Tag Archives: Awesome

The Ceremony: Pure joy

I remember hearing the congregation stand and the processional music begin. I took a deep breath, the doors swung open, and my heart jumped up into my throat as I saw JP. Then we started to walk.

“Slow down, we’ll get there,” my father calmly said. In my adrenaline rush, I had started off too quickly. I closed my eyes, smiled, and realized what was happening.

Everything around me seemed to disappear. It felt as if the only ones that existed at that moment were my father at my side and my groom in front of me.

We reached the marble steps. JP stood to my father’s right, and Quincy began.

Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in the sight of God, and in the presence of these witnesses, to join together Lauren and Jean-Pierre in holy matrimony, which is an honorable estate, instituted of God, and signifying unto us the mystical union that exists between Christ and His Church: which holy estate Christ adorned and beautified with his presence in Cana of Galilee. It is therefore not to be entered into unadvisedly, but reverently, discreetly, and in the fear of God. Into this holy estate Lauren and Jean-Pierre come now to be joined.

I felt my father, my rock through everything, begin to choke back tears. I put my head on his shoulder, grabbed his hand and squeezed. He squeezed back, caught his breath, and we continued.

I require and charge you both, as you stand in the presence of God, before whom the secrets of all hearts are disclosed, that, having duly considered the holy covenant you are about to make, you do now declare before this company your pledge of faith, each to the other. Be well assured that if these solemn vows are kept intact, as God’s Word demands, and if steadfastly you endeavor to do the will of your heavenly Father, God will bless your marriage, will grant you fulfillment in it, and will establish your home in peace.

Will you have Lauren to be your wedded wife, to live together in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and keep her, in sickness and in health; and forsaking all others keep only to her so long as you both shall live?

“I will,” he said, strongly and surely. I held my breath– I was up next.

Will you have Jean-Pierre to be your wedded husband, to live together in the holy estate of matrimony? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and keep him, in sickness and in health; and forsaking all others keep only to him so long as you both shall live?

“I will.” I was surprised at how clear my voice rang out. I sounded strong, assured, confident, and present– just as I was at that moment.

Who presents this woman to be married to this man?

“Her mother and I do.” I squeezed my father’s hand once more, as I knew I was about to let go. He lifted my veil…

..and gave me a sweet kiss on the cheek.

Then, after lowering the veil, he placed my hand into JP’s, and stepped back. Quincy led the two of us up the stairs, and suddenly my world became even more private and intimate than it had been before. This was something special and sacred, and we were surrounded and embraced by love. An otherworldly feeling washed over us both, and I squeezed his hands.

“I, Jean-Pierre, take you, Lauren, to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinances; I pledge you my faith.”

“I, Lauren, take you, Jean-Pierre, to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part, according to God’s holy ordinances; I pledge you my faith.” I said each word, each statement, with purpose. The entire time I thought about what I was saying, and again, I absorbed it all.

Quincy took our rings from Laura and Joe.

The wedding ring is the outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace, signifying to all the uniting of this man and woman in holy matrimony, through the Church of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Bless, O Lord, the giving of these rings that they who wear them may abide in thy peace, and continue in thy favor, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

“In token and pledge of our constant faith and abiding love, with this ring I thee wed, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.”

We both exchanged rings, said these words, and then Quincy declared us husband and wife.

Forasmuch as Lauren and Jean-Pierre have consented together in holy wedlock, and witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto have pledged their faith each to the other, and have declared the same by joining hands and giving and receiving rings; I pronounce that they are husband and wife together, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Those whom God has joined together, let no man put asunder. Amen.

We stood there, the newly declared husband and wife, squeezed hands more tightly than hands probably should be squeezed, and beamed at each other. Tom, my trainer, friend, and confidant, stepped up to do our reading.

i love you much(most beautiful darling)

more than anyone on the earth and i
like you better than everything in the sky

-sunlight and singing welcome your coming

although winter may be everywhere
with such a silence and such a darkness
noone can quite begin to guess

(except my life)the true time of year-

and if what calls itself a world should have
the luck to hear such singing(or glimpse such
sunlight as will leap higher than high
through gayer than gayest someone’s heart at your each

nearness)everyone certainly would(my
most beautiful darling)believe in nothing but love

He did a beautiful job.

