Google+Mere Found Her Beau: The Ceremony - Southern Weddings

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Today is awesome. Can I tell you why today is a great day? 100 days, ladies and gents. 100 short days until I get to marry my Beau. Proposals from my vendors are about to be sent, details have been selected, and lots of decisions are being made daily – things are getting real, and just plain good. I believe in celebrations of all shapes and sizes, and what better way to celebrate the 100 day mark than with my final #merefoundherbeau post? You’ve met my handsome groom, read the proposal (what a sweetheart), seen our lovely venue, got a sneak look at what we’ll be wearing, and peeked at our wedding’s décor and style, but let me tell you, I’ve saved the best (and most important) details for last – our ceremony.

Since my planner and I are still working through a few things, our wedding day timeline hasn’t been completely nailed down, but we have a great outline. When I originally pictured the time for our wedding, I assumed it would take place around 6 or 7 o’clock, but Shelby clued me in to a few details that have changed my perspective. Since I know it will be toasty outside at our July wedding, I jumped to the conclusion that we should get married later in the day, allowing festivities to be a bit cooler. While that’s true, Shelby helped me to see that we would need a full hour cocktail hour (to allow time for our indoor space to be prepped), plus enough time to squeeze in eating and dancing before our venue’s 10 o’clock curfew. Taking that into account, our timeline is looking something like this at the moment:

— Our ceremony will begin at 5:30pm and will last about 30-45 minutes.
— Our cocktail hour will last about an hour, allowing enough time for indoor set-up. Beau and I will also use this time to sneak away and get some amazing sunset photos on the beach (excited about this one!).
— Dinner will be served around 7, with dancing and fun lasting until about 10 or 11.

It’s still in the works, but it’s a start! Another fun detail that Beau and I are trying to decide on is the first look. There are a few pros and cons that we’re taking into consideration:

Two of our favorite first looks: from Lindsey and Adam (by Brett Heidebrecht) and Ali and Austin (by Jennefer Wilson)

The pros:
— Beau and I will most likely have built up some serious butterflies and (good) nerves throughout the day, so a moment to slow down and pray together pre-ceremony might be just what we need.
— We are both kind of crybabies (sorry, Beau). If we saw each other before the ceremony, maybe we could get the big tears out of the way, leaving only cute, soft, and gentle happy tears during the ceremony?!
— We would have a more relaxed time with our photographer, possibly getting better pictures of us as a couple – my sister says not getting more portraits of just the two of them is one of her regrets from her wedding day.
— We may be pinched with time to include all of our family pictures post-ceremony, causing us to miss a large part of cocktail hour.

Some cons:
— We might be in for some toasty portraits since the sun will still high in the sky… not great pre-ceremony, right before we head down the aisle!
— Beau is concerned that some of the “oh my goodness, here comes my bride” feeling will be lost if we see each other before.

In past conversations, I’ve been reassured that coming down the aisle is just as exciting whether or not you’ve seen each other beforehand, so I am leaning toward having a first look, but if by some chance our minds were to change, we have such an awesome team of vendors I really think either way would work out perfectly fine!

Ceremony music inspiration from Megan and Aaron (by Chris Isham) and Catherine and Kyle (by Pink Shoe Photography)

Next up is ceremony music! When this topic was brought up, Shelby shared two thoughts on the live vs. recorded question. She noted that the Town Hall is all white and very open, so going the recorded route would be less expensive, but could look messy in the space. We both agreed that live string instruments just sound richer and prettier, and since we already knew we would be having a cocktail hour with live music, we figured it would be worth the money to have string instruments during our ceremony and then to have the same musicians transition into cocktail hour, as well. Our final decision is a little unique, but we think we will like the combination: a violinist, cellist, and a guitarist who is also our family friend from our hometown!

On the other hand, our song selections have been a bit harder to finalize. This is partially due to my indecisiveness, but mostly because of my love for music. I often make up my own songs to accompany whatever I’m doing at the moment, have been told I constantly sway (especially when sitting or getting ready), and honestly, I can’t help but tear up or feel chills run down my spine during an awesome worship song. Give me music over TV playing in the background any day! Trying to take all of this into consideration has made finding the perfect songs difficult, but we set a few guideposts that are helping us along.

I love instrumental music, but traditional with a contemporary twist over straight traditional. We quickly nixed most conventional wedding ceremony songs in favor of something unique, fun, light, and pretty. Some examples of songs I love:
Beach Baby & Stacks by Bon Iver
Your Hand In Mine by Explosions In The Sky
Turning Page (instrumental) by Asleep At Last
A Thousand Years (instrumental) by Christina Perri
You’re Beautiful by Phil Wickham
Come Thou Fount
How Deep The Father’s Love For Us

Beautiful Rosemary Beach Town Hall ceremony by Lauren Kinsey

We haven’t made many final decisions on what will play when, but thankfully there is one song that I am positive will be in our ceremony – yay! We have an amazingly talented friend attending our wedding who will be singing “When You Walk Into The Room” by Bryan & Katie Torwalt. The Lord has placed this song on my heart over and over at the perfect moments: the first song that played the morning after I got engaged, and whenever I became overwhelmed with little details, it seems to always pop up on shuffle. Here’s a few of the lyrics:

“We love you, we’ll never stop. We can’t live without you, Jesus.
We love you, and we can’t get enough. All this is for you, Jesus.”

Every time I hear it, I am overwhelmed with the truth that this joy, this love, this union… it is all for Him – and nothing matters more than that. We’re considering using this song during a time of communion and prayer, but nothing has been set in stone. If anyone has any suggestions before we make our final decisions, I’m all ears!

