I covered the very basics of our wedding day in my last post, but I wanted to share a little more about our ceremony and other sweet things about the day.
I’m not sure if I can pick out a favorite moment of the day because when you plan your own wedding, you’re essentially coordinating a day filled with all your favorite things. It’s hard to pick the best parts when it’s all the best, but I will say that one of the most heartwarming moments outside of the ceremony itself, was our “first look.” Our photographer Bobbie perfectly executed this part of the day, and it made for some really sweet pictures. I didn’t include them all because I’m ugly crying in a good amount of them, but I’m glad to have them.
I’ll also say that I’m a huge advocate of the first look/pre-ceremony photo shoot. From a planning perspective, it eliminates that awkward gap between ceremony and reception (I really hate that gap – what is everyone supposed to do?). Plus it allows you and your guests to ride that warm ceremony energy right into the reception. You just got married – you want to go celebrate, not stand in a field for two hours while everyone parties without you! But I also loved the first look because it really captured that moment in its entirety. I think it can be tricky from a photographer’s perspective to get those reaction shots in a crowded ceremony space. And, for me, I liked having the opportunity to spend some time with just Michael before we walked down the aisle. We both can be nervous people, so I think seeing one another first really calmed our nerves. I really can’t recommend this strategy (and the moment) enough.
When it came to the ceremony, I thought it was flawless. Michael, his parents and the wedding party (all two of them), walked down the aisle to the Decemberists’ “The Crane Wife 3.” Our first date was a Decemberists concert, so it was incredibly fitting, plus, I think the tune itself built up perfect wedding anticipation. I walked down the aisle to an instrumental version of “Morning Has Broken” because my parents and I are all big Cat Stevens fans.
The ceremony itself was nondenominational and really lovely. We had religious and literary readings, and we planted a birch tree together (sort of a nature-lover’s unity candle). And I ugly cried (again) during our vows. I could not help it. Michael is not an overly demonstrative person, so the second I saw him tear up, the floodgates opened. My friends were kind enough to not make fun of my weird gasp-sob.
We topped it all off with “Don’t Worry, Baby” by the Beach Boys because that’s Michael’s all-time favorite band and it has that happy ending feel (I mean, have you seen Never Been Kissed?). That part just sort of makes my heart soar.
I’ll be back soon with one more installment of this much belated series.
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As always, credit to Bobbie from Roberta Rae Photography + Design. She did such an amazing job capturing the most tender moments of our wedding day. Wisconsin folks, I highly recommend her!