April 22, 2014

Looking Back: Our Ceremony .. Written by lil ole me ;)

Hey Everyone ...

A cookie cutter ceremony wasn't something we wanted. As you can tell by my previous posts (I hope you have read them) we wanted everything to have special meaning. 

You will read the ceremony verbatim why we didn't have the traditional "line up" of the wedding party, why we didn't go with a typical sermon and that we wrote our own vows (those aren't written out here. I'll do that separate). We also didn't have my dad give me away. We had our families give US away ;) Again .. remember the theme .. TWO become ONE. 

Since I write for a living I thought I would give writing our ceremony a shot. I googled formats and picked one and just started writing and writing and writing. Who knows how many times I tossed what I had and started over. But it took months. I of course didn't write the "reading" you will see .. but put a lot of thought into what it would be. You will see the significance ;) 

My best friend and man of honor helped me fine tune and when it was all done Doug and I went to the park with him and read over it.  It couldn't be more perfect for us. 

While I had guidance from some poems, passages and scripture ... these are my words. From my heart. So I am asking anyone reading this to please not take it, use it, rip it off as your own. Not only would that be wrong. It would be super lame.  

I am sharing because I want those not there to experience our day in some form. And for those that were to maybe remember that special moment in time. 

I know it's not the same as hearing it being read .. Or watching as we stood in front of everyone. But maybe you can take your mind there ;)

Mrs. Green 


Our Ceremony

 Good evening everyone! You can go ahead and take a seat.
 Here we meet to celebrate not the beginning of a relationship -  but the continuation of one.
A single moment in what will become two lifetimes, joyously intertwined.
Love brought Stacy and Doug here... and that love has brought each of you here to witness their union.
This is one moment in time. We will enjoy it as it happens, and treasure it once it has passed.  
To this sacred moment Doug and Stacy bring a lot with them as individuals. They bring their gifts, talents and unique personalities. They bring the dreams which make them who they are – but at the same time – the ones that bind them together in an eternal commitment. Most importantly they bring with them the spirits which God will unite together into one being as they build their life together. 
 As you are looking around at the wedding party that stands beside each of them - you may notice things look a little bit different. You see guys that are listed as Doug’s groomsmen standing next to Stacy and ladies listed as Stacy’s bridesmaids next to Doug.
The couple chose this placement to signify the theme of this day – that "Two become One". Doug's friends now become just as much Stacy's support system as they are Doug's....and Stacy's friends will be there for Doug just as they are his bride.
 If you have ever talked to Doug or Stacy in any length – then you know that their meeting was certainly a fate chance. But you don’t have to know their back story at all to know that they were put on this earth to be together. They really are the definition of soul mates.
Let us rejoice with them in thankfulness to the Lord for creating this union of hearts, built on friendship, respect and love.  
Our Heavenly Father .... We who are gathered here, ask that you would take this couple into your hands. Help them lord, to keep firm in the commitments they are about to make. Guide them as they become a family and as they each change through the years. May they be flexible as they are faithful. And Lord help us to all be your hands if there ever be a need.    
In Jesus name we pray - Amen.
  At this time we would like to ask Stacy and Doug’s parents to please stand.  
 ((parents stand))
 As Stacy and Doug's union brings together two different roots, it is their hope to plant a new family tree that will grow and flourish. Theirs is a personal choice and decision for which they are responsible in undertaking. Yet their life is and always will be enriched with the support of the families from which each comes.
 "Will you Sue Bray and Bill McCloud and you Joy and Ben Hadden encourage Stacy and Doug in their marriage. Will you celebrate with them the decision they have made to choose each other and will you continue to stand beside them and pray for them with each passing year"?    
 You may be seated.
 In an typical ceremony this is the time the officiant would address the couple. Tell them what marriage is, what the vows they are about to make mean. Maybe I would tell a story about the couple and the love they share. But you see... love is the only subject that can never be taught. Love is like the wind or the Holy Spirit. You can't see it. You just know it's there. You can feel the effects of it. But only the people in it can understand the depth of what it really means.
 Doug and Stacy know why they are here today. They understand the commitment they are making to each other. So instead of me telling you all what love and marriage is - Doug and Stacy have chosen to share with you the story of two people that many years ago - on this same date april 22nd - were joined together as one. They first heard the story of Danny and Annie about a year ago and never thought of it again until Stacy was writing the ceremony you hear today. Now, for many reasons, they want to share this couples story wtih you - because to them their story is what it means to marry the one that you love. After the first recording this couple made, as you will hear - Danny becomes very sick. As you are about to discover, the love they shared, the same love shared by Stacy and Doug, not only withstood the hardship of sicknesss, but blossomed and grew even in Danny's final days. To Doug and Stacy they are the epitimy of for Richer or poorer .. in good times and in bad .. in sickness and in health.    
Stacy and Doug put a link in your program so that you can hear the story of Danny and Annie again from home. It's their hope that their marriage be just as plentiful and beautiful.
 *writing own vows*
 May I please have the rings (to Rod)  
(holding up rings) These are the rings that Stacy and Doug will wear for the rest of their lives.They express the love that they have for one another.  
Doug and Stacy - The hand you freely give to each other, is both the strongest and the most tender part of your body. In the years ahead you will need both strength and tenderness. Be firm in your commitment. Don't let your grip become weak. And yet, be flexible as you go through change. Don't let your hold become intolerable.
 Doug as you place this ring on Stacy's finger repeat after me.  
 (Doug Repeats)
 Stacy as you place this ring on Doug's finger repeat after me. 
 (Stacy Repeats)
 In addition to these rings, Stacy and Doug have decided that they will have permanent marks signifying their commitment to each other. Each is going to have a skelton key tattooed on their ribs .. reminding them of "The Key To Love".
 The key to love is understanding …
The ability to comprehend not only the spoken word,
 but those unspoken gestures,
the little things that say so much by themselves.  
 The key to love is forgiveness ….  
to accept each others faults and pardon mistakes,  
  without forgetting, but with rememberingwhat you learn from them.  
 The key to love is sharing …    
Facing your good fortunes as well as the bad, together;    
both conquering problems, forever searching for ways  to intensify your happiness.  
 The key to love is giving … without thought of return, but with the hope of just a simple smile,  
and by giving in but never giving up.  
 The key to love is respect …  realizing that you are two separate people,  
 with different ideas; that you don’t belong to each other,  that you belong with each other, and share a mutual bond.  
 The key to love is inside us all …     
It takes time and patience to unlock all the ingredients that will take you to its threshold;  
 it is the continual learning process that demands a lot of work …  but the rewards are more than worth the effort …  
 and that is the key to love.
 Kyle prays
Nikki Williams sings "Answered Prayer"  
 The Pronouncement
 Now that Stacy and Doug have given themselves to each other by the promises they have exchanged,  
I am honored as their friend and officiant to pronounce them husband and wife. 
 (start exit music)
 The  Kiss  
 Doug, kiss your wifey!!!
 (face guests) 
 Ladies and Gentleman - Mr & Mrs Doug Green!

