So after a busy week, staying up til 4 or 5 in the morning to hammer out things like the song list,and then going to work still all week- Friday came. Our friend Jennifer showed up on the train that morning. We picked her up and she spent a half day at work with us. We managed to duck out early that day and get some last minute things done. My BFF showed up with the headpieces for my daughter and I and told me the cake was in the car.
She was supposed to make my cake for me and I had given her the money for this. She is a busy woman though. Had the bright idea to call a bakery and have them bake it and ice it and she would decorate it that night. She had ordered a 3 tiered square cake to feed 60 people. There was a big problem with the cake though. Picture this- You take 3 different sized regular cake pans, bake the cake and then just plopped them one on the other and threw some icing on it. no layers to the tiers, no squaring off of the top or the corners and it sure as hell wasn't going to feed 60 people. I was appalled this was a professional baker and half pissed at my friend for trying to cut corners. But what was done was done and what the hell could you do about it the night before the wedding? I wasn't happy but I decided I'd deal.
The next day we were dressed and ready. On our way out DD says the cutest thing " I'm a bridesmaid. It's not the kind of maid that cleans the house or mops the floor. It's the person that helps the bride on her special day!" After a good laugh at the things that come out of the mouths of babes, we decided to head to the church to get our photos taken. Almost there we get a text from my friend who was going to photograph our renewal. It said her bf and her got into an argument and they weren't going to be able to take the photos. I was devastated. I tried to get ahold of some people with nice cameras to get to the church early so some photos could be taken. FIL- he never showed in time. My brother (he took our photos 10 years ago) and he didn't get there on time either.
Chanell ended up taking some with her camera phone and that was the best we could hope for. The pictures weren't that great but I was grateful for something.
Half the girls that were supposed to show up to set up didn't show up on time so I had to help my friend Stephanie set a bunch of it up, working up a sweat in my dress and everything. Eventually everyone showed up and contributed at least a little bit and it turned out beautifully. For some reason when people showed up, instead of going out back to the ceremony site (which was obvious from the parking lot) they went inside to sit in the reception (which was still being set up) including DH's grandmother. When it came time for me to herd everyone outside, she couldn't make another long trek back outside to the ceremony and had to stay in.
We very much wanted to incorporate lessons we learned through our time together. We wanted to avoid cheesiness or anything cliche. We aren't much for romance but we know of the work and compromise that goes into a marriage. Our readings and vows reflect this.
So the ceremony starts. We had it outside our church surrounded by country and corn fields. We wanted to have it next to the wild prairie nature reserve they had out back. Unfortunately the really tall grasses were mowed over a couple weeks earlier. It still looked beautiful though. Unbeknownst to us tonight was also the night of the Harvest moon. My beautiful kiddos began the procession, leading the way. DH and I walked down together as a symbol of us already going through life together. We walked down our straw covered aisle to our beautiful tree with white Japanese fans and lanterns hanging off of it. Looked like they were glowing with the sunset shining through them. Friends and family were everywhere. I can't wait to see the video. It was all such a blur I don't remember who was where. I really wanted to soak it all in this time, but I guess when your in the moment, that's just the way it is.
We had 3 readers. First was my sister reading an epic and romantic Doctor Who quote from the 9th doctor (she began crying right away and it made me cry)- "Do you wanna come with me? 'Cause if you do then I should warn you, you're gonna see all sorts of things. Ghosts from the past; Aliens from the future; the day the Earth died in a ball of flame; It won't be quiet, it won't be safe, and it won't be calm. But I'll tell you what it will be: the trip of a lifetime. "
Next was a reading from my friend Jennifer. I don't have a copy of it yet cuz she's working on doing something amazing with it. But it was a poem called 10. It spoke of us being married for 10 years and being born for eachother (we share the exact same birthday. Yes even the same year.) It was a beautiful poem and I wish I could post it.
The last reading was from a man dear to our hearts. He and His wife, Mike and Cilla are seasoned civil rights activists. He has an FBI file 5 inches thick. President Hoover signed a confirmation putting him on the rabble rouser list. Aside from the amazing activists they are, they are the most in love older couple we have ever met and we greatly look up to them for many reasons. Mike read a slightly altered quote from Captain Corelli's Mandolin-"Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being in love which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Cilla and I have it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two."
After this it was our turn to read our readings-oops through all the "setting up" and running around trying to get some pictures I left my reading inside. D'OH! (Will add his reading later.) (Will add what was supposed to be my reading later- I read it to him the next day.) Then we had our hand fasting ceremony. We used the churches sash that represented earth, fire, wind, water and also we had a wonder gift from a friend of ours in D.C. She overnighted us 2 ti leave handfasting cords made from 5 ti leaves each to represent our 10 years married.
From her letter: Lei are given as symbol of love, friendship and admiration in Hawaii and are traditionally seen at major milestones such as graduations, weddings, and anniversaries.
Each lei is made with 5 ti leaves, equalling 10 total to represent your 10 years together (this is the point Chris started to tear up.). You can wear the lei during the ceremony, or reception, use them as part of your hand fasting chords, use them as decoration or simply keep them as a momento of your special day.
We read our vows to one another (written by yours truly)(will post them later) .Then we got our new rings blessed and exchanged them. The ring exchange was "I give you this ring not as a symbol that you belong to me, but that my heart belongs to you."
Then we proceeded to exit the ceremony and make for the receiving line We lined up for our receiving line and greeted everyone on the way into the ceremony, including some late comers who missed the ceremony, but we're glad they showed up.
We had 8 seater banquet tables in the reception room. My decorations (to go along with the country chic theme) were 2 mason jars on each table tied with some ribbon and raffia and rock like plant fossils -that my FIL collected over the years working at construction sites- in each jar with a tea light candle. In the middle of the table were tins cans with ribbon and raffia holding beautiful bouquets. I had an eclectic mix baskets of apples on the buffet pass thru, beverage table and cake table. For the head table we took a branch and put a ribbon on it and set it on the front. We had a menu written on a chalk board. On the kids table we had Doctor Who Coloring sheets and crayons. I really wish we had gotten pictures of these details but alas you know the photographer story. My brother was here at this point but decided that my FSIL should be the one to take the pictures since she goes to college for this stuff. But you could tell she just wasn't into it. She just seriously wanted to get it over with as quickly as possible. I wish she would have said something and I could have had my friend Stephanie take some photos. She took pics during the ceremony, but I have no idea how they turned out yet but if they were anything like the 4 "formals" she took after the receiving line, when we went back out, I'm not going to be too impressed.
This is the only good one that came out of the ones FSIL took only because of the photoshopping
So now you know about the few things that went wrong during for the renewal. Remember the cake I told you about? Turns out Chanell stayed up til all hours of the night "fixing" the cake. It turned out wonderfully.
Beautiful pic yes? that was from my friend Stephanie. After being devestated again seeing the horrible quality of the pictures from FSIL (who goes to school for this stuff), my friend stephanie said she got a few shots herself and she would send them to me. They were beautiful! She really saved the photography for me and I was so very grateful (Again. She did do my beautiful flowers for 80 dollars and she set up the whole event that day.) They were so beautiful we went to St. Louis the next weekend. got dressed back up and went and took some formals. I'm still waiting on those and I'm very excited to see them!