our wedding preview | part 2: the ceremony

This is part two of our wedding recap. Go HERE for part one and HERE for part three. 

Our wedding ceremony was one of my favorite things and whenever I think back to it, it seems so fairytale-esque. We put a lot of time into the logistics of our ceremony – we’re not strictly religious and because traditional ceremonies are based on a series of religious traditions, we wanted to create our own symbology. Something that represented us as a couple and individuals. It was beautiful.

© Ash & James Photography© Ash & James Photography

ΔΔ I love the chalkboard craze right now so to save paper on ceremony programs, Brandon made chalkboard signs using plywood, tall garden stakes, paint primer, and chalkboard paint. He made five total and we posted them all over the venue with everything from the evening’s order of events to our event’s hashtag (#BRwedding). We had our program attendants hand out little party flags that I made using wooden dowels, pink cotton fabric, and rubber stamps with permanent ink – these were especially fun for our surprise end to the ceremony! ΔΔ

© Ash & James Photography

ΔΔ We scattered a basket of dried lavender and rose petals down the aisle prior to the ceremony. Lavender is one of my favorite scents so by having it scattered before the ceremony began, the scent was released as everyone walked to their seats – which made the whole area smell like a field of lavender! ΔΔ

© Ash & James Photography

ΔΔ Brandon has some incredibly talented cousins who play in the Minnesota Youth Orchestra, so they supplied the ceremony’s music. These two are amazing and if you simply heard them you’d never know how young they are! It was such an elegant and personal touch. ΔΔ

ΔΔ Brandon walked his mom and dad to their seats. ΔΔ

ΔΔ And my dad walked my mom to her seat before returning to walk me down the aisle. I was of course hiding in the tent when this happened so I love looking through these photos and seeing every special detail. So much love and happiness. ΔΔ

ΔΔ The ring bearer was not quite two years old and we weren’t sure how well he’d make it down the aisle with everyone watching, so we thought it was even cuter to have the flower girl pull him in a little red wagon. The great thing about flower girls and ring bearers is that no matter what they do, even if they run crying from the ceremony or have chocolate milk stains on their pants, they’re still adorable. ΔΔ

© Ash & James Photography

ΔΔ And finally it was my turn. I was so incredibly nervous! I kept asking my dad if we should just walk down there now, without waiting for the song change! Thank goodness he didn’t budge until the cello and violin started playing “here comes the bride” (yes, very cliche but this is the song I always imagined I’d walk down the aisle to so I couldn’t resist!). ΔΔ

© Ash & James Photography© Ash & James Photography© Ash & James Photography© Ash & James Photography© Ash & James Photography

ΔΔ We selected two excerpts to be read during the ceremony. Leah, my best friend since elementary school, read Art of Marriage by William Peterson and Eric, my brother-in-law, read Union by Robert Fulghum. ΔΔ

ΔΔ Then it was time for us to read our vows, which we each wrote ourselves and kept as a secret until the ceremony. My favorite part about this is that we both made the same points in our vows but said them in entirely different ways! Brandon’s vows had his analytical, numbers and facts tone and my vows had my fairytale and whimsy tone – much of the ceremony was about opposites attracting, which made this so fitting and perfect! ΔΔ

ΔΔ It was important to me that we signed our marriage license during the ceremony. Too often the license is a rushed signature on the side that displays no importance. I can’t help but think how odd it is that we don’t place more importance on the signing of this document, especially as same-sex couples have to fight for the right to sign this document at all. // funny detail: the signing of this document was even more special to us because we had initially been denied the ability to sign it on May 17th, our wedding day! This was a destination wedding and out-of state marriage for us, so after reviewing the state’s website it was our understanding that by completing our application online at least two weeks in advance, this sufficed as the minimum waiting period between picking up your license and actually getting married. We went to the courthouse the day before our wedding to pick up the actual license and when the clerk handed it to us and informed us that we could not be married until at least May 31st, I was a teeny bit upset! To be honest, I had a complete breakdown. I was horrified that this hugely symbolic day was all going to be a facade. I called my sister who told her husband, who called a lawyer friend… long story short, we drove to the courthouse in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota to stand before a judge and explain our predicament – pretty much begging him to sign a waiver which would allow us to forgo Minnesota’s two-week waiting period. One signature later and I was beaming – I kept saying “yay we can get married!” ΔΔ

ΔΔ While we were signing our marriage license, our guests took part in a ring warming where our rings were passed around to receive well wishes and good vibes. // fun detail: the maker of my engagement ring discontinued the wedding band that goes with it! My grandma was so gracious though and gave me her mother’s (my great-grandma’s) wedding band, which is far better than any wedding band we might have otherwise custom ordered. The love and generosity of my family amazes me. ΔΔ

© Ash & James Photography© Ash & James Photography© Ash & James Photography© Ash & James Photography

ΔΔ And finally my favorite part… the KISS! We actually almost forgot to kiss because we were so excited about our surprise exit – we danced back down the aisle to Happy by Pharrell Williams! ΔΔ

© Ash & James Photography© Ash & James Photography© Ash & James Photography

ΔΔ These pictures kill me, I love seeing how much fun everyone’s having! This is what it’s all about! ΔΔ

© Ash & James Photography

ΔΔ Brandon and I snuck off right away for some smooches before returning to the cocktail hour. It was a nice five minutes to regroup and take a deep breath for the first time as Mrs. LeBeau! ΔΔ

There’s one more post to this series! Part three will include pictures from the reception and a look at the smaller details such as jewelry and decor used. Look for this final wedding post in the coming two weeks!

This is part two of our wedding recap. Go HERE for part one and HERE for part three. 


2 thoughts on “our wedding preview | part 2: the ceremony

  1. Pingback: our wedding preview | part 3: the party and details | Rachel Running Wild

  2. Pingback: our wedding preview | part 1: getting ready + the bridal party | Rachel Running Wild

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