Tag Archives: outdoor wedding

Highlights from our Ceremony

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Coming up with a meaningful wedding ceremony from scratch proved to be quite the challenge!  We ended up using many sources…traditional Christian ceremonies, literature we both loved, inspiration from wedding blogs, and my amazing Grandfather/officiant.  In the end, I’m so so so happy with how personal and emotional our ceremony was!  Here are a few highlights!

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/19327177″>Mumford & Sons | Sigh No More | {el.de.te}</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/eldete”&gt;{el.de.te}</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

We used “Sigh No More” by Mumford and Sons as our processional music.

Zach escorting his parents.
Walking down the aisle with both my parents

Walking down the aisle, I couldn’t believe it was finally happening!  All I tried to do was breathe and stay present in the moment as much as possible.  After some introductory words from my grandfather, one of our friends read our first reading, a poem by e.e. cummings that we love!

“i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)”

Instead of a unity candle, we decided to include a ritual that was much more “us” in our ceremony.  So we planted a tree!  Much of the credit for this idea goes to the awesome blog 2000 Dollar Wedding.  We played “Old Pine” by Ben Howard while we got our Aspen sapling into the ground.

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/24410701″>Old Pine – Ben Howard</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/mickeysmith”>mickey smith</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Guys doing most of the work, girls trying not to get dirty!
My grandmother helped my 83-year-old grandfather hold the microphone while he officiated. Having them involved was beyond special.

Grandpa: Zach and Carrie have chosen to symbolize their commitment here today by planting a tree with the help of their parents.  Just as the love and support of their parents has helped them grow into the people they are today, so will the water and soil here support and nourish this tree.  While it is now a small sapling, over time, with proper care, it will grow and flourish into a strong and mature aspen tree.  Given the same care and attention, the marriage of these two will similarly flourish and prosper.

One of our best friends gave our next reading, a quote by Louis de Bernieres:

“Love is a temporary madness; it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And
when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether
your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you
should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness,
it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is
just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over
when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate
accident. Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other
underground, and when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their
branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.”

I loved how this quote also tied in the tree metaphor!  Next was the hardest part: our vows!  We wrote our own vows and didn’t share them with each other beforehand.  I was so afraid I would start bawling!  Zach went first, and I just tried to absorb his words without starting to cry!

Zach:  When I met you, my life was good, but there was always something missing.  After only a few dates, I knew you were the person I needed.  I knew you were the one.  I found a new satisfaction in life that was exciting and real.  I felt whole.
Carrie, I love you because every day you expect me to be a better man than the day before.  You’re never satisfied with the normal thing, only greatness.
I love you because there is no one like you in the world.  You’re caring, thoughtful, and the funnest person that I have ever met.
I promise to love you no matter what.  I promise to wake up every day with the thought of making our lives better.  I promise to work as hard and as long as I need to make sure we accomplish all of our goals.  I promise to listen to what you need and continue my quest to be your perfect partner.  I cannot wait to spend my life with you.

Next was my turn!  Ahhh!!!  Thankfully, my acting training from back in the day kicked in, and I was able to keep a clear and strong voice, despite the emotional weight of the moment.

Carrie:  Zach, when I met you, unexpectedly, the timing was horrible.  But it didn’t take me long to fall in love with you.  For the first time ever, I felt that my life was not all about me anymore.  You were the first and only person who I ever considered changing my best-laid life plans for.  When we were continents apart I laid under my African mosquito net and dreamed of our future together as I fell asleep.  I think I knew, even then, that we would someday be standing where we are right now.
Zach, I love that you are constantly seeking to learn more about the world.  I love how you can’t ever read a book or watch a movie without something making you say “I want to do that!” or “I want to go there!”  I love that you are so calm under pressure, so laid back, and so optimistic and joyful about life.  In you I find a balance I desperately need, and I am so grateful for that.  I love that you have so many talents and are wildly successful at anything you try, from hockey, to science, to music, to cooking.  Every day I am more proud that you are mine.
Zach, because I love you, I promise to always be by your side.  To take care of you when you’re sick or sad or tired.  To seek to understand you more every day.  I promise to control my temper and impatience, to be a better partner for you every day.  I promise to appreciate the ways in which we are different, as they make us perfectly compatible.  I promise to use my skills and abilities to make all of our adventures unforgettable.  I promise to support you and to prioritize our relationship no matter what obstacles we encounter.  
Love, I believe, is an action and a choice and I will choose to love you even when it’s hard, even when it hurts, and even when I don’t want to.  And I promise that I will be faithful to you, and God willing, we will keep exploring the world together until we are both old and gray.

Since we didn’t buy new or different wedding bands, we exchanged the same rings we had been wearing as engagement rings all along.  The symbolism of rings was still an important part of the ceremony for us.

The rings on our fingers, we were almost done!

Grandpa:  Forasmuch as Zachary and Carrie have consented together in holy wedlock and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto have pledged their faith each to the other, and have declared the same by joining hands and by giving and receiving rings; by the power vested in me by the state of Arizona, I now pronounce them husband and wife.  What God has joined together let no one put asunder.  Zach, you may now kiss the bride!

We did it!

For the closing of our ceremony, we couldn’t help but include the commonly-used but wonderful Apache Wedding Blessing.  This blessing spoke perfectly to our love for travel, adventure, and each other!

