Our Wedding: Ceremony

It’s Ultimate Wedding Week ceremony time! If you missed Friday’s post that featured pre-ceremony photos, click here.

Our ceremony and reception were held at the same location– a restored 1940s barn. We liked the idea of having a one-stop shop for us and our guests. Our ceremony started at 5:30 PM and lasted about 25 minutes. We like short weddings so it was appropriate that ours be short and sweet.

We rolled up to our ceremony and reception location in a stretch Excursion. I told the limo company that the complimentary red carpet wasn’t necessary.

When we arrived I took some photos with my family. I have the smallest extended family (we’re talking like 11 people) so that wasn’t very difficult. Somehow Brad was left out of the photos. He was inside troubleshooting our DIY photo booth software. I’m with my dad, mom, and step-dad on the left and my older brother and younger half-sister on the right.

After those photos were taken I headed into our reception room to hide from the guests that had started arriving. My bridesmaids and Brad’s cousin helped clean my dress. I wish I was making a pretty face in this photo, but of course, I’m not. Can you tell that I’m freaking out about a small detail, like the position of a centerpiece, in my head? I clearly didn’t drink enough champagne in the limo.

My mom made my veil. She cut the tulle from a pattern and hand stitched the lace along the bottom.

While I was in hiding, our guests started arriving in the ceremony area. I made the moss covered monograms (that I’m also selling in my Etsy shop) and peony topiaries on the mantel. I also made the peony pomanders that lined the aisle.

Brad’s paternal grandparents were unable to attend our wedding because of his grandfather’s failing health. So Brad’s cousin set up a live web cam in the back so they could watch our ceremony on their TV at home. How cool is that?

Brad’s second cousins were our ring bearer and flower girl. Our flower girl cracked everyone up because she dropped like one petal every couple steps because she didn’t want to waste them. Then after the ceremony was over and the bridal party was on their way out, she started to pick up the petals. Adorableness.

I’m behind the doors flipping out because the music was cutting out during the seating of honored guests and bridesmaid processional. I’m pretty sure my eyes bulged out of my head every time it cut out.

Brad and his Best Man yucking it up. I’d like to think that his Best Man is saying, “You’re really lucky, Brad. Chelsea is a dime.” And Brad replies, “Yeah, I know. Chelsea is pretty darn amazing.” Or they’re laughing because they know I’m behind the doors cursing our DJ.

My step-dad and dad walked me down the aisle. I chose Vitamin String Quartet’s version of Dare You to Move by Switchfoot as my processional song. The doors opened at the :57 mark. I’m dramatic like that.

We switched the designated sides for our ceremony. I hate it when I go to weddings, and I can’t see the person I’m there to “represent”. So my guests sat on the groom’s side and Brad’s guests sat on the bride’s side.

We look like giants standing next to our officiant. She’s about 5′, while Brad and I are 6’+ in our shoes.

Swapping bling.


Making out.

Mr. and Mrs.

Making it officially official.

After the ceremony we took a photo of both of our families together.


Then we took photos with Brad’s side. Here we are with his parents and younger brothers.

Our cute flower girl and me.

All photos by Anya Albonetti.

Gah, after getting all these photos together I want to get married again or plan another wedding. Who wants me to help plan their wedding?

Come back on Wednesday for the par-tay reception photos!

Where did you get married?
What song did you choose for your processional?
Did you have any crazy moments happen during your ceremony?

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  1. Hi Chelsea! Your wedding photos are gorgeous!

    My hubz & I got married in a gazebo overlooking a lake in early April. That morning, it rained, so you can imagine my panic. We had a plan B, but it was an “only if we absolutely have to” plan. Fortuantely, it stopped raining about 3 hours before our late afternoon ceremony. Chris & I wore microphones so that our guests would be able to hear our vows, BUT the microphones ended up not working (ugh). Other than that, it was perfect. Everything that I would’ve ever wanted.

    Hope you have a great Monday!

    Mendi @ Her Late Night Cravings

  2. What a beautiful wedding. The personal handmade touches are amazing and it looks as though you have a great family!

  3. Aww… what a beautiful wedding! I love the venue and your dress. And the moss-covered letters! Just lovely!

    It’s funny, because I was totally the opposite of your eye-bulging moments at the wedding. I think a piano could have been dropped on my head and I wouldn’t have noticed. I’m normally so type-A that it was a bit of a surprise. I ended up just floating through the day. It’s a good thing we had a photographer to capture the details, because I would have missed most everything. Isn’t that crazy?

