Thursday, September 27, 2012

I Will and I Do

Nothing terrified me more than planning our wedding ceremony. Fear for me equals procrastination. It always has. "If I put it off long enough it wont be as scary because I will be so panicked to complete the task that I wont think about it" has always been my logic.

I loved planning the reception and all of the additional wedding festivities. I loved adding all of the little details and DIY projects. I have the ability to throw a great party. I love throwing a great party. 

Wedding ceremonies have a added pressure. They need to be a perfect representation of the bride and groom and demonstrate their beliefs within religion, family and marriage.  People need to leave the ceremony overwhelmed by love and inspired to strengthen their own.

A few decisions were easy to make and check off of the list. These included not having a flower girl or ring bearer. There are no young children on either sides of the family and none of our close friends have children of their own yet. Geoff quickly dismissed my idea of having our dog Argos walk down the aisle. We did not want to write our own vows either. The traditional vows are a beautiful standard and instead we wrote notes to each other prior to the ceremony. We though that was more personal. Lastly, when it came to the music selection, there is no one on my family that is musically talented (that I am aware of) and Geoff's family is great at "rocking out" at Christmas but not quite what we were wanting for our wedding day. It was an easy decision to leave it to the band to control. 

For our music selections we both love country, 90's pop-punk rock, and the "classics" from the 80's but country seemed to be the only appropriate route to take. For the family and bridal party march we chose "Lost in this moment with you" by Big and Rich and for my father and I walking down the aisle we chose "Love Story" by Taylor Swift but just the instrumentals. Following the ceremony, as husband and wife, we walked up the aisle to "Are you going to kiss me or not" by Thompson Square. We have always loved that song.  

Another item that I overly stressed was the order of the bridal party. I didn't want to offend anyone by having them on the end and I wanted the pairs to match up well. I managed to have a rather tall group of bridesmaids and wanted them to feel comfortable with who they were walking beside. I knew I wanted my sister and Geoff's sister by my side. That was easy but then I just wrote the names down, made sure the heights worked out, and Geoff approved. 

I researched many traditions online for weeks. There is the candle lighting, the passing of the rings, the pouring of the sand, the drinking of the wine and the rose ceremony. For a outside, noon wedding in the mountains, none seemed very appropriate. I brought up us both taking a shot of tequila (Geoff HATES tequila but I do favor it) and it was shot down . Not that I would have actually went through with it and was 100% joking. I just thought it was a funny way to show unity :) 

Instead of traditions, we opted for readings. Although Geoff and I were raised within a church and have our beliefs at this point in our lives we are not active within a church. We plan on changing this in the next few years but at this point we have not made the commitment and did not want to act as if we had. We opted out of bible readings for poems that had meaning to us.   

Geoff asked his father to read the first reading. The father of the groom typically takes the largest backseat in a wedding and we did not want that to be the case.

The Most Wonderful Things in Life
By Sir Hugh Walpole
The most wonderful of all things in life is the discovery of another human being with whom one's relationship has a growing depth, beauty and joy as the years increase. This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvelous thing; it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a sort of divine accident, and the most wonderful of all things in life.

This short reading had a very simple meaning that hit home for us. The progression of our love from classmates, to friends, to being a dating couple, now married was indeed a marvelous, divine accident and I wouldn't change it for the world.

I chose to have the second reading to be read by my bridesmaids. As I have said before, these ladies mean the world to me and I wanted them to play an even larger role in our big day. They were given their lines a day in advance (when I asked them to read) and were able to carry a small piece of paper with them up to the alter. I apologize for the nerves that it caused but it was such a special moment for me. 

The Art of Marriage
By Wilferd A. Peterson

The little things are the big things.
It is never being too old to hold hands.
It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once a day.

It is never going to sleep angry.
It is at no time taking the other for granted;
the courtship should not end with the honeymoon,
it should continue through all the years.

It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives.
It is standing together facing the world.
It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.
It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice,
but in the spirit of joy.

It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating
gratitude in thoughtful ways.
It is not expecting the husband to wear a halo or the wife to have wings of an angel.
It is not looking for perfection in each other.

It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor.
It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.
It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow.

It is finding room for the things of the spirit.
It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.

This reading covers how important it is to work at your marriage everyday. I plan on framing a copy of it to keep in our home as a daily reminder. 

