Yesterday I traveled to the beautiful Dallas Aquarium to meet my client April Wykoff and her Groom To Be, Scott Bell.
I brought half of my photography team (Stephanie Hafele) in order to get photos of the Wedding Rehearsal to gift the couple. Stephanie loved this unique Wedding Venue and is excited to get wedding photos today.
Located near the Historic West End in downtown Dallas, The Dallas World Aquarium is available for private events beginning at 6PM. Spend an evening among marine life of the South Pacific, Great Barrier Reef, and the Red and Tasman Seas; take a stroll through a South American Rainforest surrounded by lush vegetation, free flying toucans, otters, crocodiles and several species of monkeys or visit the Yucatan Penninsula and the highland rainforest of the ancient Maya. The dining and event areas include: Aquarium (Reef Room and Port Hole), Rainforest and Mundo Maya.
April and Scott have chosen a Short and Sweet Wedding Ceremony to be followed by a Unity Sand Ceremony in front of the large aquarium.
Rehearsing a wedding is basically going over the entrance, exit, placement and involvement of the wedding party in the production. The Wedding Ceremony isn’t involved because it would remove the emotional element of the ceremony. April will be given away by her father and we went over the simple “who presents this Bride for marriage” or “who has given April wings to fly and presents her to this Groom?” April chose the “Wings” version and her father will kiss her forehead following the exchange.
In order to get great photos- I have instructed the wedding party to pause at three different areas in order to get great photos. Leading with the same foot ensures that Bride and Groom along with Bridesmaids & Groomsmen are all on the same page. Taking the time to “slow down” the processional is essential to great wedding photos. After all you’ve spent months planning your ceremony so there shouldn’t be a big hurry to get through the ceremony. Weddings are your opportunity to shine Brides & Grooms so please take the time to enjoy your ceremony and have a little fun!
I’m posting the ceremony today to give ya all some options on what is said during your ceremony. You can hand write vows or choose another type of ceremony but if you don’t give the Minister insight- we are basically “winging” a ceremony.
The Short and Sweet Wedding Ceremony: “A wedding is the celebration of the miracle of love. Scott and April, today, in the presence of God, we celebrate this miracle in your lives.”
Love is patient and kind; Love is not jealous or boastful; Love is not arrogant or rude; Love does not insist on its own way; Love does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices with the right. Love bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.
Learning to love each other and live together in harmony is one of the greatest challenges of marriage. Marriage is not to be entered into lightly, and we are to hold it high in honor at all times.
“Scott and April, I charge you both as you stand in the presence of God, to remember that love, trust and loyalty are the foundation of a happy and enduring marriage. No vows are more sacred than those you are about to make. If these vows are kept unbroken and as you endeavor to do the will of your Heavenly Father, your lives together will be full of joy and love. Please join hands and look into each other’s eyes.”
“Do you Scott, take this woman to live together in marriage, will you love her, comfort her and honor and keep her, in health and sickness, in prosperity and in adversity, and forsaking all others be faithful to her so long as you both shall live?”
“Do you April, take this man to live together in marriage, will you love him, comfort and keep him, in health and sickness, in prosperity and adversity, and forsaking all others, be faithful to him as long as you both shall live?”
The rings are symbols of eternity and the unbroken circle of love. Love freely given has no beginning and no end. Today you have chosen to exchange rings, as a sign of your love for each other and as a seal of the promises you’ve made today. We ask that God bless these rings and the Union of these souls.
Scott as you place this precious ring on April’s finger, repeat after me, just as this ring encircles your finger/so does my love encircle your heart/ May this ring forever be a symbol of my growing love for you/with this ring I thee wed.
April as you place this previous ring on Scott’s finger, repeat after me, just as this ring encircles your finger/so does my love encircle your heart/ May this ring forever be a symbol of my growing love for you/with this ring I thee wed.
On Love by Thomas Kempis: Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing is stronger, nothing is higher, nothing wider, nothing more pleasant, nothing fuller or better in heaven and earth; for love is born of God.
Love flies, runs and leaps for joy. It is free and unrestrained. Love knows no limits, but ardently transcends all bounds.
Love sees nothing as impossible, for it feels able to achieve all things.
Love is not fickle or sentimental, nor is it intent on vanities. Like a living flame and a burning torch, it surges upward and surely surmounts every obstacle.
Closing Remarks: As you continue on your journey together, I ask that you remember this advice:
The key to love is understanding-and it is the little things that say so much by themselves.
The key to love is forgiving-to accept each other’s faults and pardon mistakes.
The key to love is sharing- sharing your good fortunes as well as bad together.
Challenge to the newly married couple: Scott and April, you have consented together in holy matrimony before God, have pledged your vows to each other, and have exchanged rings as tokens of your love and commitment to each other. In accordance with the laws of the State of Texas, with the authority of God’s Word, and with great joy, I now pronounce you husband and wife.
Blessing: The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord makes his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
At this point the couple seals their vows with a kiss.
Remember weddings are like any other ceremony- there are traditions and customs that many families honor and telling your Minister exactly what you want (or your family wants) is helpful for us to meet all the desires of the couple as well as their family by honoring tradition.