Our Wedding Story part 4: the ceremony

Our wedding ceremony was the part of the day that I thought about the most. In the weeks leading up to it, I would daydream about the promises we were going to make and the vows we would commit to. I was so excited to become Steve’s wife, and have him become my husband in the presence of God, our family and friends.

We took a huge risk in planning an outdoor wedding ceremony in October in the Pacific Northwest. After a week of constant rain, our wedding day greeted us with gorgeous clear blue skies and crisp autumn air. To accommodate our guests in the cool temperatures, hot apple cider was served as a welcome drink as guests arrived, and pashminas were given to the ladies to keep warm. We also had packets of heat activated hand warmers to help with the cool breeze in the air.

We were having a small ceremony with less than 100 guests in the middle of a huge field. To make the space feel more intimate, we used wood columns carved by hand to frame in the ceremony site.

The flower girls and ring bearer in our wedding were so much fun and brought a great energy to the day. The girls wore custom Rebecca Cairelli dresses, made with the help of our good friend Cindy Aubert. Instead of tossing petals, they waved ribbon wands down the aisle. The two older girls carried a banner featuring our monogram before I made my way toward the aisle. We were thrilled when Martha Stewart Weddings asked how to create the banner and featured a DIY tutorial.

There is nothing quite like the experience of entering into your own wedding ceremony. As I walked toward my groom on my dad’s arm, I was feeling an emotional combination of excitement, joy, nervousness and peace. It was the best mixture of feelings I’ve ever had as Steve and I were taking this step into marriage together.

Steve and I both agreed that the ceremony was our favorite part of the entire day. The simple beauty of the giant weeping willow tree created a perfect and private atmosphere we had envisioned for the event.

Our recessional was a surprise – even to our families. Earlier in the year, when Steve was visiting a friend in Oxford, England, he heard a Dixieland jazz band playing on a street corner and loved the energy of their music. He told me about it, and we agreed that a high energy band would create a celebratory transition from our ceremony during the walk to where our cocktail hour was held.

Driving away as husband and wife was the best feeling ever. There was nothing to be nervous about now, and we could just enjoy the rest of the evening, celebrating with the people we loved the most.