01 February, 2009

Down the Yellow Brick Road Part X: Readings, Vows, and Tasty Treats.

So here I was, face to face with the man who was about to become my husband. All the weepiness, stress, and freaking out were finally over. The dress-shopping, table-runner-sewing, crystal-threading, menu-designing, fabric-shopping, guest-list-making bundle of nerves that was me for the past ten months was finally here, in the chapel, surrounded by family and friends, and facing my One True Love. This is the face that sums up all of that:

And this is another one. Less googly-eyed, but still smiling from ear to ear:

I'm amazed my cheeks didn't ache with all that smiling:

A close-up of my flowers. At some point here I realised I should be holding them a bit lower than I had been. Also they covered my tummy so I didn't have to suck it in all the time. Nice job, bouquet!

A shot of Mr Ruby Slippers:Oooh, look, the googly-eyes are back!:

Our officiant was quite a funny guy, and lots of people commented on what fun he was, but I only found out later that he really screwed up. He had a basic "wedding ceremony" plan that he uses for all of his weddings, but Mr Ruby Slippers and I had written our own vows, added in a chocolate & wine ceremony, and removed the unity candle bit. We met with him around ten days before the day to discuss this. We gave him a copy of the new, altered ceremony, and he also asked that we email him another copy with the new bits in red, so he could see exactly what had changed where. Which we did. But come the day of the wedding, he had apparently never heard of our new ceremony. Despite the fact that we had discussed it less than two weeks before, and emailed him the new version as he requested, he had arrived with his generic original version, feigning ignorance of the whole new ceremony thing. Apparently Mr RS nearly had a heart attack. Luckily FIL Ruby Slippers had the print-out from our family rehearsal three days before, and he gave that to stupid officiant guy to use, thus saving the day. Actually, I also had a copy in my bag in the bridal suite, so I too would have saved the day if someone had asked me. I don't think they wanted to, though. I would have FREAKED OUT. So, yeah, not really happy with that officiant. On the upside, I had no idea of this until later, because he managed to bluff his way through it just fine. Stupid idiot. If anyone is getting married in Johannesburg, let me know so I can be sure to UN-recommend him. Oh, and apparently he told the photographers that they couldn't step in front of him, or us, during the service. Which meant that, because of the way we'd placed our mothers to do the readings (right at the sides of the "altar area", there were no useable shots of them doing the readings. Greaaat. Unfortunately no one had time to check this with us. If they had told me I would have told that asshole to f*** right off. Was I paying thousands of Rands to not get half the photos I wanted? And who is he to tell the photographers where to stand? It's not a consecrated church, it's not his church, and he was hired by us to perform a ceremony. The End. It was nothing to do with him. I'm getting angry all over again just thinking about it. Grrr. Breathe, Ruby Slippers, breathe.

So these are the readings we used. Mom Ruby Slippers read this one:

Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea

When you love someone, you do not love them all the time in exactly the same way, from moment to moment. It is an impossibility, it is even a lie to pretend to. And yet this is exactly what most of us demand. We have so little faith in the ebb and flow of life, of love, of relationships. We leap at the flow of the tide and resist in terror its ebb. We are afraid it will never return. We insist on permanency, on duration, on continuity; when the only continuity possible in life as in love, is in growth, in fluidity, in freedom. In the sense that the dancers are free, barely touching as they pass, but partners in the same pattern. The only real security is not in owning or possessing, not in demanding or expecting, not in hoping, even. Security in a relationship lies neither in looking back to what it was in nostalgia, nor forward to what it might be in dread or anticipation, but living in the present relationship and accepting as it is now. For relationships, too, must be like islands, one must accept them for what they are here and now, within their limits - islands, surrounded and interrupted by the sea, and continually visited and abandoned by the tides. One must accept the security of the winged life, of the ebb and flow of intermittency.And MIL Ruby Slippers read this:

Shakespeare - SONNET 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds

Admit impediments. Love is not love

Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove:

O no! it is an ever-fixed mark

That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wandering bark,

Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.

Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks

Within his bending sickle's compass come:

Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,

But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

If this be error and upon me proved,

I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

And then it was time for the vows! Did I mention I did not stop smiling through the entire service? But look at BFF Ruby Slippers and Sister Ruby Slippers tearing up behind me:

Apparently Mr RS and his Best Men were all convinced I would cry through the whole thing. Well, I don't know how I did it, but I showed them! It's weird, because I was also sure I would cry. I'd have placed bets on myself! Good thing I didn't. I guess sometimes the greatest happiness overwhelms even one's natural reactions.

Here are our vows:

I, Mr/Miss Ruby Slippers, take you, Miss/Mr Ruby Slippers,

To be no other than yourself;

Loving what I know of you, trusting what I do not yet know.

