Y'all, this thread is SO romantic. I'm getting all gooey!
Daniel, thanks for the beautiful description of your ceremony. What a romantic poem!
I am with ya 110% about feeling changes after the ceremonies. I had NO idea what I was in for when I got married. The ceremony definitely changed something. Things. It has just been a very different feeling since then, and I can't articulate any hows, just that it's different.
I hope it's okay if I describe my wedding here too.
Dh was happy to let me plan the wedding of my "dreams" & just go along with whatever I wanted. I never daydreamed about weddings, so had no "dream" to try and match. Plus we decided we wanted to do it in 6 short months, and all the plans had to be done long distance as we lived 1000 miles apart. What ended up happening was:
We married in his best friends' house (his best friend was the Best Man), in their living room right next to the grand piano. There were 27 people including ourselves and the minister. Since neither of us is a church goer, but we both wanted a "spiritual" ceremony, we located a Unitarian Universalist minister and interviewed him, and he us. He was the first minister we talked to and he was a perfect fit.
I was insistent that whoever officiate at our wedding also be an advocate for same-sex marriage, with the determination that anyone who isn't doesn't understand what marriage is to hubby & me either. This guy (straight & married) has been an outspoken advocate of same-sex marriage since before I was born! He grilled us
pretty hard too about our age difference and the fact that we had known each other less than a year, but we ended up satisfied all round.
So - the ceremony. We ordered a floral altar made for the living room, hired a caterer who busied himself in the kitchen. We hired 5 colleagues - soprano, mezzo, tenor, baritone, and pianist and gave them a rep list of pieces we wanted inserted at intervals into the ceremony. Singers were told to wear whatever they wanted but to coordinate colors/ styles/level of formality amongst themselves. They all looked beautiful. They performed a melange of medieval and Rennaissance love songs and Ave Marias. The Maid of Honor was also a singer, and she performed the Mahler Liebst du um Schoenheit (for all you singer types out there!) as well.
For many reasons: I look horrible in white. Arizona is HOT in May. The wedding was in the morning. It was a small space. . . I did NOT want to be overpowered by a 30 pound white gown. Instead, I bought an off-the-rack simple dress in light silver blue. Hubby wore his tux.
We recited vows that the UU church provided which we found suited us. We made silly mistakes - I followed my frazzled dad through the wrong door at the start of the ceremony which meant I didn't walk down the little aisle they had made in the living room. My husband was crying so hard when I entered the room we lost our self control and grabbed hands about 15 minutes too early, so we were facing each other with our arms locked when the minister, reading the script, said "Now face each other and take hands." People laughed softly. Then at the end of the ceremony when the minister said to kiss, we apparently kept at it for a rather long time.
It didn't seem long to us. But while we were kissing, the grandfather clock in the room began to chime, and everyone laughed.
Then we had a lunch reception in the same room, and speeches were made, but I really don't remember it except that the maid of honor embarassed me, but that's okay, it was cute.
Oh and the caterer forgot the salads. That's all I remember. I know my husband made a big presentation welcoming me to the familial clan (he's of Scottish decent), and pinned a tartan on top of the wedding dress. I know we cut the cake and fed each other. I know this from the photos. I don't remember any of it.
At the end of that day, I felt, unexpectedly, more horrible than I had ever felt before. Like I had been run over by 100,000 MACK trucks. Hubby said he felt about the same. We were thoroughly exhausted from all the emotion. And to make matters worse we left for the airport at 5am to fly to Europe, so we were jet-lagged from the wedding before we even started travel.
But somehow, I remember almost every detail of that flight and the arrival at the Paris hotel where I couldn't wait to tell the concierge, "nous venons de nous marier ce weekend." "we just got married this weekend."
My advice to all is: create a ceremony that fits you and your partner, and don't worry about it fitting your dream vision - because it's *your* relationship you are celebrating, and the ceremony you get will be better than anything you could possibly imagine beforehand. Ours was.