Making It Official: Our Wedding Ceremony

Date: November 20, 2015 at 4:31 pm- by Ali- Comment(s): 15

Today, I’m here to talk about our wedding ceremony. Here’s what we’ve already covered…

Airing out my armpits while waiting for the walk down the aisle. (Whatever, I was warm!)

Airing out my armpits while waiting for the walk down the aisle. (Whatever, I was warm!)

Rollin' with my homies.

Rollin’ with my homies.

A bit of background about our ceremony and our priorities:

Brian and I are not religious. My dad’s side of the family is Jewish, and my dad liked the idea of including a Jewish tradition. Since I refuse to walk actual circles around my husband-to-be, we went with the “breaking the glass” tradition.

I was adamant that our ceremony not include the word God. I also did not want to be referred to as a bride (as in, no “you may now kiss the bride” — we’ll let that be a mutual decision, thanks).

We are laughing in every photo from our ceremony. What was funny?!

We are laughing in every photo from our ceremony. What was funny?!

My dad walked me down the aisle, but there was no “who gives this woman away?” stuff. I’m a grown ass woman. Not a good or service to be traded. (Sorry. I clearly watched one too many Shonda Rimes shows last night.)

YOU ARE ABOUT TO BE THE PROPERTY OF ONE BRIAN CRISTIANO. Bye, bitch!

YOU ARE ABOUT TO BE THE PROPERTY OF ONE BRIAN CRISTIANO. Bye, bitch!

WALK IT OUT.

WALK IT OUT.

We asked Coach Cane to officiate our wedding. We knew right away that we wanted our ceremony to feel very personal, and having someone we know, love, and respect lead our ceremony was important to us. Coach Cane was the first person who came to mind.

Coach Cane has known Brian and me as individuals and as a couple, and he was the first person to discover we were dating. It meant the world to us that he not only agreed to take on this massive task, but that he also took it so seriously.

All I ever wanted was to call him Pope Cane. Ugh, it's so catchy.

All I ever wanted was to call him Pope Cane. So catchy!

We wrote our own vows, refused to have any morbid “’til death do us part” phrasing, and skipped traditional readings in favor of something different. We asked my friend, Dee (married two years ago), and Brian’s family friend, Cindy (married for 30 years), to do “readings” that they wrote themselves.

Dee shared “how to survive the first year of marriage,” and then Cindy followed with “how to get through all the years that follow.” Both were hilarious, sweet, and completely original.

Dee is Italian, so she talks with her hands a lot!

Dee is Italian, so she talks with her hands a lot!

Brian’s mom’s boyfriend, Colin, is an amazing musician, so we asked him to play the music for our ceremony (you can’t have amplified sound in the Conservatory Garden). The bridesmaids walked down the aisle to him playing Ellie Goulding’s “Love Me Like You Do,” and my dad and I walked down to “Titanium,” which sounds awesome on the trumpet, FYI.

Handwritten music. I love this and want to frame it.

Handwritten music. I love this and want to frame it.

LOOK AT HIS TIE!!! HE WORE A TIE WITH GIRAFFES ON IT!!!!!!!

LOOK AT HIS TIE!!! HE WORE A TIE WITH GIRAFFES ON IT!!!!!!!

Any other questions? I think we’re good. Here’s how the day went down…

Right before we started our walk down the aisle, I turned to Coordinator Douglas and exclaimed, “We never made a rain plan! I love that about us!” We giddily hugged and laughed and I wish in our contract I had added a bullet point about Douglas being my BFF after the wedding. But he was only “hired family” for the one day. Sad. I miss him. (Douglas. Hello…it’s me. Hello from the other side.)

Walk it out.

Walk it out.

The girls started to walk as Colin played “Love Me Like You Do” on his newly-purchased-for-the-occasion flugelhorn. I didn’t hear too much of the music because I was chatting with my dad.

The cutest moms! HOLDING HANDS. OMG.

The cutest moms! HOLDING HANDS. OMG.

SO PRETTY.

SO PRETTY.

The idea was that he would run down the aisle waving his wands, which he did so perfectly at the rehearsal. But on the big day he was like, "F this, you woke me up from my nap," and just sorta chilled. Still cute, though!

The idea was that he would run down the aisle waving his wands, which he did so perfectly at the rehearsal. But on the big day he was like, “F this, you woke me up from my nap.”

My dad and I started to walk and I tried to hold it together, but as soon as I heard “Titanium,” I lost it.

Just silently weeping on the inside. And audibly crying on the outside. Like a champion!

Just silently weeping on the inside. And audibly crying on the outside. Like a champion!

I mean, at least I didn't fall...

At least I didn’t fall…

"Dad, who are all those people?"

“Dad, who are all those people?”

