When last we left, I'd managed to make it down the aisle to my groom. From there, things went a bit like this:
Guests were greeted and gathered
Carter & I declared our intent to be married
My parents presented me to be married (my dad did not give me away, per se, but he was asked who presented this woman to be married to this man. we view this less as an exchange of property, but more a blessing of our union.)
One of Carter's oldest friends blessed us by reading Scripture.
I am sure that God, who began a good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.Our pastor, Micah, prayed.
It is right that I should feel as I do about you, for you have a very special place in my heart. We have shared together the blessings of God, both when I was in prison and when I was out, defending the truth and telling others the Good News.
God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.
I pray that your love for each other will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in your knowledge and understanding.
For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until Christ returns.
May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—those good things that are produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.
We then exchanged vows. I Corinthians 13 is an important passage of Scripture to us as a couple. Before either of us said "I love you," we each prayed this Scripture, seeking to discern whether or not we should utter that sentiment. We knew if we said it we wanted it to mean what it does in I Corinthians 13. That we would seek to be patient, kind, not proud or boastful or rude...that love would last forever. So we felt it was only appropriate to use these words as we pledged our lives to one another.
I, Carter/Ashley, take you, Ashley/Carter to be my wife/husband.Next, one of my other dear friends, LeRae, read a passage. LeRae is my little in our sorority, which means she is Julie's big. She is another person I wanted to be as involved in the wedding as possible. She was such a wonderful and huge help--I don't know that I would have held it together as well as I did without her!!
Living after the example of Christ,
I vow to treasure you with a love that is
patient and kind;
not jealous, boastful, proud or rude.
My love for you will not be self-seeking or easily angered;
it will keep no record of wrongs.
I will rejoice with you in truth,
and triumph with you over evil.
My love for you will always protect,
and always persevere.
Our love will never fail,
even when all else does.
This is my vow to you
and to the One who gave you to me.
LeRae was the Virginia state champion in extemporaneous speaking the year we graduated from high school. She's pretty awesome. (Extemp is part of the Forensics competition system.)
She read from Beyond Words: Daily Readings in the ABCs of Faith by Frederick Buechner
They say they will love, comfort and honor each other to the end of their days. They say they will cherish each other and be faithful to each other always. They say they will do these things not just when they feel like it, but even—for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health—when they don’t feel like it at all. In other words, the vows they make could hardly be more extravagant. They give away their freedom. They take on themselves each other’s burdens. They bind their lives together…the question is, what do they get in return?We exchanged rings.
They get each other in return…There will always be the other to talk to, to listen to…There is still someone to get through the night with, to wake into the new day beside.
They both still have their lives apart as well as a life together. They both still have their separate ways to find. But a marriage made in heaven is one where a man and woman become more richly themselves together than the chances are either of them could ever have managed to become alone.
We opted not to have a unity candle. It just didn't feel like something we wanted to do. I don't necessarily have a "good" reason, other than it felt a little too cheesy for us. We still wanted to include our parents in our ceremony though, so we decided to have them come up during the special music, to lay hands on us and to pray for our marriage. It was a beautiful moment for the 6 of us and our pastor to share.
Our special music was "Love is Not a Fight" by Warren Barfield.
Next we had a response from our families and congregation, confirming their support for us in our decision to marry.
Then we were declared married, presented as husband and wife, and we sealed it with a kiss!
And we were married! And incredibly happy about it!!
And now for the reason we didn't use "Joyful, Joyful" as our recessional. You see, we'd heard this song. And we knew it was perfect.
Knowing this was the perfect song for our recessional, we decided to use "Joyful, Joyful" as the processional.
Did I mention that we were happy about being married??
Next up: Why people on diets should have avoided our reception all together.