Archive for the ‘Wedding’ Category

There are basically 3 parts to the Catholic wedding – the Liturgy of the Word (aka the readings), the Rite of Marriage (aka the vows), and the Liturgy of the Eucharist (aka communion). Add a few prayers in there and some processions at either end, and bahda bing bahda boom, you have a wedding.

Picking the readings for our wedding was one of the things John and I most enjoyed about planning our wedding. We put a lot of thought into our selections.

The First Reading

The first reading is traditionally from the Old Testament. This passage was read by a close friend who did JVC with us in Spokane.

Genesis 1:26-28, 31a

Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Let them have dominion over the fish of the sea,
the birds of the air . . . God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good.

We chose this reading because we loved the language of the creation, of being connected to the wide world, a world full of beautiful creatures and full of life. We know that what God has created is good.

The Responsorial Psalm

The responsorial psalm is a psalm that is usually sung, with the cantor singing a verse and the congregation responding.

Psalm 118

This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

We chose this psalm, which is usually sung around Easter time, because it is so full of joy. It is also a reminder that this day, our wedding day, was a gift from God.

A beautiful picture of John’s grandparents singing along. One of my favorites.

The Second Reading

The second reading, which is usually from the New Testament, was read by John’s aunt and Godmother. This reading was what really was the hallmark of our wedding, and what we tried to keep on our hearts throughout the day.

1 John 4:7-12

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God….for God is love.

God is love. A simple, beautiful reminder, that what we have is holy. That our love for one another isn’t just butterfly kisses and splitting root beer floats. It’s real, and it is from God. We love, we love each other, we love others, because God first loved us.

The Gospel

The Gospel is read from the first four books of the New Testament – Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. It is usually read by the Priest or Deacon. (In our case, it was the Deacon).

Matthew 25:30

One of the Pharisees, a scholar of the law, tested Jesus by asking, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him,

“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your soul,
and with all your mind.

This is the greatest and the first commandment.
The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.”

We chose this reading, not because it was short and sweet and happened to have the word “love” in it, but because it is a great mission statement for marriage. Catholics believe that marriage is a vocation, a calling. We are called to be married or to lead a single life just like some people are called to enter into the ministry. Not just because its just what you do when you meet someone and fall in love, but also because it is a way to serve God and to serve others. So in our marriage we will seek to love God, love each other, and love those around us.

The Homily

The homily (or sermon) was said by a priest, the same priest who gave me my first communion, and by the deacon, who was a family friend of ours.

I love this picture from the wedding:

We are either looking at each other like that because a) the priest had mentioned having babies for the gazillionth time, or b) because I turned to John and said “shoot, I forgot to asks someone to videotape the wedding!” (I didn’t).

My mine strayed a bit during the homily cause, well, I was getting married in about 5 minutes. ACK! I do remember the Priest saying there are three things you should do at least once a year:

1) go to a museum to remember where you came from

2) hold a newborn baby to celebrate new life

3) go to a wedding to celebrate love

We had received our mission – love God, love one another, for God is love. It was finally, finally! time to wed.


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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!

Our turn.

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.

Our compromise?

Isn’t that a cool picture, by the way?

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.

(John’s sister was a groomwoman, and isn’t that the cutest ring bearer picture ever?)

There we stood, full of joy and ready to wed.

(all photos courtesy of Enigma Productions)

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Forever and ever, you’ll be in my heart…

Before we go any further, it’s probably best to say what marriage means to me and my husband.

When we decided to get married in the Catholic Church, we knew we were promising to marry for life. The vows we say to each other would not end, even in divorce, and so it is something that we couldn’t take lightly. Our decision to marry wasn’t just about love or romance, but about the support of our families, our desire for a family of our own one day, a willingness to work through the good and bad, honest discussions about finances, chores, etc. We knew it would be beautiful, and at times it will be hard, but definitely worthwhile. With all that in mind, we decided to go for it.