Everyone turned to stare at me and I remember saying to my dad, “holy shit, everyone’s looking at me,” and he replied, “no kidding!” So sassy. As we took our first steps, he looked at me and said, “Do you know how proud of you we are?” And I couldn’t handle that, so I was like, “LOCK IT UP, DAD.” I 100% ruined the nice moment he was trying to have because I didn’t want to totally lose my shit in front of all those people.

You know how some people look so sweet and adorable when they cry? I look like a combination of Dawson Leery and Kim Kardashian.

You know how some people look so sweet and adorable when they cry? I look like a combination of Dawson Leery and Kim Kardashian.

I remember looking at the 150 people watching me walk in and not recognizing a single face. It was surreal. I remember thinking, “Those must all be Brian’s friends I don’t know.” I literally could not recognize anyone. Walking down the aisle at your own wedding is one of the most insane, out-of-body experiences.

TURQUOISE PANTS ON FLEEK.

TEAL PANTS ON FLEEK.

But I saw Brian. And I stared at him the entire walk down the aisle. I didn’t see a single other face.

Shed a tear, Brian, I dare you.

Shed a tear, Brian, I dare you. (So does Ken.)

RYAN, PAY ATTENTION. Ugh. Brothers.

RYAN, PAY ATTENTION. Ugh. Brothers.

I remember my dad putting his arms around Brian and me and telling us to take care of each other. OK, DAD, WE WILL!

IF YOU WANT IT COME AND GET IT.

IF YOU WANT IT COME AND GET IT.

"Alison, stop crying. Pull it together. Brian, you're doing great."

“Alison, stop crying. Brian, you’re doing great.”

Brian and I took each other’s hands, faced Coach Cane, and then the ceremony had begun!

LOL MARRIAGE.

LOL MARRIAGE.

Let's do some getting married!

HAHAHA FUNNY WEDDING THINGS.

The ceremony was incredible. Coach Cane knocked it out of the [Central!] park. It was funny, it was sweet, it was emotional, and it was entirely customized and personal. He spoke about our first interactions, about knowing we were dating (“no one runs 11 miles to Brooklyn at 6 AM to watch ‘a friend’ race his bike…”), and about the parallels between racing and marriage.

The rest of the world was black and white...and so were we.

The rest of the world was black and white…and so were we.

Dee and Cindy gave us advice that was sweet and hilarious, and then we launched into our vows.

"Brian, remember to remind Ali that patience is a virtue. She doesn't like to have patience." In summary, that.

“Brian, remember to remind Ali that patience is a virtue. She doesn’t like to have patience.” Basically, yeah.

BRIAN AGREES.

BRIAN AGREES.

Cindy's husband is a cyclist, too. So she gets it.

Cindy’s husband is a cyclist, too. So she gets it.

I cried a little at the start of my vows, and I remember blurting out, “Well we knew this would happen!” So not only did I fail to hold it together, I also acknowledged my awkwardness, thus making it worse.

LOOK AT COACH CANE'S FACE. It's my favorite thing ever. He's like, "Come on, Feller. I trained you to be better than this."

LOOK AT COACH CANE’S FACE. It’s my favorite thing ever. He’s like, “Come on, Feller. I trained you to be better than this.”

"Namaste." (Really. I didn't plan to say that, but it came out of my mouth at the end of my vows.)

“Namaste.” (I didn’t plan to say that, but it came out of my mouth at the end of my vows.)

He's thinking, "She vowed to stop hanging her sweaty, smelly, WET post-workout clothes on my dresser drawers, but I know she's lying." YEAH PROBABLY.

He’s thinking, “She vowed to stop hanging her sweaty, smelly, wet post-workout clothes on my dresser drawers, but I know she’s lying.” YEAH PROBABLY.

Brian’s vows were perfect. I don’t remember it all now, but I remember one line: “I want to stay young forever, but I can’t wait to grow old with you.” That killed me.

I vowed to always let him have the last string cheese. But yeah. What he said was nice, too.

I vowed to always let him have the last string cheese. But yeah. What he said was nice, too.

And now note Coach Cane's face in THIS one. Brian did a good job.

And now note Coach Cane’s face in THIS one. Brian did a good job.

Then we exchanged the rings — delivered by Tyler! — and said our “I Dos,” and then Coach Cane did the formal stuff to pronounce us married.

Look at his little watch! So fancy! (You already know.)

Look at his little watch! So fancy! (You already know.)

OH. MY. TYLER.

OH. MY. TYLER.

This kid <3 <3 <3

This kid

Blah blah blah caption about rings. I'm running out of things to say here.

Blah blah blah caption about rings. I’m running out of things to say.

And then I think we kissed a lot, because the pictures show us kissing for a while.

Kissing.

Kissing.

More kissing.

