Our officiant Laurel began by setting the intention for the ceremony and telling the story of how she came to be a part of it. Truth be told, it was a great honor to have her officiate. I was too afraid to ask when we were planning, but once my dad told her we were engaged, she offered! It was a dream come true. She is truly a master of ceremonies and brings out the sacred in every moment.
Before we started with our vows, we were told there was a surprise. Yay surprises! Andy, in the way he does, brought out a bag. He asked us what was in the bag. I guessed another bag and I was right! Inside of that bag was about 80 quartz crystals. He passed them out to everyone and explained that quartz is made of silicon dioxide, the same material we use for computers, and that it can literally be programmed. He asked us to hold our crystal in our hand, imprint positivity and love onto it, and then instructed us to bury our crystal, creating a physical holding place of our initiation into marriage, bringing into permanence the circle of love and support that surrounded us that day. It was truly beautiful.
It was time to share vows and I went first. I told the story of how, one day in 2009, I wrote in my journal a plea to the universe, asking for a man with 3 simple qualities. 3 days later, Ashley walked into my life and we have been inseparable ever since. I talked about our adventures together, the woman he has made me, and the mother I hope to become. I expected to be overcome with emotion, as I normally am, but I actually felt very clear. It was easy to look into his eyes and speak from my heart without worry or fear.
Ashley began with his and the rest of the world faded way. We were already in this beautiful bubble of love, family and friends, but that bubble shrank for me in that moment, and tunnel vision set in. I listened to his words, laughed at his jokes and felt so grateful for this wonderful man standing before me.
We were ready to exchange rings, so Ashley called over Zephyr, who had them tied into his tie… or so we thought. With a quick big-eyed look at Laurel, I knew the rings were missing and Ashley and I quickly made the decision to move forward with the ceremony. Apparently our guests didn’t hear us, because they instantly broke out into a spontaneous search party looking for the rings. It was so comical to see the circle disperse, like watching ants scatter. Zephyr looked guilty, and to this day, we refer to him as ‘the ring buryer’.
After an unsuccessful search, Laurel called the circle back together. Our friend Jeff had picked two lupines for us (my favorite wildflower) to use in place of the rings. Laurel anointed us with oils and then we tied the lupines onto one another in place of rings.
After being announced husband and wife, we kissed a most magical kiss, and hopped off into the forest to take it all in as Queen’s “You’re My Best Friend” played in the background.
My memory of the reception is extremely blurry. It was such a mish-mash of friends and family old and new, funny moments mixed in with impressive dancing (and impressively bad dancing), and touching moments that brought tears to my eyes, I remember it more as a feeling than a series of events. It feels like getting a hug from everyone in your life at once, or like having a room of people shouting “I love you! I support you! I honor you!” It was awesome.