Planning a Wedding with Personality

Think about it…what kind of party would you rather go to?  One in the basement of a hotel with scratchy tablecloths and dry salmon or one at your friend’s house with candlelight and a homemade soundtrack?  If you picked B. then this chapter is for you!

After picking your venue (see last chapter called planning atmosphere) the next step is throwing your personality into the mix.  In fact, don’t just throw it, hurl it against the wall like a pot of wet spaghetti.  Get your noodley self in there!  But what if, you say, I have no personalityI am meek, boring, flavorless, and really quite dull.  My answer for you is, I doubt it.  If you’re reading this right now instead of some book from Barnes and Nobles, there is a freak inside of you just waiting to get out.  Let that baby go.

Every step of the way (with my own wedding) I thought to myself, here is what is usually done, here is what is being suggested…now how I can turn that upside down and inside out until it looks like me?  Here are some examples:

  1. Most brides have bridesmaids and most grooms have groomsmen.  I had hj, hank, shaunathree brideswomen and two bridesmen- why should I exclude the men in my life just because they’re men?  I also had two attendants with four feet and a lot of body hair, Hank the Tank and Kiki Wonder.  Sam had five groomsmen and one groomswoman, which if you do the math, is more than me.  We incorporated this into our ceremony by having a procession that included two men with two dogs and two men with one woman.  Like I said, not quite your ‘usual,’ but it worked for us.
  2. We also did not make our wedding party do the match-matchy as I shudder to call it.  Instead, we asked the ladies to wear whatever they liked as long as A) they felt beautiful in it and B) it was a water color.  The men were told to don tan suits, any color/pattern of shirt, a water-color tie, and no shoes.  Their gift from us was a pair of baby-blue argyle socks and Converse sneakers.IMG_0149
  3. Hiring a photographer: Instead of looking for a “wedding photographer” I looked for someone whom I admired.  Yvette Roman, she’s like a little photographing fairy.  I can’t wait to see the pictures!!  (Yvette Roman)
  4. Instead of using the nearby stationers shop for all of our needs, Sam and I branched out and threw our personality into that as well.  Who wants bland when you can have something more?  Our Save the Date was aDuncan's Invitations funny Polaroid of the two of us dressed up during a volunteer day at the nearby Children’s Hospital.  With the help of a friend, I copied the photo at Kinko’s and then glued it onto magnetic paper.  We wrote our message on the bottom in the white space.  Our Rehearsal Dinner invitation and our All Hallow’s Eve Party invitation were made by Duncan Ragsdale (Duncan Ragsdale) and featured bright colors and mismatched fonts, not to mention a Day of the Dead bride, groom, Hank, and Kiki to match the theme of our 10.31 fiesta.  As for our actual wedding invitation, I used a small letterpress company called Smock (Smock Paper) who has a design they individually calligraphy before making.  One of their options is an RSVP postcard instead of a formal reply card.  As we were inviting all of our guests to all three events (Rehearsal Dinner, Wedding Reception, and All Hallow’s Eve Party) we designed the postcard to include all three in a column where guests could check off what they could attend and what they couldn’t.  This saved paper and unnecessary waste.  Then, I went around and purchased about a dozen sheets of old map paper of Rome.  I cut and paste the map into each inner envelope as my liner.  This was my homage to Italy, a place that Sam and I both love and (had it not been almost impossible) would’ve liked to have gotten married.  programAs for our program, I designed them myself.  I’m known for my drawings of Sam and our family and we have many in our house from years past.  Sam and I printed the programs out on four different shades of blue paper.  This was the darkest blue and it still showed up really well.
  5. I think this will be my last entry for today…and while it is last, it is not least.  Infuse the ceremony of your wedding with YOU.  Sam and I scouted high and low to make a ceremony that was all us.  We even created a soundtrack, which didn’t include a single wedding song, but did include Alexi Murdoch, the Peanuts Song, and Tracy Chapman.  Here is the full ceremony below (in all it’s splendor) for any of you who might be looking for inspiration.  I’m not sure how it went for our guests (although many have told me it was the most special ceremony they’ve ever been to), but for us, the bride and groom, it meant something…it was real, it was us, it was true.  Also, we had one of our dear friends, whose marriage we deeply respect, deliver the ceremony, which really added to our pleasure.  Rabbi Jordy Green knocked that ball out of the park!

____________________________________________________________________________________________


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1. OPENING WORDS

Friends, we have been invited here, on this beautiful day in Palm Springs to share with Sara and Sam a very important moment in their lives.  This journey began for Sara and Sam almost four years ago in a yoga studio on Larchmont Street in Hancock Park.  The journey has taken them through Big Sur, Maryland, Memphis, and France.  It’s grown into not just Kiki Wonder, but also a puppy named Hank.  And this journey brings us all here today to witness their vows and their promise to continue the journey as husband and wife.

