Thursday, November 29, 2012

We Start Today: Group Photo!

Our recessional song started playing, "Married Life" from UP. We strolled down the aisle in a newlywed daze.
Photos by Palos Studio
 Our bridal party followed behind us.
After we all made our way down the aisle we went straight over to a side patio area. We waited for the rest of our guests to join us so we could take a large group photo!
All 150 of our guests in one photo!
 Of course we had to take a funny one, which I guess to most people means put your arms up in the air.

I love zooming in on all of these group shots and seeings where everyone was standing and what they were doing. I'm sure some of you are curious about the logistics of getting all of our guests together for a photo. Well, once again I have to commend our amazing vendors on that one. Right after the ceremony our MC/DJ Brent from Entertainment Express made an announcement to please follow the Bride and Groom to the side patio for a group photo. Then the staff at Padua Hills sort of herded everyone to the location.
 Guest Photo - After the ceremony waiting for everyone to make their way over. 
Guest Photo - The crowd of guests making their way down.
Guest Photo - Our photographers stood on a higher patio which allowed them to take such a great group photo.

I might have just been in a wedding haze, but it really didn't seem to take very long to gather everyone together. Our vendors gave such clear directions. No one was confused and everything went smoothly!
After this our guests went straight into cocktail hour while we went to take more photos with our family and bridal party.

Would you ever consider doing a group photo?
Miss a recap? Check it out below!                         
We start at the end with a surprise wedding video!                                            
We rehearse                                                                                                      
Our rehearsal luncheon                              
We start the day with singing, dancing, and an earthquake
I get my hair and makeup done
We arrive at our venue and Mr. Castle asks for some makeup
With the help of my Mom and bridesmaids I get into my dress!
I take some solo shots of me as a bride
My handsome groom and his men 
Some family shots and first look regret
Photos with my Bridesmaids!
I get a three generations photos with my Mother and Grandmother
Waiting for the ceremony to start AND how our amazing vendors saved the day!
The Ceremony, vows and rings.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

We Start Today: The Ceremony Part 2

Mr. Castle and I had just finished our vows. Next it was time for our rings.
All Photos by the amazing Palos Studio
 I was still wiping away tears from the vows

At this point Mr. Castle made me aware of the fact that pieces of tissue were stuck on my face. Apparently the mixture of airbrush makeup, cheap tissues, and tears is not ideal. Mr. Castle to the rescue! 
 Thanks Mr. Castle for making sure I look good :)

Father Geoff had asked for our rings from our Best Man and Maid of Honor. They brought them forward and he blessed them saying, "May these rings remind you always of your vows and the love that has joined your two lives."
Mr. Castle went first. "Miss Castle accept this ring as a sign of my love and commitment."
"Mr. Castle accept this ring as a sign of my love and commitment."
After we exchanged rings Mr. Castles sister was invited up to begin her reading.
"Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created.


In the art of 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 all 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 in 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.
It is finding room for the things of the spirit. It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.
It is establishing a relationship in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal.
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.
It is discovering what marriage can be, at its best."
- by Wilferd Arlan Peterson
The final portion of our ceremony was the most religious. It started with a nuptial blessing from Father Geoff.

"Holy Father, may your fullest blessing come down upon Mr. Castle and Miss Castle as they begin their life as a married couple.  May they find strength and joy in each other’s embrace, may their friends console them and all people live at peace with them.
Bless them with children and help them to be good and loving parents. May they live to see their children’s children living in an abundant and peaceful world
And, after a happy old age, grant them fullness of life with the saints in heaven.
We ask you this through Christ our Lord.  Amen"
And lastly Father Geoff said a closing Prayer
"Heavenly Father, hear our prayers for Mr. Castle and Miss Castle, who are newly united in marriage.
Grant them the vision and grace to faithfully and lovingly live out the promises they have exchanged today.
Grant them your blessing and protection as they journey together through life together.

We ask you this through our Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit.    Amen."

After the closing Prayer Father Geoff said something like, "This concludes the marriage ceremony of Mr. and Mrs. Castle..." But as you will see from my face bellow all I was thinking was, "OMG we're MARRIED!"
At some point he told Mr. Castle he could kiss his bride.
And then as my first wifely duty, I made sure to wipe the lipstick off my husbands face.
There are no words to describe how happy I was. We were married!!!!
Miss a recap? Check it out below!                         
We start at the end with a surprise wedding video!                                            
We rehearse                                                                                                      
Our rehearsal luncheon                              
We start the day with singing, dancing, and an earthquake
I get my hair and makeup done
We arrive at our venue and Mr. Castle asks for some makeup
With the help of my Mom and bridesmaids I get into my dress!
I take some solo shots of me as a bride
My handsome groom and his men 
Some family shots and first look regret
Photos with my Bridesmaids!
I get a three generations photos with my Mother and Grandmother
Waiting for the ceremony to start AND how our amazing vendors saved the day!