Marriage is a sacrament in the Catholic Church. According to foryourmarriage.org:

The sacraments make Christ present in our midst. Like the other sacraments, marriage is not just for the good of individuals, or the couple, but for the community as a whole. The Catholic Church teaches that marriage between two baptized persons is a sacrament. The Old Testament prophets saw the marriage of a man and woman as a symbol of the covenant relationship between God and his people. The permanent and exclusive union between husband and wife mirrors the mutual commitment between God and his people. The Letter to the Ephesians says that this union is a symbol of the relationship between Christ and the Church.

Quite an adventure and quite an undertaking. We aren’t just two people in love, we are two people in a covenant, a covenant like the one we are in with God. That is a big. deal.

But with all the trappings of dresses and bouquets and earrings, its easy to get distracted before the wedding. I was trying to focus on remaining prayerful, but I’ll admit, my mind was all over the place. But that’s okay. Yes, you should try to focus on Christ and the awesomeness of what you are undertaking on your wedding day, but its not your only chance. I live that sacrament every day. Every day I can take a moment to think about our holy adventure.

I asked everyone if we could say a prayer before. Two minutes later the Deacon came in and asked if he could lead us in prayer. So we did it twice. We were basically twice as holy.

Also, how about the not-so-awesome alterations on my dress? I have a wrinkle around my middle in most of the pictures. Boo. I hope it was one of those things you only see in pictures and not in real life.

It was a peaceful moment, surrounded by the women who mean the most to me.

One of my favorites, me and my future mother in law and sister in law. (And one of the few where my veil looks good.)

All in, and it was go time.

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All photos courtesy of Enigma Productions.

So, everything was good to go, all I needed to do was get dressed.

I like to be on time. I prefer to be early. So instead of the frantic hour before the wedding, I just kinda waited around for everyone then finally figured I might as well get dressed. That half hour right before the wedding slowed down. It seemed like 2 o’clock would never come.

A few words on dresses. I was pretty adamant that neither I nor my bridesmaids would wear strapless. I figured since I wouldn’t do it normally in church, why would I do it on this most important day? That being said, I realize our dresses aren’t super modest either. Well, I tried. At least there were no awkward pulling up the dress moments!

First the girls got dressed.

The girls wore J. Crew Sophia dresses. I wasn’t too worried about what they would wear, but I did want it to be a cotton sundress. Navy was an easy color that looks good on everybody, though I did really like the champagne color, too. That got vetoed pretty fast. I think navy falls into the “it is possible to wear it again” category, but I don’t know if any of them have since.

My turn.

Every bride has their dress hanging up picture. And I think mine is pretty cool. We got dressed in the church library because no one was there to meet us when we got there, and it was the only room unlocked. Apparently we weren’t supposed to. *oops*. Anyway, it drives me quite crazy that a) it’s hung on an ugly plastic hanger, and b) the the straps are slouched down like that. Why didn’t I just fix it? I think I was a little too unfocused on the details. Maybe you can be too relaxed on your wedding day!

Time to get in the dress.

Apparently it was really hard to get me into my dress. The photographer wanted that “moment” where they all help me into the dress. Unfortunately, the snaps were clear and it created a tense moment of my mom and sister trying to convince me there were no snaps on my dress, and everyone wanting to give it a try. Can you see how many hands are trying to go for it?

Finally I convinced them to just let me do it. I mean, I was the one who had been trying it on all this time anyway!

A few last make up touches. My little sis bought me some lipstick before the wedding because she knew I was a poor former JV and wouldn’t have done it myself!

I think this picture is kinda awesome. I remember the photographer saying the dirty mirror was “killing him.” But I like the effect. It makes it look like a rainy window. Maybe its just me, but its one of my favorites.

My little sister decided to help me with my earrings. I don’t think it ultimately worked out and I probably did it again myself, but it makes for a darling picture. Especially the way my flower girl/cousin is looking at me. I smile every time I see this picture.

