Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Ceremony

(Before I go on with the Wedding Report, I did want to do a bit of reporting on the running front. For some reason (perhaps worldwide travel), I've been pretty tired this past week. As such, I only had one weekday run (a paltry 3 miler) and one weekend run (a 10 miler). 
Ed ran the 10 miler with me, which was lovely. It was on a paved pathway that goes by a reservoir south of San Francisco (Sawyer Trail). It was a beautiful day with perfect weather, but from about 3 1/2 onward, where my quad connects to my hip on the front was super tight. I felt a bit sick halfway through, after pushing up the big hill to the turn around point, so we rested for a little, and then headed back. I have to say that I was just hurting on this run. I haven't quite figured out why all my runs have been hard lately (ever since we left Mt. Tam, in fact), but I'm just trying to accept it, and have faith that it will eventually get easier. 
We did have a little excitement on the run though. Ed was running on the dirt to the side of the trail, when I saw something living right by hit foot.  "Careful!" I said. We went a few feet past, and then looked at what Ed came close to stepping on. It was a huge snake! At least 2 feet. I got a little closer (it wasn't coiled) to see what kind. I noticed the diamond shapes on its back, and, as it slithered down the hill, away from the trail, I could see it's rattle. Ed had almost come into contact with a rattlesnake! This is my first encounter with an adult one, and I'm glad that it was relatively friendly. Finally, we made it the 10, and I gratefully took a seat on a bench while Ed went out for 5 more. I'm glad that I was able to complete it, but it sure took a lot out of me. 
So far this week, I've been tired, but happy with my runs. I ran 3 miles Tuesday, and 5.6 miles Today. I've also been doing a dvd that Sarah recommended, "Pain Free Workout", which I've been doing every day since Monday. It's very relaxing and I'm enjoying it, and hopefully it'll help my leg :). Okay, onto the wedding!)

Walking up the aisle with my father, we chatted a little, though about what, I don't remember. I do remember having to ask a few times to slow down, as my dress was getting caught under me a bit and I didn't want to fall. As we approached the guests, I just remember being overwhelmed by just how happy everyone looked. I saw such beautiful smiles on everyone's faces, and I felt so happy with everyone's happiness. I had heard from other brides that the walk down the aisle is usually such a blur, but I think, especially with our aisle being so long, I had time to really look at all the guests. I remember sweeping my gaze back and forth, trying to see everyone, while also looking forward to see Ed. 

As we reached the front, my dad gave me a hug and kiss

And then Ed and I were together (as a side note, I absolutely love Ed's expression in this picture :))

Then, we both turned towards Jerome,

and he began the ceremony. 

For this part of the report, I'm going to let our actual ceremony words do a lot of the talking. Ed and I wrote our ceremony based on an excellent book, and were very happy to have this part of the wedding so crafted to our relationship. We even got to weave in our love of running and trails in the ceremony!

We are gathered here in this beautiful place
To witness the joining of Adelyn and Ed in marriage.
They have invited you here today
Because the growth of their love
Is connected to this place.
And, they wanted to share with you
The beauty of this mountain.

During their almost three years together,
They have come here on many days like this one,
And have run down the trails,
Through the meadows and the redwoods.

Their time spent in nature,
Traveling through the beauty you see here,
Has been a time of connectedness,
Of shared reverence for the world,
And a deepening respect
And love for one another.

It is this sense of timelessness and peace
That they wanted to share with you
On this, their wedding day.

As you look out over this vista
Please take a moment for reflection
To open your hearts and minds
To the love and togetherness
We are here to share
Through this ceremony.

Adelyn and Ed.
Today we have come together
To celebrate the love you have found with each other.
By being here with you,
Each of us is declaring our support
For your decision to join together in marriage.

(to guests)

As family and friends,
You form the community of support
That surrounds Adelyn and Ed.
Each of you, by your presence here today,
Is being called upon
To uphold them, in honoring and loving one another.

