In my favorite poem by Robert Frost, Nothing Gold Can Stay, he reminds us that like the seasons of nature, life is one season melting into another, and quickly fading away. This is my attempt to document each season in my life and my family.

Happily Married – The Ceremony

Filed under: General — Rachel at 12:46 pm on Monday, June 16, 2014
Table of contents for Happily Married
  1. Happily Married – The Ceremony
  2. Happily Married – The Portraits
  3. Happily Married – The Reception

(You can click any of the photos to view a larger version in a new window.)

 

Matthew and I got married on May 24th at Beulah United Methodist Church in Seymour, Tennessee. It is a beautiful church, and we had a gorgeous day with absolutely perfect weather.

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Our families helped us so much with everything. They were involved with absolutely everything, from decorating to kid wrangling to participating in the ceremony. We couldn’t be more thankful for them.

The ceremony itself was everything I hoped it would be.

The kids were involved with everything. I enjoyed the time shortly before the wedding when I was getting ready. The girls were with me watching me get ready, and then the little boys came and found us, too.

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I got extreme butterflies when it was time for me and the girls to go outside when it was almost time for the ceremony to start. Matt and the boys were a little more chill, I think.

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Once the ceremony started, all my butterflies went away. Abby and Hailey gave me a little pep talk right before the music started. Abby instructed me to look at the beautiful roses on the rose bush by the front door and think about my three daughters if I got nervous. They were so sweet.

Once the music started, Matthew, Elijah, Owen, and Logan entered the church with Patti, one of my dearest friends who is an Army chaplain and officiated for us.

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Our processional was a medley of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/Simple Gifts” by The Piano Guys. It was perfect, and I absolutely loved it. You can listen to it here.

Kyra Joy walked in first. She was so beautiful.

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Next was Hailey Grace. I didn’t see it, obviously, but Matt said once she saw his best friend, Troy, she began enthusiastically tossing flower petals into the air and at Matt’s family in the pews.

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I think this is the point where Hailey saw her daddy. I absolutely love this photo!

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Abby Jo was next, and she took her flower girl duties much more seriously than her new big sister. I was told she very slowly, seriously, and purposefully dropped her petals a couple at a time.

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When the music swelled and Isabelle opened the church doors for me to go in, I think my heart stopped beating for a second. I wasn’t nervous anymore, but I was just filled with so much joy. Seeing our friends and family there to share the day with us was such a wonderful feeling.

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There is no moment better, though, than when I laid eyes on this beautiful man waiting for me at the altar.

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There were a few moments when I stood at the front before Matt stepped down to take my hand and walk with me up onto the platform. I felt like my heart would burst with happiness.

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I actually love that I had those few seconds to take it all in. I looked at my beautiful children, my groom, the lovely children that I was about to take as my own, and it was overwhelming.

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After a few words and a prayer by the minister, my youngest brother, Seth, read a poem by e.e. cummings.

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“I Carry Your Heart With Me” by e.e. cummings

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
                                                      i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

 

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

 

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
Next, Matt’s little sister, Whitney, read a passage of Scripture.
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Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 & 11

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

 He has made everything beautiful in its time.

Next, was one of my favorite parts of the ceremony. We had a sand ceremony, representing the blending of our two families. Me and my kids had bottles of white sand, and Matthew and his kids had bottles of blue sand. While the song “Bless the Broken Road” by Rascal Flatts played, we each poured our individual bottles of sand into a shadow box.

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 It turned out beautifully, and I think the kids really embraced the symbolism. They liked taking part. Elijah told me the other day that it was the only cool part of the wedding, except for when he got to walk out.

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Once the sand ceremony was over, instead of all of my children standing with me and Matt’s with him as we were in the beginning, all of the girls took new places by me and all the boys went and stood by Matt, obviously symbolizing that we were no longer two families but one.

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Then it was time for us to say our vows and give each other rings. The vows we used were not the traditional ones, but something slightly different, with additional promises concerning the children.

 

“I, (Rachel/Matthew), take you, (Matthew/Rachel), to be my  (husband/wife), my constant friend, my faithful partner and my love from this day forward. In the presence of God, our family and friends, I offer you my solemn vow to be your faithful partner in sickness and in health, in good times and in bad, and in joy as well as in sorrow. I promise to love you unconditionally, to support you in your goals, to honor and respect you, to laugh with you and cry with you, and to cherish you for as long as we both shall live.”
“And I take (Hailey and Logan/Kyra, Elijah, Owen, and Abby) to be my family. I promise to love, honor, support and protect them as my own children.”

 

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The kiss…

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…and the presentation of us as Major and Mrs. Holbrook for the first time!

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One of the very personal touches of our wedding was at the end. Instead of using the traditional wedding march music to leave the church to, we had a piano version of The Brady Bunch theme song play as we left. If we had a dollar for every time we have been compared to the Brady Bunch, we would be rich by now. This little part of the ceremony was definitely very reflective of Matt and my personalities. It made us smile.

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Our wedding day was so special to us. It was just what we wanted, and we had so much fun. I couldn’t ask for anything better to memorialize forever the birth of our new family.

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3 Comments »

Comment by Stephanie

June 17, 2014 @ 6:20 pm

Your wedding was beautiful. We were glad we got to come. We noticed the kids switching sides and loved that! Also the Brady Bunch was a personal favorite! Great pics.

Comment by Rachel

June 17, 2014 @ 11:10 pm

Thanks, Steph! I am SO glad you got to come. It really meant a lot to me.

Comment by Rachel

June 24, 2014 @ 12:30 am

Comments via Facebook:

Patricia Nichols: Lovely! Thank you for allowing me to be a part of your special day.
June 16 at 2:43pm

Rachel Holbrook: Thank *you*, Patti. It meant the world to me.
June 16 at 2:48pm ·

Dianna Major: Congratulations!

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