Thursday, August 20, 2009

Our Wedding :: The Vows

We knew early on that we would be writing our own vows. I waited till 2 weeks before the wedding to write mine, he waited till 2 days before.

I was admittedly intimidated about writing my vows. I wanted them to be perfect. One day I wrote a page and a half full of notes. Another day I wrote a rough draft. Then, late another night around 2 AM, while Philip was sleeping in the bed next to me, I had a sudden jolt of inspiration. I scrapped my 1st draft and wrote my entire vows in one sitting. Only one edit was made before the wedding.

During the ceremony, Philip went first.

Kiana, my soul mate, my best friend, my everything...I know our path has been one of many winding turns, but your unrelenting love, passion, caring and support has led me through the most difficult times one could ever face. You were, have been, and will be forever the guiding light in my life that points my way back through.

From this day forward, I promise to you every ounce of love, life, support, respect, inspiration and passion that one is capable of giving another - in this life and the next, from my heart's final beat, till my very last breath.

I'll love you forever, through sickness and health, good times and bad, fame and fortune, happy and sad. I give myself to you and promise to stand by your side for the rest of our lives if you'll only let me.

"...fame and fortune..."


If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.

You have this indescribable way about you that warms my heart and makes me melt for you.

Your smile is irresistible and always makes me smile back at you.
Your passion and drive about everything you do inspires me.
Your way of making me forget we were arguing comforts me.
Your perfect overuse of analogies always entertains me.
And your addiction to making up acronyms makes my laugh.

But it's the way you look at me in those quiet moments when I know nothing else is on your mind and you're thinking "I love her" that makes me fall even more in love with you.

You are everything to me:
My best friend and confidant
My sounding board and inspiration
My safeguard and ally
My passion and joy
My greatest challenge
You are my hero and I am your biggest fan.

I love you today. And I will everyday.

I promise to always love and respect you
Trust in your decisions and support your ideas
I promise to encourage and believe in your capabilities
Cherish and appreciate who you are and never take you for granted
I promise to try to be patient and compromise when we argue
Listen and offer shelter from the world when you've had a bad day
I promise to be loyal and faithful to you and always stand by you
Share in your dreams and goals and give you my fullest devotion

How wonderful life is, now you're in the world.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Our Wedding :: The Ceremony Part I

With everyone intently watching, the ceremony began.

As the officiant spoke, we held hands. I knew what he was saying, but I didn't quite hear him. I was fixated on Philip. The words were beautiful, though, and everyone at the wedding loved the meaningful readings that represented what we, as a couple, felt about love and marriage.

~Reading 1~

A good marriage must be created.

In the marriage, the little things are the big things.

It is never being too old to hold hands.

It is remembering to say "I love you" at least once each day,

It is never going to sleep angry.

It is having a mutual sense of values and objectives.

It is standing together and facing the world.

It is forming a circle of love that gathers in the whole family.

It is speaking words of appreciation and demonstrating gratitude in thoughtful ways.

It is having the capacity to forgive and forget.

It is giving each other an atmosphere in which each person can grow.

It is a common search for the good and the beautiful.

It is not only marrying the right person

It is being the right partner.

~Reading 2~

Seek love and never take it for granted. Love is believing, sharing, caring and dreaming together. It is honesty, friendship, companionship, and selflessness. Love is the desire and commitment to be intimate physically, psychologically, and emotionally. It is devotion, celebration, understanding, forgiveness and sacrifice. Love is strong, yet it can be fragile. Love is gentleness, kindness, and patience. It is trusting, protecting, inspiring, and supporting.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Our Wedding :: Walking Down the Aisle

One by one, the girls stepped through the door and left the corridor to join the guys they were paired with.

My dad came to stand by my side as we inched our way closer to the door.

Suddenly, the music playing became clear to my ears. My dad turned to me with a smile and said, "Hey! I like the music choice!" I had kept all our music selections a secret for nice surprises.

An instrumental, classic version of "When You Wish Upon a Star" played as the bridal party walked towards the stage. My dad worked for Disney for 9 years, all through my childhood. It's the entire reason we moved from the west coast to Florida. Disney has an extra special place in my heart because of all I got to experience with the company, movies and theme parks.

