Thursday, October 29, 2009

Our Ninth Wedding Anniversary -- Part Two

Welcome back! I hope you enjoyed Part One and are ready to enjoy the final part of our wedding story.

In Part One, I left you with my waking to a beautiful autumn day - the perfect day for marrying a man I met ten years previously, and then lost total contact with. What a long, emotional journey we'd both traveled to get to the point where we serendipitously reconnected ... and how strange that I'd met the man I was destined to marry so long ago, but never knew it at the time!

Our family and guests relaxed before the wedding at the country club, which helped calm the nerves and allowed everyone to catch up -- remember, pretty much everyone was coming in from out of town and some hadn't seen each other in years.

We broke with tradition when Rick and I decided to see each other for the first time before the ceremony. I think this was a grand idea because one or the other of us would likely have passed out in the church from giddiness or nervousness otherwise!

It was beautiful. Our photographer, Ken Graham, was amazing. He set up the entire thing, setting me up in the center of one of the rooms, and then went to find Rick. I have no idea where Ken was after that, because time stopped.

Time for the ceremony. My maid of honor, bridesmaid, and I were driven to the chapel in a vintage Rolls Royce Phantom. That was an event! The UVA football game had just let out, and it was, apparently, a spectacular win, because the crowds were hugely festive. As the car slowly drove down the streets of the University, I felt like we were in a parade. People were waving and yelling, "Congratulations!" and it was just so incredibly ... unreal and other-worldly and amazing.

I loved my flowers. I've always had a fondness for vintage things, so there were lots of hydrangeas, snow berries, and of course roses for a traditional touch. My something old was my grandmother's handkerchief wrapped around the stems of the bouquet.

Preparing for the wedding is where I got my first inkling that I might possibly be creative. I made the place cards, the favors, the menus, and the programs. In fact, I enjoyed the entire process so much that I seriously considered becoming a wedding planner.

The programs were covered in purple vellum, bound with satin ribbon tied in pearls. The opening page began, "Once upon a time, two people met. And they had no idea that one day they would fall in love with each other." It continued in story book fashion.

The music was traditional -- Handel's "Music for the Royal Fireworks" for the Seating of the Mothers, Pachelbel's "Canon in D" for the Prelude, and of course, Clarke's "Trumpet Voluntary" for the Processional. But we completely broke with tradition in the middle of the ceremony by having the University of Virginia's acapella group The Virginia Gentlemen sing. The VG's are the University's oldest acapella group, and their performances were some of the best memories I have of my grueling years of pre-med at UVA.

They sang the BoDeans song "Good Things". Now, I tried for hours to get the song to embed into this blog post, and failed miserably. So I'm hoping that this link will work, because listening to these college students make music solely from their voices is worth a listen.

Via Windows Media Player
(click the "VG", and email me if you can't get it to work)

Then came "with this ring"....

The recessional was Mouret's "Le Rondeau", and Rick and I were ecstatic.

Once again, our photographer had a great idea that broke from tradition, and had all of our guests gather on the steps of Thomas Jefferson's famous Rotunda for a photo. It was a lovely memory of the day, and we sent them out as presents to our guests that Christmas.

Now it was time for dinner and relaxation! Farmington Country Club has amazing food, and after drinks and hors d'oeuvres, everyone settled in for potato and leek soup with crispy bacon, baby green salad with raspberry vinaigrette, and either beef tenderloin and salmon, chicken and shrimp, or vegetarian lasagna.

We opted for no head table, but kept it intimate, with small round tables, and since a lot of people came from points here and there, each place card opened to tell a little about how Rick and I met each person -- a bit of an ice-breaker and conversation starter for the guests.

The cake! Or should I say, cakes! Everyone had their own -- coconut with chocolate and raspberries on the plate.

