Well, we are officially 11 days out from the big day. I can’t believe it’s already been {exactly!} eight months since Drew was on bended knee, asking a very shocked me to marry him. Both the proposal and the wedding seemed like they’d never come, and now here we are, eight months later, eleven days out from walking down the aisle. Oh. My. Goodness!!!!

One of the last things we decided to tackle (ironically) was the single most important task on our list:  composing our wedding ceremony!

Granted, one of the first things we did was arrange for our ceremony musicians. Drew and I met at Belmont, a highly esteemed music school in the South. Although neither of us are hardcore music people, we definitely have a host of phenomenally talented musician friends. Come to any sporting event at Belmont (or birthday party, for that matter) and you’ll experience some seriously mind-blowing harmonizing (yes, even to Happy Birthday!). Go to any Belmont musical and convince yourself you’re not in New York. {Side note:  the initial reason I decided to go to Belmont was to pursue my career in musical theatre. I never ended up even AUDITIONING for the program, but I certainly do still have one serious appreciation for the talent there!} And if you hit up the senior showcase circuit, be prepared to see some incredible up-and-comers.

There was never any question that we would be asking our musically inclined friends to play during our ceremony. So the night I said “YES!” to Drew, I also asked my dear friend and sorority sister, Julia, to sing during our ceremony. We also formally asked “the Daniels” (DP and DC) to be our violinist and pianist… and magic was made.

{Me and beautiful Julia the night Drew proposed!!!}

I can honestly say one of the things I’m looking forward to most will be our ceremony musicians. Music has so much emotional power and weight… I know I’m already going to be a basket case all that day, but once we get them performing, I will be genuinely surprised if there is a dry eye in the room.

And then there’s our officiants. Oh yes, we couldn’t bear to do to just have ONE — we are having TWO amazing wonderful people involved in the oh-so-important act of marrying us. We toiled over trying to figure out who would do us the honor for a few months, but when we started thinking outside of the traditional box, it became very clear what we were meant to do.

The man who will be conducting our entire ceremony, leading us in our vows, serving us communion, and blessing us in our new married life will be someone who has seen me grow up from BIRTH. He was my Sunday school teacher for years and has been close to my family FOREVER. His rendition of O Holy Night and I’ll Fly Away are practically renowned in the Methodist church circuit, and he unfailingly offers a smile and a “Well how are you, Miss Kelly?” every Sunday.

I knew that he would be an exceptional candidate to be our ceremony officiant from the get-go, but the only problem was that he’s not an ordained minister. The UMC recognizes him as a certified layspeaker, but unfortunately the State of Tennessee doesn’t consider that to be legal status to marry people.

When I found out my best friend, Laken, (who was married June 24 of this year) was in a similar conundrum (their minister of choice had an expired license), the solution presented itself to us clearly.  Laken discovered that her father, serving currently as our County Commissioner, could do all the legalizing! So she was married officially by her father, and since we’ve been best friends for 10+ years, it was only suiting that Drew and I would also be married officially by my best friend’s father!!!!

So three talented musicians, two amazing officiants, and a gorgeous aisle runner (Yay Hillary!) later… we planned out our ceremony!

Things we wanted to incorporate:

  1. Tradition. We like traditional vows (so much value in the time-tested!), wordings, and heritage.
  2. Loved ones. As you read earlier, we chose three amazing people to be our musicians — not only for their talent, but for the relationships we have with them.
  3. Some good ideas. As you know, I’ve been a devout wedding blog reader for years. I read my first (A Delightful Day’s blog in 2007) when I was helping plan my senior prom and religiously followed new blogs as they emerged in the years to come. Before Pinterest, I bookmarked and Facebook-linked like a madwoman. Needless to say, I’ve had a list of things I NEEDED to do for my future wedding long before we were ever engaged. Now the fun part is getting to actually do them!!!!! :)
  4. MEANING. Significance. Intentionality.
  5. Faith. We have been brought together by our faith and we will stay together by our faith. Without it, we have nothing and we are nothing. We want the strongest foundation in our marriage, and it’s built by faith.

So one Sunday (a little over a week ago) I took every ceremony script I could get my hands on and compared, contrasted, analyzed, scrutinized, tweaked, and composed our very own. I had Drew read through it, make final decisions on some things I was iffy about, and together we tweaked it to our mutual satisfaction. This past Sunday, we met with our layspeaker and went through the whole thing, talking it out, planning out the flow, and cementing the details.

I designed and ordered our ceremony program today, so waiting for that to come in here soon! Keep on the lookout for a post-wedding blog post about the full ceremony script and what all we incorporated!!!!!

11 days!!!!!!!!