Town Hall portrait by Lauren Kinsey

Beau and I are also hoping to make our ceremony unique through the words spoken at it. For vows, there seem to be three options:

— The bride and groom stick strictly to traditional ceremonial vows
— The bride and groom both individually write their own unique vows.
— The bride and groom start with the traditional vows but tweak them according to their unique relationship.

I think the third option is where Beau and I will end up… like I mentioned, Beau and I are traditional with a dash of contemporary, so that’s how I envision our vows to read as well!

No matter what else happens in the ceremony, one element that always stirs my hear is the message given by the officiant. This might be the portion of our ceremony that thrills my heart the most, so I’m excited to share this special detail with you all. In my opinion, we have the greatest “message giver” of them all: my brother, Michael. We chose him for three reasons:

— First, he is my favorite (and only!) brother, and I love him a lot. On a serious note, I think it’s important for the couple to share a friendship with their pastor, or “pastor” in our case, and Michael certainly fits the bill.
— He and his wife lead by example. They believe in the meaning of marriage, so through putting words to actions, his words may speak louder to guests who know both my brother and Beau and I as a couple.
— He is one of the few people who knows Beau and I as individuals AND also as a couple – when you’re in a long distance relationship, this is (sadly) rare. Knowing our hearts, passions, and desires will help Michael contribute to the power of the message, centering it around God while also making our ceremony unique to us as a pair.

I think he is going to focus his message on Ephesians 5:22-33, but when he asked me if I had any preference on his message, I just told him I trusted his heart for marriage, and that I’ll be happy as long as it gets across God’s vision for marriage and what our hopes as a couple are in this. Most of the specifics I’m asking him to keep concealed – because I want something to be a surprise! :)

Oh goodness, the day of. I am filled with happiness just thinking about the moments we will create and cherish for the rest of our lives on our special day. I have to repeat it once more; I can’t contain myself: 100 days – that’s all! Oh, and not to mention the end of long distance dating forever – praise the Lord!

Since this is the last ‘Mere Found Her Beau’ post, and I’ll be signing off as your SW guest post-er, I’d love to take a moment to say a few thank yous.

First, the lovely ladies of Southern Weddings! I have enjoyed every moment of this fun opportunity to guest post, and am honored you all asked me to write on your lovely blog. Without you all, I’d be without the greatest team of vendors, as well as still searching for the perfect seamstress, accessories, and bridesmaid dresses – your input has been invaluable!

Last but not least, thank you to all of you lovely readers! I’ve loved having you all join me for a bit of our wedding planning journey. Your sweet comments, words, and encouragements were too kind, and exactly what this busy bride needed :) We would love for you to continue to follow along with our wedding fun as the day draws nearer on Instagram or facebook with the hashtag #merefoundherbeau. Happy planning, friends!

Written with love by Southern Weddings
8 Comments
  1. avatar Lisa reply

    Ahhhh, 100 days!! So exciting!! I got chills reading this post and thinking about how beautiful and Christ-centered your ceremony is going to be–everything sounds amazing!

  2. avatar Lauren Kinsey reply

    Meredith, I just love you to bits and pieces! :) happy 100 days and so excited to see you soon!

  3. avatar Erin reply

    Best of luck with the rest of your planning! It’s been a joy to read these posts and to follow along with you on your journey. Enjoy these last 100 days! :)

  4. avatar Emily reply

    I may be a bit biased, but I am partial to “A Thousand Years” as a ceremony choice – that’s what I processed to, played by a string trio, and it was magical :)

  5. avatar Meredith reply

    Hi there! I just wanted to let you know that sunset in Florida in July will probably be around 8:30, so keep that in mind for your sunset pictures and your timeline :-) Yay 100 days! My wedding is in 10 days… wow, time flies!!!!

  6. avatar Parker reply

    I remember the day {last year!} when the countdown reached 100 days — I stayed up until midnight and SQUEALED when I saw 12am!

    If you’re unsure about a first look – my hubby and I did an “almost-first look,” where our planner put me in one room with the door partially closed, and then led him into the hallway where we couldn’t see each other but could still hold hands and pray! I’ll never forget that moment — it was purely magical…to be able to hold his hand, pray, and hear his voice sent chills all through me (in a good way!)! It really brought the calm, peaceful feeling we’d both hoped to have during the wedding.

    I’ve LOVED your posts, Mere! May God bless your wedding and, most importantly, your marriage!

  7. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Lowcountry oyster broil rehearsal dinner. With 100 days to go to her wedding, Meredith shared her ceremony plans! We celebrated Southern Weddings’ birthday with a look back on six wonderful years! […]

  8. avatar Stacy reply

    Hey Meredith and Beau– I found your blog accidentally as I was trying to help our son, Matt, think about wedding gifts for you. We already know Beau through a visit to our home and through his dear friendship with Matt and now we know and love Mere. You had me at “ugly crying.” :)(Not possible.)

    We have shared your posts with Matt’s grandpa who is marking a 54th wedding anniversary next week without his beloved. He (and Alice) so enjoyed meeting Beau (and Matt W) and I know your story is going to bless his heart.

    Your wedding will take place on my birthday. We share a lucky day. (Which means you can go to a 7/11 and get a free slushy. Hmm, maybe next year.) Matt has no excuse to forget your anniversary.

    We wish for you the depth of blessing that sharing every day, every heartache and every joy with your best beau and friend can bring. Thank you for sharing your journey in faith and love with us. (Stacy and Jeff)

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