Sunday, January 4, 2009

Wedding Recap: A Marriage by Friends

While I already did a detailed post of our wedding ceremony here (including the text of the ceremony), to continue in order I thought I'd go on with another ceremony recap here. I meant for it it be short, but somehow it's the longest recap post yet! I really loved our ceremony. It takes the cake for my favorite part of our wedding. That surprised me because I really didn't care that much about it prior to the wedding. I kind of thought that it was something to get through to get to the party fun part. But, it's also the part of the wedding I've gotten the most positive feedback about. People loved it.

First, a bit of background. Since neither of us are religious, we knew we didn't want a religious ceremony. But we also didn't want to pay some random person to officiate a ceremony for us. It just seemed too impersonal for something so personal. So we asked around to our friends, and finally came up with the idea to have a quaker-style ceremony. Basically we had one of our friends M.C. the ceremony (our program called her the "Ringmaster") and we opened it up to others to speak.

We spread the word before the wedding that we'd be doing that--we posted something on our wedding website and then made sure to pass the word along to people we didn't think were checking there. I have to admit that I was nervous about enough people speaking, but honestly, even a few of the things that were said would have been enough. Everything was so touching. And as it turns out a ton of people spoke!

P. & our ringmaster (Susan) head up to the front for the start of the ceremony. Apparently P was very concerned that they'd brought water up to the front because he thought I'd be upset that it was in the pictures. I actually didn't notice until he told me.

We literally didn't figure out how we were all going to get to the front until about ten minutes before the ceremony. At that point it was decided that the easiest way would be for P. and Susan to go to the front first and then have the rest of the bridal party walk down the aisle. Then my dad and I followed. Apparently we were cracking up the whole way. I think it was because we both realized we were walking insanely fast and were going to get to the front about two minutes before the song ended. Or maybe just because we are both dorks.
Once we were all up front we stood up there for a bit while the song played and we tried to get the attention of our DJ to cut it (seriously it had about two minutes left).
I think this picture is right after I walked partway up the aisle where he could see me and made a big "cut" sign to the dj. I'm classy.
The wedding party stood for the first part of the ceremony, where Susan explained a quaker ceremony and we said our vows, which we'd written for each other and kept secret. They actually ended up being almost identical, which was pretty sweet.
There were a lot of funny moments in our ceremony. We were all really nervous so that helped.
Paul read his vows first. They were very sweet and kind of funny...
I went next. I was very, very nervous. I hate speaking in front of people, and I tend to do this rocking back and forth thing (uh, sort of like I have a tick or something), so I was trying to focus on not doing that while still being in the moment.
After we said our vows, we all sat down and Susan opened it up to others to speak. I won't go into details about what all was said, but there was everything from poetry, to political rants (his brother), to Darwin (my dad), to stories about our childhoods, to mocking my ex-boyfriends (from my best friend's dad).

His dad played us a song he wrote while his step-sister sang...
There was a lot of hugging...

After everyone had spoken who wanted to do so, P's friend read our wedding certificate and we signed it. After the ceremony everyone else signed it (including some people multiple times).
Then Susan took over again and read a bit about our hands and how we use them in affection and work and looking at our rings on them reminds us of our love. We asked everyone to hold hands for this bit. Pictures of people holding hands make me happy.
I'm really bad at right and left. Something that slipped through the cracks during my homeschooling youth. Anyway, I couldn't remember what hand I was suppose to put P's ring on so I had to do that trick where you make an "L" shape with your fingers to tell which hand is left (your left hand makes an L, your right makes a backwards L). Here's me doing that...
People laughed at me. It was fine :)

Then Susan said something like "Since I assume you're moved to do so, you should go ahead and kiss!" So we did. Only we looked really funny so there are no good pictures of it. I swear. In hind site, the problem with us kissing is that we were standing too far apart so we were leaning in like crazy to try and kiss. Stand close to your partner!
There were horses running around in the background while we walked up the aisle. They were excited too.


Hannah Noel said...

Your dress is stunning!
and I'm a horse-lover, so I'm extremely jealous that you got to have horses in your wedding too!!

Steph B said...

I love the dress that your "officiant", Susan, wore. Do you happen to know where she got it?

everyday ramblings said...

haha...I never knew you had issues with right and left...SO DO I!!!!

It must have to do with our homeschooling....

circusliz said...

I second Steph's request for info on the ringmaster's dress!

melissa said...

I love your wedding details and the both of you look so in love. Congratulations and thanks for sharing.

christina said...

thanks so much for posting...this was so sweet, it brought tears to my eyes. seriously.

i love the community involvement with friends and family!

Veiled Vows said...

I think everything about your ceremony is perfect. I love the idea of getting your family and friends so involved.

P.S. Just wanted you to know I gave you an award on Veiled Vows.

backyardwedding said...

Thank you everyone! You are all too sweet.

Susan's dress was from Anthropologie. She bought it in September, right before the wedding.

Anne said...

Great post! All the animals I've seen int weddings horses are some of the most impressive.

I'd love to do a link exchange with you.

Drop me an email if you are interested!

Keep up the blogging.

Liana said...

Your wedding turned out great!! Thanks for sharing all the information. I really love that you had people share stories. How fun!

Jenn said...

I am so happy to find your blog. I am planning on doing a backyard "quaker-ish" style wedding too. I can get a little freaked out about if the idea will it is so great to see that you pulled it off successfully. You mentioned that you told your guests on your wedding website to expect a "quaker" ceremony. How did you do that? What did you say on the website??? any other tips you can give me on how to pull it off would be soo sooo soooooo apriciated.
My email is
Congratulations on your beautiful wedding!!!! Where did you get your veil??? I LOVE IT.


backyardwedding said...

Here is the link to our wedding website (the quaker ceremony part):

I'm actually not sure how many people read that, versus the people who found out via word of mouth. We told our parents about it and they must have spread the word to some of our family friends who came and spoke (but I doubt read the website).

I actually made my veil using mostly stuff i had around my house. I'm thinking about making more of them and putting them on an etsy shop, so I'll be sure and post about that if I do.

La Chileng├╝ita said...

Are those ribbons that are hanging in the pictures (like in the 2nd picture you posted)? They look so cool!

backyardwedding said...

We had a whole bunch of things hanging in trees! The things that look like ribbons are actually long strips of fabric that we tore into thin, long strips (like ribbons). They looked really nice, but my puppy kept attacking them so someone (mom...) hung them up on the trees more. I kind of think that it ended up looking like someone TP'd the trees :)

Here's a better picture of it:

Brittany said...

I absolutely love your programs! How did you make them and what papers did you use? Also, I saw on your invitation post that the swirly font was king & queen, but what is complementary one that you used? And thanks for sharing your beautiful wedding!