Always stand beside them and
Offer them your love and support.
Encourage them with your kindness and with loving hearts,

And honor this marriage
Into which they have come to be joined today.

At this time, Adelyn's mother, Debby,
would like to share some special words with you.

At this point, my mother came up and shared a beautiful essay, entitled, "The Art of Marriage." 

It was both beautiful and full of wonderful, loving advice. It was so special to have my mother involved in our ceremony is such a meaningful way. 

After my mother's reading, we continued on the with ceremony

Adelyn and Ed,
You have come here today
To surrender into the creation
Of something wholly new and transcendent-
Your precious, sacred, and unique marriage journey as husband and wife.
Today, you step into
A much fuller experience and expression
Of the mysteries and miracles of love.

Your precious, blessed union
Is lovely in its innocence,
 Mighty in its strength,
And abundant with possibilities.
It belongs to you both.
Over time you will give it an identity.
We wish for you the wisdom, strength of character, and creativity
To make this a happy marriage,
And a joyful journey to share. 

Ed and Adelyn,
please join hands and share your Wedding Vows.  

Something I didn't mention was that Ed and I memorized our vows. We both practiced hard, and felt confident in our ability to say our vows, and having them come from us was something we both felt strongly about. We did get a lot of positive remarks about how people were impressed with this, which was nice.
"Adelyn." Ed began. Unfortunately, those weren't the vows! After saying my name he stopped and smiled, and then we all laughed. He claims he didn't forget the vows, he was just making a dramatic pause. Thankfully, he soon began. 

I, Ed, take you, Adelyn, to be my wife,
my partner in life and my one true love.
I will cherish our union and love you more each day
than I did the day before.
I will trust you and respect you,
laugh with you and cry with you
I will love you faithfully through good times and bad,
Regardless of any obstacles we may face together.

I give you my hand,
my heart,
and my love,
from this day forward
for as long as we both shall live.

Then, it was my turn. However, I thought that there would be some kind of transitional prompt before I was supposed to start (we had practiced, but somehow I remembered it differently). I stood there smiling and waiting. Jerome, thinking I had forgotten my vows, prompted me,  "I, Adelyn..." Again we all laughed, and then I started my vows. 

I, Adelyn, take you, Ed, to be my husband,
my partner in life and my one true love.
I will cherish our union and love you more each day
than I did the day before.
I will trust you and respect you,
laugh with you and cry with you.
I will love you faithfully through good times and bad,
Regardless of any obstacles we may face together.

I give you my hand,
my heart,
and my love,
from this day forward
for as long as we both shall live.

We were through the hard part (or so I thought!)

May I have the rings please?

Wedding rings are symbolic reminders
Of deep and lasting love.
Within the safety and comfort of true marriage,
Love given freely
Has no beginning and no end.

May these rings always remind you            
Of the freedom and the power of your love.

Ed, place this ring on Adelyn's finger. 

Adelyn, with this ring,
I give you my promise

To love you,
To honor you,
To be faithful to you,
And to share my life with you
In every way

(Jerome) Adelyn, place this ring on Ed's finger. 
Now, here I should point out that during the rehearsal, we did not practice with rings. So, when it came to be my turn, as Jerome passed me the ring, I dropped it! Luckily, Jerome (and perhaps Bill?) quickly grabbed it, and with more laughs, we continued. 

Ed, with this ring,
I give you my promise
To love you,
To honor you,
To be faithful to you,
And to share my life with you
In every way

And then, we were in the home stretch!

Adelyn and Ed
On behalf of your loved ones
Who are here with you today,
I would like to mention some of the things
We wish for you:

First, we wish for you a love
That is rich and deep.
Powerful enough to inspire others
And to support you both
In bringing forth the best that is within you.
May you fully love one another
And cherish being loved by one another
Today, tomorrow and always.

Second, we wish for you the kind of home
That will be a sanctuary for you both,
A place of peace, freedom, vitality,
Growth, and humor.
And in this home,
We hope that you are blessed.

