Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Our Wedding

It's been 3 months since our wedding and I promised you the story...  here it is! Wow. I am so proud of myself to be this on the ball ;)

          ~It. was. Enchanting.~

Background: We chose something a little unusual for modern times. We chose to get married on a Sunday during an ordinary weekly Mass at our Parish -- the 11am Mass to be exact, where I lector every month, with the people we see and who see us week after week.  I don't know their names,
(well I didn't, but I know A LOT more of them now that I'm the parish celebrity bride)
but I felt they are my people, even without names. They are part of our family - our big, beautiful, messy, faith family, and I am so grateful we were able to have them witness our marriage.

Our pastor offered us to have the wedding on a Sunday. It's free after all when you don't have to rent the building or the servers etc, and sacraments should be free, right? right??
Chris loved the suggestion immediately.

I loved the idea of such simplicity.  I knew getting married was about us and our commitment,  but it felt to me that it was just as much about the Church as a whole. We were all joined at the table of the Lord. Everyone was welcome. All those parishioners, "my people", had no idea when they showed up for Mass that week that they were going to witness a wedding.   SURPRISE!  you're invited!

 Don't mind me, the girl in white, I'll just be taking up most of the aisle, thank you! Welcome!

So, as I was saying,  I loved the idea of simplicity, but there was a part of me that felt simplicity came at the sacrifice of making things "my way" and while I welcomed it on a logical level... the smaller control freak part of me died a little.  Our choice meant we gave up our say in the details of the wedding itself:  the readings, the music, the decoration, the position and participation of the wedding party. I prepared myself for that, and welcomed it, believing that our choices for this day really would lay the ground work for where we will place our values in our life together.

Our Family!!
(less a few for whom it was not possible on such short notice)
I prepared myself that our wedding would be a Mass like every other Sunday, and the only thing different would be that we were in wedding clothes, that we processed in, that our vows would be exchanged there, and that we would walk out as husband and wife...  easy peasy. simple and humble.

You guys... it was NOT a Sunday Mass like any other Sunday Mass.
It was the most beautiful wedding I have ever witnessed.
(Ok I'm partial, but really. partiality aside, my mind is blown.)

We handed over all those little extra details, and Thank God we did because it was perfect!

It overwhelms my heart how much we were blessed.
How Father Wallace prepared the congregation and welcomed them into the celebration, how the bridal coordinator (or someone, i really need to find out who!) laid flowers along the altar,
How joyful both strangers and friends were to witness our marriage,
Not to mention How much our families and friends did for us.  How many came.
We were gifted with generosity and beauty from every side.
Words fail me. They really do.
It's just a surge of emotion: incredible gratitude... and that feeling you get... do you know the feeling?
When you were just given more than you could have ever expected, more than you ever imagined. and you feel sort of overwhelmed. even unworthy of such gratuitous love. and there is nothing to be done, but accept it. maybe shed some tears. and gaze back at the Lord. at the universe. at everyone in your life, with love and gratitude?  that feeling.
hideous?  I have a habit of putting my foot in my mouth. grumpy bride.
 Look how beautiful!

When we decided to move the wedding date forward 4 months,getting the thumbs up from the church was as easy as walking up to our Pastor, making our request, and him checking the calendar on his iphone.  Done!
The change of date made our preferred reception venue unavailable, however.
Quick Plan B - Bring on the parish hall! linoleum floors, tacky chairs, and all.  I'll take it!!

Ironically, Chris had suggested the hall in the beginning of our planning, and I shot him down, declaring it hideous.

~SIL Mallory made our glasses~
My dear husband took this turn of events as an opportunity to gallantly show his love for me.  He worked so hard to make that space beautiful for me.

He blessed me with beauty, understanding how much I longed for our day to be beautiful. Our friends blessed us, uniting to transform ordinary things into wedding day elegance.

The church blessed us - Making the whole thing much more affordable than we could have found, and giving us free reign of the hall for the whole weekend.
My MIL did this!
amazing talent!

Chris's mom blessed us, pouring hours into making favors (with the help my mom and aunts too) AND she made our wedding cake, which was stunning! see? -->
SIL Stephanie made my bouquet
She was the most accommodating
loving artist!
My parents blessed us! Their generosity was incredible - instead of going into debt we were able to pay some off!!
Our families and friends blessed us - everyone came together to help in any and every way - decorating, Arranging flowers, running out to buy more supplies (or non alcoholic drinks after the virgin Margaritas were found to be not virgin after all. Thanks Hammes'!)
And all our guests blessed us - it was truly heart warming to see people come from so far to celebrate with us. My only regret at the end of the day was that I did not have more time to enjoy the day with our guests, to catch up, to express how very much it meant to us that they were there.

St. Margaret's Parish ~ Oceanside, CA
To say we are grateful just doesn't do it justice. From that day forward our lives are forever changed. Thank you for sharing it with us and making it what you did.

(all photos by the talented Jon Robershaw :)


  1. um...have you considered motivational speaking? The way you paint the picture, set the stage, express your feelings about your magical blessed day. You my dear are talented! Blessed! Thank you for sharing this!

    1. Thank you very much. What a kind compliment!