All of the ceremony music was done by the church’s music director, James. I’ve actually known James for my entire life—our mothers met when they were pregnant 25 years ago…his sister Mary Claire and I were born a week apart. It was incredibly special to plan the ceremony music with him. James is so talented, I knew whatever we picked would sound great. He suggested that we include a singing quartet, and I’m glad we did—the music sounded almost transcendent with amazing harmonized vocals. For our non-Catholic guests sitting (and standing and kneeling and sitting and shaking hands with other people!) through a wedding mass, at least the church was gorgeous and the music was excellent.
During the homily, I felt my nose start to run. It was one thing to have tears flowing, but this was much less cute.Think fast. You are more than a pile of snot and tulle. That’s when my eyes landed on Jordan’s chest pocket. His pocket square was right there. I did a quick situation assessment: do a slightly crass thing and steal it while Father was talking, or deal with the consequences. I looked at Jordan apologetically, and was just like “I have to do this. Maybe no one will notice.” At first, I think he thought I was picking a piece of lint off of his jacket. Then he looked at me like “Seriously?” I returned his look like “Yes, seriously.” and dabbed by eyes, doing a quick sweep at my nose. He laughed. Suddenly I heard my mom laughing, followed by more people laughing. Guilty for causing an interruption, I looked at Father Luis, who was probably confused but kept going.
We didn’t know our priest incredibly well, compared to someone we grew up with, but he was very kind—though, oddly, very stern about the consequences of showing up drunk to our wedding (he even did a “sniff test” of Jordan and the groomsmen right before!). Our sitting/standing/kneeling schedule was totally different than everyone else. I was so nervous we would forget what to do, and I was nervous he would get frustrated with us. Father Luis was very calm and would discreetly motion to us when it was time to do something. He was also very efficient. The ceremony took exactly sixty minutes, and at the end of his final blessing, he smiled to the congregation and said “Now go and party!”
At the rehearsal, Father told us that we could kiss after he gave his blessing and the music started. Jordan forgot this cue and expected Father to say “You may now kiss the bride.” When the music started, he gave me a confused look like “Well, guess we better get going back down the aisle,” to which I said “We’re supposed to kiss now!”
As soon as we were done with the ceremony, I was much more relaxed—you can even tell in the photos. Jordan and I went back down the aisle, then circled back around to dismiss our guests by pew. This method seemed like the most efficient way to greet everyone. There were pros and cons to all of our options, including a receiving line in the back of the church, or making our way around during the reception. I hemmed and hawed before just picking what seemed to suck the least—basically, there’s no perfect way to greet 150 people individually. I wish we had a few minutes to ourselves after the ceremony, but I’m grateful that I got to see almost all our guests, briefly. Unfortunately some people ducked out before we got to their pew, others didn’t come to the ceremony (again, similar issues arose with all greeting options). It was such a rush to introduce people to my HUSBAND and hug people who had come all the way to be with us. After we greeted everyone, they headed to the reception.
Photographs by Seth Morris Photography