Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Wedding Week: At the Altar

Can you see the light at the end of the Wedding Week tunnel? Me too! I have a goal to finish these up by the end of the week. My sister graciously pointed out that it should now be called Marriage Month, but I'm being stubborn and still calling it Wedding Week. :)

Today's post is all about our ceremony, which brought with it more than Kyle and I could have ever imagined. I am still amazed when I think about the overflowing joy, happiness and love I felt as we made our vows to one another before God and all the ones we love.

We had our ceremony at a gorgeous white country church, Bethlehem First United Methodist Church. My sister got married there as well, as we both on two different occasions fell in love with its Southern charm and vowed (pun not intended) to get married there one day. She just beat me to the punch by two years. :)

As our guests entered the foyer of the church, we had our guestbook displayed for them to sign and Kyle's cousins Maddie and Mary-Jane handed out our programs.

We didn't do a "first look" before the ceremony, but we did do the hold-hands-around-the-door-thing. I was afraid I was going to burst into tears just at the thought of Kyle being on the other side of the door, but it did the exact opposite. Having his reassuring hand in mine made me feel calm and confident and ready to get this marriage going!

After that we exchanged letters, which served as our wedding gifts to each other. We decided against giving each other gift-gifts because the best thing we could give each other at that time was saving money! And for me, a meaningful handwritten note sometimes means more than any tangible thing, especially on a day as important as our wedding day. Kyle's note to me is still snugly tucked in the pages of my Bible. :)

And then a beautiful melody of hymns filled the air as Rachel and Jason began to play the pre-ceremony music. Even though I didn't see this part of the ceremony, word on the street is that they did a marvelous job. Kyle and I are so blessed to have such musically talented friends. And here's a fun fact--this pianist-cellist dynamic duo will be getting married in less than two months...yay! Their children will definitely give Mozart a run for his money.

Our grandmothers and mothers were seated to the tune of Phil Wickham's Divine Romance, and we chose to stick with Phil for the processional music as well, playing You're Beautiful as the groomsmen and bridesmaids walked down the aisle together. I just loved the beauty and significance of these two songs, especially for a wedding between two people who strive to love the Lord.

In the blink of an eye it was finally my turn to walk down the aisle. My dad and I said a prayer together in the bridal room, took a deep breath, and then the white doors opened and I finally saw my groom, the man that would be forever mine. What an amazing and emotionally-charged moment!

We had tag-team officiants, one my hometown church pastor who baptized me and has known me since I was very little, and the other Kyle's hometown youth pastor. We both had someone standing before us that was significant in our spiritual growth, and it was very special to have them involved in this monumental moment in our lives. Ronnie (my hometown pastor) appropriately did the welcome and giving away of the bride, and Stephen (Kyle's youth pastor) shared with everyone the biblical teachings on covenant and how marriage was intended by God to be a model of covenant.

Our vows are what I like to call "traditional with a little twist." Here is what we promised to one another that day:

I, Kyle, take thee, Lesley Anne, to be my wedded wife. I take thee for richer for poorer, for better for worse, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live. I pledge to be the spiritual leader in our home and submit myself and my family totally to the lordship of Jesus Christ. I make this vow in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I, Lesley Anne, take thee, Kyle to be my wedded husband. I take thee for richer for poorer, for better for worse, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live. With this ring I vow to submit to your spiritual leadership and to live a life of holiness, purity, and honor. I pledge to be your helpmate in building a home under the lordship of Jesus Christ. I make this vow in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

During our unity candle lighting, our other musically-talented friends, Anna and Katy, sang a beautiful rendition of the hymn Take My Life. Kyle and I also took communion together and prayed over each other, and then were presented as Mr. and Mrs. Kyle Eric Fenton. Woo hoo!

Now it was time to celebrate! Reception post coming up next. So what about y'all? Did you do a first look before your ceremony? Did you go the traditional route or write your own vows? I'd love to hear about your ceremony, or your dreams for your ceremony if it's coming up soon!

Much Love,

All photos by Shannon Belletti.

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