Now you will feel no storms,
for each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no loneliness,
for each of you is companion to the other,
You are two persons,
but there is one life before you, and one home.
Turn together to look at the road you traveled,
to reach this—the hour of your happiness.
It stretches behind you into the past.
Look to the future that lies ahead.
A long and winding, adventure-filled road,
whose every turn means discovery,
new hopes, new joys, new laughter,
and a few shared tears.
May happiness be your companion,
May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead;
And through all the years to come.
Go this day to your dwelling place
and enter into your days together.
May your days be good and long
upon the earth.
Your adventure has just begun!

As we recessed down the aisle in a haze of exhilaration, “That’s What’s Up” by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros played and all of our guests clapped and cheered for us!

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/48723183″>Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – “That’s What’s Up” (OFFICIAL VIDEO)</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/jasminedaghighian”>Jasmine Daghighian</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Totally unexpectedly, the recessional actually produced some of my favorite pics from our day!  Aren’t the looks of pure joy on our faces just unbeatable?

Coming up next:  Our homespun reception!

All photos copyright Bright Fizz Photo

A Venue Decision!

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Remember my state debate from this post?  Well, here’s the follow-up…

Time was ticking away.  More and more people kept asking me if we had set a date yet, as their calendars were booking up for next summer.  My online search for an affordable spot in California was proving fruitless.  More than anything, we just wanted to decide on a place and set a date so that we could give people enough advance notice in this over-scheduled day and age.

So, after much discussion, we made the decision I somehow knew in my gut we would make all along:

We’re getting married in Arizona!

After examining all factors, we decided that having our wedding at Zach’s parents’ house in northern Arizona would allow us the most freedom to DIY and be the most affordable, despite the cost of renting tables and chairs.  We talked to his parents about the idea and they were thrilled!  They’re happy for an excuse to do more work on the house and give some of their relatives an extra reason to come visit.  We’re happy because we know there’s lots of fun stuff for our guests to do in the area, and the hotels are affordable.

I’m already drawing inspiration from gorgeous photos of backyard weddings.  The mission now is to turn this:

into this:

Source: Young House Love

 

It’ll be a challenge but I think we can do it!  I’m so excited to dance the night away under the gorgeous Arizona stars!

Did anyone else have an at-home backyard wedding?  Was it worth all the DIY work?

Location, Location, Location: Debates on What State

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I’ve got this dream wedding location in my head, and I’m hoping it’s not imaginary.

You see, we have a really small budget.  But we still really like to party.  We’re not opposed to DIY.  And we want to spend as much time with our friends and family as possible.

So, our A+, #1, ideal wedding venue would be some kind of camp, B&B, or conference center that we could take over for a whole weekend and have everyone stay in the same place!  Someplace that included a beautiful outdoor ceremony site, a kitchen we could use to self-cater, someplace for people to eat, drink, and dance, and cabins or a lodge that everyone could stumble off to after partying all night.

Look at this gorgeous summer camp wedding!
Credit: http://www.theweddingwarriors.com/?p=1012

I know, we dream big.  But I can’t help hoping that if the amazing Sara and Matt of 2000 Dollar Budget Wedding (a HUGE inpsiration to me!) can do it, than so can we!  So that’s the goal right now.

With that in mind, the first thing we had to do was decide which state to get married in!

Option #1: Ohio. 😦 See, Zach and I are both from Ohio and so our families naturally assumed we’d be getting married there.  However, while we both agree that Ohio was a great place to grow up, we’ve since broken away and don’t intend to live there long-term again in the future.  Honestly, it’s just kind of (REALLY) boring.  However, most of Zach’s friends and extended family still live in Ohio.  AND wedding stuff is significantly cheaper there.

This is Ohio. We’ve got some corn. And some barns.
Credit: http://kellybanik.blogspot.com/2011/04/other-peoples-lives.html

Option #2: California!  Although we’ve been working summer jobs in Ohio this year, the weeks are quickly ticking by and our planned move to San Diego, California is getting closer!  We both love San Diego, the sun, the waves, the perfect temperature, the proximity to Mexico!  This is where we can finally see ourselves “settling down” (which, for us, may only mean staying somewhere longer than a year, who knows) and where we’d like to get married.  It will be so much easier to plan a wedding close to where we are living.  Plus, I have a lot of friends and family scattered around the country.  When I sketched out my side of the guest list for our wedding, I realized that more than half of my people will have to get on a plane, whether the wedding is in Ohio or not!  Do I really want to make those poor people pay for a plane ticket and take time off to go to Ohio?  Heck no!  The downside to this, however, is that a lot of Zach’s extended family may not be able to afford to come to California.  The brutal-but-true upside to that downside: it would definitely help keep our numbers in check since his family is HUGE.

Option #3: The Arizona back-up plan.  Before we left on our long Latin American odyssey trip, Zach and I were living in northern Arizona.  See, his parents bought a house out there that they are planning to move to when they retire.  But, they haven’t retired yet!  So we got to live there for a year and house-sit for them!  During that year, we really grew to love the area.  The house is within an hour of the Grand Canyon, Sedona’s red rocks, mountain climbing, swimming holes, and tons of other awesome stuff!  Plus, the house is pretty big and we could definitely clear a section of the yard for the ceremony.  The problem here would be that we’d still be long-distance planning, we’d have to rent all the tables and chairs, and people would have to stay in hotels that are at least 15 minutes away from the house.  But it’s a good backup plan because we know it won’t book up and it’s still an awesome vacation spot.

View from the back porch of the Arizona house

What do you think, people?  We’re clearly leaning towards having the wedding in California, and hoping to find a great venue there.  If you were in our situation, what state would you choose?