Here I am, a mere 3 days before my wedding - churning out our final projects left and right while still finding time to watch my beloved Sox kick some American League ass!

Last night, Mr. Jet and I sat until we were raw-fingered to finish up 140 of these: (all photos personal)
We used Moss cardstock from Paper Source, my trusty baker's twine, and simple copy paper for the insert.

First, we had an Order of Events page outlining the processional/recessional and parts of the ceremony.
The middle spread was reserved for our Wedding party complete with adorable silhouettes to denote our closest friends and family.
Next, we dedicated a page to our loved ones who could not celebrate with us.
Lastly, the back cover page simply lists information from our invitation for reference and commemoration. 
These programs were the last "big" project we had to do before W-Day so I'm really glad and relieved these are all done and packed up!

Are you planning on offering programs at your ceremony?


 
 
With less than 50...fifty...FIVE-OH(!!) days to go before the wedding - Mr. Jet and I crossed something very important off of our list today:

We applied for our Marriage License!  YAY!  We visited my hometown's Town Hall, paid our $20*, had a nice chat with the Town Clerk about handbags, and were on our way!

This is my "I had dental work done today and I'm clenching my teeth in pain" look.  This is Mr. Jet's "Why are we taking a photo of ourselves inside the Town Hall?" look.



*Yes, $20!  First, do some research in your state to see if you can apply for the license in any town within the state of your impending nuptials.  If that's the case, shop around to see which city or town hall has the best rate and the shortest wait time.  If we went to our local city hall, we'd have paid $45 and probably made to wait for a period of time.  At this, much smaller, town hall we waltzed right in and were the only ones there the entire time we filled out our paperwork!


 
 
One of the most overwhelming parts of planning our wedding was the planning and writing of our ceremony.  Often times, the ceremony is completely overlooked by the bride and groom - as we're so caught up in the details of everything that comes AFTER.  Mr. Jet and I decided very early on that we wanted my Nana to officiate our ceremony, but since she's not a minister or ordained by any governing religious body, we not only had to dig into the legality of her performing the ceremony but also what specifically we needed to put into the ceremony to ensure it was legitimate.

Imagine planning all the time to royally eff up the ceremony and end up not legally married?!
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My worst nightmare!! / Image via Movie Poster Shop
I made sure to scour every book and online article I could find so that I could be positive that the ceremony we had was not only personal - but legal too!

Mr. Jet and I realized that the only essential parts of a wedding ceremony are:

1. the vows (they can be traditional, non-traditional or written by you and your hubby-to-be)
2. the pronouncement of marriage (the part where your officiant will say something like, "By the power vested in me by blah blah...")

Other than that, ceremonies can be as short, long, wordy or wordless as you wish.   

To start, I broke our ceremony into the following must-have categories:

  • Gathering Words (Nana will greet and thank everyone for joining us and tell everyone why they are there...in case anyone missed the memo)
  • Remembrance (Nana will list our deceased family members we wish to acknowledge and have a brief moment of silence)
  • A Reading (MOH K will pop in for a guest appearance and give a reading (which we still have yet to choose!!))
  • Marriage Address (some words of wisdom and a little bit of perspective to make us remember why we have chosen each other in marriage)
  • Declaration of Intent (The "Do You?", "I Do!" part)
  • The Vows (Mr. Jet and I will be writing our own)
  • Ring Exchange (obvious!)
  • The Final Blessing/Pronouncement (this is the part that truly seals the deal!)


We used an old Weddingbee favorite...
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The Wedding Ceremony Planner / Image via Amazon
...as a structure guideline and to pull excerpts from to create our own cohesive ceremony.  I read up on each category separately, highlighted key phrases and passages and we're currently in the process of editing the ceremony for cohesion and flow.  

Writing the ceremony and choosing all of the words that my Nana will speak to us and all of our friends and family has been an emotional and insightful experience.  It's allowed us to really put into words the way we feel about each other and how seriously we both take this commitment.  It's so easy to get lost in the "wedding" and forget about the actual "marriage".  Perspective is key and after writing this ceremony, I could not be more sure that marrying Mr. Jet will be one of the best decisions I will ever make.

Only 2 more months until "I Do!"

Anyone else write their own ceremonies?  Did you find it easy?  Difficult?

 
 
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No random JOP for me. / Image via MJPA
After Mr. Jet and I got engaged and settled on most of the major checklist items, we started thinking about the most important checklist item - who the hell is going to marry us?  

Most people who I've known get married, have known a Justice of the Peace or a Priest/Minister closely enough that it made sense to ask them to officiate.  Mr. Jet and I have no such luck, we're not affiliated with any church (shame on us lapsed Catholics) and we don't know anyone in our area that is ordained to perform wedding ceremonies.

I started doing some research on officiants in Massachusetts and came across this article: http://www.mass.gov/governor/getinvolved/onedaymarriage/ which states that a friend or family member may be designated as an "officiant for the day" through the Commonwealth with an application, letter of reference and a $25 fee.  

My grandmother (my dad's mother) immediately came to my mind.  She's been a huge part of my entire life and bonded with Mr. Jet when we first started dating over their mutual love of art and painting.  We've both been close to her and we had been looking for a way to involve Nana (pronounced NUH-nuh), as she's our only living grandparent.  She's also an avid writer and public speaker, so it seemed like a no-brainer to us.  She's supported our relationship since day one and was one of our first phone calls when we announced our engagement.   

I was positive she'd say yes, but still nervous to ask!  It seemed like a big undertaking for us to write and have her perform a wedding ceremony having never done it before, but we assured her we'd give her everything she needed and she gladly accepted!  Her only request was to be seen over the podium.  She is 4'11"....
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there she is, 80-years young. I hope I inherited her great skin! / Personal photo

So on our wedding day, my Nana will stand up there and read all of the words that Mr. Jet and I have written and laid out and legally bind us as husband and wife.  To say I can't wait for that moment is a tremendous understatement.  Having her officiate our ceremony is a wonderful and intimate way to tie her into our day and have someone up there who really knows us, and how much that day means to Mr. Jet and me.


Does your state allow for "officiants for the day"?  Would you ever ask a family member or friend to officiate?