Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Goin to the Chapel! And yes, we did get married!!

Whew, so much to say yet again about the ceremony and reception! First let me reveal a little secret. I put a start time of 3:30pm on the invitations, but knew that it really did not start until 4pm. Why? Because my family is late for everything, and also with traffic and San Francisco parking, I knew our guests would need ample time to arrive. I am glad that I did this because as I arrived I saw my Grandma being dropped off and a few guests hustling into the church!

We chose to get married at the 1st Congregational Church of San Francisco. My good friend and former coworker Aimee is the "controller" there and when I was complaining to her about not having a ceremony venue, she suggested that I check her church out. Roger was skeptical because we looked online and the pictures were less than enticing, and in addition the exterior doesn't look like a church at all. But, when we visited we walked in and both said "It's perfect!". The location is primo because it is just half a mile to the hotel, so very few people could get lost or stuck in traffic between the ceremony and reception. Also, just a side note, my mom was very upset that we were not getting married in the Catholic church. Those Catholic's are greedy, I tell ya! I called around and one had a $1600 fee just to use the church, never mind that a) you had to book at least 6 months out to take their pre-marriage classes and b) you had to use ALL of their vendors for floral, music, etc. All of which were, I am sure, additional fees. YIKES!!!! So we were thrilled with the $300 fee to use the church which INCLUDED the officiant and music!!!! (Thanks again Aimee!)

So, we get to the church and I was really weird about not wanting anyone to see me before I made my grand entrance. My dad greeted me and told me how beautiful I looked, and then we all lined up to head on in! I waited about halfway down the stairs because again, I wanted the big reveal to be a surprise!

I had a hard time choosing music for the ceremony. I liked too many songs, and wanted to also be creative and different, but classic at the same time. Weird to over think this one I know. But after keeping Roger up until 2am one night listening to You Tube videos of piano music, I brought up the issue at work, and my 2 lovely coworkers Kelly & Jennifer helped me narrow down my choices. I knew that Pachelbel's Canon in D HAD TO be included somewhere. I just didn't know if I wanted my girls to walk into it, or me myself. If I didn't walk into it myself, then what the heck was I going to walk in to??? For some reason "here comes the bride" just wasn't sitting right with me.

In the end, I chose Edelweiss (from the Sound of Music) for my mom and Roger's sisters to walk in to. I chose it because it is a beautiful song, I love that movie, and my Grandma is German.. I knew she would cry! I chose Canon in D for the bridesmaids, flower girls, etc. And I chose Ave Maria to walk into myself. At first it sounded funeral-ish to me but at work I happened to click on a different You Tube of it that was beautiful. Plus it is special in our family... they play it at special church ceremonies (my grandfather's funeral) and I know it is a special song for my mom. So sold on that one! That left what we walked out to. Kelly, my coworker told me about how her SIL chose a song by Colbie Callait called "i Do". Super cute, but way too pop for Roger. BUT she also sings the song from The Little Mermaid called "Kiss the Girl". It was SO cute, and I had visions of us walking down the aisle and him stopping to kiss me! Ok so maybe that was a little dramatic, but in the end, it was the song I chose for the recessional. At the rehearsal my mom insisted that we use the pianist for it, rather than an Ipod. Sorry Colbie Callait!

And so, the ceremony started. The following pics are from our guests' iphones (thanks folks!) so enjoy!

Apparently Kate was telling Aidan that she better shape up and get walking! SO CUTE!

And here is Benjamin, our ringbearer, who refused to hold the pillow. To be honest I was shocked to even see him in a tuxedo because I know that when we went to try on the men's tuxes he wanted NOTHING to do with them...we couldn't even get him to try on the jacket, let alone put on a bow tie!!! We had contemplated having him pulled up the aisle in a wagon (with the license plate RINGBRR.. so cute!) but the consensus was to have Luke walk him up the aisle. Thankfully they made it to their seats but Benjamin had the same sour expression he always does when he is NOT happy about something!!! lol I love my son... most expressive face in the world!

And so the real deal began. It was strange seeing all of the faces looking at me. But I was so glad that everyone was there cheering us on! I remember Ruth, the officiant saying a somewhat LONG homily (sorry, but it was!), but the most important thing that I remember was her speaking about how we have worked hard at our relationship, and we know not to go into this marriage with rose colored glasses. I second that 10x over!

Somewhere during her long speech, 2 things happened. The first was Benjamin having a hissy fit, saying "MAMA! MAMA!" and coming up to us while tugging on his jacket. Thankfully it was just the jacket that seemed to be the issue so we paused, helped him take off the coat, and then continued on. The second thing was that I remember looking at the altar and thinking "WHY THE HELL ARE THE CANDLES NOT LIT?!!!!!!" We had talked about that during the rehearsal and I was not pleased! But I got over it quickly!

We had Henry, my little brother, read a verse from Chapter 4 of Ecclesiastes about how 2 are better than 1, and how with 2 you can conquer anything. Again, I wanted the bible reading to be different than the simple seasons of love one, and I found the Ecclesiastes one online and loved it. Then we had the affirmation of the community, and then my bridesmaid Becky read a poem that I wrote for Roger.

I had done a lot of thinking in the weeks preceding our wedding. I had likened our relationship to a marathon... you have to pace yourself to succeed! So I knew that I wanted to write a poem for Roger. I also knew that I probably would cry like a baby if I tried to read it in public so I decided that Becky would be a good option for who should read it. She did NOT disappoint! I swear her inflection and voice was absolutely PERFECT. I cried (of course) and so did Roger. It was beautiful!

