Sep 02, 2012
Declaration of intent: Jesse, do you take Ashley to be your wife? Do you promise to love her, comfort her, honor and protect her and forsaking all others be faithful to her for as long as you both shall live?
Ashley, do you take Jesse to be your husband? Do you promise to love him, comfort him, honor and protect him and forsaking all others be faithful to him for as long as you both shall live?
Reading: Kevin – And now Ashley’s uncle will read “The Art of a Good Marriage” by Wilfred Arlan Peterson.
Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created. In marriage the little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say “I love you” at least once a day. It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted; the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue through the years. It is having a mutual sense of values and common objectives. It is standing together facing the world. It is forming a circle of love that gathers the whole family. It is doing things for each other, not in the attitude of duty or sacrifice, but in the spirit of joy. It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways. It is not looking for perfection in each other. It is cultivating flexibility, patience, understanding and a sense of humor. It is having the capacity to forgive and forget. It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each can grow old. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful. It is establishing a relationship in which the obligation is reciprocal. It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner. (Uncle hugs Ashley and Jesse prior to taking his seat).
Kevin: Ashley and Jesse, we trust this will be a description of your relationship from this day forward. Now as you prepare to make your vows to each other, realize that from henceforth your destinies shall be woven of one design, and your joys and your sorrows shall not be known apart. Today you are making public, for all to know, that the words – I love you – are a full commitment of yourselves to each other.
Therefore, it is not my standing before you that makes your marriage real – but rather, it is the love and sincerity, the dedication and commitment, with which you make these vows. You have been looking forward to this moment for some time. You have invited the people who are important to you to share in this precious moment. Now, Ashley and Jesse, you will enter into your vows of love and commitment.
Vows: Ashley's vows to Jesse:
Jesse, I could've written a book about how much I love you but I will try to keep this short, and of course sweet. You may remember these words from letters and cards I have given you. Everything in the world seems better when I'm with you. Good times are twice as much fun because I share them with you, I get to see you smile that amazing smile that lights up your face. Bad things are only half as bad because I know I can count on you to help me through them. Wiht you to hold my hand, I know that I have someone who sees life a lot like I do. Someone who shares the same values, dreams the same dreams. I know that I have someone who understands the parts of me that other people don't even know exist. Wiht you in my life, I know that I have everything anyone could ever want, someone who's understanding and supportive, who's fun and interesting, someone I love, who also happens to be my best friend. Jesse, As I stand here before you, this ring in my hand, it makes me remember how complete you make my life. With every smile, every embrace, every tear you've ever wiped from my face. It makes me remember how blessed I really am, how I can't ever thank the Lord above enough for allowing you into my life. It makes me remember every laugh we've ever shared, every hard time we've made it through together, and every beautiful moment there is to come. Jesse, You are my best friend and the love of my life. I promise to be faithful, to love you, to commit to you and support you. All I want is to grow old with you, to watch our life unfold, and our dreams one by one come true. I will love you forever.
Jesse's vows to Ashley:
Ashley, that first summer that we were together, we rekindled a friendship that I thought was forever lost when you went away to school. Without even knowing it a romance blossomed. Five years, 3 dogs and many ups and downs later, we are here today promising to spend the rest of our lives together. Now, I'd like to read something I wrote to you in a card back when we were first dating and I still lived in Grayling while you were back at school. You are the most amazing person I know. You put someone else's wants and needs before your own. Nobody has ever been as kind to me as you have. You mean the world to me and I can't see myself without you. It's all the little things that you do for me that mean the most to me. You are the most beautiful, kind and compassionate person I know. Since I've been wiht you this is the happiest I've been. My eyes light up every time I get to see you. I've never felt this way about anyone before. You mean so much to me. These words are still true today. You never let me forget my dreams and what I want to accomplish in life. You always encourage me to do the best that I can no matter what it is I set out to do. I promise to love and cherish you, be a shoulder to lean on when you are down, be there to celebrate with you when things are going well. My heart is yours I have given you my hand to hold, I give you my life to keep close to your heart. I love you.
