the day of the wedding: the ceremony

{You can find the first part of the wedding day here.}

The song "Falling Slowly" as covered by the Vitamin String Quartet started to play. One by one, my bridesmaids starting to walk down the "aisle" (which was really a long, long twisty sidewalk.) My maid-of-honor, Kathy, was the last to go. Right before she took a step, I called her name and waved goodbye. She turned around and blew me a kiss. I blew her one back. And then I lost it.

Side note: This was one of my favorite moments of my wedding day. I am actually crying while I write this. See, for awhile, we didn't know if Kathy was going to make it to Jamaica. Her mother was diagnosed with cancer in August and was terminal. I told Kathy, over and over again, that I understood if she couldn't make it since she was the main caregiver for her mom and they didn't know how much time she had. But her mom insisted that she go. And quite honestly, looking back, I don't know how I could have done it without her. Her mom left us in mid-November and every time I think back to that quick moment of blowing kisses, I thank her mom for insisting that Kathy go. She really gave me the best wedding gift I could have asked for.

My dad, in true fashion, started to joke around so I could get myself composed. We walked down the aisle to "Don't Stop Believin" covered by the Vitamin String Quartet. My dad talked to me while we walked down the aisle. And I giggled the whole way down.

I actually didn't meet the minister until the actually ceremony. Like literally, during the ceremony. I didn't even know we were supposed to have a minister - I thought he would be a justice of the piece. Unless they are one in the same in Jamaica. But he was really great! He spoke so well (in a lovely and soothing Jamaican accent). And his words of wisdom were really great.
The FH and I each had one aunt that was able to make it to Jamaica. We each had them to a reading. First, the FH's aunt Pam read an excerpt from "The Art of Marriage" by Wilferd A. Peterson.
Now, at the rehearsal the night before, we had rehearsal that my aunt would go right afterwards. But the minister kept going on with the ceremony after Aunt Pam. I kept nudging him and trying to tell him, as quietly as possible, that my aunt still had a reading. Finally, he had to stop me and tell me that he knew. Oops! Apparently, he had told Rich and not me. Someone should have warned the control freak! Anyways, my aunt finally did her reading, which was a lighthearted poem called "I'll Be There for You" by Louise Cuddon.
Then we exchanged vows. The FH went first. His hands were shaking and he looked nervous. I found this so incredibly endearing because, if you know my husband, he is a huge joker and is never really nervous. Then I went and seriously giggled the entire time. I suppose most people cry. But I giggled. I couldn't stop either! I was just so happy!
Then we exchanged the rings. And I didn't forget to put my engagement ring on my other hand ahead of time!

Then the minister pronounced husband and wife! And we kissed!

And then we walked back down the aisle as husband and wife! We all waked back to "All You Need Is Love" covered, again, by the Vitamin String Quartet. After that, the wedding party gathered around a table, while we signed our marriage certificate.
We took a bunch of photos with our wedding guests, families, and wedding party after the ceremony. I will make sure to do a picture packed post of that soon!

Stay tuned for the reception post!

{Don't forget to enter the vol25 giveaway!}


  1. This is wonderful. :) You looked absolutely stunning in your gown, and the pictures came out great!

    Thanks for sharing your wedding story!


    PS- I am having an awesome giveaway (my first), you should check it out!!!

  2. Thank you for sharing! You look so beautiful and you have made me feel so much better about our destination wedding :)

    Your pictures turned out really good i love your colors!

    Can't wait to read about your reception!

    Thanks for sharing!


  3. Beautiful wedding. I love the colors. So fresh.

    I am a follower as of today. It may take a min to register. But I am! :)

  4. (oh, i just checked- it's actually subscribed under 'Shayla' . and a different picture..
    i wonder how i change that)

  5. so incredibly beautiful! Such a lovely day and you looked stunning! Congratulations and thank you so much for sharing your day with us!

  6. oh my goodness love it! we had vitamin string quartet playing at our wedding too (dinner hour)! just stumbled upon your blog while blog surfing - beautiful & congratulations!

  7. What a lovely, lovely play-by-play! It sounds like it was very whimsical and magical and tropical. So excited for you!

    And the photos are beautiful. Congratulations!!!

  8. You made a beautiful bride! And your dress is gorgeous! Congrats! xoxo

  9. You looked absolutely stunning on your wedding!!

  10. What a beautiful wedding! What colors were the bridesmaids' dresses? I'm looking at all the blue and blue-green colors in a cotton-sateen and trying to decide which I want! :)

  11. Honey, you are so beautiful! I'm still in awe, months later! I do love the side note- it made me tear up a little too, just reading it.


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