Monday, November 19, 2012

We Start Today: The Ceremony Part 1

Father Geoff began our ceremony with an opening reflection.
"What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they joined together to strengthen each other in all labor, to comfort each other in all sorrow, to share with each other in all gladness, to be one with each other in the silent unspoken memories?"
All Photos by Palos Studio

"Today we gather to celebrate the love and union of Mr. Castle and Miss Castle in marriage" 

After Father Geoff's opening words he read First Corinthians 12:31- 13:8. I'm sure most of you are familiar with it. "Love is patient; love is kind..."
I couldn't help but make faces at Mr. Castle as Father Geoff was speaking.
Someone noted after looking through our pictures that we looked like two kids on Christmas morning, which is also a great description of how we felt. We were both so excited.

After the reading Father Geoff spoke a bit about love and and marriage.
Then he began the community affirmation. He spoke to our guests and asked,
"Will you who are present here today, surround this couple in love, offering them the joys of your friendship? Will you support this couple in their relationship? At times of conflict will you offer them the strength of your wiser counsel and the comfort of your thoughtful concern? At times of joy will you celebrate with them, nourishing their love for one another?"
Our guests responded to each question, "We will!"

Next it was time for us to give our consent.
"Have you come here freely and without reservation to give yourselves to each other in marriage?"
Our answer was of course, "Yes!" Which was made SURE to say at the same time!
 Mr. Castle trying to make sure our "Yes" was in sync.

"Will you love and honor each other as spouses for the rest of your lives?"
I was really into making sure we said, "Yes" at the same time.
Mr. Castle found this hilarious.

"Since it is your intention to enter into marriage, join your hands and declare your consent before these witnesses."
Mr. Castle and I joined hands but then realized we couldn't hold hands while reading our vows from our note cards...
Mr. Castle began his vows,
"Sharon, Five years ago today...
Then getting emotional he paused and said, "This is going to be harder than I thought... 
Five years ago today we declared our intentions to each other and we haven't looked back. Almost immediately you fearlessly followed your dreams to New York City. For the next 2 years and 8 months, we survived on phone calls, Skype and far to infrequent weekend visits. It wasn't easy but we knew we had something good, something worth fighting for and we made it through."
"There isn't enough I can say about how amazing you are, especially since we want to keep the ceremony under 25 minutes. Your laugh fills my heart with a joy I didn't know was possible. I see pure love and honesty in your green river eyes connected by your nose bridge."
"I promise to try to make you laugh everyday. I promise to be there with a hug when you've had a hard day."
"So today as I take you to be my wife I look forward not only to the adventures and wonderful times to come, but also to the challenges. There will be tough times, but as our relationship has taught me, sticking through them reaps great rewards. And I believe together we can work through anything."
"Together we are strong. Being with your makes me stronger. It makes me strive to be a better person."
"I promise the best years are yet to come. We are two people in love, and we start today!"

I want to pause here and talk about some feelings that we going on. Of course there were tears while listening to Mr. Castles vows, but there was also a lot of laughter. There were some inside jokes that I'm sure no one else understood but that didn't matter because those vows were meant for me and no one else. I was so incredibly happy. Mr. Castles vows really gave me the strength I needed to get through my own. When I spoke this voice came out of me that I wasn't expecting. It's hard to describe. One thing I can say is I was a lot louder than I expected myself to be!
"Jeffrey, The first time I saw you I knew there was something special about you. I thought it was just because you were so incredibly talented, but little did I know I was looking at my future husband."
"I am so excited to be your wife. I have need been more excited for anything in my life. I think back to the person I was before I met you and I can see the difference you have made in my life. I am a better person because of you."
"You fill my life with laughter. You point things out to me that I never would have noticed before. You cheer me up when I'm in a mood. You encourage me, you inspire me, and you make me happier than I ever imagined was possible. I love your creativity, your passion, your humor, your perfectionist nature and most of all I love your spirit."
"Today and I take you as my husband, I promise to always stand by your side through whatever life throws at us. Good or bad I will always be there. I promise to take care of you when you are sick and comfort you when you are sad. I promise to do my best to show you how much I appreciate you everyday. I promise to support you and make your goals my goals. I promise to fill our lives with laughter and humor."
"And most important I promise to love you forever times infinity!"
"I can't think of a better way to continue this journey than with you by my side. I love you so much."

We made it through our vows! There were tears, there was laughter, and there was still more to come! Next up we finish our ceremony with rings and a reading by the sister of the Groom.

Did you write your own vows. Were you nervous you wouldn't be able to get through them?
Miss a recap? Check it out below!                         
We start at the end with a surprise wedding video!                                            
We rehearse                                                                                                      
Our rehearsal luncheon                              
We start the day with singing, dancing, and an earthquake
I get my hair and makeup done
We arrive at our venue and Mr. Castle asks for some makeup
With the help of my Mom and bridesmaids I get into my dress!
I take some solo shots of me as a bride
My handsome groom and his men 
Some family shots and first look regret
Photos with my Bridesmaids!
I get a three generations photos with my Mother and Grandmother
Waiting for the ceremony to start AND how our amazing vendors saved the day!