Jordy says a few words.

Jordy introduces Aunt Margee and Uncle Harry (please note that it’s Aunt Margee, not Ant Margee):

I’d like to introduce now Sara’s Aunt Margee and Uncle Harry.  They will be reading the secrets that you have all shared for a happy marriage.  Margaret and Harry have been married for 33 years this December 18th.

2. AN OPENING READING : The Secrets of a Happy Marriage by All of You.

Aunt Margee and Uncle Harry read what our guests have shared about their secrets for a happy marriage.

3. DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE

The union and commitment between a husband and a wife in heart, body, and soul is a gift for their mutual joy.  This love and promise will help and comfort them in prosperity and adversity.  It will allow them to remember and cherish that they have joined together to be with one another and to support one another and to create a life together that is bigger than themselves.  Marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and with an understanding of the deep commitment that is being promised.

4. THE DECLARATION OF CONSENT

Jordy says to Sara:

Sara, will you have this man to be your husband?  Will you love him, comfort him, support him and remain true to him, in sickness and in health?  Will you declare here in front of all those whom you love, to cherish him and to appreciate him for as long as you both shall live?

Sara answers:

I will.

Jordy says to the Sam:

Sam, will you have this woman to be your wife?  Will you love her, comfort her, support her and remain true to her, in sickness and in health?  Will you declare here in front of all those whom you love, to cherish her and to appreciate her for as long as you both shall live?

Sam answers:

I will.

Jordy then addresses the congregation, saying:

Friends and family of Sara and Sam: They have asked you here because they love and respect each and every one of you.  They have asked you here to be a part of this sacred union and to take part in the special ceremony that signifies their commitment to one another now and for always.  Therefore, will all of you witnessing these promises between Sara and Sam do all in your power to uphold them in their marriage?

People We will.

5. THE BLESSING

Friends, with your promise to Sara and Sam, they ask you to take part in a blessing of their marriage.  Please stand and join hands to form a large circle that Sara and Sam may walk around in a symbol of their unity.  As Sara and Sam pass you, bless them with your wishes, either silently or out loud, for what you hope their journey together entails.

Sara and Sam will wait for the guests to form a circle and then walk clockwise as ‘The Promise’ by Tracy Chapman plays.

I’d now like to introduce Sam’s sister, Lee who will be reading Pablo Neruda’s 17th Sonnet.

6.  SECOND READING

Lee reads:

Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda

No te amo como si fueras rosa de sal, topacio
o flecha de claveles que propagan el fuego:
te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras,
secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma.
Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva
dentro de sí, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores,
y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo
el apretado aroma que ascendió de la tierra.
Te amo sin saber cómo, ni cuándo, ni de dónde,
te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo:
así te amo porque no sé amar de otra manera,
sino así de este modo en que no soy ni eres,
tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mía,
tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño.


***Note: English translation will be include in the Program – Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda

I don’t love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
Or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
Secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom and carries
Hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
And thanks to your love, darkly in my body
Lives dense fragrance that rises from the earth.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving
But this, in which there is no I or you,
So intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
So intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.

7. THE VOWS

Sam, please face Sara and take her hands.  Repeat after me:

I, Samuel, take you, Saramargaret,

to be my wife,

and in doing so, I commit my life to you.

I embrace the sorrows and the joys,

the hardships and the triumphs,

and the experience of our lives together.

I promise to give as well as receive,

to listen as well as speak,

and to respond and to inspire.

I make this commitment in love.

This is my solemn vow.

Sara, please repeat after me:

I, Saramargaret, take you, Samuel,

to be my husband,

and in doing so, I commit my life to you.

I embrace the sorrows and the joys,

the hardships and the triumphs,

and the experience of our lives together.

I promise to give as well as receive,

to listen as well as speak,

and to respond and to inspire.

I make this commitment in love.

This is my solemn vow.

8. EXCHANGE OF RINGS

The rings please…

Thomas gives Jordy the rings.

Bless these rings to be a sign of the vows by which Sam and Sara have bound themselves to one other.  Let these rings always remind them of this day and of the promises that they are making to one another in front of all whom they love.

Sam places the ring on Sara.

Sara, I give you this ring as a symbol of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have.  I love you.

Sara places the ring on Sam.

Sam, I give you this ring as a symbol of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have.  I love you more.

Before we end here today I’d like to introduce Abby Jacobs who went to Colgate with Sara.  Sara and Sam asked her to pick something from her heart.  She will be reading I Want by Kim Konopka.

