Wedding Wednesday: The Ceremony

9 Dec


Last we left the wedding updates, our families had stormed Alexandria in red dashikis, I had slept for about 2.5 hours the night before the wedding, CafeKef finally had luscious lashes, and we had posed for 17,091 family photos. To read all about that, check this out.

Back when MrKef staged an amazing engagement surprise, it was already pretty apparent that we wanted different things in a wedding. My dream nuptials included an “engagement party” that was–surprise!–actually a wedding. No expectations, no rules, no problems. If it had been up to MrKef, on the other hand, he would have had 500 people, flying doves, and fancy floral centerpieces galore. So… there was negotiating to be done.

All this to say, when 150 people showed up and were milling about in the next room (and when all I could hear was MamaKef nearly having a coronary keeping any of them from seeing me), I was feeling very nervous and very much like I wanted to skip over the whole stand-in-front-of-everyone-you-know thing and get right to the dance-all-night bit. But, the show must go on, and so the procession began.

MrKef chose the beginning of this instrumental version of “Let’s Get Married” for his, his parents’, and the wedding party’s processional.



Of course, cheers erupted for MrKef as soon as he entered the room, and any lingering worry that we would have a stuffy, sterile wedding went right out the window of the 14th Floor.



I chose Ray Charles’ “Hallelujah I Love Her So” to walk into. All the informal ceremony cheering in the world couldn’t keep me from looking like a deer in headlights as I walked into 300 eyes staring at me. Not having to do that again is reason enough to stay married forever!0572


Our officiant was PurplePenKef, who’s been a great mentor and friend to me and MrKef over the years. She created a truly memorable ceremony that was heartfelt, unique, and kept everyone laughing:


It was important to us to include our parents in the ceremony, so we each chose one to speak on behalf of our respective families in order to pledge their support, advice, and opinions (as if either set of parents waits to be asked to provide those!). This was a great excuse for me to out MamaKef on her obsession with the deer population of Orange County, NY.


SoulFoodChefKef read a short excerpt from Hilary T. Smith’s Wild Awake:0605

People are like cities: We all have alleys and gardens and secret rooftops and places where daisies sprout between the sidewalk cracks, but most of the time all we let each other see is is a postcard glimpse of a skyline or a polished square. Love lets you find those hidden places in another person, even the ones they didn’t know were there, even the ones they wouldn’t have thought to call beautiful themselves.

And then BabyKef read from Captain Correlli’s Mandolin:


     Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. because this is what love is.
Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any fool can do.
Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Those that truly love,
have roots that grow towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.

And then it was time for PurplePenKef’s “homily.” She had been hilariously holding this over our heads for the better part of the year, but instead of roasting us as we deserved, she made the loveliest speech, using one of her favorite (!) crafts, quilting, as the metaphor. I would share a short excerpt, but I keep tearing up reading it over and over looking for a stand-alone portion, so it’s really better that we just keep things moving.


And then it was time to say some vows! Neither of us felt tied to the traditional vows, nor did we particularly care to write our own. Luckily, we stumbled upon this set of vows which we both really loved. Someone, somewhere on the internet attributed them to Quakerism, but I have not independently confirmed that with two reliable sources. I will post them here in the event one of my readers is on the lookout for some heartfelt-but-not-cheesey-or-new-agey vows:

Today, I make you my family.
Loving what I know of you and trusting what I do not know,
I will turn to you in every joy and every struggle.
I will build a life that makes you proud,
and I will honor your dreams, wherever they may lead us.
I will share my adventures with you,
and I will make my home wherever you are.
I promise to cherish and delight in your spirit and individuality,
to face life’s challenges with patience and humor,
and to nurture our growth.
Whatever is placed before us,
I will be right here by your side for the rest of my days.


And with that, we were presented as Mrs and Mr Kef for the very first time to all our friends and family!



Next time, on Wedding Wednesday: speeches, surprises, and signature drinks!


Amazing photography provided by: RMN Photography
Venue and gracious coordinators of logistics: Key Bridge Marriott
White dress the bride could live with: BHLDN
Perfect party music played by: DJ StereoFaith

2 Responses to “Wedding Wednesday: The Ceremony”


  1. Wedding Wednesday: Syrtaki, Stanky Spanx, and Suspenders | Cooking Up Kefi - January 13, 2016

    […] after we rehearsed, said “I Do,” and MrKef got a major roasting, it was finally time to start the party. Clearly, […]

  2. (Almost The Last) Wedding Wednesday: Reception Kings and Prancing Dads | Cooking Up Kefi - January 20, 2016

    […] all these fun wedding moments has been great, but I’m ready to move on. (Part I ; Part II ; Part III ; Part […]

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