Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Weekend in the Woods: The Ceremony

As I made my way down the aisle, I only had eyes for Mr. EB.

Once I reached Mr. EB, I hugged both of my parents and made my way up and onto the stage (as a side note - if you plan on having lots of candles on stage with you, think about the heat that they'll create! That was the one thing I hadn't thought of and it ended up quite hot on stage! Also apparently there was a moment when my skirt nearly knocked some of the candles off... it was a good thing my dress wasn't any bigger!)

Ever since the rehearsal when Annemarie told Mr. EB and my dad that they would be hugging at this point, my dad had a running joke about just how many times he'd hugged Mr. EB that day. I'm pretty sure he just whispered "No more hugs!" right here.

I haven't written out our entire ceremony here, but I did want to share a few of my favorite parts since Annemarie did such a wonderful job writing our ceremony.

As Annemarie welcomed everyone to IslandWood, I took hold of Mr. EB's hands and didn't let them go for the entire ceremony. I realized that I had no idea what to do with them and was afraid that they'd be shaking if I put them at my sides. Luckily Mr. EB seemed perfectly fine with this arrangement!

I loved Annemarie's welcome, particularly these words:

"Now, the fact that Mr. and Mrs. EB have asked each of you to be here today does not mean that you are going to celebrate with them today and tomorrow you are going to walk away and watch them have a happy life!

The fact that you are here today is an invitation to you to be a part of their life from now to forever.

You can be there as a friend or as family to provide encouragement and strength to Mr. and Mrs. EB as they move forward in life – to help them have the kind of marriage that will bring not only joy to them but also joy to you because you know that you are part of this couple’s happiness and you’ve helped – in small and big ways – to make this loving relationship and family happen."

She then invited everyone to offer their support by responding in the affirmative when asked if they were willing to respect and support us and our relationship in the days to come.
After asking whether our community as a whole supported our marriage, Annemarie turned to our parents and asked each set in turn whether they would love and respect our relationship and give their blessing of support for our marriage.
We decided that we each wanted to say the same vows, and so when it was time we each repeated:

Mr./Mrs. EB, each of us has had quite a journey
in our lives so far.
I feel so blessed to have found you as my partner.
I love you and I am choosing you
to share all of life’s blessings,
challenges and sorrows with.
As your husband, I will encourage you and stand by you
in our life together.
I promise you this with my heart and soul,
and I vow to you before our family and friends,
to dedicate myself to our marriage,
our friendship and our love.
And then together we repeated:
I take you as my life partner.
I belong to you and with you.
I give you my protection, my allegiance and my heart.
Your life, happiness and welfare will be cherished for a lifetime.
I did really well getting through all of my vows without crying, but as soon as they were over the tears came. Along with my announcement that I was going to cry. Luckily both Mr. EB and my sister had tissue ready for me!
We then exchanged rings, each repeating the following words:

Mr./Mrs. EB, with this ring I give you my heart.
I have no greater gift to give.
May you feel deeply loved because you are.

With this ring, through all life’s changes,
I shall always turn towards you.

I am honored to have you in my life.
I thank you and I love you.

With one final Irish blessing:
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
and the rains fall soft upon your fields.
Annemarie pronounced us husband and wife, and we were married!

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