Wedding III: Ceremony

**I just want to point out, before I begin, that I like to reference song titles and lyrics a lot in my blogs, and “Ceremony” is what this post is about, and a New Order song. It’s good, listen to it later.

Anyway. We knew it was supposed to rain. The week of May 24-30 was so beautiful and we could’ve had our wedding on any of those days, including the day before the wedding. During our rehearsal it was *gorgeous* out. But, we knew it was going to rain, no matter what. We considered pulling the trigger on the rain plan, which would’ve kept the whole event localized to one spot. This would’ve solved a few problems of ours, like a.) getting a ton of stuff to our wedding site, which was not near any real parking, so we had to go in little trips, and b.) get all the people to the site. We had to rent a bus to take everyone over. It was all rather charming, and for the most part it worked out pretty well. I stood on the patio at the Theodore Wirth Chalet watching people get on buses, and it was still fairly nice out. I had two beers, so I was like, pretty chill. CarolineAlan_028 CarolineAlan_029 CarolineAlan_030 CarolineAlan_031First I want to talk about my invitations, which were seriously challenging to do. My wedding invitations needed to be “up there” in terms of things I’ve designed. I felt like there was SO MUCH pressure on me (pressure only coming from myself). I went through multiple stages of what it should be. I’m really basically a minimalist though and had to say “no” to all the fussiness that invitations usually are. I made a logo which was on everything. I designed everything for this wedding. We got vintage stamps too, and black envelopes. MMM they are so good. CarolineAlan_387Alan’s ring is pretty simple; white gold paladium with a brushed finish, much like my engagement ring. My wedding band is from One Garnet Girl on etsy. She did both my rings, and they are just the best. It looks like this. While I’ve grown to absolutely hate chevron patterns that have been co-opted by mom bloggers, I love the subtlety on this ring. For the “ring pillow” we found a birch slab at Michaels and drilled a couple holes in it. Booom, done.CarolineAlan_246 CarolineAlan_247Everything you see here was done in the last week. I found the chalkboard sign at Michaels. Before then, I had no idea what kind of sign I was going to use. I made the programs and printed them, and my mom and aunt came over to help tie the little strings. I used that black and white twine for tons of stuff. All the print materials cost less than $300, because I designed and printed everything myself. Hey, do you need wedding invitations made?CarolineAlan_248 CarolineAlan_258So calm. Our officiant was Rob, who I’ve been friends with for a long time. He was excellent and put on a lovely, secular wedding ceremony, complete with a few references to our favorite nerd things.CarolineAlan_270Oh man, here it comes.CarolineAlan_271I love Alan’s face here. He’s walking our moms down right before the ceremony started and he is absolutely terrified that the rain is going to come and destroy everything. And lightning, I guess. He’s afraid lightning is going to kill our guests.
CarolineAlan_276 CarolineAlan_277
Our wedding party walked down the aisle to “Good Feeling” by Violent Femmes.CarolineAlan_278 CarolineAlan_280 CarolineAlan_283 CarolineAlan_287It like, literally started downpouring as soon as it was time for my dad and me to walk down the aisle. I couldn’t hear any of the music. I was just going off my personal attendant Kat, who was doubling as coordinator.CarolineAlan_289People really liked the rain, which I’m grateful for, because it means that we have rad, low-maitenance wedding guests who go with the flow. I also liked the rain, because walking down with my dad was something I knew would be hard to get through, and the rain kind of made us laugh instead of cry. CarolineAlan_292 CarolineAlan_297 CarolineAlan_298Once I got to the back of the seating, people were cheering, and I couldn’t really see anyone, except our photographer Matt, who was super into all of it, and it felt all so electrifying and I got this adrenaline rush and that’s all I remember. I couldn’t even hear my processional song until I got very near the front.

**When Alan and I met, we didn’t really have a lot of the same musical tastes in common (he’d never even listened to The Smiths). But on our first or second date he asked if I liked Neutral Milk Hotel, which I did, and for want of anything else to listen to on the way to our first camping weekend, I put on that CD and that’s one of my earliest memories of our time together. In February we saw NMH at First Avenue (granted, he was in the back, and I was up front with my friend [and bridesmaid!] Anna). There was no other option for what I would walk down the aisle to. Really. There was no question. We knew instantly this had to be it. I really love music. It’s one of my greatest loves. Alan, not so much, but, like the invitations, the music selections had to be PERFECT. And they had to speak for both of us. In my previous life, I probably would’ve walked down to The Smiths, and gone back down to New Order. The “special music” would’ve been David Bowie probably. Anyway.

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We had Alan’s sister do a couple readings for us. By the way, if you’re trying to have a secular ceremony, but don’t want readings that are too hippy dippy, or poetical, or whimsical, the selection pool is really very shallow. We managed to find a couple great ones that were both romantic and pragmatic.

Because it is the nature of love to create, a marriage itself is something which has to be created, so that, together we become a new creature.To marry is the biggest risk in human relations that a person can take…If we commit ourselves to one person for life this is not, as many people think, a rejection of freedom; rather it demands the courage to move into all the risks of freedom, and the risk of love which is permanent; into that love which is not possession, but participation…It takes a lifetime to learn another person…When love is not possession, but participation, then it is part of that co-creation which is our human calling, and which implies such risk that it is often rejected. — Madeline L’Engle, The Irrational Season

I guess maybe it is like rolling off of a log — my heart is filled again and I’m choked with emotions — and love is so good and powerful — it’s worth preserving — I know nothing can separate us — we’ve stood the tests of time and our love is as glorious now as the day it was born — dearest riches have never made people great but love does it every day — we’re not little people — we’re giants… I know we both have a future ahead of us — with a world of happiness — now & forever. — Richard Feynman, Physicist

It was important to us to have cultured readings. Because we’re pretentious! Hahahaha……..CarolineAlan_331 CarolineAlan_340For us both being pretty chill, generally humorous personalities, our vows were quite serious and emotional. Who knew! I won’t post them, but Alan and I did agree that I would call him “My Sun and Stars” and he would call me “Moon of my life.” It’s a nerd thing. You wouldn’t get it. CarolineAlan_349 CarolineAlan_354It kinda stopped raining in time for our unity ceremony. You know how in most weddings, they have some thing like, lighting a candle, or putting sand in a jar? We wanted to be a little more creative, and, more importantly, a little more on-theme. With us, and the ceremony in general. We got a little pine tree (which, I love pine trees, so much) and a pretty stoneware pot, and planted it together. Trees last for a long, long time. And they grow big and strong. Pine trees especially can weather many storms. The tree is now planted in our back yard.

“The Book of Love” was our tree-planting music. Alan always loved this song, and when I first heard it I knew right away that would be it.CarolineAlan_356Ha ha ha, it’s funny, because that tree doesn’t need watering!!! CarolineAlan_359 CarolineAlan_364It was a super short ceremony, which does seem a bit silly, only because it was such a big thing leading up to it. But it was so, so special. I’m really triumphant in this photo, not *just* because the deed was done, but because our recessional music got timed out perfectly, which is probably what I was most concerned about.

This was an Alan selection. I thought it was totally appropriate, because it’s a folksy cover of an old standard, which is *kinda what we were going for with all of it*
CarolineAlan_380Aw, we love everybody.CarolineAlan_372

I really loved the music we (I) chose for the pre-ceremony too. Give it a listen:

Next up: Party time.

About the Author

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Hi! I'm a graphic designer, photographer and female person. I live in Minneapolis with my husband Alan and our baby son Alexander and baby cat Arya.

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