By Vicky Nardone
If you missed part one of this three part series about the planning and events leading up to our wedding you can read it here and the reception post is here. In today's post I am going to discuss our ceremony.
The girls all got ready at the house my immediate family rented to stay at for the week. It was a gorgeous house and the woman we rented from was also a hairdresser so she came to the house that morning and did all the girls' hair. There was this really cute master bedroom loft upstairs where we got ready. Here's me coming down the stairs
Everyone was waiting for me at the bottom and it felt just like I was in a movie! (But not Sunset Boulevard where the police are waiting to arrest her for murder when she comes down the stairs at the end of the movie)
I got my all lace dress from David's Bridal. The Pearls I'm wearing were from my grandma. My grandma passed away about two weeks before my shower and she was my last remaining grandparent so it was definitely a little sad, but I thought the pearls were a great tribute to her and a way to keep her in my thoughts throughout the day.
Our ceremony and reception were both held at The Lodge on Echo Lake. It's a beautiful venue nestled in the mountains. For most of the summer it's used as a summer camp for children but we got in the weekend before the summer camp started. A couple things I loved about our venue was that we were able to hold the ceremony and the reception in the same place so people didn't have to travel, it was very open and full of light for good pictures, there was a deck on the building so people could be inside or outside, there's only ever one wedding going on at a time and the view of the mountains was gorgeous!
One of the DIY items that I put together for the wedding was our programs. The picture at the top is one of our favorite pics of us from our one month anniversary.
Here's my dad walking me down the aisle. Sunflowers are my favorite flower and I knew I wanted a plain sunflower bouquet. During the planning my mom had tried to talk me out of real flowers and then once I had convinced her that real flowers were the way to go she was unsure of my decision to go with just plain sunflowers. After seeing how beautiful they were though she still tells me that I was so right about the flowers. I think they are one of the aspects that really makes the pictures pop.
One of the things Matt requested was that he wanted his father to officiate the ceremony. We chose not to have a religious ceremony so the format of everything was completely up to us. His dad agreed to officiate and got ordained online so he had the ability to legally marry us. He kept it a surprise from his family that he was actually marrying us until that day.
We had our godmothers each do a reading for us. Matt's godmother - his Aunt Tina - read this extract from the Velveteen Rabbit that I found that I thought was just so beautiful and different for a wedding.
The The Velveteen Rabbit
Margery Williams (1881-1944)
‘What is REAL?’ asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. ‘Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?’ ‘Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When someone loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’
‘Does it hurt? Asked the Rabbit. ‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’ ‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’ ‘ It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.’ ‘I suppose you are real?’ said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse only smiled. ‘Someone made me Real,’ he said. ‘That was a great many years ago; but once you are Real you can’t become unreal again. It lasts for always.’
We had also asked my mom to do some kind of reading as part of the ceremony because we wanted to make sure she had a special role in the day. My favorite tv show is the Gilmore Girls and I got my mom into it and she watched the whole series too. Matt also watched them all with me when we first started dating (what a guy!) and he suggested she write something on Life Lessons from the Gilmore girls. She wrote a very touching speech which caused me to bawl my eyes out - the most crying I did all day.
We also had my sister in law Andrea sing one of our favorite songs from Moulin Rouge, Your Song, accompanied by my stepfather on the piano.
Perhaps my favorite part of the ceremony and the thing people were talking about for the rest of the day were our vows. We didn't really want to go with traditional vows but we also didn't really want to write our own personal vows because we thought we'd be nervous enough that day without having to read our own vows. We spent a lot of time thinking about the ceremony and the readings together before hand and we were joking around about including something Dr. Seuss related. I mean, come on, we had readings involving the Velveteen Rabbit and Gilmore Girls. Well as I was looking around online to get ideas on what to do for our vows, I found Dr. Seuss Vows. We knew we had to do them - they were just too perfect. We had some more traditional people in our families so we were slightly worried about offending them, but everybody thought they were such a cool idea.
My father in law even came up with the idea that he was going to wear the cat in the hat hat while we said the vows. We thought that was sooo cool!
Dad: We will now proceed with the vows. Matthew and Vicky, will you answer me right now, these questions as your wedding vow?
Matt and Vicky: Yes, we will answer you right now
your questions as our wedding vow.
Dad: Will you take her as your wife?
Will you love her all your life?
Matt: Yes, I’ll take her as my wife.
Yes, I'll love her all my life.
Dad: Will you have and also hold, as you have at this time told?
Vicky: Yes, I will have and I will hold, as I have at this time told. Before all that are in this room, I will take him as my groom.
Dad: Will you love through good and bad?
Whether you're happy or you’re sad?
Matt: Yes, I'll love through good and bad, whether we're happy or we’re sad.
Yes, I will have and I will hold as she has already told.
Yes, I will love her all my life.
Yes, I will take her as my wife!
Dad: Will you love him if you're rich?
Or if you're poor and in a ditch?
Vicky: Yes, I'll love him if we're rich
and I’ll love him in a ditch.
I'll love him through good times and bad,
whether we’re happy or we’re sad.
Yes, I will have and I will hold
(I could have sworn this has been told!).
I promise to love before all in the room this cutie, as my lawful groom!
Dad: Will you love her when you're fit
and also when you're feeling sick?
Matt: Yes, I'll love her when we're fit
and when we're hurt and when we're sick.
And I will love her when we're rich and I will love her in a ditch.
And I will love through good and bad and I will love when glad or sad.
And I will have and I will hold ten years from now a thousandfold.
Yes, I will love for my whole life
this lovely woman as my wife!
Dad: Will you love with all your heart?
Will you love till death you part?
Vicky: Yes, I'll love with all my heart from now until death do us part. And I will love him when we're rich and when we're broke and in a ditch.
And when we're fit and when we're sick, a better man I could not pick!
And I will love through good and bad
and I will love when glad or sad.
And I will have and I will hold and if I might now be so bold, I'll love him my entire life. Yes, I WILL be his loving wife!
Dad: Then if you'll take her as your wife and if you'll love him all your life and if you'll have and if you'll hold,
from now until the stars grow cold and if you'll love through good and bad
and whether you're happy or you’re sad and love in sickness and in health and when you're poor and when in wealth
and if you'll love with all your heart,
from now until death do you part.
Yes, if you'll love her through and through, please answer with these words:
Vicky and Matt: I DO!
Dad: You're married now! So kiss the bride, but please, do keep it dignified.
After the ceremony we took a lot of posed photos.
+Bryan Patrick Stoyle (all the way on the right in the above pic) got him a pair of Tardis cufflinks for Christmas to complete the outfit.
Thanks for reading part 2 - next up is the reception!