their way down the aisle, it was mine and my father's turn.
I mentioned that Patrick's composition that he dedicated to me would be played by our String Quartet as my father and I made our way down the aisle. Well, I am sure it sounded lovely, but as soon as I stepped out with my dad, I couldn't hear anything. I saw my handsome groom, and that's all there was (He looked pretty happy to see me too!).
We walked together, this man who raised me to the man who stole my heart. It was beautiful. I kept squeezing my father's arm, partly to calm my nerves, partly to let him know how excited and happy I was and partly to imprint the memory in my mind. I looked around at my friends, family and all those who came to support us. I last found the eyes of my mom, and smiled. This was our day.
The room looked amazing. It was grander than I had planned or dreamed it would be. The flowers, the beautiful blue, and all my crafties looked perfect (Special THANKS to my Auntie who did all the set up that morning!). It was exactly as I envisioned, but BETTER!!! Our Officiant, Father Steve began the service. We heard beautiful words. We kept looking at each other. Much like The Office's Jim and Pam Halpert, we took "mental pictures" to remember each moment.
I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way
than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.
No te amo como si fueras rosa de sal, topacio
o flecha de claveles que propagan el fuego:
te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras,
secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma.
Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva
dentro de sí, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores,
y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo
el apretado aroma que ascendió de la tierra.
Te amo sin saber cómo, ni cuándo, ni de dónde,
te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo:
así te amo porque no sé amar de otra manera,
sino así de este modo en que no soy ni eres,
tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mía,
tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño
And then, one of my very favorite parts of our ceremony occurred. We were so lucky we got to hear our ridiculously talented friends sing an a cappella version of our favorite Shakespeare Sonnet. Sonnet XVIII. You can see the tears in my eyes in the picture. This was our love sung by our friends. It was an incredible moment that we won't forget.
Then we stood and looked over one another. We exchanged vows, the traditional vows in a marriage ceremony. Our voices were shaking, but we spoke the truth. I'm not sure about Patrick, but I felt like our vows were these wonderfully traditional words made true and real by the simple fact that we were the ones speaking them. I felt like we were saying them, just us, to each other. It felt like we were the only people in the room. We placed our beautiful wedding rings on each other's fingers. Father Steve blessed our marriage, and pronounced us "Husband and Wife."
"You may kiss your bride!"
And we we're officially two souls joined.
Two very silly souls, joined.
Next up, FORMALS and RECEPTION RECAPS!!!