***** Note*****
We did get those tattoos! One of Doug's best friends and groomsmen is a very talented tattoo artist in Franklin (Will Bledsoe at Lone Wolf). So of course we had him do them!! We didn't do them exactly as we planned.  I went against the ribs and did a larger piece on my hip. The bird is in memory of my granny. She loves blue birds. The bird has the our key in it's mouth ... carrying it to the lock that Doug got in addition to his key (he did go for the ribs).  They are forever on us .. they mark us with purpose .. these tattoos will always remind us of that day and the words that my dear friend Chas said  ... The Key To Love :) 

Looking Back: The Morning of "I Do" & Other Details

Good Morning ...

Two years ago today I woke up to my heard pounding ... in a good way :) I was hours away from marrying the man that God crafted just for me!!!!! What an exciting feeling!!!!

Just as I journaled before I fell asleep the night before (and snapped this screen shot above) .. I journaled as soon as I woke up. Here is what I wrote:

I woke up this morning with such a clear mind.  No nerves. No stress. No regrets. Nothing but pure joy. I think I even have a few butterflies. The same ones I used to get when Doug would pull into my driveway when we first started dating.  The same ones I stil feel from time to time when I walk in the door and Doug is standing in our kitchen making me dinner ;-)
My life isn't really changing much today. It's a piece of paper - I know. But it is. Today I make the mos beautiful commitment to the most beautiful man I have ever known. 
As I sit here alone in my thoughts with a few of my best girls upstairs....I could not be more over joyed. I'm actually shedding a few tears!

Today is going to be the best day of my life.

And .. that .. it was :) The most best day of my life!!

Before heading to the venue to get ready (Thank you to the William Edge team), my girls and I went to a really neat local place called The Pfunky Griddle. I bought all my girls matching monogramed  "men's button ups" to wear the day of! Mine said ... what else ... "Wifey" :) They I went to Starbucks. I was so excited to ask them to write "The Bride" instead of "Stacy" on my cup, lol! Can you believe they didn't give me my coffee free btw .. whhaaaaaat!? HaHa

As with every wedding ... Nothing wen't "perfect" that day. The venue still wasn't finished (see my first blog), my skin decided to freak out - literally WHILE my make up artist Katje was putting on my make up .. it was like .. hey where did this little guy (bump) come from, haha ... AND then there were things that I didn't even know about. My sweet husband kept (at least) two HUGE things from me until after the wedding so I wouldn't stress out. Good husband, haha :) We were both able to get ready for our big day semi stress free :)

I know people say it all the time .. but it is so true. At the end of the day all that mattered was that I became Mrs. Stacy Green. Regardless .. so much beauty surrounded us. So much LOVE!
I had my parents there. BOTH of them. I had family come into town from all over. So did Doug.

