Monday, August 31, 2015

our wedding ceremony

I'd like to start by explaining my absence; I said I'd be right back and now here it is, nearly a month later. As you know, because I've told you, I've been writing full time since I finished school back in the spring, but in order to buy groceries I sometimes I have to do a few other things.

This past month I've been doing those other things, mostly in Virginia, and it was a blur of hotel breakfast buffets and congestion on unfamiliar highways that didn't seem to make much sense, with a lot of exits surprising me on the left. The left! With no warning! I also have a few articles coming out- including one in Blue Ridge Outdoors that you can actually go and pick up in your own hands, I'll tell you more about that later.
One thing I know for certain, after having a little time to think it over, is that I will never regret posting too many pictures of our wedding on this blog. It's a little much, sure, but a lot of good things are a little much. I feel I deserve this after years of dutifully recording every date and relationship that ended, which was all of them until now, including the ones that ended poorly/with humiliation, which was a solid percentage. (Including that time when I met my old boyfriend for dinner in order to get by my bicycle back, tossed back three martinis, burst into tears, and then my bank card was rejected and he had to pay for it all. Which he did without complaint, because he was always a really nice guy.)   

So, in the spirit of well earned indulgence, here is an album of our ceremony and portraits. Once again, thanks to Cassie and Austin at Honey by Hive for being so talented, and understanding that I can never look directly at the camera, on account of my round face.
Something else- do you remember how I walked down the aisle to a song that was written and produced by my sister? They finally released it, and you can listen to it right here and have a multi-sensory wedding experience, if you'd like.

Anna, who is playing the guitar in this video and who looks just like me, would like me to add that when we used this song, it was purely instrumental. As she puts it, "These are not wedding lyrics."
A week or two before the wedding, I went over to New Hampshire for my 'bridal hair trial'. I had very long hair, and once it was all curled and teased in the back,  I looked a little bit like Jessa Duggar, but without her ironically sensual beauty. Seeing this, I panicked and asked for the stylist to cut about a foot of it off.  

As for the final style, I didn't love it, but I also didn't think about it during the wedding because I was enjoying myself so much. Besides, after so many receiving line hugs, it was a moot point. Any style would have been flattened by such a hands-on display of enthusiasm. I also didn't wear any makeup, not really by choice but because, as my friend Kelli puts it, "you're the only one I know who doesn't look better with makeup on." She swears she said it as a compliment.

I bring these things up only because I spent a lot of time in the months leading up to the wedding thinking about how I was going to look, and there was no real need for that. I looked like myself. 

My mom thought the whole "first look" thing was tacky, and maybe it was, but everything about weddings are tacky, I think that's why people like them so much, and also why some people will avoid them at all cost. 
We were married at the Quechee Inn at Marshland Farm, which is just a few miles down the road from where I grew up. The rain held out for us until the final hour of the reception, at which point it was the refreshing cool-off that everyone needed. It continued to rain for another three weeks after that.
One of my favorite moments was watching my dad try and figure out what to do with his right arm in the final seconds before we walked. He kept bending it and then straightening it out and then wrapping it behind is back, trying to find the best and most natural looking position, and it was then that I realized how nervous he was, and I loved him in that instant more than I ever have, even though I've always loved him an enormous amount.  
We chose our friend Charles King to be our officiant, because he has a magnetic attraction about him and he has amazing hair. At one point a few years back, he was missing and feared drowned in Tajikistan, causing a bit of an uproar, and if you've been reading here for a little while you may remember. It turns out, as we were all fussing around and losing sleep over his whereabouts, he was plodding 70 miles across a desert with only half a Nalgene of river water for company, in order to secure a rescue for his dying friend, who ended up living. 

I want to say they were briefly imprisoned after that, but anyway, it all worked out in the end. For which I'm so glad*, because he did a top-notch job writing and performing our ceremony. No one could have done better. I'm framing a photo of this to hang in our living room so that those pant legs will never go forgotten.  
As for our vows, they were simple. We've since lost the papers they were written on, because we do not hold on to things. Not for any moral or philosophical reason except that I tend to misplace everything, while David forgets that we ever had it to begin with. 

Nobody cried; it didn't feel like a crying moment. It was very lighthearted and easy. Plus, raw displays of emotion always make me slink out of the room. I very much dislike them. Which is why, if and at which time that I have a baby, family members and particularly tender-hearted friends will be asked to sign a no-cry waiver at the door. Should the contract be broken, they will be escorted from the premises and asked to try again at a later date. 
  We wore our river shoes from Astral Design. Every time we looked down at our feet we were reminded of kayaking, and now every time we go kayaking, we are reminded of our wedding.
It will never be lost on me -at least within the boundaries of my comprehension- how lucky I am to have had, among so many other things, this family, these friends, and the fact that they all came together for one beautiful June day in Vermont.

David Ambrose Clarke is the warmest, kindest, and most handsome person that I've ever met, and of all the people in his life that love him, I love him the most, and I think he can say the same about me. (Besides for our parents, but that's a different sort of thing entirely, as I trust you understand.)
Believe it or not there are still more to come, one final post from the reception, which according to my memory was nothing but dancing and wondering what happened to all the cake. And while you may think, "boy, that is a LOT of pictures," I still don't think that it's nearly enough.

 * for many reasons


Anonymous said...

That wrinkle-nosed kiss picture is everything.

Scobel Wiggins said...

me either!

Scobel Wiggins said...

me either!

Diary of Why said...

Haven't had enough weddings pictures yet. Maybe one more post will leave me sated. :)

Maria said...

There can never be enough pictures. I've enjoyed this recap immensely. I absolutely love the fact that you didn't wear makeup & that you looked like yourself at your wedding. You looked amazingly beautiful. So happy for both of you!

Elisa {With Grace and Eve} said...

Wow your wedding pictures are pure joy! Stunning xx

Rhett said...

Thank youfor sharing your joyful photos! So much love in all of them!

Liz Stout said...

Certainly not enough photos. The photos from your day are absolutely stunning. I adore the lighting from the rain-laden clouds that waited until the end to release their burden...for 3 weeks. The vibrant greens are just that much more outstanding with the grey clouds. So beautiful.

I'm totally with you on the raw emotion stuff. I also tend to slink away from it - whether physically leaving a room or just becoming very withdrawn. I just can't handle it! I love the idea of a no-cry waiver...brilliant.

Jess Gearing said...

These images are so joyful. Your smile says it all! I love that you looked 'like you'- you absolutely could not have looked more beautiful!! just stunning. And your sister's song is wonderful.

Melina said...

@scobel, coming from a photographer like you, that means a lot. Miss you! congrats on all those grandkids!! xoxo

Melina said...

@mari- thank you for such kind words!

Melina said...

@Diary- ha, yes well thank you!! An after one last post I think we'll all be sated! The cake photos are so beautiful, that's what I'm most looking forward to.

Melina said...

Thank you @Elisa! I checked out your blog, stunning photos as well.

Anonymous said...

Long time reader, but my first time commenting. These photos are stunning, Melina. What a genuine display of heartfelt joy and love, on everybody's faces! Would love to see more.

CaliGal said...

Oh Melina, I'm so happy for you! It's been a real joy to share in your world. Thank you!

I wish you both nothing but health, happiness and joy all the days of your life. Rock on!!❤

And, there can never be enough photos of your special day or, any other adventure you take us on! Keep em coming!

meg bird said...

any time you write about your dad, I just cry. not sure what that's about. and there could never be too many pictures of your wedding! it's your wedding, dammit!