When we last left off, I was still jittery and drunk. Okay, not really. But I DID have some champagne to calm my nerves -- no nerves about Dave or being married (trust me, I know I'm the lucky one in this relationship!), just nerves about having the spotlight focused sooo brightly on me. Some people relish it, me, not so much. But the time had come and there was no changing it now.
Favors/name cards for table seating.
Our florist lined the aisle with our reception centerpieces, then transferred them after the ceremony.
And now for the actual ceremony. I wrote the entire thing myself because, well, I'm just THAT neurotic. I read a ton of other ceremonies, but couldn't find something I really liked. (Plus, none of them were secular-except-for-breaking-the-glass, which we were doing to appease my grandmother.) So, I pieced together parts of some ceremonies and also wrote in my own stuff until I got something Dave and I were happy with. I'll stop my snarky comments and post the ceremony instead, so you can get the full effect. Side note: the ceremony was over within 15 minutes.
"Welcome, family, friends and loved ones. We gather here today to celebrate the wedding of [elle] and David. You have come here to share in this commitment they make to one another and to allow [elle] and David to start their married life together surrounded by the people dearest and most important to them.
"So welcome to one and all, who have traveled from near and far. [elle] and David wholeheartedly thank you not just for your presence here today, but also for the continuous love and support you each provide to them individually and as a couple."
"We come together tonight not to mark the start of a relationship but to recognize a bond that already exists. We are here to celebrate your desire to share your lives permanently and totally, while honoring and encouraging your growth as individuals and partners in marriage.
"Only you can create this growth in marriage -- through love and patience; through dedication and perseverance; through talking and listening, helping and supporting and believing in each other; through tenderness and laughter; through learning to forgive, learning to appreciate your differences, and by learning to make the important things matter, and to let go of the rest."
"As you all know, at the foundation of [elle]and David's love is an unwavering friendship, a genuine connection that helps them understand that love is more than verses on valentines and romance in the movies.
"In the spirit of the importance of strong friendships to a marriage, [elle] and David have asked [elle's] grandmother, [Drunky], a woman who enjoyed 56 inspiring years of marriage, to read a selection that especially resonates with them."
Grandma: This is a passage written by Judy Bielicki.
"It is often said that it is love that makes the world go round. However, without doubt, it is friendship which keeps our spinning existence on an even keel. True friendship provides so many of the essentials for a happy life -- it is the foundation on which to build an enduring relationship, it is the mortar which bonds us together in harmony, and it is the calm, warm protection we sometimes need when the world outside seems cold and chaotic. True friendship holds a mirror to our foibles and failings, without destroying our sense of worthiness. True friendship nurtures our hopes, supports us in our disappointments, and encourages us to grow to our best potential. Today, [elle] and David pledge to each other not only their love, but also the strength, warmth and, most importantly, the fun of true friendship."
"As you come this day to affirm your love and commitment, may you always remember to value each other for the differences that make your love strong and complementary. May you respect each other's thoughts, ideas and feelings. May you be able to forgive and forget the slights.
"David, will you embrace [elle] as your wife? As your companion and best friend for life, will you treat her with love and devotion, honor and respect? Will you stand by her in the triumphs and challenges of life, as a faithful and caring husband?
"[elle], will you embrace David as your husband? As your companion and best friend for life, will you treat him with love and devotion, honor and respect? Will you stand by him in the triumphs and challenges of life, as a faithful and caring wife?"
I vow to honor and respect you for all that you are and will become,
taking pride in who we are, both separately and together.
I will support your dreams and goals
and strive to keep our lives well acquainted with laughter and joy.
Where there are troubles, we will face them together.
I, [name], commit to you, [name],
"As an enduring symbol of the promise we have just heard, you will now exchange rings. May these rings always remind you of the vows you have taken today.
"[elle], please repeat after me: I give you this ring, as a daily reminder of my love for you.
"David, please repeat: I give you this ring, as a daily reminder of my love for you."
"We conclude this ceremony with the breaking of the glass. Breaking the glass, a Jewish tradition, signifies many things. Although some joke that this is the last time the groom will ever put his foot down, David will now break the glass in honor of its more traditional significance.
"First, [elle] and David will take a sip of wine from the same glass, symbolizing something very special between them that only the two of them share.
"A broken glass cannot be mended; likewise, marriage is a transforming experience that leaves individuals forever changed. As this glass shatters, may your marriage never break."
"David, [elle], may you both remember that love is a promise that is always kept, a fortune that can never be spent, a seed that can flourish in even the most unlikely of places. And this radiance that never fades, this mysterious and magical joy, is the greatest treasure of all.
"By the power of your love and commitment, and by the power vested in me by the state of Illinois, I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride."
Okay, now let's party!