But that reminds me. Earring drama. Years ago, when I left my college apartment, I drove myself home in my 2 door car. Not everything fit, and I left 3 boxes at a family friend’s house. His son would be coming by my parents house in a few weeks and could drop the boxes off then. Plans changed, and I didn’t see those boxes for 2 years. The friend was a Deacon, the one who was marrying us in fact, and he promised to bring the boxes with him for the wedding. I don’t know why I left the box with some of my most precious things at their house, but I did. One of the things in the box was my favorite pair of earrings, ones that my grandmother had given me when I graduated from high school. Simple, elegant drop pearl earrings. I knew I would wear them on my wedding day before I had anything else picked out. Unfortunately the box didn’t get dropped off until the day after my wedding. I ended up borrowing some simple pearl earrings from my mother. Not quite what I wanted, but I had my something borrowed.

I just look so pretty now, don’t I? I remember feeling very pretty. Fun times.

One last word on my bouquet. I don’t have a good picture of it, but my something old was a handkerchief that my Godmother gave me for my first communion that she had carried in her wedding. My something blue was a rosary that my mom had lent me. I had trouble wrapping it around the bouquet though, and so this is what we were trying to figure out here!

Okay, finally we were all dressed. One more thing to take care of before we head down the aisle, though!

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This is the Day: Flower Drama

Everyone needs a little bit of drama on their wedding day, right?

There was one last bit of wedding detail to take care of, and this is a bit that I’m a little bit ashamed of. We got to the church and the flowers were there, and well, they were okay. Just okay. One of the flowers I said I really hated (aster lillies) were there. I didn’t know the name of them, but I do remember the florist pointing to them and asking if I liked them. I responded with a vehement, no! But then, they were there, all over the bouquets.

(They are also in my bridesmaid’s hair. My sister asked if she could wear a rose or something in her hair and I said sure go for it. She called the florist and the florist said she would give her some flowers that were going to be in the bouquets. She picked up flowers from the florist that morning, and the florist had given her aster lillies. I didn’t really care. I wanted my bridesmaids to feel pretty. And they were. They all chose to wear a few flowers in their hair. Even though I didn’t like the specific flower, it was a nice touch.)

Anyway, I digress. The flowers arrived and I saw those little aster lillies. I apparently had agreed to them on the contract, but heck, I didn’t know what flower was which. The flowers that I had envisioned – soft yellows and pinks and peaches weren’t there. There were bright summery yellows and oranges, however. I was disappointed, but not bummed.

I made one of those can’t-take-it-back mistakes and mentioned it to my mom. She went into panic mode. She started running around and asked me 3 or 4 times if I wanted the florist to come fix it. Of course not, the wedding was in half an hour and its not a huge deal. She threw the phone at my sister and told her to fix it.

My sister called the florist who came running down to the church on her day off. She was incredibly apologetic, even though the whole thing was just  a misunderstanding.

She brought some flowers with her and though she only had time to fix mine, I was thrilled with the result.

Much softer and much closer to what I had imagined. Beautiful. I still wasn’t thrilled with all of the flowers, but I was so happy that she came and fixed it.

So with my mini-Bridezilla moment over, it was timed to get dressed.

(all photos by Enigma Productions)

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I thought I would do a few posts on my wedding. I won’t get them all done in a row, so you’ll have to check back to see when they’re up!

Want to see more? Click below!


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>Reality check

>So I have a fair amount of downtime at work, which involves a lot piddling around on the computer. Which…recently…has ended up on a lot of wedding websites. It seems like there is an endless number of things which I am supposed to decide between…what kind of shoes to wear (high heel, low heel, flat, peep toe, sandal, pump). How to do my hair (up, down, chignon, braided, curled).

But to be honest, it gets tough to care about having blue favors verses yellow favors when someone interrupts my idle day dreaming by telling me that they were beat up the night before. Or I have to call 911 because someone tried to kill their self. Or when I stop to realize that this will cost in a day more than I make in a year. Or many years of doing JVC.
Not to say I’m not having the typical wedding stress. But I do realize that at the end of the day, details are just details. Besides, most of it is taken care of: date, church, officiant, dress, bridesmaid dresses, photographer, florist. But no, we probably won’t have a color scheme or memorable centerpieces. We’re not going to try very hard to have “unique” invitations or the most unique cake topper. Its just not worth the effort.
But what I have learned that I want is friends, family, music (we do still need to take care of that one), and an an ice cold beer. And a husband. That’ll be nice.

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