The clock struck two. Everyone was seated and waiting. It was time to head down the aisle.
Cue the music.
A Catholic wedding mass is basically a church service plus a wedding, not just a wedding. So all of the music should be appropriate for worship. No Chris Brown or “Here Comes the Bride!”
My bridesmaids and groomsmen walked down to “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring.” Its such a beautiful, celebratory song.
All along, it had been my plan to walk down the aisle to this song, but I decided against it at the last minute. Why? Well, originally I thought was silly to change the music just for me, but I had went to a wedding a few months prior where the music didn’t change for the bride, and it seemed a little anti-climatic. Not that I really viewed myself as the “climax” of the wedding, but I didn’t want to be too untraditional.
Instead, I walked down the aisle to Trumpet Voluntary:
On the piano. So, I’m not the best at making last minute decisions, but it worked! It was still full of joy and anticipation, which is what I wanted.
But I haven’t walked down yet. First a good 21 other people had to go down. Yup, 21. Like I said, the Catholic wedding is basically a church service. If you haven’t been to a Catholic Mass, at the beginning during the opening hymn, people who are administering the sacraments or otherwise participating in the service process down the aisle. I’ll spare you all 21 pictures, though!
First to go would be my cousin carrying the cross. Next, a fellow FJV who was one of our readers. She was followed by the priest, the same priest who gave me my first communion, and the deacon, who was a good family friend of ours.
The bridesmaids and groomsmen made their way down, and then the real cuties.
My youngest cousins were the darling ring bearer and flower girl. At first, I admit, we were going to skip these jobs. Too many extras. I just wanted to keep things simple and focused. Then my sisters reminded me how fun it had been to be in my aunts’ and uncles’ weddings. They were right. Making sure the wedding day wasn’t just about us sometimes meant things were a little less simple.
My flower girl is holding the same basket that my mom and my great-aunt carried in their weddings. It’s actually glass, though the flowers are wrapped in a not so pretty silver paper so the basket looks silver. I was selfish and wanted to carry a bouquet, but I wanted to make sure my mom’s basket was incorporated in the day. And God bless her for allowing her glass basket to be carried down that tile floor!
Like I said earlier, in a Catholic wedding, those who administer the sacraments process down the aisle. We believe that the bride and groom actually administer the sacrament of marriage to each other, hence the bride and groom walk down the aisle. We believe it is of upmost importance that we enter marriage freely and of our own will, but we are not given into it. See what I’m getting at? No groom waiting at the altar for a bride to be given to him, for us!
Catholic brides and grooms are actually encouraged to walk down the aisle together. But I grew up in a not-so-Catholic world and had always wanted that “moment” of seeing my groom waiting for me at the altar. I also didn’t want to tell my dad I didn’t want him to escort me down the aisle. He was important to us. All of our parents were. They made us who we are and we wanted to honor them on our wedding day.
We thought both of us being escorted by our parents was a good balance of being traditional and honoring our parents without reinforcing the (what we think are) sexist undertones of being given away and without putting too much emphasis on the bride. Hey, my groom is important too!
There we stood and prayed, surrounded by our parents
as well as the women
and men who are so dear to us.
There we stood, full of joy and ready to wed.
(all photos courtesy of Enigma Productions)