9. CLOSING READING

Abby reads:

I Want by Kim Konopka

I want
to shove my clothes
to one side of the closet,
give you the bigger half.
Quietly I’ll hide most of my shoes,
so you won’t know I have this many.
I will
rearrange furniture to add more,
find space on my shelves for your many books,
nail up the placard that says
poets do it, and redo it, and do it again.
I want
to share a laundry basket,
get our clothes mixed up,
wait for the yelling
when my reds run wild
into your whites
turning them a luscious pink,
your favorite color of me.
I will
move my pillow
to the other side of the bed,
lay yours next to mine,
your scent on the fabric
always near me,
even on the nights you’re away.
I will
buy a new bureau to hold your
thousand and one black socks,
find a place for all those work boots,
the ones I refer to as big and ugly.
I want
more pots and pans to wash,
piles of them leaning high
from late night meals
cooked naked and drunk,
red wine pouring into
a sauce of simmering
tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil,
kisses bitten between bites,
and platefuls of our late hours,
stacking up into dawn.
I want
to stock cupboards, closets and pantry
fill the house with us.
I want to gain weight with you
because our love,
our love makes me fat.

10. DECLARATION OF MARRIAGE

Jordy joins the Sara and Sam’s hands.

Today marks a new chapter in Sara and Sam’s journey together; one that will be filled with wonder, surprises, laughter, tears, celebration, grief and joy.  May this marriage reflect the warmth that flows through them here today.  Two lives are now joined in one unbroken circle.  Wherever they go, may they always return to one another. May they grow in understanding and in compassion.  May the home that they establish be a place of peace, comfort and sanctuary.

Do all of you, here assembled, affirm this marriage and give it your blessing?

Please answer, “We do!”

I ask that everyone together please repeat after me, “We, your family and friends, now pronounce you husband and wife!”

Sam, you may now kiss the bride.

11. INTRODUCTION OF NEWLYWEDS

Friends and family, I joyfully present to you the newly married couple, Sara and Sam!

 

1. OPENING WORDS

Friends, we have been invited here, on this beautiful day in Palm Springs to share with Sara and Sam a very important moment in their lives.  This journey began for Sara and Sam almost four years ago in a yoga studio on Larchmont Street in Hancock Park.  The journey has taken them through Big Sur, Maryland, Memphis, and France.  It’s grown into not just Kiki Wonder, but also a puppy named Hank.  And this journey brings us all here today to witness their vows and their promise to continue the journey as husband and wife.

Jordy says a few words.

Jordy introduces Aunt Margee and Uncle Harry (please note that it’s Aunt Margee, not Ant Margee):

I’d like to introduce now Sara’s Aunt Margee and Uncle Harry.  They will be reading the secrets that you have all shared for a happy marriage.  Margaret and Harry have been married for 33 years this December 18th.

2. AN OPENING READING : The Secrets of a Happy Marriage by All of You.

Aunt Margee and Uncle Harry read what our guests have shared about their secrets for a happy marriage.

3. DEFINITION OF MARRIAGE

The union and commitment between a husband and a wife in heart, body, and soul is a gift for their mutual joy.  This love and promise will help and comfort them in prosperity and adversity.  It will allow them to remember and cherish that they have joined together to be with one another and to support one another and to create a life together that is bigger than themselves.  Marriage is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly, but reverently, deliberately, and with an understanding of the deep commitment that is being promised.

4. THE DECLARATION OF CONSENT

Jordy says to Sara:

Sara, will you have this man to be your husband?  Will you love him, comfort him, support him and remain true to him, in sickness and in health?  Will you declare here in front of all those whom you love, to cherish him and to appreciate him for as long as you both shall live?

Sara answers:

I will.

Jordy says to the Sam:

Sam, will you have this woman to be your wife?  Will you love her, comfort her, support her and remain true to her, in sickness and in health?  Will you declare here in front of all those whom you love, to cherish her and to appreciate her for as long as you both shall live?

Sam answers:

I will.

Jordy then addresses the congregation, saying:

Friends and family of Sara and Sam: They have asked you here because they love and respect each and every one of you.  They have asked you here to be a part of this sacred union and to take part in the special ceremony that signifies their commitment to one another now and for always.  Therefore, will all of you witnessing these promises between Sara and Sam do all in your power to uphold them in their marriage?

People We will.

5. THE BLESSING

Friends, with your promise to Sara and Sam, they ask you to take part in a blessing of their marriage.  Please stand and join hands to form a large circle that Sara and Sam may walk around in a symbol of their unity.  As Sara and Sam pass you, bless them with your wishes, either silently or out loud, for what you hope their journey together entails.

Sara and Sam will wait for the guests to form a circle and then walk clockwise.

I’d now like to introduce Sam’s sister, Lee who will be reading Pablo Neruda’s 17th Sonnet.