It was then time for us to light the unity candle. The music started, and we stepped towards the candles. I was a bit quick on the draw, and almost lit the candle by myself. Thankfully I waited, and we successfully lit the candle together and returned the tapers to their holders.

A word of advice to those using a unity candle: Make sure you get slow-melting or low-drip tapers. We hadn’t prepared for that, and both of us ended up getting hot wax all over our hands. This, however, led to one of the funniest moments of the day for us. As we knelt down and waited for the musicians to finish playing, Quincy told us we did a good job. We both pointed to the wax on our hands.

He whispered. “Aren’t you supposed to save that for the wedding night?” I had to hold in the giggles with everything I had in me. Touché, Quincy, touché.

The song ended, he blessed us and our marriage, and then led the congregation in the Lord’s Prayer.

We stood. I felt as if I were going to burst with happiness.

God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit bless, preserve, and keep you; the Lord graciously with his favor look upon you, and so fill you with all spiritual benediction and love that you may so live together in this life that in the world to come you may have life everlasting.

It is my honor to present to you for the very first time, Mr. and Mrs. Jean-Pierre de la Croix. You may kiss your bride.

We frantically flipped up my blusher.

And he kissed me.

Boy, did he ever. There was a huge swell of laughter, hoots, hollers, and whistles.

There was a collective “aww” as our recessional began. We had a singer and guitarist come in especially for it– All I Want Is You.

JP reached up to give me a high-five…

…and I successfully didn’t leave him hanging.

Just like that, it was all over, and we were beside ourselves with joy.

Our ceremony was so incredibly special and so incredibly perfect. It was warm and loving, not at all sterile and intimidating as some may seem. Just magical.

As a last hurrah for our ceremony, I’m including the wonderful footage from Mr. Odom. Even though I made it through the ceremony without a single tear, I can’t help but watch this and have my eyes well up and a smile spread across my face. Please watch it, and hopefully you’ll know what I mean.

Just pure joy.

*All photographs from Matt Miller of Our Labor of Love. Video by Matt Odom of Rock and Roll Hearts.

Need to do some catching up in the recap department?

Out with a bang.

After I was freed, we thought it would be a good time to hand out gifts and cards to our bridal party.

First, they opened the cards. In a crazy last-minute push, I made custom cards for each person. JP and I had previously agreed to just use blank cards given the ridiculous amount of stuff we had left to do. Of course I didn’t follow orders, and in a crazy last-minute go, I churned out a set of inside joke and illustrated fold-over cards, complete with pink liners for the girls and blue for the guys.

For those interested, here are the fronts of the drawn-at-2-am cards.

As they began opening the presents, I made creepy faces while looking over shoulders.

The girls got pearl studs, pearl necklaces, and some silly heart sunglasses to wear the next day.

The guys were gifted Chucks, colored socks, and some Wayfarer-esque sunglasses.

They were a hit. (And thankfully all fit!)

Before the night could come to a close, there had to be one more bout of mischief. In lieu of the traditional breaking of plates on a Polterabend, we were going to break apart a piñata!

Full disclosure: I was a bit over-eager on the piñata-bashing. See the tear around the neck? About a minute before, I had forgotten to wait until Mr. Miller was set up… and totally one-blow decapitated the poor donkey. (Is it a donkey? Or burro? Or horse?) We put the poor guy’s head back on, and got ready to do it again.

I was a bit gentle with it at first, seeing as how I killed it before. JP, however, seems to be going for blood.

After not doing much damage, we stood it back up and went at it again.

And I took the head off… again.

JP impaled it, and I Manolo-ed it.

…but then impaled it.

Picked it up, dumped out the candy…

…and the poor piñata…

…was kaput.

(I fully expected this piñata head to end up in my bed that night, a la the Godfather.)

We cleaned up the candy together, in true Polterabend style, while everbody watched and laughed at my inability to keep my dang skirt down. Classy and forgetful lady. (Though I will mention that we should get a few bonus points. We “donated” allllll of the candy to the kidlets that were in the other two-thirds of the restaurant. Nobody wants a sugar rush bride, right?)

