For today’s picture, the ceremony.
You’ve already met the bridesmaids, the groomsmen, and our parents. Our officiant was our friend L, a pastor from our church in California. His message about the permanence and priority of the marriage relationship was so popular that people asked for copies of it afterwards! No one could be better suited to officiate a wedding than L because as a worship leader in the church he is well-acquainted with helping a ceremony flow, and he was able to teach some of the musicians how the songs we had chosen were supposed to sound during the rehearsal. We also were honored to have Father W attend and pray a blessing over us. Father W is Mr. C’s godfather and baptized T and his brother A.
Besides our Presbyterian pastor and Catholic priest, we also had a Jewish reader of an Old Testament passage. I’m not sure that Baptist church had ever known such ecumenism. Our friend A, T’s oldest friend (their mothers were friends while expecting), read in Hebrew (and again in English) from the Old Testament, Psalm 40: 1-5, 16-17. You can see him in the back row of the choir loft besides my friend B.
B is my “most consistent” friend. I’ve never been one to call out a particular person as my best friend, but B and I went through our whole lives from pre-K to college graduation together. Same schools, same churches, both in the honors and engineering programs at UTK, and similar circles of friends. Ironically, she went to Wisconsin, my birthplace, after college, and I went to our hometown for jobs. If you would have asked 100 people who would end up in in those place after school, 99.5 of them would have reversed it. Our lives have mirrored one another in professional life as well, as we both travel a great deal for work, and we even reached “platinum medallion” status on Delta the same month. She read Romans 8: 31-39.
We had a bunch of amazing musicians
- T’s Aunt M and Uncle P, sitting in front of B & A, led the group singing of “O Love that Will Not Let Me Go” and “Be Thou My Vision” and performed a duet for “The Prayer.” Their daughter C is currently a touring professional opera singer, and it’s clear she came by that talent naturally. Wow, what voices! I’m just sad that we didn’t have them sing the entire service. We could have just moved our lips for the parts with the vows.
- Our friend EM from CA played the violin. And she’s really amazing. I wish I knew more about music to be able to appreciate all of the amazing performers.
- A long-time family friend D played the piano. She used to direct the children’s choir when I was a kid and has been a dear friend for a long time
- A church member of my parents, A, played the organ. The C family is really into organs because Grandpa C, the father of 18, was an amazing organist. I never heard him play, but there was no way we’d be getting married without organ music. There is nothing like a good organ build-up leading to the opening of the church doors and the entrance of the bride.
- My dad’s golfing buddy and father of a very good friend, J, played classical guitar during the seating of the guests.
- Last but not least, my brother and sister-in-law sang “I Will Lift My Eyes” as the mothers and grandmothers were seated.
L and S, my closest friends from my Eastman and U of M days, respectively, led the congregation in “prayers of the people,” which T and I wrote. My roommate from CA, J, was scheduled to be part of that as well but got bumped from the last flight from the west coast and was unable to attend.
The ceremony was full but didn’t seem long to me. Except when my feet were hurting from my killer heels. Apparently, I had quite a grimace on my face when I wasn’t in sight of the congregation. My sister A, not knowing about the feet, was starting to get a little worried.
But don’t worry, we sealed it with a kiss.