We decided that we wanted to have a very traditional Catholic Church ceremony for our wedding. It actually wasn’t even really a question between the two of us, we both sort of knew this was how we would get married.
I love the ceremony part of weddings because not only does it make it official, but it is also should be a representation of the two individuals that are marrying one another.
Picking a church wasn’t exactly an easy thing to do. Both of us resided in NJ at the time, so we weren’t particularly sure which church to ask in CT. We first, asked, the church at the school where Dan attended elementary school, however we were blown away by the cost associated with getting married there. We continued to look around a little bit, it sounds a little weird to say that we did our church shopping, but we did and finally decided on St. Stephen. St. Stephen was also a little easier for us to plan around because Dan’s brother was married there the previous year. Our sister-in-law helped us to count pews for flowers on the weekends and gave us the run down of what to expect. It made things a lot easier while planning from NJ. We were welcomed with open arms at St. Stephen, which was so awesome and something I will never forget. We also decided to have Dan’s Youth Group Leader from elementary school, Father Skip, conduct our ceremony. We got this idea from Dan’s brother and wife, who also had Father Skip lead there ceremony.
We had such a nice time meeting with Father Skip before getting married. Dan and I were really nervous in the days leading up to our meeting because we had no idea what he was going to ask us! It was honestly just a conversation that we had with him around our marital values and some things that important to think about prior to becoming husband and wife.
The one thing that Father Skip told us was that we should create the ceremony ourselves. I remember this sort of stressing me out because I wasn’t really sure where to start when it came to creating a ceremony. He gave us the number of readings to choose and then we had to meet with the music director at the church to pick the music. Once again I had no clue what music to utilize, other than the traditional wedding marches. The music director was so incredibly sweet and played us each option, prior to our big day. It was actually really nice to be able to really pick and choose what went into our ceremony. I thought that weddings in churches were pretty cookie cutter, but the truth is, there was quite a lot of decisions to be made.
I loved that we had so much say in our ceremony. It made me personally feel so much more connected to our ceremony. I was listening and waiting for the next song or reading that we picked throughout the ceremony, on our wedding day. We were honored to have my Aunt Karen, Dan’s Aunt Joanne, and one of my best friend’s Jen read at our wedding. One of my favorite parts of our wedding was when my cousin, Sarah, sang “Amazing Grace.” Her singing moved so many people to tears, as I feel like “Amazing Grace” is one of those songs that so many people are connected to for all sorts of reasons. I personally wanted to use the song in memory of my Grandpa, who passed a few months prior to our wedding. Sarah sang it at his funeral, as well, so it made me feel like he was with us on our big day.
It is funny because people sometimes say they feel like the ceremony is the most boring part of a wedding. I know I am biased, but I really enjoyed our ceremony and didn’t find it the least bit boring! If you are getting married soon or sometime in the near future, I highly suggest taking the time to make your ceremony yours. It seems obvious, but I think some people get so lost in planning the reception that they breeze through planning their ceremony. It is such an important part of your big day! The best piece of advice that I received from Lisa, one of the nurses that works in one of my favorite offices, was to pay attention during the ceremony and be connected to Dan. She said that we will face all sorts of challenges in life, however whenever things get tough think back to the ceremony and how that moment felt, specifically how I was connected to Dan in that moment. She said it will make tough times pass quicker and cheer me up immediately. Every couple has their share of ups and downs and this little piece of advice is one that I will carry with me forever!
Thanks for reading and have a fun day 🙂
Here is my picture of the day…