More kissing.

Thank you, breeze, for blowing my veil at exactly the right moment.

Thank you, breeze, for blowing my veil at exactly the right moment.

We cheered, Brian broke the glass (so Jew-ish), and then I forgot my bouquet as we pranced down the makeshift aisle.

Oh good thing I pointed to the glass. That was probably helpful.

Oh good thing I pointed to the glass. That was probably helpful.

Good job, B! You are very strong!

Good job, B! You are very strong!

We REHEARSED so I would remember to grab my bouquet on the way out. And yet...empty handed.

We REHEARSED so I would remember to grab my bouquet on the way out. And yet…empty handed.

And the weather! The park has never looked better than it did that Saturday.

Save a flower, get married in a public park.

Save a flower, get married in a public park.

What a view.

What a view.

After the ceremony, we immediately went onto the lawn to take formal photos, which was the only stressful part of the day. We wanted to take a lot of photos, but we were a bit rushed, so I called it early and sent everyone to the reception-bound buses.

I look...terrified!

I look…terrified!

Then Brian and I took some time alone with Erin (photographer) and Snyder, our videographer. We took some fun photos (and deep breaths) and then got in the car to take us to the reception. The plan was to go with Erin and Snyder, but at the last minute Brian was like, “Actually, let’s be alone.” So they went in one car and we took another, and I loved that time.

We straight up refused to pose for any type of "formal" portraits alone. Just...not so much our style.

We straight up refused to pose for any type of “formal” portraits alone. Just…not so much our style.

Oh just chewin' on these here leaves and branches!

BECAUSE THIS IS NICER THAN A FORMAL PHOTO. Ugh. #giraffemanor

We geeked out over being “Just Married” and we drank champagne. It was one of my favorite parts of the day.

When I dip you dip we dip.

When I dip you dip we dip.

Then we hit a little bump and I spilled champagne all over my face and my dress. It’s fine.

We did it!

Up next: party time!

All photos by Erin Baiano, the picture magician.

15 Responses to "Making It Official: Our Wedding Ceremony"

Gah! LOVE how you did your vows and went all untraditional with so much of it. we did too and it meant so much to US and that’s all that mattered! beautiful!! congratulations again!!

Gorgeous. Love it and I swear, your spirit is uhmazing!

Love this so much! Could you guys BE any more cute? I say no…

I love reading your wedding updates! They are hilarious and so endearing! Y’all are adorable and it is so awesome!

I do have to ask (as I am getting married in 6 months) – your belt/sash…where did you get it?! It is gorgeous!

Thank you! And YAY, congratulations! My belt/sash was part of my dress! (It actually had a flower on it originally but I was like NOPE, bye flower. Not my style. Wanted it to be more simple.)

OMG!!! Loved every part of this!

I suppose you must now love mother earth for giving you such as lovely weather on your wedding day and adding that breeze during the wedding kiss as a plus!
BTW, little Tyler with his hand on his face jus melts my heart!!!

Thank you so much for sharing, I wish you both a lifetime of happiness (especially since I feel like I’ve known you for so long ’cause that’s what the internet does to you lol).

This is incredibly beautiful and heart warming. I can think of no one else who would be deserving and perfectly fitting for this moment and this day. I so wish I could have been a fly on the wall, or a lady bug in a bush rather! 😉 My big thing was I want to be barefoot going down the isle and during our ceremony – so I did it.

Also, can I just tell you how much it warms my heart that this sentence is written grammatically correct, “Coach Cane has known Brian and me as individuals and as a couple….”? I know writing is your profession and most people wouldn’t have caught this, but as a former teacher, I can appreciate your eloquent wording, perfect grammar, and nicely placed punctuation. 🙂

I LOVE DEE. that’s all.

I loved this a lot. A+ for the strong feminist tone and separation of God and marriage. For religious people I’m sure it’s really important God be included but I’m not religious either so I get not inviting God to the ceremony. 🙂

This made me actually weepy because you guys look so happy and it reminded me of my own wedding. Walking down the aisle was THE most incredible moment, I totally agree.

Also, I got dog poo on my wedding dress during the photos, so you totally beat me on the ‘poised and sophisticated’ front there.

Seriously…you guys look SO happy.

I love it!

LOVE your dress and love the idea of an outdoors ceremony! You lucked out on the weather. What a gorgeous day!!

I am LOVING these posts! What an amazing wedding! And from reading your posts I feel like I was there.

I listed to a flugelhorn cover of Titatanium while I read this. Amazing. Congrats!

I love all your wedding posts! I got married about a month before you and had the same moment with my dad just before walking down the aisle and ruined it as well because I also did not want to lose my shit in front of 200 people. haha I felt so guilty after but I am glad to hear I am not the only one to do this! haha