After the dinner was over, we packed up and left. Lots of fun was had by all, lots of embarrassing (but good-humored!) stories were told, fun presents were handed out, and I think it was the best and most perfect rehearsal dinner we could have hoped for.

How did you end your rehearsal dinner? Out with a wired bang, or a quiet and sleepy one?

*All photos by Matt Miller of Our Labor of Love.

I have no words.

And so it begins. This, my dears, is the last teaser-not-full-wedding-recaps post before recaps begin. Why? Well, this afternoon our amazing photog, Matt Miller of Our Labor of Love sent over some pictures. And boy, are we ever happy with the results! Understatement of the century.

So, please enjoy these snippets of us getting ready, playing photoshoot, and having a blast at the reception.

L-O-V-E. Go over, see the full set, and give Matt some love.

Cannot wait to share E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G.

Have a favorite shot out of this bunch? Share! (Then maybe I’ll let you know what my favorite one is!)

Oh, hi there.

Funny seeing you here. What was that? Oh, I’m pretty good.

Yes, yes. Weekend before last we did get married, as planned. How did it go?

I’ll say.

Word.

It was way waaaaaaay better than I could have ever imagined or dreamed. We had the time of our lives, which is quite clear by the wet-rat-state that my hair was in by the end of the night. (I.e. when I finally got into the Smilebooth. Damn, I swore I had brushed my hair in the last century.) I can’t wait to go into gross detail about the whole thing. So. Freaking. Much. Fun.

So, everybody, what’s up with you? Other June 19th ladies, how’d it go?

*All shots from our Smilebooth. More on that goodness later!

Pete and Repete got back into their boat

…and bought completely different rings.

Right before we were about to order our pretty rings from Whiteflash and Blue Nile, we remembered that JP didn’t know his ring size. There was one private jeweler that we hadn’t visited in Hotlanta, and we figured it was as good of a time as any to go look at their rings, aka pretend to buy one and get JP sized.

In walked fate, and on the 17th floor of a shiny high-rise in Buckhead, before we knew it, JP and I had purchased our rings from this jeweler we’d previously ignored. His ring was less expensive than Blue Nile, and mine was the same as Whiteflash. Oh yeah, and my ring? Specially made por moi and to fit underneath my engagement ring. Everything to my crazy-picky list of things I wanted and needed.

Yesterday, we picked up the rings, and ZOMG are we happy.

Local family-owned jeweler for the win. Custom ring for the win.

How many times did you change your mind about rings? Who else went the custom route via a local jeweler? How was your experience?

Yeah, right.

So remember how I was going to make my veil? Well, it’s a month before the wedding, so I’d have a snowball’s chance in hell to be able to gain the veil-making skills, time, or energy needed to make my own veil. So buying it is.

The week before last, at dress fitting numero dos, I played with veils. Remember my original veil inspiration?

{ Our Labor of Love, We Met in a Bar }

The long veils were wonderful, and a bunch of fun to play with, but I also fell for a pure silk, fingertip length, pointed-bottom, pencil-edged waterfall veil. Oh boy, was it ever beautiful. It hung so delicately– it was transparent, light, and dreamy. The veil-lady at the shop said that if I didn’t buy a pure silk veil, it would end up looking crunchy, not hang right, and basically kill my whole dress look. Wikiwhat? Dress killing?  Equipped with this new paranoia, we asked for the price.

That’s the price without a blusher and without tax. Oh yeah, and without shipping. Pardon my french, but f that shit. No. Way. Not gonna happen. I resisted the urge to drop my jaw to the floor, and calmly said that “We’d be in touch.” Touch my ass. Back to the drawing board.

I searched the internet, went all crazy trying to figure out what veil I wanted, and wasted a whole bunch of time. Based on my height, ordering a non-super-long veil is pretty tricky. A fingertip veil might cut me at the waist, and a waltz length veil might hit at my fingertips. Also, veil-lady’s crunchy comments circled in my mind. Too much obsessing, as per usual. Were her comments just made to sell a crazy-expensive veil? Was she right? Even if she were right, did it really matter? With a long veil, the weight pulled it into flowy mode. I decided to squash her used-car-salesman comments and continue about my bidness.

