Out walked Neill.
I love how big our parents are smiling in these two pictures.
Neill was followed by his two best men, James and Tom.
The men were followed by my very best friends in the whole wide world, Cathy and Grace. I didn't want to let them go.
And suddenly it was time for me to walk out, on my own. I didn't expect to want someone there by my side. After all, I had chosen to walk out alone. But, in the end I wanted someone to squeeze my hand. Lucky for me, that someone was waiting for me just a few steps away.
So I went to get my man.
When I got under the chuppah, I couldn't help myself - I gave him a kiss.
And then, it was just the two of us. getting married.
We stood under the huppah lovingly crafted by my mother from a tablecloth passed down from my father's mother. We drank the wine from a kiddush cup passed down from my grandfather. We soaked in how privileged we were to take part in the rich tradition of marriage.
Our mothers gave the most beautiful bring-tears-to-my-eyes reading (Union by Robert Fulghum)
You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes, to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making commitments in an informal way. All of those conversations that were held in a car, or over a meal, or during long walks – all those conversations that began with, “When we’re married”, and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – all those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding.
The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things that we’ve promised, and hoped, and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word."
Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, even teacher, for you have learned much from one another these past few years. Shortly you shall say a few words that will take you across a threshold of life, and things between you will never quite be the same.
For after today you shall say to the world –
This is my husband. This is my wife.
And then, we said our vows and exchanged rings.
I pledge to be your partner, your loving friend, your supportive companion. I look forward to sharing life's experiences with you. I will comfort you in times of sorrow and rejoice with you in times of happiness. I will work to build a home with you filled with laughter,empathy, faith, imagination, trust, friendship companionship and love. I will live each day with you to its fullest. This is my solemn vow.
After exchanging our rings, we did the signing of the ketubah. While traditionally this is done before the ceremony, we wanted to incorporate it into the wedding so that all of our guests could serve as witnesses. We asked my aunt, Lanie, and Neill's Grandmother, Pearl, to serve as our official witnesses and sign the ketubah with us.
And then our Rabbi gave the priestly benediction, recited the seven wedding blessings, and did a reading we had chosen.
These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow, and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future. These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and as in today, tears of joy. These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children, the hands that will help you to hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.
i was feeling pretty happy at this point!
At the very end, we did the most well known of all the jewish wedding customs - the breaking of the glass.
Before I knew it, the whole ceremony was done and we were in yichud as husband and wife.