At last we get to the whole point of this madness, the ceremony!
I wanted to start with a overview shot (sorta) of the beginning of the ceremony. If you are wondering what in the world is up with the empty chairs in the front row, let's just say it's a REALLY long story we don't want to bore you with the "drama" of it all. So instead, let's say it looks like Prince Charming and the Prince don't get along and needed some separation....NOT what happened, but can't trash the new in-laws this early deal..... As to the empty seat on the right, that is where Princess INSISTED we place the memory frame with photos of my parents, my brother, and Mr. Princess's sister. She wanted them up front and center so it would be like they were still part of the ceremony. Nice gesture and theory, however reality was if one of us even caught a glimpse of it we started bawling like a baby. Not really what you want in the midst of the happy occasion.
Oh, and yes, despite what all the wedding sites will tell you no one died here from sitting in chairs that didn't match. And yes, we carried them up to the deck for the reception too. Look a bit weird, yah but we frankly don't care.
Finally, the ceremony begins with some lengthy explaining of why we are here, the various symbols the couple have chosen to include in the ceremony, etc. See, we didn't have programs for this casual affair either. Did anyone care, maybe, but when Mom is chief cook-bottle washer-hostess-baker-planner-set up committee-floral designer-matron of honor-and who knows what else-programs were pretty low on my totem pole of must have items.
The Princess takes a look, and she knows it is exactly what she wants.
Notice Mr. Princess is still not quite sure..........
But then he takes her hands and gave her a wink. Pretty sure we all let out a sigh of relief at this point.......
This hasn't got a thing to do with the story, just like the view thru her veil.
Not sure what in the world was happening here, but the look on her face makes me laugh.
So, in addition to the usual exchange of rings and vows, they chose to include two other forms of expression of their love. First was the Covenant of Salt. Personally I had no idea what in the world this was until she explained her father had done this at his wedding (no, not ours) and she liked it. In a nutshell for clueless ones like me, in the remote past salt was a precious commodity that was only available to the well to do etc. So, as a symbol of love, the couple would each take a few grains of salt from a common dish to share with each other as a token of love, wealth, and happiness. I found a beautiful crystal butterfly dish at a local thrift store (50 cents), filled it with salt, and placed it upon a lovely handkerchief sent to Princess by Lynn at The Vintage Nest.
Yep, for the next two hours no matter what they ate or drank they tasted salt!
Then came the unity candle where you light separate tapers to then use to light a single larger flame. Well, outdoor weddings and candles frankly don't mix. I had great plans for a hurricane vase to shelter the flames, but it didn't happen. Lucky I instead included two long reach lighters in my prep boxes that were placed on the table.
They did each get these to light, but would not stay lit to then do the larger candle. They used the lighters, same idea and it worked like a charm. Of course Princess had to explain how to use the child proof lighter to her Mr. first..............
With this ring, I thee wed......
The pastor had us place the rings on his bible for him to bless prior to them each taking the correct rings to place on their fingers.
We were doing just fine until Princess started reciting her vows and her voice cracked. I started to cry, she started to cry, Mr. Princess started to cry, Mr. Princess's mom started to cry....well, you get the picture.
I now present to you, Mr. and Mrs. Princess!
At this point the wedding party retreated back into my humble, messy abode for a quick rest. The guests proceeded to begin the mass move of chairs and began to enjoy a refreshing cold drink.
I think this shot of Princess shows exactly how every bride feels when the long awaited moment is finally over and your new life begins.
I was secretly wishing for a nap at this point myself! But nope, come on kiddo, we gotta make this day legal!
Now, a good wedding planner would have remembered that since we asked for shots of the signing, you might want to have a pretty pen to use. Not Mom, never once crossed my mind or one of my endless lists of things we needed. Oh well, the pastor's pen worked just fine.
Mr. Princess took his turn. True confessions now. See the large candle? See the large cracks? Yup, that's why it was on clearance, and why dumb old me thought who cares it is the back and no one will see. Little did I know the photographer would stand behind the arch for photos. Oh well, notice too the ribbon is crooked in the back.......hell. Second confession, see the nice ring on Mr. Princess? A loner from the jewelry store. The bought rings prior to the last never-did-happen wedding, but two weeks before the wedding, they both went and bought new rings. His is titanium and had to be ordered in his size since they can't size them. They gave him the show model with a metal ring sizer in it to wear. Mighty nice folks at Jarod's I might add. Yep, just like the commercial, sigh, he went to Jarod's..........awww......
OK, Mr. Princess, she is all yours. Treat her with love, kindness, and respect or else!
Now, let's get this party started people, put on your dancing shoes!