our wedding: the ceremony

The ceremony was my absolute favorite part of the whole day. We wrote our own vows (in addition to the traditional vows) and didn’t share them until we spoke them at the ceremony. I originally told Whitney he would have to memorize his (I’m an actress, I can memorize, haha), but I’m so glad we didn’t because the nerves would have been too much. We now have our vows framed for our home (his written with its original scratch outs and arrows…I love it).  The rain held off until I started saying my vows, and then it drizzled a bit. Lucky for us (and our harpist) (sorry guests!) we were covered. Then, as the pastor took out our rings, the rain stopped and the sun came out and shone brightly. It was perfect.

My sister’s best friend, Molly Cook, played the harp for our wedding. I asked her to play music for 3 songs: Pachelbel’s Canon for our grandparents, parents, and bridesmaids as they walked down the aisle, the instrumental to Clocks by Coldplay for my bridal march, and the instrumental to Starlight by Muse for the recessional. It all sounded absolutely beautiful. Thank you Molly for composing just perfect music to play on your harp for our wedding.


I wasn’t sure if Whitney would cry. I must devilishly admit, I was hoping he would. I was crying before I even walked out of the dressing room, and when I saw him at the end of the aisle, I lost it. We originally were going to do a first look, and let me tell you, though a lot of people suggest it, I am 100% happy with our decision to wait until the ceremony to see each other. I may have been nervous, but it was so worth it to wait until the momentous occasion when I saw my future husband waiting for me at the end of the aisle. Though the most nerve wracking, it was the most beautiful moment of the day and of my life.


Look how happy Whitney’s parents look! Everyone looked so nice that day.


My mother and her boyfriend of several years, Eric. Pleasantly surprised my mother wore a grey gown to match our colors.


I didn’t want to take the traditional approach to bridesmaid dresses. I wanted the dresses to be something my bridesmaids would wear again (and wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg). I really liked the idea of putting together different dresses in different shades of yellow. But let me tell you, it was a long and arduous process, especially since none of the girls could go shopping together (I had to take them each individually). It was stressful, but I’m so happy with how they all came together and just worked. They looked beautiful!


My oldest brother, Ryan, walking me down the aisle. When I say everything just came together so perfectly, I mean it (not to say there weren’t a couple glitches that nobody noticed but me, haha). But as my brother and I walked into the ceremony site, a few photos from our clotheslines had blown off from the wind and landed on the ground. The first photo we saw and walked over was a black and white photo of Ryan holding me when I was a baby. I love that photo (you’ll see it in a detail shot later), and it was such a fitting and perfect little moment that I’ll treasure forever.


Whitney when he saw me walking down the aisle. So sweet for me to see these photos of him (he did cry if you can’t tell).


My veil actually got caught on a tree as we passed. But we all laughed, and it’s a funny story to share (it only knocked a few seconds off our time. :p).

People advise you to only watch your husband to be as you walk down the aisle because in that moment he is who matters most. And that’s exactly what I did. It was honestly complete tunnel vision looking only at Whitney’s face as I came down the aisle. I didn’t notice anything or anyone else, and I’m so glad I did that because it was such a special moment for us.


My brother and mother giving me off to Whitney. I was so nervous, all I could think about was how I just needed to hold onto Whitney and I would be okay.


I wanted to do something to incorporate our families into the ceremony, and I wanted something a little more fun and unique than a candle lighting (absolutely no offense to anyone who has done that…that is beautiful too). So Whitney and I poured white sand to symbolize us as one, and our parents each poured a different color sand simultaneously to symbolize our families coming together. It was a special moment to share with our parents.


My veil getting caught a little again as we walked back to our places after the sand pouring, but it made a beautiful photo!


We had joked before about how our kiss would be…not too long, not too short. And as cliché as it sounds (and as often as I may be repeating it), it was perfect.


We were both so deliriously happy walking back down the aisle as husband and wife. I was so overwhelmed I still didn’t notice anyone else (besides randomly, my friend Ryan, haha, and one of the photographers).


The ceremony was our favorite part of the day, but also the most nerve wracking, and we were relieved that we had done it! We were officially husband and wife. 🙂

Next up, the “Ceremony Details” (I was a stickler for these)…

-wonderland sam

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actress/texan kickin' it in los angeles. always searching for my next pizza. cia agent in another life.

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