Finally, we wish that at the end of your lives
You will be able to look back and smile
Upon the life that you have shared together,
Pleased, satisfied, and fulfilled
Beyond your wildest dreams.

And now,
By the power vested in me by the State of California,
It is my great pleasure
To pronounce you husband and wife.

Ed and Adelyn
You may now kiss as husband and wife
For the first time.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Walking Down the Aisle

Once it was times to begin, we all walked in a long line to a spot further down the point, where the aisle would "officially" begin. We had decided at the rehearsal that, instead of walking from the big Oak tree at start of the point, we'd start a bit closer to the guests, so that it wouldn't take so long to get down the aisle. 

My primary focus during this part was to remain vertical. There are some precarious sections, especially for individuals wearing pouffy dresses and pretty shoes with no tread. Thankfully, I had my dad's arm as support and we made it. 

At some point, though, I finally really looked towards the end of the point and took in the scene. 

As I looked at the figures standing at the end, it suddenly sunk in that Ed was one of those figures. I strained my eyes, trying to see better, but couldn't see more than his silhouette, framed by the Pacific ocean behind him. 

Once the music officially began (it was so windy we couldn't hear it, but we guessed), the first two walked out - Ed's mom Sabine with his brother, Keven. 

Following them, were my mother and our friend, and Ed's best man, Bill. It was really special having them walking down together, as my parents hadn't gotten to meet Bill before the wedding weekend, and through this weekend, she got to spend some nice time with him and get to know him. 

Up next, my beautiful women of honor. My two sisters and best friend Christine were all amazing during the wedding weekend (and all the months prior!). 

First, my older sister Ashley.
Then, my younger sister, Kortney.

And finally, my friend Christine.

My dad and I waited patiently as we watched our loved ones approaching the far side of the point. Even though we shortened the aisle, it was still a bit of a walk all the way down. 

I told Ed before the wedding day that I was most looking forward to the moment where I would get to look into his eyes and finally take his hands in mine. Now, that moment was almost here. 

Once we saw everyone in the bridal party take their places in the front, we looked to our music man, Curtis (Christine's husband), who would be switching to, Jesus, Joy of Man's Desiring, my walking song. While we couldn't quite hear it, we were soon told it was time. 

We were walking.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Guests Arrive

(Becky and her daughter, Johanna, take a quick hike while waiting for the site to finish getting set up)

While I was getting ready at the Inn, our guests were driving over to the ceremony site. Unfortunately, there was a bit of a mix up, and somehow chairs weren't brought for the ceremony!! We were able to get a handful of them, but not enough for everyone, which added to a good deal of stress and confusion for poor Ed and our guests - I thankfully didn't have to deal with this in the moment. 

However, because of this, when my parents drove up with me to the site, all the guests (who were supposed to be calmly sitting at their seats, enjoying the music we had picked out) were milling about the parking lot. 

Not wanting to have my big reveal too soon, we quickly drove past the site and parked a quarter mile up the road, where we could see the site. From there, we could see the guests hanging out in the parking lot, and not much happening where the ceremony was. 

My parents and I made guesses about the cause - music malfunction? yellow jacket swarm? We were confused, and I was worried - What if we couldn't get married at our spot?

We saw our photographer head up the trail, which told us it wasn't a safety issue, and then, finally, the guests started heading up as well. 

Once the last guest crested the hill, we drove the car back down to the lot and got out, ready to get started. The rest of the wedding party was waiting for us in the lot and, together, we headed up to the oak tree, where we planned to wait until it was time to start. 

From our spot, we got to see our train of guests heading to the seats.

While there was only enough seats for about half, we had very good sports who were happy to enjoy our ceremony standing. 

Luckily, as soon as our guests found their spots, we began the long walk down the aisle. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Men Get Ready

While I was up in my room, Ed was down in his, with his brother, Kevin, and Bill, his best friend. By the time we sent the photographer to them, they were already pretty much ready, but still going through a few last details. 

Unfortunately, that's all I have for getting ready shots, but they are nice to have. 

Next up, some actual wedding pictures :).