I promise to love you, to honour you, and to see you as the extraordinary person that you are, not only when you are acting with love, but also when you are not. Not only when you remember clearly who you are, but also when you forget. I acknowledge that I am whole and complete as I am, that all the love, the wisdom, and the strength that I need reside within me, and that I am marrying you not in the hope of getting these things, but with the promise of giving these gifts to you.

I love you for who you are, for who you might become, and for who I am when I am with you. I promise to celebrate with you in happiness and comfort you in sorrow, through all our years. As I have given you my hand to hold, so I give you my heart to keep. My heart is, and always will be, yours.

These were pretty much 95% stolen from the huge vow repository at indiebride.com. I went through every post and copied all the ideas I liked into a massive Word document. Then I went through them again and took out the very best ones. I gave those to Mr Ruby Slippers, and he deleted the ones he didn't like. Then we set about moulding what we had left into sentences that made sense together. It actually didn't take us that long, in the end. I think the only thing we added ourselves was the final line: "My heart is, and always will be, yours", which Mr RS used when he proposed to me, and which is from my favourite getting-together scene of all time, Edward and Elinor in Sense & Sensibility. I get goosebumps just thinking about how much I love that moment. And now it gives me double goosebumps because it reminds me of my wedding!

The Chocolate & Wine Ceremony! Again stolen, this time from Mrs Lovebug on Weddingbee. I just couldn't come up with anything this good on my own. We had FIL Ruby Slippers do this bit for us, so that the family were all involved:

That wine was vile (I don't drink wine because I dislike it so much!):

Mr Ruby Slippers enjoyed his a lot more than I did:

This is the text we used:

There will come in your life days of great sweetness, and days of bitter sorrow. There will be celebrations, and there will be tears. There will be triumphs, and there will be tragedies. Life holds indescribable happiness in store for you both - and unavoidable pain, as well. And so to symbolize your acceptance of this reality, today you will share the bitter and the sweet, just as you will share them in the years to come.

Both of you, take and drink this bitter red wine.

Taste in it the dark days which will rock your marriage and test its strength. It represents disappointment, illness, grief. Know that these hard times will come, and with them, the opportunity to deepen your bond as husband and wife.

Now, take and eat this sweet chocolate.

Taste in it the sweetness and light that will fill your marriage with joy. Savour the taste of this chocolate, just as you will savour every happiness that your beloved brings you. It represents shared laughter, your child’s first steps, your golden anniversary. Delight in it, as you will delight in your husband, your wife.

I have no idea why, but there are no photos of us eating the chocolate. Oh well! We ate it, it was good. :-)

Next time I'll do the rings, the blessing of the hands, and *smacks lips* the Kiss....


Part I: The Night Before
Part II: Salon, Supermarket & Judy Garland
Part III: Setting Up

Part IV: Prettifying
Part V: All Bridalled Up
Part VI: For the Boys
Part VII: Going to the Chapel and We're...
Part VIII: Meanwhile, Back at the Chapel...

Part IX: Down the Aisle


  1. very nice! I absolutely love your readings! :)

  2. Oh I do love your vows. I"ll have to check that site out.

    I like the idea of the wine & chocolate ceremony. We don't want a unity candle either. Hmmmm.

    I love that you look so darn happy!

  3. Thanks guys. I was thrilled that Mr RS liked the Choc & Wine thing as much as I did, because I really felt the Unity Candle was a bit...old.

    And I also love how happy I look! Sometimes I'm not happy with how I look in pictures (esp if it doesn't match my emotions), but what you see on my face is 100% what I was feeling!

  4. I love the idea of the chocolate and wine ceremony...I've never heard that before.
    Your smiles and googly eyes are so sweet! You look so happy!

  5. Oh man, I'm so glad you didn't hear about the useless officiant until after the fact. What a useless eejit.

    I love how happy you look. Makes me smile :)

  6. congrats on your wedding! you made a gorgeous bride & i love your bouquet!

  7. Thanks Heather! The ironic thing is that while the bouquet IS pretty, it's not at all what I wanted! Thanks for visiting :-)

  8. What a stunning wedding! I just went thru 10 of the posts... You look radiant. Your dress, veil, and tiara are some of the prettiest I have ever seen. Beautiful ceremony and decor.

    My favorite pics are of the girls putting the veil over you after putting on your dress.

    Oh.. and I love the ruby slippers! ;P

  9. Thank you so much! Yes, those veil shots are some of my faves, too :-)

  10. We had sonnet 116 on our wedding invitations =0) I insisted on it, and eventually my husband(to be at that point) saw the magic that is that poem.


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