I the most gorgeous dress by the fabulous designer Olia Zavozina.

I had the most perfect Jimmy Choo wedding shoes ... given to me as a gift by my "Man of Honor".

My bouquet was made up of gorgeous bling given to me by friends and family. There were even pieces of jewelry from both mine and Doug's late grandmothers.

We had my niece Bella and Doug's niece Bri as our other flower girls. And Doug's niece Tasia and our sweet little fur child Stella as .... The Keepers of the Rings :) We decided instead of a pillow ... to tie our bands with twine around Doug's family Bible :)

I had all my best girls (and guy) by my side and Doug had his.
One neat note about that. You will see more about it when I post our Ceremony. But we did something very different. Instead of having all my girls stand beside me and all Doug's guy stand beside him ... we mixed it up. Again .. going with the theme of "Two  Become One". My friends are his and his friends are mine. It was so perfect. So us.

A few raindrops fell just before our guests arrived. Someone told me that was good luck. As I gazed out the window ... I imagined it was our loved ones in heaven .. shedding happy tears .. celebrating that we found each other. Rejoicing that we were both so happy.

Speaking of them. We had an entire bookcase of pictures/poem dedicated to our loved ones that couldn't be there with us. Immediately after the ceremony Doug and I went there and had a moment with them.

 Our entire wedding video is way too long and personal to post. But I do want to share it with you in some capacity. That is why I'm doing this. Later today I am going to post the verbatim of our Ceremony that I took months crafting from deep down in my little heart. You won't get the same feel as hearing it .. but hopefully you can take your mind there as you read it. We also plan to post our vows that we both wrote to each other and hopefully our music if I can get it all uploaded correctly! But right now .. I'll just share this. Our wedding video. I'm sure you have seen it before. Those of you reading this are probably our friends & most faithful followers. But I don't know about you .. I could watch it again and again.

CLICK HERE if you are on a smart phone or tablet and the video is not popping up!


April 21, 2014

Looking Back: The last kiss, the reveal, man tears & a naked sushi girl?!

Hey Everyone ...

Earlier I posted about our wedding eve :) Since THIS is what was happening pretty much exactly this same time 2 years ago .. I wanted to post our "final kiss" before the big day!

My friend Kari was in the car waiting on me to say "good bye" to Doug (Several of my girls stayed at the house with me. Doug stayed in our honeymoon suite). We were standing in front of the car and she snapped this picture. Our final embrace before our wedding day.

I went home that night. Had a little wine with my friends and tried to sleep. My friend Shelly slept downstairs with me. I wrote a journal entry before I fell asleep. I wanted to remember what I was thinking. I actually blogged about it. You can click here to see that. Also make sure and look at some of my older blogs! I've blogged off & on here about our marriage/life :)

Okay. Back on subject. While this may have been our last kiss before our wedding day ..this wasn't our final embrace before "I Do".  Doug and I decided to see each other before the ceremony. We went back and forth on this. Sure there is something magical about everyone watching you see each other for the first time. But everything about this day was going to be magical no matter what. So we decided it was more important to have a little time together before the "ceremony". But we didn't want to do it totally alone. So we lined up our family, wedding party and special friends on each side of the aisle. Doug's back was to me as I walked down. I tapped him on the shoulder ... and he turned to see his bride :) It was such a special/intimate moment. You can actually watch most of the reveal  in our wedding video HERE :)

For those of you pondering what to do. It honestly didn't change the emotion .. the butterflies .. the excitement of seeing each other as everyone stood and I walked down the aisle. This not only made it more special for us. It was more intimate for those that meant the mot to us (and a great photo pop too, lol).  Afterwards .. Doug and I went off to a side room together for some alone time. Honestly .. I don't remember what we said to each other. Doug is better at remembering those things than me. Maybe he can comment and chime in. But I do remember the way I felt. I remember feeling so at ease. Everything felt so "right". It was so calming to know there wasn't a single "doubt" coming from either of us. I was just ... so happy. Our photographer was allowed to be in the room with us. I'm sure glad he did. Yes .. my sweet Doug is crying :)

Since we had most of our photos taken then...it also allowed us to get to our cocktail hour quicker. And yes ... the talk is true. We did have a "naked" sushi girl as the centerpiece of the room!!! Why? Ummm, why NOT?! Our dear friend Gori created her as our wedding present. Pictures just can't do it justice. It was so bad a$$!!!

We wanted the cocktail hour to be more of a concert/party. We had several of our VERY talented friends perform a song of their choice. Nothing sad or sappy. Fun stuff! We asked everyone to kinda just leave us alone and let us enjoy! Afterwards (for a present for Doug) I had all the songs from both the wedding and the cocktail hour put onto a CD so we could listen to it anytime! I called it STOUG: Live at the Nuptials.  I'm working on sharing all that with you tomorrow!! Can't wait for you to hear our talented friends!!

Mrs. Green