  4. Gorgeous photos! I love your idea about swapping the guest sides. That is genius!!

  5. I have no idea how I stumbled across your blog, but I’m glad I did! I love you style! And, as I’m planning my October 2012 wedding right now, I’m equal parts freaking out and loving the ideas I’m coming across online. Maybe I’ll have to hire you to do my DIY things for me! (are they still DIY if you hire someone to do it? Probably not…) Also, I’m guessing we must have run into each other at some point. I was a Kappa Delta at IU (2005) and my sister is now a Phi Mu. Small world!

    Congrats on a gorgeous wedding! And, thanks for showing me that married life is equally as pretty! 🙂

  6. I love these photos -they are so dreamy! We did the switching of sides too (brides on groom side, grooms on bride side)! Gorgeous ceremony!

  7. I love your venue and the idea of getting married & celebrating the marriage at the same place.

    The pastor who married us twenty-five years ago, mis-pronounced my name during the ceremony!! You know the part, do you take ____________ to be your wife!!! My head did not do an exorcist spin or anything. That was a wedding miracle.

  8. GORGEOUS wedding!!! The music thing would have driven me bonkers too! We hired an acoustic guitarist to play our ceremony and he was LATE! All day we were running behind, then I FINALLY got us back on track for the ceremony, and then the freaking guitarist was late! I have no idea how late exactly, but it threw the whole rest of the day off. We missed a lot of photos, and dinner because of it! (well, our guests ate, but the bridal party spent that time taking photos at the reception site) I was SO mad!

  9. Very beautiful. I love your letters. That huge family photo is really cool. I wish we would have thought to do something like that.

  10. That venue looks so gorgeous! I love the giant fireplace behind you guys and the family portrait is great! That was the one big thing I regret from my wedding, not having a large family picture.

  11. WOW! This is so gorgeous.

    Hubs and I got married on June 4 last year. We got married in a small country church and had our reception in a friends big backyard. It was beyond magical and perfect. I walked down to violins playing ‘Simple Gifts’

    Ahhh. I would love to go back and do the whole wedding over. I miss it. Such a perfect day.


  12. you are making me want to go and do it all over again too! the barn is simply stunning…i love the DIYed items on the mantel…every detail was just exquisite, you can tell how much thought went into everything :).

    we got married on a beach 🙂

  13. I LOVE the moss covered letters – and FANTASTIC idea of sitting on opposite sides!! Is it bad that I don’t even remember what song was our processional?! Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos!

  14. What a beautiful wedding! You have so many details in the ceremony that are absolutely perfect. I adore the moss initials!

  15. I am the complete opposite of you. No interest in wedding planning. None.

    Your pictures are amazing!

    Our church ceremony was pretty uneventful..except when the pastor called Nate “Brad”….this is Nate’s pastor he’s had since childhood. Awesome. Luckily no exes named Brad. 😛

  16. No memory of what the song was, but as I walked down the aisle the most horrific trumpet playing commenced. With all eyes on me, I burst into laughter… The fam still talks about what must have been an 8-yr-old playing his squeaky trumpet at our wedding. Unforgettable.

    Thanks for sharing, Chelsea! – Jul from Ten51

  17. I love the stone fireplace as a backdrop. Beautiful!

  18. Wow! How lovely! Your wedding was beautiful and captured so well in life-like pictures. I wasn’t familiar with the song, but what a great choice. We were married 22 years ago and the colors were plum and ivory. Quit traditional in many ways, but fond memories none the less with an amazing marriage to follow.

  19. I think weddings are best when they are personal to the bride and groom. It looks like a lovely day, cherish the memories

  20. I would LOVE for you to help me plan my wedding 😀 Wait… I am not engaged yet 🙁 Maybe soon? I am just a couple states away in Missouri 🙂 I loved your wedding idea!

  21. What a gorgeous setting! Love the fireplace! And you were a beautiful bride my dear! Thanks so much for linking up! 😉

  22. I got totally teary seeing your dad and step-dad walk you down the aisle. I’m a step-momma myself and what an amazing tribute to your step-dad, to include him in that moment. I’m sure it meant the absolute world to him, because it isn’t a “given”, like it would be for your biological Dad, it was a choice and I just love that you did that. I’m sure he did plenty to earn his spot there. Gorgeous wedding and happy anniversary!

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  24. Hi,

    Thanks for sharing such a interesting blog about your wedding ceremony. I read your complete blog and you explain each and every point very well. Keep Posting that type of wonderful blog.

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