Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Ceremony

I must say, I LOVED every part of our wedding ceremony.  Forgive me if this blog is way too long with way too many pictures.  I want to share all of it with you!!  I think I've said that in every wedding related blog so far haha! I'm going to tell this story through our pictures.  And of course our captions!
Here's another beautiful shot of the atrium and our guests seated.
Let me take a minute to tell you how SMART my niece is.  Even though she's only 13 months old, she was the best flower girl ever-even on a sore belly!  Mom taught her what to do with the petals about 5 minutes before the start of the ceremony, and she loved it so much they had to pick all the petals up out of the basket so she could throw them down the walkway, they covered the waiting area!! Instead of being seated with Jason's mother, Mom walked down with Riley right before I came down.
So my entrance to the wedding was no huge reveal.  I wanted a big reveal for Jason and I to see each other, which we definitely got thanks to our fabulous photographers (have I mentioned that Jennifer Creed is AWESOME?!) but I didn't care too much who else saw me before the wedding.  In fact, at about an hour before the ceremony, I was sitting in the lobby with Jenny and her husband Chris drinking a Coke.  Guests were starting to arrive slowly, and I didn't care who saw me.  The only large reaction I really wanted was Jason's.  Anyway, back to the above picture.  The entrance was scheduled to be for Dad and I to enter through the beautiful glass elevator from the top floor of the hotel, and to come into the atrium that way.  But I wanted to SEE what was going on instead of staying hidden.  So I stood out in the balcony area to watch all of the guests, bridesmaids, groomsmen, grandmothers, mothers, etc. enter.  Guests could see me from their seats, and waved.  I waved back.  I didn't care one bit that they could see me and there was no huge "WOW" moment or anything.  Because of this, I got to watch Jason enter the atrium too with our officiant.  That's when the tears began.  He walked in and my Dad said to me, "There he is, he's waiting for you."  I teared up and for the first time, got a little nervous.  My Dad looked at me and said, "Don't be nervous, you made the right choice."  And I lost it from there.  It was the sweetest thing for him to say that to me.  My nerves were mainly for reciting my self written vows, but it was still the perfect thing to say at that moment.
My oldest, dearest friend Ashlee fulfilled something that we've talked about for years.  She sang at my wedding.  She doubled as a bridesmaid and a beautiful singer.  We always talked in high school how I wanted her to sing at my wedding one day, and she followed through on her promise!!  I wish you all could hear how beautiful she sang.  She sang two songs for me.  When I came down the walkway, she sang the first verse of Ben Folds "The Luckiest."  It was a beautiful entrance with a completely unique song.  But it was a song that was the most special to Jason and I because it was the first song we danced to on top of the parking structure at sunset the night we started "officially" dating.  She sang another song later, but that's coming up!
A picture of the elevator entrance.
Here's Jason waiting for me!
Almost 5 years ago, my Dad surprised all of the guests at my sister's wedding with a self-written poem about how much he cared for his oldest daughter and how proud he was.  It had EVERYONE in tears.  But because of the emotions of the day, he gave the poem to the preacher to read.  Several months after, he talked about how he wished he had the strength to be the one to read it to my sister, and was determined to do it at my wedding.  He made it through!! I'll copy and paste the poem for you here: 
I Love You
Today is the day that I give my last born baby girl away.
Paige you have given me so much happiness and joy over all of your years, even though today I will be shedding and fighting back my tears.
It is going to feel like we live so far apart, I just want you to know you will always lie deep in Daddy's heart.
I think you are a daughter that every dad wishes they had and that's amazing, today this lucky feller gets to marry you and his name is Jason!
My time is running short and you will have to go and be on your married way, but I will be waiting on that phone call, you tell me there is a grand-baby coming someday.
So, I have tried and thought of some way to end this poem I wrote just for you, there is only one thing comes to my mind. I am sure going to miss you!!! 
What a sweet poem it was.  Of course I cried through the whole thing, but laughed out loud at the grand baby line.  We aren't planning on children for a couple of years!  I NEVER cry, am hardly ever emotional, but over this past month I've been a wreck.  Of course I ended up crying through the whole ceremony.  Anyway, to lighten the mood, our officiant (Ashlee's Dad, a very close family friend of ours and a Judge!) handed him a dollar and said, "Well I lost the bet because I never expected you to make it through this!"  It gave everyone a laugh.  As they say in Steel Magnolias, "Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion!"
About two weeks before the ceremony, Jason and I decided that we really wanted to write our own.  So we decided to pick a theme.  Our theme was "I love you because____.  Because I love you, I promise to____."  That was all we knew until these moments-we wanted them to be a complete surprise.  This picture is Jason reading his vows to me.  His vows were:

"I love you because you're my best friend and my angel and because I love you, I promise to never forget why and how we fell in love.