Everything about the day was perfect. Around 10pm, we left the country club for Prospect Hill Plantation for our honeymoon. We were elated, exhausted, and still giddy. We took time throughout the weekend to write down every single tiny detail we could remember about our wedding day so we'd never forget -- so many things happen and fly by and become a blur at weddings and we didn't want to lose a single moment.

I signed Rick's anniversary card this week with a passage from one of my favorite books. I paraphrased it, but I thought it was perfect, and said exactly what I felt but couldn't say better than the book's author:

"When the day shall come, that we do part, if my last words are not "I love you", you'll know it was because I did not have time".

Sometimes it's hard to put into words the love you feel for someone you've spent so much time with. But I think, perhaps, he knows.

(wedding photos by Ken Graham)


  1. Thank you for sharing the story of your wedding - I'm wishing you and your husband many more years of love and happiness!!!

  2. Beautiful, Lori. Thanks for sharing this special time with us. Happy, Happy Anniversary and many, many more!

  3. It is always wonderful to read stories about wonderful weddings but more importantly wonderful marriages. Congratulations!!

  4. Your flowers were lovely. I really liked them too. Your cake was gorgeous, as was your dress, and your ring. You are a nice looking couple and congrats on finding each other. I really enjoyed reading this.

  5. Oh WHAT a beautiful wedding!!!

    Baci from Italy! xx

  6. I love that car!

    Congratulations. I'm wishing you many, many more years of happiness.

  7. Anonymous4:05 PM

    that is a beautiful and wonderful story. Congratulations and hopes for many more

  8. Aw you made me cry!! I wish you both many more happy years together.

    (and that is one badass car)

  9. Oh my goodness, thanks so much for sharing. Loved this post and the photo's are gorgeous.

    Happy Anniversary,

  10. First of all heartfelt congratulations to you both!.., I read every detail and scrolled back and forth a bit so as to get the full flavour and emotions of your beautiful wedding day account and photos; how wonderful that you thought to both record the details of your wedding day, so that on your anniversary you could recall with such vivid detail, all those glorious moments!.., Thank you also for your encouraging and understanding comment; it was much appreciated!..,

    I will come back soon to see what other creative delights you have in store for us all!~ How serendipitous that you realized that you had these latent creative talents..,

    Cheers from Silken Purse

  11. Anonymous7:45 PM

    Lori, your wedding day reads like a fairytale, actually, it's more magical than any fairytale I have every read...

  12. Just beautiful! Happy anniversary!

  13. sounds like it was a wonderful day! yummm, I love coconut cake! Thanks for sharing, what a wonderful story!

  14. Oh, my, I have tears in my eyes! What beautiful memories!

  15. Lovely.

    Is the quotation by Jamie to Claire?

  16. What a gorgeous wedding, and I heard Charlottesville is breathtaking! Thanks for visiting my little blog. And OF COURSE, I do not mind if you repost that adorable scene from 500 Days. It's there for all to enjoy!

  17. Aahhh, it's the perfect love story! Thanks for giving us a glimpse...and again, Happy Anniversary wishes!

  18. Jen -- yes it is! The very last passage in "The Fiery Cross", in fact!

  19. Thanks for sharing this lovely story, I could just cry tears of joy.

  20. Oh my gosh, this made me cry! I loved your story. I really loved your flowers. Your photographer was wonderful! You had a very beautiful wedding. I felt the same way as you - when I was preparing for my wedding reception I thought, I could do this for a living! Your wedding ring is gorgeous, too! Happy anniversary!

  21. Lori
    I really felt tears as I read this wonderful post...what a sweet tribute to your big day. I love the had a fantastic photographer...and you were such a beautiful bride!!! Your bouquet was sooo were all of the little details. I bet it feels like just yesterday. What a great quote you found for your anniversary card to Rick. Thanks for sharing...wish I knew you back then. :-) But it was like I was there after reading this!

  22. Love that story, loved all the photos you shared with your readers. I also cried.


I appreciate comments! Thank you for contributing to the conversation.