It’s amazing we started out with 200-and-something. I am now ferverently convinced 9 months is too long of an engagement :) Honestly ladies, is it really worth it to have a multiple year engagement to get married at your "perfect place" or in the "best season." Many people were generous with their comments that our 9-month engagement was too short, but Brandon and I are both convinced it’s been too long!
But with 56 days to go there is still a lot of stuff to get done!
Here are some of the fun things that have been accomplished -
Flower girl dresses: Declared totally winners by these two.
Linens: Grey Pintuk. These linens are becoming one of my favorite things about the reception decor.
Mother of the bride dress: Check! One that she is very happy with.
Ceremony decisions: While it took awhile longer to decide on the wording of our vows, declaration of covenant, etc. the rest was a breeze. Here are some of the things I’m most excited.
1. The music - I am walking into Te Deum by Charpentier (organ, trumpet, and timpani), my brother is playing an arrangement of Come Thou Fount for congregational worship, and some dear friends are singing one of my favorite songs, Love Never Fails, by Brandon Heath at another part during the ceremony.
2. The pastor marrying us. We have had several blessed weeks of meeting with our pastor and his wife - an incredibly godly couple who has been such an inspiration of pursuing a Christ-centered marriage. Sadly (but exciting for them), they let us know last week that they have been called to another church on the other side of the state. Justin and Melissa came into my life when I was an incredibly vulnerable and insecure 13-year-old. Melissa met regularly throughout my high school years and she would calm my worries about how I was convinced I would neverget married. After 12 years with our church one of the last things Justin will do is marry Brandon and me!
3. The Scripture. We both wanted scripture verses that not only spoke about the context of marriage in the church, but also about our faith as a whole. In the end, we settled on:
- 1 John 4:7-16, 19: "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them...We love because he first loved us."
- Genesis 2:18-24: "The LORD God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.' Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the wile animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleep, he took one of the man's ribs and then closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said 'This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man.' That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh."
Some ceremony questions we are still pondering:
1. Do we have the bridesmaids and groomsmen walk down the aisle together, or have the guys walk in and go straight up front with Brandon and the pastor at the beginning? (I like the guys up front already, Brandon is unsure)
2. Do we take communion? We talked from the beginning about wanting to take communion as our first act together as husband and wife, essentially substituting lighting a unity candle with the two of us partaking in communion. But there is some theological questions - since taking communion is something you are supposed to do in fellowship with other believers, rather than just the two of us taking while the rest of the congregation watches. On the other hand, we have several people attending the wedding who are either non-believers or practice a different religion, and so taking community as a body of believers isn’t really an option without likely making many of our guests feel uncomfortable.