how we planned our ceremony part II

The front of our program. 

Dear Readers,

When I last left you, we'd ended with the aisle walk. So we really haven't even covered the actual wedding part of the wedding day. [Ed. note: I am still in mourning over the end of my nuptial planning, so we'll be dragging it out through blog posts, 'k?]

As I've written previously, we worked with our officiant Katherine to create a ceremony that wove together both of our cultures and faiths. I'm Italian-Filipino Catholic and Mike is Jewish, but neither of us is currently religious and we wanted our ceremony to reflect that. There was no mention of God and while we had Filipino sponsors and a Jewish chuppah, they were more representative of the celebration our cultures than the overt religious nature of either of those traditions.

The run of show!

On to the ceremony! As I mentioned in the post about our wedding music, we opted for two processional songs: one for the bridal party and a special one for yours truly. The bridal party walked down to Trumpet Tune in D played by our string trio. I wanted something that gave you goosebumps and I think this fit the bill. Although, to be honest, I was outside with my parents while this was happening so I couldn't hear it all that well.

For my song, we went with a strings version of Dire Straits' Romeo and Juliet, for obvious reasons. I pretty much blacked out during my aisle walk, but Mike told me it sounded awesome. Again, something I can't wait to see on our wedding video.

Walking down the aisle with M & D!

I'm not a huge crier, so I managed to keep it together on the walk. Honestly, I think I was so energized that peeing my pants would have been more likely than tears. Thankfully, all liquids stayed in their rightful places. The only time I got a little misty was when my dad handed me off to Mike. Thank you to cousin Joe for getting a picture of the moment. Look at my handsome family!

"She's all yours!"

And, also, I am a lighting convert. Originally Mike and I balked a bit at the fact that The Plaza requires you to hire Bentley Meeker to handle all of the lighting and audio-visual components for your big day. They do not come cheap, but I understand why the hotel doesn't want a million different lighting firms messing around with their landmarked building. After seeing how beautifully they lit both The Terrace Room and the Grand Ballroom, I get it. There's more to lighting a grand space than just turning on a switch.

I thought that our chuppah turned out brilliantly, many thanks to Bloomers for turning my garbled directions into something beautiful.

The ceremony beginning-to-end was around 20 minutes, but you could tell me it took five or 30 and I probably would believe you. When you're standing up there and 270 sets of eyeballs are on you, it's one of those moments that transcends time. I won't go through every reading or ceremony piece, but you can see in the program above how we organized everything.

To take a moment to pat both me and Mike (and obviously Katherine) on the back, we got a lot of compliments on the flow and pace of the ceremony. We truly worked hard to figure out which readings and which cultural elements to include, and I'm happy that our hours of combing through readings and cultural websites paid off.

We chose another classical song for our recessional, part of Handel's Water Music. It seemed to me to have the most celebratory feel of anything we listened to and when I pictured my own ceremony in my head (many, many times) this is what was playing.

One of my favorite shots of the night.

Sadly, I have no good pictures of our kiss or Mike stomping the glass. I'll post when we get our professional shots back!

so THAT'S why vogue didn't call!

the wedding timeline