Thankfully, last night while floofling through the interwebs, I found a veil that swept me off of my feet.

{ Heknowsmyname on Etsy }

Lovely, full, dramatic, and a bunch of fun. Seventy-nine dollars. Sold. Veil decision? Made.

Oh yes, and the lovely seller is adjusting the proportions to fit my 6’3″ frame for no extra charge. So full of win.

Was anybody else quoted a ridiculous price at your bridal salon, or was I just extra lucky? How did you find and decide on your veil?

Be a Valentino just for you

When Mom picked up the Love Flats, she also surprised me with a pair of Valentino slides. (Yes, I’ll call them slides, thongs, sandals, but not flip-flops. Leave me alone.) They’re hot pink, made of some magical plastic or rubber or something, and I never thought I’d wear them. I mean, c’mon, where was I going to wear Valentino flip-flops (err, slides) in the middle of February? The pretties sat in their box, awaiting spring and whatever life might hold for them.

Fast forward to, well, now. I realized a bit ago that my lovely Love Flats are also pretty delicate. I do not want to butcher the red soles, get mud in the cork, or tromp through fields in those puppies. (Yes, I am fully aware that they will be worn and non-perfect by the end of the night, but work with me here.) I knew I needed a pair of shoes to stand in for the Love Flats while we do what I assume will be an awesome ninja photoshoot. I don’t imagine I’ll be traipsing through mud, but just in case, I wanted something rubber and hose-off-able. Or cheap.

I piddled around on the interwebs, considered the rubber TB Revas, but they seemed like a sweaty blister magnet, not like a comfy pair of beaters. Fail to the boat. While said piddling was going on, dear Mother walked into my room.

“Lauren, I am going to take back those Valentino flip-flops if you’re never going to wear them.”

“NO WAIT.”

Duh, stupid me. Who passes up adorable, hot pink, hose-off-able, bow-topped, awesome-sauce Valentinos? Almost me, that’s who.

Also, for those who have been following along, aka read my last post, our first dance song has “Valentino” in it. CLEARLY THE UNIVERSE WAS TELLING ME THINGS.

Ahem. Yes. That is the story of how my stand-ins came to be. Great one. I should tell it at parties. These guys will also be super cute paired with a not-yet-purchased-white-honeymoon-bikini. (Yes, I know, danger danger, white swimsuit, but damnit, I’m a bride.)

Are you having a pair of stand-ins to help protect your main wedding shoes? Were they ones you already had, or ones bought specially for the job?

*Shoe pixxx jacked from Valentino and prettified by moi.

Press this.

Yesterday morning I was climbing the walls. Our invitations were in LaGrange, on the truck for delivery, but weren’t scheduled to be delivered until 4:30 pm. After refreshing the FedEx tracking page about 400 times, I began to consider chasing down the truck. How could I possibly wait all day when I knew they were in this tiny town? Right as I was contemplating how best not to sound like a crazy loon, the doorbell rang. By the time I realized what was going on, I was standing downstairs next to my father and JP, while my father was threatening to stab-open the box with a Swiss Army Knife. (Both he and JP enjoy pushing my buttons).

My father and his Swiss Army Knife of (possible) doom.

Okay, okay, I’ll get on with it! I will save you the gory opening details, but everything is here, accounted for, and completely and 100% fabulous. These beauties are all on yummy Lettra, and printed in Rhodium Red, Process Blue, and, well Black. As with other posts of this nature, you’re probably only here for the pixxx, so go on, give our delightful invites a once-over.

I am totally in love with the results– the feel of the paper, the deep indentations, the weight of it all, the perfect floods… I really cannot blabber on enough about these.  It’s just magic in cotton and ink form.

A big thanks goes out to Colleen of Cleanwash Letterpress, and Brooke (Mrs. Cupcake!) for referring me to her. They both really rescued me during my printing conundrum, and Colleen did such a beautiful job printing these guys in a jiffy.

Now comes the yellow-lining, the website-sneaking-in, and the writing. Oh boy. This will either spell disaster or awesome-aster. I’m hoping for the latter.

How many backflips did you do when your invitations came in? Did you design them yourself then have them printed, had someone else design and print them, or go the totally DIY route? Oh yeah, and what do you guys think?!