TRAVEL THERE: THE FINISHING TOUCHES
Have you ever watched a TV show called Four Weddings? It’s a game show where four brides are pitted against one another to win a fabulous honeymoon. If you’ve never watched it, don’t bother. It’s pretty snarky. I know, because we did watch it for a while. Most of what I got out of it was the things I absolutely didn’t want to have in my vow renewal ceremony on the Celebrity Edge.
There are many things I didn’t want in my ceremony. I didn’t want any of those rituals like unity candles, sand ceremonies, jumping over the broom or crushing the wine glass. I love traditions, but I think it is a little weird to take things out of their context and plop them in willy nilly. What I did want was a ceremony that focused on our commitment to God in our marriage and our relationship with our friends.
Both of those purposes were served by having our friends participate in the ceremony. Together, Bill and I chose meaningful Bible verses for our friends to read on the big day: my favorite verse from Psalms, his favorite from Ecclesiastes and the traditional love chapter from 1 Corinthians. There were many other verses we love, so it would have been easy to find another one, but I had something special up my sleeve for my best friend.
When I met my bestie, she was going to SMU for a degree in opera. What a voice! One of my great joys in life is going to church with her and hearing her sing all the wonderful old hymns. I had no intention of letting it go to waste, but I did want what she sang to be something special and unique. I wanted to somehow pay homage to her beautiful voice, our friendship and the 25 years of marriage Bill and I have have shared.
At our wedding reception, the song for the First Dance was Celiene Dion’s “When I Fall in Love.” It was a big hit at the time and was probably the First Dance at most of the wedding receptions that year. I thought revisiting the song would be a nice touch for the vow renewal, but the lyrics just didn’t fit. Yes, we fell in love all those years ago, but the song for our ceremony should celebrate the fact that we’ve traveled beyond falling in love. Together we’d endured the storms of life and nurtured a love that truly was forever.
First, I made sure that Deb would, in fact, be willing to sing and that “When I Fall in Love” was a song she would tackle. Since she’s classically trained, her voice is not geared for some pop music. Dear friend that she is, she agreed to take on the task, but there were still those lyrics. Well, I’m not a writer and a published poet for nothing. I wrote my own lyrics, but I’m no lyricist, so I wasn’t sure whether they would fit or not. Bless Deb’s heart, she made it work.
The Final Touch
Whether it is a TV show or a live wedding, I hate the part where a groom digs through his pockets for a wrinkled piece of paper or the bride whips notecards out of her dellecotage.I wanted something more substantial, more of a keepsake. What’s more, I didn’t just want it for the vows. I wanted it for my bestie, so she’d have the words I’d written in front of her. I wanted it for the Scripture the other attendants would be reading.
A lady at my church is a calligraphy artist, Lettering by Lydia, and she agreed to pen the pages for me. When we had that conversation, Deb had not yet confirmed the lyrics would work and Bill and I were still debating the actual words of our vows. So, along with the deadline Celebrity Cruises had tick, tick, ticking away, now I had Lydia desperately wanting me to give her the words so she could get her work done. No pressure, right?
When Lydia agreed to pen the lyrics, verses and vows we talked about various types of papers, but In the end I chose 12X12 scrapbooking pages. The content was penned onto a white lacy page. Then I adhered the lacy page to dark blue papers to match the dresses of our attendants. Finally, I decorated the pages with small paper flowers, pearl-ized ornaments and rhinestones. They were pretty, if I do say so myself!
Just a few more plans and I can start packing!