Kate and Ryan thoroughly planned their color scheme of royal blue and crisp white: the bride's train had an insert of royal blue with white embroidery and a bodice trim of the same, the chaircovers were white with blue ribbon, the bridesmaids' dresses were royal blue, the white roses in the bride's bouquet were tipped with blue, the cake was royal blue (by Sweet Memories), one of the vases of sand was blue, and to fit in, I made myself a new prayer stole of royal blue. We were all so well coordinated, even Virginia, the mother of the bride wore royal blue! (I am seeing lots of blues for attendants' dresses this year.)
Kate and Ryan came up with a unique solution to the issue of how to get all the photos done before the wedding so they could be with their guests immediately after the ceremony versus the groom not seeing the bride on the wedding day until she walked down the aisle. So, Brandi Autry, photographer, got all the family photos and wedding party photos done with the bride and groom separately from 4:00 to 5:00. Then a private meeting of the bride and groom was staged at 5:00 under the pergola with just the photographer present catching that sweet moment of seeing each other for the first time on their wedding day. I came into the area to do a sound check after a while and caught them kissing and teased them that they weren't supposed to kiss--yet! They told me they were just doing the homework I assigned them at the rehearsal--to practice their kiss for the ceremony! We all had a good laugh!
The ceremony began on time at 6:00 with all the guests present--a full house. The attendants and I waited for the bride in the gazebo, then as she and her father approached the little bridge connecting the gazebo and pergola, Ryan walked over the bridge to have her dad transfer her hand to Ryan. Then they together crossed the bridge back to the wedding party and me. I love the symbolism of the bride and groom making some physical step or bridge as taking their relationship up to a higher level. I also am different from other ministers in that I like for the bride and groom to face each other holding hands during the whole ceremony. It has always seemed so stilted to me for the bride and groom to stand on either side of the minister not touching during the ceremony until the rings. Standing facing each other allows the bride and groom to look easily at each other, their guests and me.
Ryan and Kate put together a wonderful ceremony that was warm and welcoming to their guests, endearing to their parents, and included the sand pouring ceremony. Ryan is a bit shy about speaking in front of people so they had me ask them the questions to which they replied "I do." Then they chose ring vows that were only two lines repeated after me. We finished the ceremony in exactly 20 minutes from start to finish which is exactly what they wanted.
I had developed a chest cold with a tickly cough earlier in the week and was so afraid I might start coughing during the ceremony and once started, the coughing goes on and on. But I stashed a bottle of water near where I was standing and kept sucking the cough lozenges and made it through just fine with only one swig of water as the bride came in (all eyes were on her so no one noticed me except the best man)! With my Countryman E6 wireless theater mike, I don't have to strain my voice and can speak in a normal tone, and that sure helped a lot today!