Monday, June 1, 2009

A ceremony fit to print

I *adored* our programs. Just adored them. You remembered our inspiration and the resulting ABCD design? Here's how they looked once they were ribbon-bound and ready to go - letterpressed with cornflower blue and red on the outside, bound with red and white printed cotton ribbon, and printed in navy blue inside:

And as a way to explain our ceremony structure, let's take a peek inside, shall we? Setting the tone right away, Edna St. Vincent Millay:

(click for larger images throughout)

Turning the page, a two-page spread laying out who's who:

Next up, our ceremony structure... We had two types of music during the ceremony: a bagpiper and a violinist. The bagpiper led the guys into the ceremony with the classic "Scotland the Brave." For the girls, we switched to my cousin Zoe on violin, who played The Beatles' "All You Need is Love," and as expected, the song made everyone grin (or so I hear... I was hiding out back!). When it was my turn, I had one parent on each arm and we walked in to U2's "All I Want Is You" on violin, which is just beautiful as an instrumental, and gives me an appropriately cheesy heart-swelling wedding sensation. Sigh.... And after The Kiss, we had "Brown-Haired Maiden" on bagpipes, which was fantastic.

Outside of our readings (which I'll explain next), one element we incorporated that I loved was a twist on the typical Blessing of the Marriage. Our officiant Gene (total rockstar pal... everyone at the wedding had a crush on him, also expected....) asked three groups of people in turn if they would bless our marriage. He asked our parents, our siblings, and then all the guests. Our parents' answers were serious and respectful, but still loud enough for everyone to hear. Our siblings made us laugh, because they are awesome and funny, but also because the chorus of great girls behind me gave loud excited yeses, and my poor brother, who forgot to give his blessing during our rehearsal, was stranded as the only sibling standing behind Trevor. So Trevor shifts right to see the girls say yes, and I burst out laughing and shift to my right to see if my brother will in fact say yes at the real deal, which makes him laugh, and we all have giggle fits. Then Gene asks our crowd of friends and family, "as loudly and wildly as possible," if they also bless our marriage. And the crowd did indeed go wild.

Ahh... readings. You all know my thing with words. We decided to isolate our readings on a two-page spread rather than within the ceremony in order to simplify the layout. First, Trevor's mother read "Beyond What," by Alice Walker. She killed it.

Our next reading was our big surprise to most of the guests, one that we'd been super-excited about for months. We chose twelve of our oldest friends - the friends who weren't in our wedding party because it was so small, but have been with us through thick and thin, to share in a group reading. The reading was "Love," by Roy Croft, and the effect was like a scattered chorus throughout the ceremony. Each friend had an assigned stanza, and simply stood where they were seated to read. So we had a crowd in front of us, with various loved ones popping up to read a line or two, and then someone else across the way popping up for more, and then someone else, etc. The result, for me, was magical. I loved having that moment for myself in the middle of the ceremony to see my friends - to watch them read, to see who they were seated with, to see everyone's grins, to really hear them. I've heard that it's rare to see anyone at your own ceremony - you're typically zeroed in on your partner, and that's that. So having all our fantastic friends share that moment made me feel incredibly lucky to have them in my life, and especially to have them with me that day. Twelve friends sharing one poem - pure magic.

The final page was a note from us thanking our families and honoring loved one who have passed away, but it also included something unique to us. Given that we gave everyone Welcome Bags and had a big wedding weekend versus a single event, we decided early on that we wouldn't have official "favors," and instead would give a donation to an organization that meant something to us both. In the end, we decided on two organizations. The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation is an organization close to the heart of Trevor's family, so it was a no-brainer. But as a way to honor the struggles for marriage equality going on for gays and lesbians and to respect their fight to be allowed to do what was so easy for us, we also wanted to make a more pointed, political donation to their cause. Here's the wording we came up with: "We've also made a contribution to Freedom to Marry, because if we can get married - and to each other, no less - then everyone else should be allowed to as well." Enough said.

One surprisingly (for us) modest kiss later, and that was all she wrote :-).


Kate said...

oooo I ask for Paper and I Shall Receive!

Lucky in Love said...

What a wonderful ceremony! I think the part where all of your friends read the poem would've been so neat to see!! How fun!

Blue-Eyed Bride said...

the programs are adorable-- love the ribbons!

the best ceremonies are the ones that truly are representative of the couple and who they are. this was great!

elizabeth said...

What beautiful readings! Thanks for sharing them with your gorgeous programs.

Cate said...

oh, maggie -- this has so many elements of what i want in my own wedding. the overarching one -- well, two -- are the most important to me: inclusiveness and unabashed joy. congratulations!

chelsea said...

Love thos!!

mimi said...

what a great idea, the reading in rounds. i got married on the 24th i would have stolen your idea for sure if i had heard it.

Jessica said...

so cute!