My husband is a filmmaker and I am an actor and teacher, so we wanted our ceremony to express our love of art, as well as creative spirituality. We had one of our pastors read the story of the burning bush from Exodus and asked those who wanted to, to remove their shoes-- people stretched out their toes in the grass, and already the mood became more relaxed and intimate. A close-friend introduced our "ring-warming" ritual where our rings were passed from person to person throughout the ceremony and each asked a silent blessing on our union. My mentor and acting teacher introduced a sage smudge ritual- a Native American ritual of burning sage to cleanse any negative energy from the space and make room for the positive. We offered that people could join us in the ritual, and we were amazed that everyone did! Each couple, family or individual walked up to us, took the sage and offered, in their own way, a prayer or wish for us. It was beautiful and sacred- one of my very favorite moments. We had heard how often the bride and groom feel they don't get to spend enough time with each guest--and that sage ritual made it so we had a special, individual moment with each person. Finally, with loving energy abounding and warm rings, we made our marriage vow. After the ceremony, we went over to a waiting boat and took short trip-- just the two of us--around the Thimble Islands and just take it all in before coming back to the party.
We took quick family photos at golden hour, and then proceeded to dinner! We had asked our parents, aunts, and grandparents to loan us their heirloom china, and we mixed and matched the place settings--so pretty, as well as symbolic of the joining of two families. We wanted the beautiful setting of the Thimble Islands to be our main decor, we added only small decorations--sprigs of lavender, candles in mason jars, pictures of us and our families and rustic wooden tables. Our dinner was catered by the sister of my friend, and they made a late summer-early fall inspired meal with roasted root vegetables, butternut squash soup, and maple glazed port tenderloin. Delicious! My sister made the cupcakes- lemon lavender and peanut butter chocolate- yum!
Loved ones gave speeches, we played our own dance playlist from an iPod and speakers, people helped themselves to drinks, sat by the bonfire, took photos at our unique "photo booth" (our friend set up a giant photo studio on the gazebo!), and celebrated the night away.
Tobias perfectly captured each of these moments in his pictures. He had a 6th sense of what was important to us, catching the seemingly unimportant, but oh-so-meaningful details like the Brother of the Groom leveling the table stands, or the special bow on the Mother of the Bride's puppy. Our simple, DIY dream wedding came true.
Shawn & Katie, September 28th, 2013
Location: Linden Point House, Connecticut, USA