I’m back, with another post in my wedding recap series, this time I’ll be covering our self-uniting ceremony, and sharing some sweet photos.
If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of a self-uniting ceremony, you may want to start here for a quick explanation. Otherwise, read on!
Mr. Crafty and I (mostly I) wrote our ceremony ourselves, incorporating songs and readings that hit all of our “musts,” featuring several of our loved ones as readers and witnesses, and even including all of our guests in a recitation of “family vows.” There were so many personal touches, too many to share in this post! It all came together so wonderfully, though, and we loved not feeling confined to a more traditional ceremony structure, or needing to work with an officiant or clergy member local to our venue (and several hours from our home).
When the pianist started, and we queued up to enter, it all suddenly became so real. I had chosen Mark Knopfler’s “Storybook Love” from the Princess Bride – a favorite film of mine, with tons of meaning about love and dedication, and one I’ve watched countless times with my younger sister/maid of honor, and my dad – and my dad, my sister, and I were all fighting back tears when we heard the distinctive opening chords. It’s a lovely, contemporary, but sweet and serene song for a bridal entrance, and I’m so glad we picked it!
…Meanwhile, my now-husband was waiting patiently at the altar…From the looks of it, he was holding his breath here.
…And finally, after our siblings, it was my turn to enter with Dad.
Still fighting off happy/sentimental tears, here.
And then I kicked off the ceremony with a quick welcome and thank you reading.
It took me a few seconds to gather myself before I was composed enough to start, but once I got going, I held it together for the rest of the ceremony! I was convinced I’d be bawling through the whole thing, since I am incredibly sentimental and can cry at the touch of a hat (I cried my eyes out when Kermit the Frog played Rainbow Connection on his banjo in last week’s episode of The Muppets because it reminded me of my childhood, then again the next morning when I remembered it… so, yeah, pretty sentimental…)
Then, it was Mr. Crafty’s turn to take over, with a quick explanation of how the rest of the ceremony would go.
Next up, Mr. Crafty’s brothers led our guests and us through Family Vows — a set of promises to love and support each other, and to accept our “new” family members as our own. We asked everyone to stand for this portion, and respond “we will” after each statement. This was our way of making sure every single person was involved in our ceremony… I guess the other option would’ve been to add a whole bunch more readings, but my attention span is not that impressive.
Next, Josh said a few words to honor our loved ones who couldn’t be with us, including our grandparents who passed away, I lit a candle, and we listened to a short interlude of “Amazing Grace” by the pianist.
Then, we invited up a few of our family members for the readings we selected. They were a mix of traditional and not, religious and not, with a dash of humor, too.
…And practically everyone cried.
And then, the rings!
Next, we invited Mr. Crafty’s oldest brother and my oldest sister to sign our marriage license with us.
If including this in the ceremony seems funky at all, maybe it is. But remember that I’m a lawyer after all, and one of the first things you learn in law school is that agreements mean a whole lot more when they’re in writing. I’m joking, but only partly.
Lastly, we pronounced ourselves husband and wife! When we were working on the ceremony, we weren’t sure if this party would be odd, or hokey, or awkward. We played around with the wording a whole bunch before coming up with something we both liked–
Mr. Crafty: And finally, with the authority vested in us by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, we can officially say–
Mr. Crafty and me: We now pronounce ourselves husband and wife!
As it turned out, it was fun, and not at all out of place. And, of course, we sealed it with a kiss.
…Heading back out into the world, this time as husband and wife!
Thanks for joining me on this recap. I hope you enjoyed it! Next time, I’ll recap the reception and our post-dinner s’mores roast!