I love you because your passionate about life and you have a strong faith in God, and because I love you, I promise to be your strength, be your warmth and to be your everything.

I love you because of our sense of humor that carries us through anything and because I love you, I look forward to growing old with you and starting our own family.

I love you because you support me in all I do and because I love you, I promise to love, honor and cherish you.

You are my world and I love you."

I loved these, and he was so sweet reading them with tears in his eyes and such a strong voice.
This picture is me reciting my vows to Jason.  And no, we didn't even attempt to memorize them!"
My vows:
"I knew I loved you in the early stages in our relationship, and as we have grown and faced new struggles, I love you even more now. I love you because you bring out the best in me. I love you because even when I’m angry, or sad, or being so stubborn that I’m determined not to smile, you can make me smile. I love you for your caring heart and compassion for everyone around you. I love you for challenging me, for making me try new things, and for pushing me to new limits that I never dreamed I would reach. I love you for always believing in my hopes and dreams, and never leaving my side as I reached for them. I love you for your faith, and for striving to be the best Christian and role model that you can be. I love you for all of this and more.
Because I loved you then and now, I promise to you that I will always love you as we start our new journey as husband and wife. Because I love you for all these reasons, I promise to give the same. I promise to bring out the best in you. I promise that I will always honor you, cherish you, and be faithful to you. I promise to challenge you, make you try new things, and to push you to new limits. I promise to believe in your hopes and dreams, be right by your side to support you as your reach for them. I promise to strive with you to become better Christians and role models. I promise to stand by you, when life is wonderful and when life is hard. Because I love you, I promise you my love, my heart, and my world for the rest of my life."A very dear friend of Jason's family recited a prayer for us on this special day.  And lucky for you all, he typed it up so that we could have it forever!  I love this photo, and how everyone is focused on the exact same thing at the same moment.
The Prayer recited:
"Our Father, as you preside over this Holy marriage of two of your most beautiful children, we humbly ask that you bring honor to this marriage by blessing it and sustaining it with your Holy Spirit.  Lord we ask that you  bless Paige.  Lord, we ask that you bless Jason with a love to last forever.  In sickness, and in health may they find your strength.  In doubts and troubles may they see your light.  In transgressions and fear may they find your pardon.  In loneliness and desperation may they find your joy.  And above all may their lives be filled with joy, love, faith and hop through You.  In Jesus name, AMEN."

It was a beautiful, sweet prayer.

I told you all about the sand ceremony in the details, but I wanted to include a picture of us actually completing it.
During the sand ceremony, the beautiful Ashlee and another wonderful singer, Jacob sang "The Prayer" for us.  This song has a beautiful Italian section, which we loved to pay tribute to Jason's heritage.
Another ceremony shot I love.

And other, because you can see everyone.
Finally, the big KISS!! We left the ceremony to Jacob singing "Everything" by Michael Buble.  We went straight to another room to breath, and chose not to do a receiving line.  We wanted to table hop later during dinner.  We ended up using NO traditional wedding music, but I absolutely love that.  Jason and I both love being completely unique, and I think we really fulfilled that in our ceremony.  From my dress to the location to the music to the vows, it was all just completely US.  And after all, that's what it was all about.  The personal moment that we began our lives together.  :)

Stay tuned for The Reception! Hope I haven't bored you to tears just yet!  The honeymoon pictures are coming!!


Shannon said...

wow, way to make me cry, Paigey! the saddest part of your whole wedding was when your dad said that TERRIBLY SAD thing about Jason waiting for you. my eyes got all teary!!!

also, we had Everything at our wedding too!! :] and i loved your vows. SO great!!!!! ahh paigey :] I can't wait to see Jen's pics!

PaigeR530 said...

AHHHH!! Shannon, I can't WAIT to see what Jenny has come up with!!! She's sent me some sneak peaks and they are SO beautiful!! We were going to meet up tonight, but with Jason being sick and some technical difficulties, we moved it to Monday. Now I'm WAY WAY excited!! But I know it will be well worth the wait!

Where did you use Everything at? It's such a sweet song! :)

Shannon said...

towards the beginningish of the ceremony. i, um, choose not to listen to secular music, so I didn't know it existed. Mark's friend suggested it, so we looked it up on youtube and liked it. sometimes, when I'm shopping in stores, I'll hear it over the speakers :] it's sweet!