The biggest reason we chose to get married in North Carolina was so that we could get married at Sacred Heart Cathedral in downtown Raleigh with our favorite priest, Father Edward, as our officiant, and it’s a decision we didn’t regret for a second. Our number one goal for our ceremony was to express to our guests what it means to be married in the Catholic Church and how deeply we value the sacrament of marriage. Even though we’re so imperfect, we believe that God’s plan is perfect, His timing is perfect, and His word is perfect. As long as we try every single day to follow Him as the way, the truth, and the light, we truly believe that our marriage cannot fail. We were so touched that the number one thing our guests commented on at our wedding wasn’t my dress or the food or the flowers…it was the reverence of our ceremony. We were (and are) so thankful that the Holy Spirit was present there–we just tried to do our best to stand back and let Him be glorified for bringing us to this sacred day!
We chose to do a full Catholic Mass ceremony, which meant that the structure was set for us, and we wouldn’t have had it any other way. We prayed a lot over the songs and readings we chose to be part of our Mass (more on that below!), and kept the decor super simple, using just two dogwood altar arrangements. I have no clue where Kelly found those incredible dogwoods a few weeks after they stopped blooming, but it was even more magical than I could have imagined. I teared up when I spotted them from the top of the aisle!
The readings we chose were Tobit 8:4b-8 (first reading from the Old Testament), Psalm 103 (responsorial Psalm), Hebrews 13:1-4a and 5-6b (second reading from the New Testament), 1 John 4:12 (Gospel Acclamation), and Mark 10:6-9 (Gospel). After an amazing homily by Father Edward, we exchanged traditional vows that we spoke from memory. I don’t know if there has ever been a more surreal moment in my life than saying those words out loud for real! After the Rite of Marriage, we moved into the Liturgy of the Eucharist–the most perfect way we could imagine to start our marriage. Our Communion hymn, “What Wondrous Love is This,” is one of my favorites, and I remember kneeling in the front of the church after Communion, hearing our friend Lenore singing that song, and feeling chills all over my body at the beauty of that moment.
After our first kiss as husband and wife (a little too long of a kiss for a church, we realized in our ceremony film–whoops ;)), we walked back up the aisle to the Wedding March. I hadn’t even considered it at first, but we knew we had to use it when I burst into tears during our meeting with the music director when he played it for us! Hearing that song on the organ mixing with the sound of the church bells outside and the sweet applause from our family and friends was pure magic. I am tearing up just thinking about how ridiculously happy I was in that moment to finally be Dave’s wife!!
One of my biggest, random wedding “must haves” was a gorgeous, classic car. I have a major weakness for wedding photos with them, and even though I knew it was a splurge, it was something that I thought would create an extra special experience for both me and Dave on that day. SO worth it. Dave tracked down the most beautiful car for our ride from the ceremony to the reception, and literally some of my most vivid memories from the wedding are from being in that car with Dave, completely surrounded by the tulle of my dress, being able to feel the breeze through the windows, with the smell of the peonies from my bouquet filling the car. Our ride from the ceremony to the reception was about 40 minutes, and getting to spend them alone with my new husband in that car was pure bliss!
I had to include this last picture because it makes me giggle–the reason we’re laughing so hard is because one of those biking bar things cycled past us and everyone on it started cheering! Of all things :)
Thank you to my dear friend Ryan Ray for capturing our ceremony so beautifully!