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Wedding Rewind: The Big Day (Part II: The Ceremony)

I walked up the stairs and followed in line behind a beautiful line of bridesmaids in their yellow and blue.  I really had no idea it was already time to start until I was putting on my last layer of lip gloss and having my train carried up the stairs.  Our wedding coordinator was no where in sight until we met her upstairs, but that's a whole other story.  I heard the string quartet playing and the girls walked out one by one.  I had butterflies in my stomach.  I felt like I was on the edge of the high dive, about to jump off.  So so excited!  I couldn't wait to see Blake. Giddy

I peeked out from the main building and recognized all of the faces that had come near and (mostly) far to support us and watch us make the biggest commitment of our lives.  It was truly humbling to see that many people there on our behalf.  Grateful.

My most adorable flower girls and ring bearer took off down the aisle.  They overshot the center aisle and my cousin Mindy went chasing after them.  It was the perfect comic relief I needed, just in that moment, to break the tension and nerves that I was feeling.  God has a wonderful sense of humor, with perfect timing!  Plus one of my favorite pictures was captured with my dad in that moment!  :)  Release

It was my turn.  I then began walking down the aisle arm and arm with my dad.  I felt emotions coming on but I really tried to hold them back in order to experience and take it all in.   I made eye contact with a couple people here and there, but then I saw my groom standing at the end of the aisle waiting for me.  Seeing his face gave me all the peace in the world.  A sense of relief flooded in.  I was then again reminded what all this preparation, decoration, and gathering was all for.  There was deep purpose and it was right in front of me.  Reality

My mom joined us at the front of the aisle.  It was really perfect having her there by my side, just as much as it was having my dad there with me.  She has always been my champion and my dear friend.  I wouldn't have had it any other way then having both of my parents stand up with me and give me away.   Heath welcomed the crowd and then prayed over the next 45 or so minutes, head bowed with my parents on either side of me.  It was time for my dad to give me away.  I couldn't believe it that he made it all the way down the aisle without any tears.  He proudly said, "Her mother and I."  Bittersweet

I made it up the steps without tripping (phew!) and stood face to face with Blake.  He literally did not take his eyes off of me the entire time.  They were glued on to me - it was pretty magical.  At that moment, the sun peaked itself out of the clouds and shone on our faces.  I couldn't even believe it.  It felt like a made-for-the-movies moment.  I laughed and smiled with a sigh of relief.  I think the entire group of guests just relaxed as the sun came out.  Surreal
We had written our vows and had worked hard to capture the extent of the commitment we were making to one another in the words we recited in front of our dear friends and family.  Heath guided us through the ceremony, putting God as the center of the evening, giving Him the honor and praise.  Our vows were pretty lengthy too, at one point I stumbled over a few words, getting tongue tied as I said them out loud.  Blake never flinched, nor did he take his eyes off me the entire time.  Committed

With this ring I give myself to you. All that I am, all that I hope to be. I will lovingly commit myself to you. To love you for who you are. I will love you as Jesus Christ loves the church and gave Himself up for her. I will love you as I love my own body. I will love you until my death. I will honor you as a joint heir of the Grace of God all my life.

Liz sang 'How Great is Our God' as a true worship to Him.  It's impossible to think about not having Him as the center of the day.  He deserves all of the credit and worship for what He has done in our lives and the creative, patient way he crafted us into who we are to make us right for one another.  He is so Great.  His plan is bigger and greater than we can grasp.  Our best response is to simply worship and honor him with our voices.  Humbled

While Liz continued to lead our guests, Blake and I had communion on our own.  It was such a special thing to enjoy our first meal together as husband and wife as the sanctifying meal that Christ provides for us in communion.  It was a sacred time for us be alone and step away from the crowd that was watching us and have a moment of our own with our God.  This was the only time that I showed outward emotion throughout the whole ceremony.  I remember Blake and I both praying for us as a newly married couple, for our new journey and adventure, for our roles as husband as wife, for our future children and merging of two families.  The journey was just starting here today.  Makes me so excited to see what will unfold for our lives together.  Honored

We were finally announced us as husband and wife, the moment we had been waiting for! We practiced our kiss so many times, I think it was pretty perfect. :)  It sounded so crazy to hear my name next to Blake's name officially as Mrs. Parrish.  That was for sure going to take some getting used to after being a Lossman my whole life!  Something in me decided to give Blake another kiss on the cheek as we turned to face the crowd.  It was sort of an awkward fumble, but a memorable and personal moment as well.  Thrilled!

It was an overwhelming moment looking out at all of our friends and family and completely feeling struck with awe and joy.  All of their faces radiated that back to us completely.  We paused at the top of the steps and took it in before we nearly skipped back down the aisle full of excitement! Joyful.

To be continued....

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