From Weddingbee: The Ceremony

Our marriage ceremony was moved indoors due to a storm blowing through our area earlier in the day.  After our first look, we took portraits, but we did some more after the ceremony and I thought I'd save those pictures for a later post.  Let's move on, to the ceremony!

Just beforehand, word came that the venue was allowing our dog inside the building for our ceremony. We had originally been told that Baxter was not allowed inside, so we had thought the rain was the end of our outdoor ceremony and his participation.

Moving the ceremony inside meant that we've process into the space from the side.  I stayed up on a landing while most of our bridal party processed, so I didn't get to see any of what took place before I got into the room. 

All but one member of our wedding party were seasoned veterans of weddings, so the procession of the adults was pretty straightforward.  Marc's best man is his co-host on his radio show, so we're calling him DJ Best Man.  Then came GM Blue, who has been mentioned before. Last, was the rookie.  Marc's oldest nephew was a groomsman for the first time.  He's a Star Wars fan, so we'll call him Luke Groomswalker.

DJ Best Man, GM Blue, and GM Luke Groomswalker

Next up came the ladies. First came Sister Mink, who was carrying my new nephew in utero.  Next up was Dr. Bridesmaid, who is married to GM Blue.  Last in line was my "work spouse," MOH Mink.

Sister Mink, Dr. Bridesmaid, and MOH Mink

Now, I have to share my secret wish for the ceremony.  I did not want our wedding ceremony to be a quiet, serious affair. I wanted people to laugh. Having our niece and nephews involved along with Baxter would hopefully allow something funny to happen.

We seated our parents and the siblings whose children were in the wedding in the front row just in case any of the little ones were nervous. It was obvious that my youngest nephew wasn't going to make it down the aisle, so my brother (Sister Mink's husband) held him in the front row.The other three would take walk with Baxter. I heard about how this all went down from different people who were around the room.  Here's my best summary:

The two oldest nephews held onto Baxter and that last more brought up the rear. When the boys first stepped into the doorway with Baxter, everything was just fine.  Baxter somehow saw Marc over at the front of the aisle and decided that the preferred route to take was the direct one.  Baxter wanted to walk to the left, in front of the crowd, to Marc.  The boys had to convince him to circle around the seated guests to the back of the room so they could walk the aisle.

Junior Mink wants to go left and our nephews convince him to go right.

When the boys got Baxter to the top of the aisle, our guests started clapping.  I could hear the applause from my landing and assumed that they were just was reacting to Baxter being there. 

When Baxter saw Marc at the other end of the aisle, he picked up the pace a bit, which was probably a bit challenging for our photographers.

This last image cracks me up.  Baxter is probably headed right for Marc and the boys look excited and a little relieved that their job was done.

I was a little worried about Mini Mink's walk down the aisle because she can sometimes be a little shy.  We was amazing! I'm told that she took her flower girl job very seriously and came to a full stop each time she dropped petals on the floor. 

It was finally my turn to walk down the aisle.  Coming in from the side was kind of nice since I was able to survey the whole room before our guests stood up.  I debated whether I'd walk down the aisle alone, with my father, or with both of my parents early in our engagement and ultimately decided to walk with both of my parents.

 I mentioned much of the day being a blur back in my post about getting ready and I have to admit that the walk down the aisle is not ingrained in my memory.

I love that I can pick people out in the background of many of these photos. In the one below, you can see my brother holding my youngest nephew, the ring bearer who didn't make it down the aisle.  I can also see a colleague, an old neighbor, and my cousin's husband.  

My brother, Sister Mink's husband, read our first reading. I picked out The Master Speed by Robert Frost for two reasons. First of all, Frost is my father's favorite poet and I love his work, too. We've been reciting lines from Frost poems from years.  I don't know how I first came across The Master Speed, but I've seen it mentioned on Weddingbee time and again.  It's a wonderful, short poem that Frost wrote for his son's wedding.  Second, the line "Together wing to wind and oar to oar" spoke to both of us.  I think it beautifully captures the team aspect of marriage in a simple way.

DJ Best Man was Marc's pick to read our second reading, which was an edited down version of a quote that's attributed to Bob Marley. We used Marley's full name, Nesta Robert Marley, in our program, knowing that some might not know who that is.  Sure enough, some of our friends told us after the fact that they got a laugh over that.

The ceremony was not long, so it was soon time for the main event: the vows and our exchange of rings. 

Our officiant was our friend and former neighbor, Patricia Barth.  Patricia lived in Charlottesville while serving as an interim pastor at a local church and we got to know her and her husband at our little neighborhood's dog park. There are a number of fantastic officiants in our area, but we thought it would be special to have someone who knew us in that role.

Though we're a bit non-traditional in other areas of our lives, Marc and I decided that we were attracted to fairly traditional vows when we looked over options for our ceremony. Patricia gave us some books that covered wedding traditions and ceremonies of dozens of cultures and we picked out passages and lines that appealed to us.  She put the ceremony together from there.

We wound up making our guests laugh during our vows. Marc spoke his vows in his normal voice. I speak in front of large groups routinely at work and I guess my "presentation voice" came out when it was my turn.

One thing I remember from the ceremony is that Marc and I held hands the entire time and I never stopped smiling.

Baxter was pretty happy throughout the ceremony, too...

Within minutes, Patricia announced us husband and wife and we were walking down the aisle!

We stopped for a smooch at the end.

When we got outside the room, I remember thinking that the ceremony went by so quickly. As the rest of the wedding party came into the foyer, Baxter come over and I was able to take a few pictures with him. 

It wasn't the ceremony we imagined, but it turned out beautifully.

Do you have a rain plan?  If you had to use your rain plan, did it work out? What would you do differently?

All images by Elisa B Photography
Did you miss a Merry Mink recap?


  1. I love how happy you look. Gorgeous!

  2. Baxter is so precious! You looked beautiful :)


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