Thursday, May 16, 2013

Love Story: Our February Wedding, Part 2

They belonged to each other; and, no matter what life might hold for them, it could never alter that. Their happiness was in each other's keeping and both were unafraid.
 ~ L. M. Montgomery, Anne's House of Dreams

With the exception of a minor miscommunication and mistake on the timing of the processional song, the ceremony unfolded naturally. Due to the venue not being available the evening before, we all had to "wing it" for the ceremony. No rehearsal, nothing. It all depended upon everyone knowing their parts, with much of the weight hanging on the officiant who led the ceremony, who was my Uncle Chris (father of my cousin, Alexis). And everyone managed it very, very well. My uncle lead the opening prayer, message on marriage and declaring my and Nolan's vision for our marriage, the performing of his song, and the closing. I was so grateful that he took up such a big role for our day!

The song I chose for the walk down the aisle was a piece very near to my heart: Aniron, written and performed by Enya for the Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. It is an ethereal piece titled I Desire in Elvish. It is a beautiful composition centered around the fictional love story of the characters Aragorn and Arwen. The song can be listened to here. It now reminds me of our love story whenever I listen to it.

Our recessional song was a piece Nolan had chosen called Chanson D'Amour by Ludovico Einaudi and Ballake Sissoko, which can be listened to here. Actually, we had it playing during the reading of our vows, the exchange of rings, and the announcing of us as husband and wife as we walked down the aisle together. There is something soft, magical, and renewing about this song. It is filled with soft joy and, I think, captures the quiet sides to our personalities, particularly my husband's.

A significant part of our ceremony was the washing of each other's feet in reverence to the passage from John 13 when Jesus Christ washes his disciples' feet and says, "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you." This vision of mine took root several years ago when I had read about the washing of feet incorporated into the marriage ceremony. I found it so beautiful and rich! And, in my relationship with Nolan, I found that this carried through in the desire we have to humbly serve and care for one another, fully aware that we will be tested and tried on this in every area for the rest of our lives together. 
 To complement the foot-washing ceremony, I had planned (once again, several years ago - yes, I have spent a long time dreaming of this day! haha!) for my Uncle Chris to sing his original song, So This Is Love, which movingly captures, through Scripture, the love of God for us through Christ and the coming wedding supper of Him as our Bridegroom and us as His bride. This song brings me to tears every time. If interested, it can be listened to at this link here. It sings like an anthem and I was so thankful that my uncle could perform it while Nolan and I partook in the washing of one another's feet. It was a powerful and symbolic moment, something I will never forget it. At one point during the beginning of the piece, I had wanted to burst into tears, but somehow I lost myself to what Nolan and I were doing and was able to focus on that which helped keep me from an emotional outburst. Because the song was somewhat lengthy, we also included the breaking of bread and drinking of wine in symbolizing our communion with Christ who gave Himself for us.  

Our vows...

My vows to you are a prayer for God to lead me, and that through Christ, He will strengthen me to be a complete husband to you. I can't say that I won't ever fail you, but I will grow in Grace and walk from glory to glory with you, learning what agape love means. From this day, my identity is no longer just me, but with you at my side - to listen and speak to, to cherish, to delight in, to weep and laugh with, and to grow and learn together for the rest of our days. 
Marriage is such a wonderful mystery, something that will take a lifetime to learn the depths of, and I'm blessed to be entering into it with you. I'm so thankful that I will spend the rest of my life with you as my wife. You have the most beautiful and tender heart, you're my closest companion and friend, and I'm delighted that God brought you to me. I want to serve you with all of my heart, to love you with selfless love, to show you patience, kindness, forgiveness all of my days. I know that it will take letting go of my own selfish wants and needs to love you. It will take yielding to the Lord's leading, and growing in Grace. I'm confident that Christ is willing to lead and teach me each day, and I will love and serve you through Him. Just as I feed my own body, I will nourish and cherish you as my wife and a part of me, to love you even as myself. To be your strength, provider, leader, and protector. And most of all to listen to your heart. I will remind you of your identity and life in Christ and point you to Him to meet the spiritual needs of your heart. I will serve you in every way that you need me, and I am fully given to you as your husband.

My dearest Nolan,

 You are my complement, my heart’s companion, a partaker with me of grace, and a fellow pilgrim with me on this earth. Never a day has passed when I have not been reminded of the blessed truth that the Lord chose you for me. You have loved me with a gentle love, protected me, and have shown me grace upon grace, opening my eyes to the love of God for, not only us, but for all. You have continually led me to prayer and spoken words of life and healing into my heart. I trust in you because I trust Him with your life.

And so, this day, I pledge my life to you – I am wholly and unreservedly yours – to please, to serve, and to love you with all I am in days of plenty and days of emptiness, for all the years of my life on this earth. I promise to be your friend who will do fun, educational, absurd, and spontaneous projects and pursuits with you. I promise to laugh with you and make you laugh. I promise to continue playing the “thank you” game with you when the days seem to be weary and dry. I promise to be a wife who will care for your heart, to seek to be gentle and gracious, in words and actions. I promise to seek to inspire strength in you, to beautify your life, our home, and our future family with simplicity, joy, and genuine affection. I promise to always believe in you and to stir you up to become as your name, Nolan, means – champion, noble, famous – in every sphere of life – family, work, ministry, etc.  I see these qualities of a warrior and a champion in you already and I promise you that my prayers will always be that you may attain that standing in the Lord’s call upon your life.

I will most gladly spend and be spent for your soul, your sanctification, and for your joy in the faith. For this, I will toil, struggling with all the Lord’s energy that He powerfully works within me. He alone will be my guide, my strength when I fail to love you and to keep these promises. My hope is in His sufficient grace, to sustain and keep us. And, so, I make it my one aim, my one pursuit, to love you in faithfulness and pure devotion as He has loved us, that your satisfaction may always be found in Christ alone.

I adore the look of dried flowers, so I decided on dried lavender for mine, filled in with some dried white baby's-breath-like flowers. The meaning behind Lavender is love and devotion. It's also associated with purity. For Nolan and myself, this holds true. I love that Lavender represents Devotion because that is what we desire our relationship to reflect - Pure Devotion to Christ and to each other. We purchased many lavender bundles from Mount Madonna Lavender.
 I tied my bouquet with a creamy lace ribbon and overlaid it with a stunning green-blue stone necklace from Santa-Fe, NM that Nolan had bought for me during our courtship. He wrote Proverbs 31:10 on the back of it.  

In connection to the Enya song from The Lord of the Rings, which served as our processional song, I wore a replica of Arwen's Evenstar necklace, which my incredible sister and cousin gifted me with for my bridal shower.

Below is the Elven-like floral crown that I purchased from the hand-made Etsy shop, Gardens of Whimsy.

Onward to the last wedding post...! Click HERE.

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