Thursday, June 7, 2012

{Hi...Yeah We're Married: The Ceremony}

Well the weekend is almost here! I couldn't be more excited! Since I get to sit around and do a whole lot of nothing while my bum hip heals...I kind of live for the weekends when Wendel can keep me company...God bless his heart! 

Anyhoo...only two more posts in our Our Year Anniversary Wedding Week Extravaganza! Wow...that's a mouthful! I've got so many fun things in store for you next week including a VERY different looking office, and some art work that I've been working on!

So far this week, you've heard about how Wendel proposed, what I did to get ready for our big day, and how we got portraits that we are still giddy about! Today I'm going to give all the details about our ceremony! Get excited...I think we had a pretty precious ceremony thanks to our way-too-adorable niece and nephew! 

Let's start off with where we got hitched and danced the night away! We picked one venue for the whole shebang...The Bell Event Center! This is kind of a secret gem in Cincinnati that is slowly becoming a very popular place to get married, and we couldn't have been happier! It used to be Saint Paul's Cathedral, which then turned into an antique Bell and Clock museum (yes...not kidding) and then they turned it into an event venue! We fell in love with it the second we stepped foot in the courtyard! I'll let the pictures speak for themselves, but I'll just say this: trillions of candles, incredible food, and an insanely supportive staff...that's really all you need!

So I have tons of amazing pictures to share, and don't really know how to organize them, so I'll just explain as I go along! And again...all pictures are from the ever so talented Amanda Mera of Sunny Studios.

We loved all of the architectural details of The Bell including those amazing ceilings and stunning stained glass windows!

This is shot from the alter where we said our "I dos"

We had plenty of time before the ceremony to hang out and relax, so I made sure to get some good quality time with my little man, Charlie! 

And Elizabeth and I practiced for the dancing that was soon to come!! 

Sweet, sweet Mae looking up at her beautiful mama! 

My mother and grandmother have always been hankie people (as opposed to tissues.) So every woman who came to our ceremony was handed a hankie with a poem that I wrote on it explaining the meaning of the hankie. I think it is the little details that make your ceremony truly unique, and this was one of the details that our family and friends still chat about! 

We chose a stunning trio of violin, piano, and flute! I still remember standing in the back of the church, behind the curtains, looking at all of those candles and listening to the trio! At that very moment, I knew that our vision had come true! It was perfect! 

Candles...I'm 100% obsessed with them, and they played a major role in our entire wedding! Like multiple hundreds of candles role! 

As our guests arrived, our parents were there to greet our guests! It was a way of saying we are so thankful you are here! So before our guests even sat down, they felt at home and a part of our wedding! 

Our fabulous greeters! Camille, Terra, and Amanda (our college friends) passed out three things. One of course was the program, the other was the hankie, and then the last was kid bags. I wanted the children who came to our wedding (we had quite a few...I think close to 20) to feel special! So we made little bags with their names on them that had some games, and some treats for them to have during the ceremony and reception! Our goal was to make everyone feel special and welcomed...I hope everyone felt that! 

Before we got to the actual ceremony, I wanted to share with you our "ring pillow" We used a simple jewelry box from Hob Lob, painted it gold, and wrote "With This Ring..." on it. I think it made a very different and fun ring holder and a cute decorative item in our house now! 

We truly tried to make our ceremony as personal and as "us" as we could! We started off the ceremony with a profession of the grooms intentions. Alex's father has been an amazing role model, and Alex wanted to vow in front of our friends and family that he would treat his bride and his family as his father has. It was a way to honor his father, and was very special to us! 

Alex's parents, Brad and Faye! I just adore them! 

Alex wanted to escort his mom down the aisle, so he met her half way! How gorgeous is she? And look at that dress! Wow! 

My phenomenal mother! She has shown me how to be a wonderful woman and fabulous mother! 

And of course my brothers met her to walk her down the aisle! Two absolutely amazing men in my life!

I have two of the sweetest women as my mothers! 

I do not have any grandparents, but Alex has two sets! This is his mom's father and mother. 

And his dad's father and his wife. 

Courtney, my college roommate and best friend and my brother, Andrew, who has always been my partner in crime! 

My niece, Catherine, was born when I was in the 3rd grade (my sister was 17 when I was born) so she is more of a little sister to me! She's just precious and such a little grown up! 

Molly was my freshman "sweet" mate and best friend all through college! We had weekly Moe's dates our senior year...miss those times! And Patty was Alex's roommate pretty much all through college! He's a Dr. big deal!

This is Alex's sister, Andrea who is just as beautiful inside as she is outside! She is wonderful! And the stud muffin walking her down the aisle is my sister's husband, Dan, who has known me since I was 5 and would sit on his foot so he wouldn't go home! He's an incredible husband and father, and such a wonderful role model for Alex! 

This is my brother, Scott, who is one of the most phenomenal fathers I know! And his wife, Jodi is the most organized and incredible mother...there is NOTHING this woman can't do! I mean look at her, holding her sweet baby, carrying those flowers and smiling like a pro! 

This is Theron, Alex's roommate and college friend. They are like two little boys when they get to see each other (since he's in Bham and we're...not!) But a lot of full on wrestling happens. Next is my handsome nephew, Daniel, who has Austism and did a fabulous job with all of the commotion of the day! And then there's my rock star sister who has a busy family and still managed to receive her Doctorate in Special Education and teaches at Ball State University...and she was pregnant on our wedding day! She's THE woman!

And here are the goods! These two stole the show! They walked down to "Some Day My Prince Will Come" and everyone Ooo'd and Awww'd at their cuteness! They are precious! 

Look at those faces...I think they were as excited that the day was finally here as we were! 

Just precious!! 

And dun dun comes the bride! 

That man of sweet! 

And now for all of the precious shots of the kiddos! People always were telling me "Oh Lelia, the kids are going to walk around and stuff during the ceremony" to which I said "I'm banking on it!" They were precious and did not disappoint! 

Hehe such a little cutie! 

 And yes, they were in fact running around during the ceremony...did we notice? Not one bit! 

Love this shot! 

 After we lit the unity candle, we had our friends and family surround us in prayer. One of my favorite parts of the whole entire ceremony! 

From the balcony during the ceremony...gorgeous! 

 And now for the kiss! We didn't want an ordinary we had our best man and matron of honor "spray" us with some "breath freshener" before we kissed. It got a good laugh and made our first kiss pretty cute I think! 

Pretty impressive dip, right?

And we're married! So excited!! 

Let the party begin! 

 So all week I've been giving my advice, and I only have a few bits of when it comes to thinking about your ceremony!

1. Truly think about you two! The ceremony should reflect you as a couple! Write vows that pertain to you two. We wrote our vows together and recited the same vows to each other. We wanted to go into marriage on the same foot, but that's not everyone's preference. Make your ceremony your own!

2. Think about who marries you. We had our high school principal marry us. We met in high school, and he was such an amazing encourager (don't think that's a word...oh well!) throughout our dating years! I always enjoy weddings where the officiant knows the bride and groom because it makes the wedding feel more personal. If that's not possible, try to work with the officiant to make your ceremony as "you" as possible.  

3. Take a moment during the ceremony to take it all in. After the prayer is when we took a moment and looked around. I also took a deep breath and looked around before I walked down the aisle. I will always have those mental pictures in my head of those amazing moments!

For more from our wedding, check out the following links: 
The Proposal
Getting Ready
The Portraits
The Reception

Up tomorrow...our last wedding themed post all about how we boogied down! Anyone have any good ceremony stories? People passing out, flowers girls/ring bearers freaking out? I'd love to hear them! 

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