We chose to have Geoff's brother-in-law's sister Wendy to officiate our ceremony. She married her brother and Geoff's sister and I have always enjoyed and respected her. She did a great job and really helped me stay calm prior to the ceremony. She did not over preach, she is easy to relate to and has a great sense of humor.   

I will forever remember the moment prior to walking down the aisle, having everyone turned to see us and the love in their eyes. That is a moment I will remember forever. To know that all of these people made the trip to come see you say I Do and wish you happily ever after is amazing. I will be forever grateful. 

I wouldn't change a thing. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Husband & Wife

I knew very early on that someday I was going to be Mrs. Geoffrey Roe. I know it is such a cliche to say but those first few months made it very clear he was the one. 

When June 9th, 2012 arrived I was ready. I had prepared for that day for years. I was not prepared for the amount of emotion that would come with walking side by side with my father down the aisle, looking at my future husband attempting to hold back tears, just moments away from our vows. There was so much love in his eyes and so much love around us. 

It was a fairy tale. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Ladies

One of the first things I did after the engagement was determine my bridal party. I wanted my bridesmaids to all mean something very important to me and know that they all impacted me in different stages of my life even if we hadn't seen each other in years. I have lived in three different states. Five out of my six bridesmaids also live in separate states. Luckily I had two that live in Florida. 

Being so far away from my closest friends made the task of asking them in person to be my bridesmaid nearly impossible. I took this as an opportunity to get creative and send them a gift. I found these adorable rose rings on Etsy that came with a note asking each of them to be my  bridesmaid. I wrapped the packages up and sent them in the mail. Needless to say they all said yes. 

The ladies: 

Sorority pledge class sisters. Occasional roomie. Biggest heart. 

My little sister who is not so little anymore. Lives in Asheville. Is visiting FL soon.

Sorority sister. Building construction major. Loving life in DC.

Childhood best friend. Teammate. Lives in CA but needs to move to FL.

Sorority pledge class sister. Engaged at the same time. Luckily lives in Florida.  

Geoff's only sister. A dear friend before being my SIL. 

I adore all of these ladies and was so grateful to have them all make the trip to NC and be part of our big day. I want a reunion soon! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Guys

One of my favorite sets of pictures to look through are the ones of the guys before the ceremony. All of the girls were busy getting ready and oblivious to what was going on outside. 

The decision of what the groom and groomsmen were going to wear was not an easy one. From the beginning, I made the assumption that they would be in gray suites with ecru shirt and hopefully bow ties in non-matching colors.  This is obviously not what happened and this is for the better. Geoff, his parents and myself took a trip to Jos A Bank to look for suits. I HATED all of the gray suites and the idea of suites in general. I had to remind myself that it was a noon wedding outside and I couldn't recall the last time I saw Geoff in a suite. 

This lead to a "now what?!" situation and I could tell the Groom was not enjoying myself. The next step was to ask him to pick out one thing he liked. This happened to be the pants: summer-y khaki slack.  Then we found the bow ties. They were the same color and almost the same material as the bridesmaid dresses. Done. Up next was a simple gray and white faint check shirt. I was nervous about the shirts because my wedding dress was an off white and I didn't want it to appear dingy next to his shirt. Was not an issue. The jackets came last and we loved them. They are a thinner material and unlike typical blue blazers they had dark bronze not shinny gold buttons.

We were set and I was thrilled. The perfect southern, summer wedding attire. Geoff even got to wear his boots. 

I loved being able to see the outfits come together. I also loved seeing the nerves he had in the pictures. His groomsmen didn't seem nervous at all... 

This is Andy. Fraternity pledge class brother. College roommate. Currently lives in Hawaii.

This is Billy. Fraternity pledge class brother. College roommate. Lives in Atlanta. 

This is Alex. Fraternity pledge class brother. Great friend. Lives in Atlanta. 

This is Kyle. They grew up in Florida together. He now lives in Georgia. 

This is Eric. Cousins and childhood best friends. Work together in Florida. 

This is Gee. Older brother. Work together in Florida. 

I was grateful the sunglasses came off for the ceremony :) 

Geoff got to spend some time with his family before the ceremony. It was a great opportunity for pictures as well as words of encouragement. I hope!

A few weeks later I complimented Geoff on his groomsmen all being ready on time and ready to go. Apparently he told them they had to be ready an hour earlier than required. Well that is a way to make sure the day runs smoothly :)