As I continue to look back at our big day ... so many things cross my mind. But one of the things people talk about the most was the "recording" played during our ceremony.
We were very torn when it came to a "sermon". We are both Christians, we both love God, we both love to worship him .. but we weren't sure about how we felt about a true sermon being in the middle of our wedding ceremony. We both know pastors, we both grew up in church with pastors, have visited churches, etc, but we were not set on one pastor in particular. We didn't feel like anyone knew US as a couple enough to marry us and we felt very strong that the person that married us needed to know US. So after much thought we decided to have one of our dear friends marry us. He is a Christian man, he knows us and knows our love. Kyle was the perfect fit for us. He was totally down to do anything we wanted. I thought about it over and over. We just wanted something that told a story of TRUE love and what we feel love really is. What really defines "For richer or poorer. In sickness and in health". One night while I was falling asleep ... it hit me.
Danny & Annie.
I'm not sure how long before that night that it was that I first heard the story of Danny & Annie. It was at least a year...maybe more. My friend Sully sent it to me and I bawled my eyes out! For whatever reason at that particular moment .. half asleep .. that clip he sent to me entered my mind. I couldn't even remember their names. But I remembered their story. I knew I had to hear it .. right then! So .. at like 3am I went on a mission to find it. When I finally did and I listened/watched it ... not only did I realize it was perfect ... within the "recording" there was a sign that this WAS meant to be in our wedding. As you will read/see/hear ... the couple in the recording got married on the SAME DAY that Doug and I were going to be getting married .. April 22nd!!!! This was it. It was a sign. The story of Danny & Annie was somehow going to be our sermon.
The only challenge was the recording needed to be pretty much as it was. There is a video that was made to go with it (that is the link I"m giving you all to watch). We couldn't show it during the ceremony and Kyle couldn't read it because it HAD to be the recording of them .. It had to be Danny & Annie's voices. So I had my co-worker Andy save the youtube clip as an audio recording. But we didn't play the ENTIRE clip. First of all .. it was too long and second there are parts of it that were just a little TOO depressing (You will see what I mean). So we cut out some parts.. spliced together the beginning and then added most of the end ... and there it was ... the story of Danny & Annie. THAT would be our "sermon".
Below is the link to the ENTIRE clip on YouTube. Grab lots of tissue and imagine the audio of (most) of this being played at a wedding ceremony. Was it different? Sure. Did I wonder what people would think? Yes. Did I care ... no. It was meant to be. It was so us. It was so perfect.
Leading into the "sermon" (sometimes known as The Charge) .. here is what I wrote for our friend/officiant Kyle to say (I'll be posting our entire wedding ceremony that I wrote at a later time)....
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 of 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.
For any mobile/ipad users having trouble seeing the video try CLICKING HERE!
Make sure you watched it before you continue reading ..... Okay ... are you still crying?!?! Told ya it was a tear jerker!!! Okay .. so here is something else that is really ironic. Hopefully you were paying attention in the video. Remember the part where she talked about being torn on who would walk her down the isle at the wedding. Well .. before I listened to this I was torn on if my dad would walk me down the isle or if I would walk down alone. Not because I don't love my dad .. but just because I like what walking alone stands for (again .. we aren't traditional and if you know me you know I am a VERY independent person). I thought about walking half way and having Doug meet me in the middle and walk me down the rest of the way. After all .. this was OUR journey. A journey where TWO become ONE. Not to mention that was the entire "motto/theme" of our wedding. From our invites (below), to our hatch print poster people could take home, etc. Two Become One. (One was also the name of our venue).
SO when I heard that particular potion of Danny & Annie .. it was like .. yes, yes, yes .. it's another sign. So that is what we did. I walked half way down and Doug met me and walked me down the rest of the way. We walked in together .. we walked out together and just like Danny and Annie .. one day when God decides it's the end .. that is what we will do.
This my friends is love. This is what I want for Doug and I. This is the love I hope for all of you.