The last reading was called the Marriage Blessing, and my aunt Bev read it for us. She has been a wonderful friend and confidant to the both of us so I thought it fitting that she speak of advice and blessings for our marriage.

Here we are saying our vows! One unique thing that I wanted included was a statement about my engagement ring. It basically said that while a wedding ring is a never ending symbol of love, and engagement ring is a symbol of promise. So after Roger placed my wedding ring on my finger, he was told to place the engagement ring on top of it to take that promise and intent to protect the covenant that we had just made. It was beautiful.

In the end, it was a beautiful, personal, intimate ceremony. Roger and I looked right into each other's eyes and didn't flinch when promising to love each other as man and wife forever. I will admit, forever is a somewhat scary word, but I think we handled it well! Then it was time to kiss and become Mr & Mrs. Barr! According to my coworker Dave he thought it was hilarious when the pastor said "you may now kiss the bride" because apparently I just grabbed Roger's face and planted one on him! Sorry, I was excited!!! lol. Plus we had practiced "the dip" per his idea and during the ceremony I had to somehow communicate to him that there would be no dippage at the end of the ceremony. He got it, but he is super conservative, especially in front of people, so I had to take matters into my own hands!

And as you can see in this picture, when Kiss the Girl started strumming, and we walked out as man and wife, I was THRILLED!

Now after the ceremony, it worked out that we sort of formed a "receiving line" in the lobby area. I was glad for this because I had read about receiving lines and didn't think the sidewalk on Polk St. made a good location to greet our guests and say thanks for coming. My only complaint was that it was hot as heck in the upstairs area so everyone was complaining about the heat! Oh well.

After the majority of the guests headed out, we decided to take some formal, family pics in the church. Lord help me, this was probably the low point of my day. The kids were NOT cooperating. Aidan was having a fit because her butterfly fell out of her hair and she couldn't find it so she wanted my bouquet (my blue butterfly was my "something blue") and Benjamin wanted ZERO to do with taking pictures... in fact he wanted to be held by us. It was a NIGHTMARE. Thankfully we were able to wrap it up relatively quickly, but my coworker Dave's wife Tracie sent me this picture the day after the wedding.....

Gee do I look pissed off or anything???!!! lol Cause I was! I just wanted to finish and get the heck outta there!

In the end because the bridal party had squished in a taxi to get there (which only cost $5 might I add!) we split up and Roger and I ended up riding to the hotel with my parents and brothers. Free transport beats a limo, any day! Even our wedding day :P

I was so excited to see what had become of our cocktail room and terrace and the banquet space.... and I wanted to see if people were enjoying the appetizers. I was also excited to get the hell out of my shoes! With dress #4 I was able to wear my original wedding shoes which were very pretty but VERY tall! My feet were KILLING. Thankfully I had randomly selected to bring platform flip flops on Friday, and because I didn't plan to take off my shoes during the reception, these worked out perfectly!

And so, with the conclusion of my ceremony post, I leave you with the poem I wrote to Roger for our wedding day:

The Marathon

by Alexis Barr :)

Our love is like a marathon
Excitement on the starting line
Anticipation of a dream come true

And with each step a reality
As we take in our surroundings
Plan our course ahead

We soon realize that the journey
Will put our resolve to the test
And so we push on

As we stretch our legs
We learn a rhythm
And quickly set a pace

To learn our strengths and weaknesses
To test our endurance
To challenge us to continue

For when the road becomes steep and rocky
And our legs become tired
Our souls become weary

We must remember why it was
We embarked on our journey
Remember the goal we set out to achieve
And it will renew our spirit

Love is not always easy
But it endures, and it challenges us
Because our journey
will never be as expected

No matter what obstacles we face
Through rain and sunshine
Through pains and blisters
Through tears of sorrow and joy

Our love will always
look to the finish line
And we will always
be reminded of the road
that got us here.

I have always loved you
from the excitement of the beginning
through the blind curves
and the amazing vistas.

I will love you forever

As I look forward at the road ahead
And backwards at the path behind
I thank you

For all of the lessons
The words of encouragement
The problem solving
And the patience to stand by me

But most importantly
I thank you for not giving up
And for loving me and our children

Because in our marathon
Your determination
Has shown me
That our love will endure
the test of time.

As we stand here today
At perhaps the most Significant
mile marker on our course

I realize that
My love for you
continues to grow
And I look forward
To facing what comes
beside you.

With your love and support
I can accomplish anything
WE can accomplish anything

I will love you forever
Because my love for you
Has no finish line.

1 comment:

  1. THAT was the most beautiful gorgeous poem, and I remember feeling that emotion during the ceremony.

    As your friend and official wedding photographer it has been pure joy getting to know you and living all the prep and stories with you. God knows how powerful this experience is for any wedding pro, to be able to see the day through, and it was LOVELY!

    I am ever so proud of your accomplishments, one, your long sleeve, two, your marathon with Roger and the kids, and three, the way you were able to bundle it all up and produce such a high end wedding on a seriously desirable budget!

    Congratulations to you and yours and all I can say is the marathon theory fits like a glove for any recipe to LOVE. Can't wait for you both to be off into paradise, you could totally use that honeymoon!


    PSS the Candle thing bugged me all through the ceremony but I could not interrupt! LOL!