Suddenly, the smooth, classical sounds of Disney and Pinocchio faded and the familiar sound of a ukelele began. I took a deep breath, linked my arm with my dad's and took my first step to American Idol's Jason Castro's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow".

I walked down the aisle and saw Philip beaming calmly at me. I looked around at our guests for the first few seconds, but then only kept my eyes on the prize.

And because we hadn't seen or talked to each other all day and because of all the emotion built
up inside, this is what happened to Philip as I drew nearer and nearer to him...

Fighting back the tears :)

The song faded as the officiant asked, "Who gives this woman?" and my dad replied, "Her mother and I." Philip and my dad shook hands as I gave my bouquet to my Maid of Honor. We were ready for the ceremony to begin and to get married!

Click the song titles to hear the exact versions we used on YouTube

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Our Wedding :: Pre-Ceremony & 100th Post

On the limo ride back to the hotel after taking pictures at Piedmont Park, the mood was happy and I could tell my bridesmaids were trying to make every light and relaxing. Thus, came our rendition of 'Chapel of Love'. We could only remember the beginning: Going to the chapel and we're gonna get married; "repeat"; Gee I really love you and we're gonna get married; Going to the chapel of love".

"What other wedding songs are there?"

Rendition of 'Get Me to the Church on Time' from 'My Fair Lady' ensues from my parents and me...and then we were out of wedding songs. Can anyone else think of any?

The groomsmen and Philip's sister's escort down the aisle.

When we arrived at the hotel, we went to the room quickly for a bathroom break and also so the florist could fix our bouquets. (She didn't finish the ribbon on any of them - wasn't happy about that, moving on...)

We were then escorted by my hotel coordinator through a service elevator to the back of the room where the ceremony was being held. We then walked down a corridor till we hit the door that we'd be walking out of.

Then we waited.

My feet were actually already hurting (so much for those foot pads I bought!) I knelt down on the floor to give myself a break since I knew I had a long night ahead. Kneeling down made me feel more relaxed for the moment as well.

Suddenly, my wedding planner came through the door and said, "He's asking for you," nodding in my general direction.

Philip's sister who was kneeling next to me said, "Me?" puzzled. My planner confirmed it was her who he was asking for (yes, I felt the teeniest jolt of panic! lol who wouldn't?!)

Then we waited some more.

His sister came back and took her place next to me again. With emotion, "All I have to I love my brother. That's all I have to say."

I lost it.

All day I had been relaxed. Ready. And then, knowing the background of the entire situation - that both of his parents were gone, his dad having just passed away 3 weeks ago, her being the only 'close' family left and the emotion he must've been feeling at the moment...I lost it.

I didn't pry and ask what he said to her or why he needed her. She made a general statement that he just needed to know everything was okay and needed to hear it from her. I was content with that and I know it was their moment to have.

The uncontrollable emotion that surged through me just by hearing her say those simplistic words completely worried me. I was about to walk down the aisle and all I felt like doing was totally letting go, not caring about my makeup, lying down and crying like a baby. The emotion of the day, the past few weeks, the months of planning and engagement finally all came rushing to me in that instant.

My mom is truly a perfectionist because, while I thought I was going to be strong like iron and not shed any tears (I really was questioning whether I would - what an idiot) she knew to tell both my brother and my dad to stuff a few tissues in their jacket pockets. Luckily, some jokes incurred, I swallowed the frog in my throat and that insatiable urge to let it all go was overcome by "Pull it together and look beautiful so you can relish in the moment of walking down the aisle towards the love of your life!" And so I did...

P.S. 100th post! Woo! Congrats to my bloggity blog :)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Our Wedding :: The Invitations

Remember my complete and utter frustration with my do-it-yourself invitations from Target? Well, my mom came to the rescue while she was in town for my Bridal Shower and we got them all taken care of. Don't moms always come to the rescue? :) They turned out really great for invitations on a budget!

I love the edgy peonies and the way I spelled out RSVP on the top of the response cards for a little twist.