6.  SECOND READING

Lee reads:

Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda

No te amo como si fueras rosa de sal, topacio
o flecha de claveles que propagan el fuego:
te amo como se aman ciertas cosas oscuras,
secretamente, entre la sombra y el alma.
Te amo como la planta que no florece y lleva
dentro de sí, escondida, la luz de aquellas flores,
y gracias a tu amor vive oscuro en mi cuerpo
el apretado aroma que ascendió de la tierra.
Te amo sin saber cómo, ni cuándo, ni de dónde,
te amo directamente sin problemas ni orgullo:
así te amo porque no sé amar de otra manera,
sino así de este modo en que no soy ni eres,
tan cerca que tu mano sobre mi pecho es mía,
tan cerca que se cierran tus ojos con mi sueño.


For Program:  Sonnet XVII by Pablo Neruda

I don’t love you as if you were the salt-rose, topaz
Or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:
I love you as certain dark things are loved,
Secretly, between the shadow and the soul.
I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom and carries
Hidden within itself the light of those flowers,
And thanks to your love, darkly in my body
Lives dense fragrance that rises from the earth.
I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving
But this, in which there is no I or you,
So intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand,
So intimate that when I fall asleep it is your eyes that close.

7. THE VOWS

Sam, please face Sara and take her hands.  Repeat after me:

I, Samuel, take you, Saramargaret,

to be my wife,

and in doing so, I commit my life to you.

I embrace the sorrows and the joys,

the hardships and the triumphs,

and the experience of our lives together.

I promise to give as well as receive,

to listen as well as speak,

and to respond and to inspire.

I make this commitment in love.

This is my solemn vow.

Sara, please repeat after me:

I, Saramargaret, take you, Samuel,

to be my husband,

and in doing so, I commit my life to you.

I embrace the sorrows and the joys,

the hardships and the triumphs,

and the experience of our lives together.

I promise to give as well as receive,

to listen as well as speak,

and to respond and to inspire.

I make this commitment in love.

This is my solemn vow.

8. EXCHANGE OF RINGS

The rings please…

Thomas gives Jordy the rings.

Bless these rings to be a sign of the vows by which Sam and Sara have bound themselves to one other.  Let these rings always remind them of this day and of the promises that they are making to one another in front of all whom they love.

Sam places the ring on Sara.

Sara, I give you this ring as a symbol of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have.  I love you.

Sara places the ring on Sam.

Sam, I give you this ring as a symbol of my vow, and with all that I am, and all that I have.  I love you more.

Before we end here today I’d like to introduce Abby Jacobs who went to Colgate with Sara.  Sara and Sam asked her to pick something from her heart.  She will be reading I Want by Kim Konopka.

9. CLOSING READING

Abby reads:

I Want by Kim Konopka

I want
to shove my clothes
to one side of the closet,
give you the bigger half.
Quietly I’ll hide most of my shoes,
so you won’t know I have this many.
I will
rearrange furniture to add more,
find space on my shelves for your many books,
nail up the placard that says
poets do it, and redo it, and do it again.
I want
to share a laundry basket,
get our clothes mixed up,
wait for the yelling
when my reds run wild
into your whites
turning them a luscious pink,
your favorite color of me.
I will
move my pillow
to the other side of the bed,
lay yours next to mine,
your scent on the fabric
always near me,
even on the nights you’re away.
I will
buy a new bureau to hold your
thousand and one black socks,
find a place for all those work boots,
the ones I refer to as big and ugly.
I want
more pots and pans to wash,
piles of them leaning high
from late night meals
cooked naked and drunk,
red wine pouring into
a sauce of simmering
tomatoes, garlic, and olive oil,
kisses bitten between bites,
and platefuls of our late hours,
stacking up into dawn.
I want
to stock cupboards, closets and pantry
fill the house with us.
I want to gain weight with you
because our love,
our love makes me fat.

10. DECLARATION OF MARRIAGE

Jordy joins the Sara and Sam’s hands.

Today marks a new chapter in Sara and Sam’s journey together; one that will be filled with wonder, surprises, laughter, tears, celebration, grief and joy.  May this marriage reflect the warmth that flows through them here today.  Two lives are now joined in one unbroken circle.  Wherever they go, may they always return to one another. May they grow in understanding and in compassion.  May the home that they establish be a place of peace, comfort and sanctuary.

Do all of you, here assembled, affirm this marriage and give it your blessing?

Please answer, “We do!”

I ask that everyone together please repeat after me, “We, your family and friends, now pronounce you husband and wife!”

Sam, you may now kiss the bride.

11. INTRODUCTION OF NEWLYWEDS

Friends and family, I joyfully present to you the newly married couple, Sara and Sam!

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2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

2 responses to “Planning a Wedding with Personality

  1. m

    I’m going to cry – one week later and I’m still thinking about how magical everything was. I’m glad you and Sam are happy about how everything turned out – it was perfect …..okay maybe except for Mr LA DJ (what was his name again???)
    xo
    me

  2. Thank you for including my poem– “I Want ” in your wedding.

    Kim Konopka -2011

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