Thursday, May 19, 2011

All about the Ceremony

With just about 2 months to go, it's finally that time where we are getting down to the details.  Our venues and vendors are booked, our cake is picked out and we know what our centerpieces will look like.  Mr. Hess and I have spent the last several months focusing on the reception and the main decorations of our BIG DAY, but today it hit us...we haven't spent more than a few minutes talking about the wedding ceremony.

If you were to ask either one of us, we would both tell you the wedding ceremony IS the most important part of this entire day!  Although most of our focus has been on the wedding reception, events leading up to the day, and details having to do with everything that will happen AFTER the nuptials, we have yet to accessorize the chapel and go through the ceremony that we will share vows at.  So, it's time to start crackin'...

We have seen a few different approaches to how brides in the past have decorated the space of our chapel, and we have the general idea of what we do and what we don't want to use.  Before I go any further, you should know that we really, really wanted to get married in a church.  I have had dreams of what an outdoor garden wedding would be like, or even a ceremony on the beach, and I loved the idea of both of those.  BUT, we just couldn't shake wanting the one traditional aspect of the wedding day to be sharing wedding vows at an actual altar, in a chapel, at a church.  I knew this was one of the more important things that both of our families would appreciate, and to be completely honest I am just as excited about the ceremony as I am the reception!

Our actual chapel...without giving TOO much away!

With all of that said, the choice to have our ceremony inside of our church's chapel was a very simple one.  For one, being in mid-July I couldn't image standing anywhere outside for any length of time in central Florida even attempting not to sweat, and for another, our church just so happens to have a wedding chapel used for this purpose when we saw the space we both thought THIS was the place to do it!

 In the very beginning of our relationship, I started joining Scott at his church, First Baptist Church of Orlando.  I thought the church was HUGE, but loved the senior pastor, the people and the community the church had to offer.  Even though the main congregation can hold thousands, I have always felt like I've gotten to know a decent amount of people and have felt connected as part of a church family there.  This church has gotten us through some hard times, some happy times, and has allowed me to personally grow spiritually more and more every year.  It was a treat to go to service last Sunday, because I usually work on the weekends, and as we were leaving the church I stopped for a second and just gazed up at Henry Chapel.  I had the biggest smile on my face and turned to Mr. Hess saying, "we are going to get married RIGHT THERE!"... Every time I pass this chapel, I keep picturing what the day will look like and it's finally starting to come together.

The view we first saw of the chapel & never knew this building was just for weddings!

I'm going to leave a lot of what I WANT to put in this post out of it, because there are some things I really want to be saved for the BIG DAY only.  What I can tell you is that the chapel is beautiful, and is obviously designed by a woman!  LOL, I say this because there is a great prep room for the bridal party complete with couches and coffee tables, a full length mirror, a bathroom suite with mirrors and bright stage lights, TONS of outlets, an ironing board, fans & a full length closet!  The groom's suite is a similar version of the bridal suite, but just a little smaller and not as many outlets (see why I think a WOMAN designed this one?!) Brilliant.  I'm looking forward to spending the last hour or two with my bridal party in that room and getting ready for the biggest day of my life!

Although we want the traditional aspect of having a ceremony IN a church, that doesn't mean everything about it has to be traditional.  We are certainly going to have bible readings, prayer, vows, singers, and rings, but we are going to try to add in a few things here and there that people haven't seen before.  For one, we are figuring out the unity candle...traditionally, the bride and groom each light a candle and then use their flames together to light one big one in the middle to symbolize joining their lives in marriage.  Some people use sand ceremonies as an alternative - blending two colors of sand together, or even use flowers - like a rose from each mother's bouquet.  We like all of these ideas, but have a few more I want to save in case we end up using one in OUR unity!

I've been getting more and more excited as Mr. Hess and I talk about each part of the ceremony and decide what we want to do.  I am SO SO SO happy that our senior Pastor David will be conducting our ceremony, and I know that what he is going to share with our guests and to us that day will be absolutely beautiful.  Almost every sermon I listen to and certainly every service I attend, I end up tearing up at one point or another because I get such a great feeling being in that church.  Pastor Dave has a way of really inspiring you, and you totally get what he's trying to preach.  When I found out we were officially having our ceremony IN our chapel at church and Pastor Dave was officiating us, I was estatic!  I couldn't imagine it happening any other way, which is really one of the main reasons we decided to have the wedding here in Orlando.  Believe me, there are times Mr. Hess and I swear we should have eloped.  BUT, when I think about how much this ceremony is going to mean to us I calm down, take a few breaths, and remember the feeling I get every time I pass by the chapel.  It's going to be OKAY, it's going to be perfect, and it's going to be US.

As time is flying by, I am getting very anxious and ready for the day to get here already!!! There is still so much to do, so many more decisions to make, and still a few people to hire.  At times, it can get very overwhelming, but I am at a state now with two months left where I am at peace.  As long as we get the ceremony in place and set, the rest will happen...eventually.  Nobody is going to know if something did or didn't happen but us, and when it comes down to it the ceremony IS the most important part of it all.  I can't wait to share it all with you after the wedding...

63 days until the "I DO"s,

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