Wedding Wednesday: Time to say I DO!

After we finished our First Look, it was time for B and I to part our ways momentarily and head to the ceremony. With the butterflies out of my stomach, I was so ready to walk down the aisle and finally say I do!

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Since we opted to have a non-religious ceremony because we are two different religions, we knew that meant we would be able to do whatever we wanted with our ceremony. One thing I really wanted was circular seating. I hate going to weddings and staring at the back of the bride and groom the whole time. I loved the idea of the circular seating because it meant that everyone would be able to see us no matter where they were sitting.

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For our readings, we chose “Everything you need to know you learned in kindergarten” and “The Union“. We liked that the kindergarten one focused on all the basic things that you need to get you through life and that it added a little bit of humor to the ceremony. We chose the second reading because it perfectly described our relationship while dating.

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For our vows, we chose to write our own to each other and afterward we wrote a “shared” vow to each other which was similar to the traditional “in sickness and health, for richer or poorer”. With our personal vows, we came up with a guideline of what to follow. We wanted to each share with each other some of our favorite memories, what we love about each other, what we promise to each other and what we look forward to in the future. I really didn’t think I was going to cry during mine, but at the end, I lost it.

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To get a glimpse of our wedding day and hear parts of our vows, check out our wedding feature film!

:: ASHLEY’S VOWS ::

Brandon-

I knew from the time we first became friends that you would be a big part of my life. My day never seemed complete until we talked on the phone for hours every night. I never would have imagined that you would become such a huge part of life and one day down the road, we would begin a life together.   

During our 2 years as long distance friends, you were the guy I daydreamed about while in school.  In fact, I probably missed taking a few important notes in class because I would get too busy practicing writing Ashley Rich in my notebook. You were the guy I couldn’t wait to talk to because you always put a smile on my face when I saw your caller ID..the guy who I wanted to tell every part of my day about. That’s when I knew how special you were to me and when I started to fall in love with you.

I’m so thankful that I’ve fallen in love with my best friend. You make me happier than I could ever imagine and more loved than I ever thought possible. It’s in your eyes that I have found my home. In your heart, I have found my love. In your soul, I have found my mate. You Mr. B Rich are among my favorite things in life. You are the peanut to my butter, the glaze on my donut, the cheese to my macaroni, the best to my friend..you Brandon are the love of my life.

One thing I’ve always loved about you is how you’ve always made me feel special. Whether it was sending me flowers in college every month on our anniversary or by surprising me on my 22nd birthday when I walked into my apartment lobby. I promise to always appreciate how incredibly lucky and blessed I am to have someone who makes me feel the way that you do and to continue to try as hard as I can to make you feel as special as you make me feel forever. I’ve never felt so loved, cared for and cherished by someone. I am so proud to call you mine.

I love you because you encourage me to be who I am and accept me despite my imperfections. I love that you challenge me. I may not love it at the time, but afterwards, I realize that often times you were right, even though I don’t like to admit it.

I love that I can share anything with you..my time, my dreams, my ideas and thoughts..even my blanket when we watch movies together. I love you for who you are and your charming ways. Your contagious belly laugh always makes me smile. I love you because you make me feel safe and comforted, and you take care of me. I love that you believe in me and support me in any endeavor I try to face, even when I convince you to go out of town and wake up at 3 in the morning to go run a race with me. I love you because of the passion you put in to all that you do and your drive to succeed inspires me. I know that together we can achieve our dreams and all we ever want. But most of all, I love that we both love each other so much.

Today we embark on a journey hand in hand that makes me excited for the future. I look forward to continuing making our outfits match, even when we’re old and gray. I can’t wait for you to be the father of our children, and raise a kid or two that are just as smart as you are.  And to be that family whose holiday cards looks like they’re out of a J Crew catalog with their matching outfits.

I promise to support you in whatever we do and wherever we go together, and to always make our family’s home full of love and our happiness a priority. I promise to try think less of what I want and more about us. But that doesn’t mean I’m giving up my weekend shopping habits just for you. That will never change. I promise to have fun with you, take care of you in every way I can, tell you I love you everyday, make all of our decisions together, always encourage finding the best donuts on road trips, and to make you the most important person in my life.

But most importantly, I promise to grow along with you and be willing to accept changes life throws at us. Because no matter what, there’s no one else I’d rather have next to me on our next adventure.

Saying I do to you today means I’ll love you no matter what-even on the days I’m mad at you. I’ll be honest, I know I won’t always be patient with you. My type A personality will get frustrated with your unorganized ways and I know you’ll get mad that I overpack my suitcase every time we go out of town.

But today in the company of the people who make our lives full and special, and even a little bit nutty, Brandon David, I take you to be my handsome husband, the love of my life and the father of our children one day. I promise to love you in good times and in bad, with all that I have to give and all I feel inside in the only way I know how to, completely and forever.  On this day my hand is yours to hold, and my heart is forever yours to keep.

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Yes, I realize now that my vows were like a novel. But you know what, it was my wedding day and I don’t care what other people think. After being together for 7 years, I had a lot to say!

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:: BRANDON’S VOWS ::

 

Ashley,

As I look back and think about our time together, two phrases come to mind: Good things come to those who wait, and Nothing in this world worth having comes easy. We have progressed from talking on the phone every night four states away, to you sacrificing and moving to Nebraska, to today where we become each other’s forevers.

I love the way you smile at me when we haven’t seen each other all dan, and your ability to say I love you with just the look in your eyes. I love the way you can make me laugh so hard my stomach hurts, and that we can act like goofballs together.  I love how you are patient and understanding of me, how you embrace my quirks, accept me for who I am and appreciate me.

I love how you take my breath away, making my heart race uncontrollably. I love how my reality with you is better than my dreams.

Wherever we are a thousand lifetimes from now, I’ll still mean every word of the promises I make today.

If you tell this guy I do, I promise to be your best friend, open and honest and want you to be mine. If you tell this guy I do, I promise to provide for you, and allow you the opportunity to dream, grow and flourish. If you tell this guy I do, I promise to be your comrade in adventure, accomplice in mischief, and try to be on time. If you tell this guy I do, I promise to be your partner in all things, not possessing you, but working with you as part of the whole.

I can’t believe this day has finally come. Just like our drive up here, our time together has been an adventure, with unexpected turns along the way and detours we didn’t envision, but in the end we are right where we are supposed to be, grateful for the time together along the way. Everything in our lives has been leading us to this moment, and you are the center of everything in my life.

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:: OUR SHARED VOWS ::

I, Brandon, take you Ashley to be my wife. Today I give you the promise to listen to you with compassion and understanding, to share in your dreams and support you, to comfort you in times of distress, and to join your laughter with my own.  I promise to take you as my only love, and forever stand by your side.

After our vows and rings, we each took a letter we wrote to each other and put it into a wood box along with a bottle of wine. We locked it up and we’ll open the box on our 10th wedding anniversary. We thought this would be a fun idea to look forward to in the future and help remind us years down the road about the happiest day of our lives. Following that, we presented roses to our moms and my grandma.

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And finally, we were married! I now look at this photo of our first kiss and think it looks like the most awkward kiss ever. I have no idea why I have my flowers and it looks like our faces are squished!

Our entire ceremony felt surreal and now that I look back, it’s true what everyone says, the day goes by fast!

 

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