We wrote our ceremony together. We Googled inspiration and had ideas given to us by our officiant. It was important to us that it be long enough to really be meaningful and give us enough time to soak up the moment. We also wanted it to be personal, incorporate our family and be interesting for our guests to watch and listen to. This is what we came up with:
Entrance of guests: ushers escort VIP females along with their dates to their seats (will have reserved signs). Everyone else will choose their seat (will be making a sign along the lines of “we are joining two families so choose your seat not a side”)
Bridal party entrance: Uncle Mike escorts bride's mother to her seat. Jesse escorts his mother to her seat and takes his place. Groomsmen escort bridesmaids to their place, greets Jesse (hug, handshake,etc) and take their place. Flower girls and ring bearers in pairs.
Bride entrance: Ashley and her dad walk, pause and Ashley kisses her dad on the cheek at beginning of aisle, then proceed to walk halfway down the aisle. Jesse meets them in the middle and greets Ashley’s dad (hug) then holds his hand out to Ashley who accepts and the couple continue their walk the rest of the way. (Ashley’s dad will follow a few steps behind and take his seat). Ashley and Jesse will face each other the whole time (this will help calm Jesse’s nerves of standing in front of people).
Opening Commentary: Just as a reminder, please turn your cell phones and pagers (there will be many firemen with pagers) off.
Please be seated.
Friends, we have been invited here today to share with Ashley and Jesse a very important moment in their lives. In the 5 years they have been together, their love and understanding of each other has grown and matured, and now they have decided to live their lives together as husband and wife.
Ashley and Jesse, you are about to take one of the greatest leaps of faith that any two people can make, so let me ask the Lord our God for his blessing on this ceremony. Let us pray.
Dear God, please hear our prayer today, for your blessings on Ashley and Jesse as they make the transition to husband and wife. We also ask for your loving support and guidance as this couple journeys through life together. We know there will be challenges but we also know with their faith in you and in themselves, they will be able to overcome those challenges together. We ask this blessing in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Ashley and Jesse, as you think about your marriage and life together, I want to remind you that nothing is easier than saying words and nothing is more difficult than living them out day after day. What you promise to each other today, you will have to renew and rededicate tomorrow, and each day that stretches out before you. When I finish this ceremony, legally, you will be husband and wife still you have to continue to commit yourselves to each other. You both love each other very much, but beyond the warmth and glow, the excitement and romance, think for a moment about what true love is. True love is caring as much about the welfare and happiness of your marriage partner as you do about your own. True love is not jealous or selfish, it is liberating…it sets you free to become a better person. And true love is not total absorption in each other; it is looking outward…in the same direction…together. When you have this kind of love, it makes your burdens lighter, because you divide them. Love makes your joys more intense, because you share them. Love makes you stronger, so that you can reach out and become involved with life in ways you might not risk alone.
Once I found the dress I scoured the internet, magazines and stores trying to figure out what accessories to have. I loved Kate Middleton's understated elegance look and finally saw a veil I liked (I didn't want anything poufy on top and just didn't think anything else existed until I saw hers!). I'd known for a very long time that I wanted teardrop earrings (before they became really popular). And then everything else fell into place. So we'll go top to bottom.
Is being made by my mom with fabric bought at Joann's. She is cutting the tulle to size and sewing lace to the edge. My inspiration pics are here
I had trouble finding a tiara that didn't look princessy and I didn't like the headband look so I decided on a hair flower.
My actual flower:
So after deciding on this I FOUND a tiara that seemed perfect! Here is a pic of me with it on I'm not really sure how the entire look will come together but I'll figure it out
Necklace Design by Kara on etsy
Bracelet I can't remember where I got it! It was some wedding website online. I'm sorry. this was my accessory splurge. More than other accessory I'm wearing.
My something blue will be "I do" stickers on my shoe and a personalized patch sewn into the bodice of my dress. While not my actual pieces this is what they are When I bought the patch though I screwed up on the order of the letters because I was so busy ordering personalized items. So My FI's initial is in the middle and his last name initial is the last one. So it's AJC instead of ACJ like it should be. Oh well. I'm using it anyway and laughing about it.
I'm also carrying a personalized hankie (not my actual but a pic from the site) Mine is in light blue embroidery and obviously says bride. Our moms will be getting one with their gift and FI and the dads have the same ones just without the crochet edge.
I have bra cups sewn in the dress so I'm wearing a white waist cincher from Victoria's Secret with matching cheeky panties. I used to have a pic but it's not online anymore. If I can find an appropriate b-pic with them I'll post it.
This was made by FI's cousin's girlfriend and I love it!
I just realized I have a lot of "something blue" things. :)
I stumbled upon these on Black Friday at JC Penney. I snapped them up and figured if they didn't work i'd return them. Turns out the crystals on them are an exact match to the ones on my dress. Since then I've seen a lot of similar shoes but none with the perfect shade underneath to go with my dress. It's like a light champagne color and looks blush in certain light. It's hard to tell in the pic but they are ballet flats. I really wanted pale pink heels but I couldn't find any that I liked at a reasonable price, plus we are getting married on the grass and I didn't feel like stumbling around. Not to mention I'd probably switch to flats at some point and then my dress would be too long.
I haven't taken a pic yet and I don't know how I'll incorporate it but my grandma surprised me with a gold pin that has pearls on it. It was her mother's, then hers and now mine. I cried when I got it. I'm just so afraid of losing it so I don't know what to do with it yet.
I have no idea!! My mom is supposed to lend me something
Here are the inspiration pics I showed to our florist (some are PW ladies but I don't remember whose is whose)
The bouquet is supposed to be mostly ivory with some pale pink. I'm so excited about it!
My aunts on my mom's side (all her sis-in-laws) Aunt Sandi, Aunt Joann (also my Godmother), and Aunt Wendy hosted my bridal shower. They worked for months planning it and it was amazing. It was a French patisserie theme. Pink and blue (our colors), Eiffle towers, even down to the favors that had "Amore" lotion. It was very elegant and very "me." And there was so much food!!! i had two big plates of food and still couldn't try everything there was to eat! I am so grateful to them for doing this for me. All I did was show up :)
I went downstate for the entire weekend to make the most of it. First night was spent with my future sis-in-law Jessica. We went to dinner, got mani-pedi's and chit chatted. She just married FI's brother in May and we have not had time to just hang out and chat in a loooong time. So it was great!
I spent the next night at my cousin's. He is getting married in December so we of course chatted about our weddings and just hung out which was really nice to be able to do.
And finally here are pics of the shower!
Table set up. It's hard to see and I didn't think to get a pic at the time, but the favors were blue nail files and a bottle of Paris Amour lotion tied together with a pink bow. So perfect and cute! The lemonade bottles and flowers were raffled off
The desserts - cupcakes and chocolate covered strawberries :)
Prizes for games
Bridal party (my sister couldn't go because she was really sick so she was missing and my niece who is another flower girl)
Left to right: bridesmaid and best friend/sorority sister Sara. Me. MOH and best friend Ashley. Flower girl (her parents are good friends of ours) Sydney
The hostesses! My aunts. Left to right: Aunt Sandi, me, Aunt Wendy, Aunt Joann
My cousins (that were there). Mandy (girlfriend of my cousin Michael), Savannah, me, Brianna, Lia, Tiffany (engaged to cousin Brandon)
FI's family. Left to right: his cousin Amanda, Aunt Lisa, me, his little sister Nicole, mom Alice, sister-in-law Jessica, Grandma
With my plate of cupcakes and chocolate covered strawberries. I didn't get to try the wedding cake one because people got to it before I did but the other ones were great.
Speech time (our facial expressions crack me up!) Introduced bridal party and FI's family to my family. I also gave my aunts their hostess gifts - Set of B&BW lotion and shower gel, pocket bac, candle, loofah and stress relief bath salts with a tag "I hope your next shower is as nice as mine. Thank you so much!"
I don't know which gift I was opening but I obviously loved it! This expression is priceless!!
My future sister-in-law Jess snuck a special gift into her gift basket - a Coach wristlet! She knows I've been wanting something Coach forever and I've never had anything! This is going to be my wristlet for the wedding
I know you ladies will love this - a Pinterest gift! My MOH gave me a huge bakeware set and also these oven mitts stuffed with utensils and recipe cards. So cute!
All of the loot on display for FI to see when he gets home from work :)
All of our pictures were taken by Karen Fordos
These are just a few of our favorites.
This is a link to a photo book I created on shutterfly using our pics: http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0CYtG7Js1atHEQ
Ok after much debate and indecision I believe we have finalized our colors. We are going for a romantic, garden, "casual elegance" theme. We are getting married on a golf course with reception inside. I hope I don't become indecisive again. I have been saving many inspiration boards over the last several months but unfortunately I did not think to save the url where I found them. I just googled the colors we were thinking of as we were trying to figure it out and then saved ones we liked. This is the combo we have come up with and following are the inspiration boards that led us to this combo.