Katie and Dale's ceremony took place at Martha Clara Vineyards on the North Fork. It was a bit of a blustery day in March, but the love that was radiating from these two was enough to warm us all up!
(The basket of blankets for their guests was a nice touch too - "To have and to hold, in case you get cold!")
Katie's reaction was priceless when she turned the corner and saw her soon-to-be husband waiting for her at the end of the aisle. Watch the video by Bilski Productions at the top of the page about to see what Dale had to say when he saw her!
The good-humored and dynamic couple opted for a "partially" unplugged ceremony. First, they wanted to make sure they could snap a quick picture to document the start of their celebration themselves... so once the bride and groom were in place and all the guests were welcomed, we paused to take a selfie! (I snuck around and jumped into the frame too - that's me in the bottom left corner.) It was such a fun and unexpected moment, and started the ceremony off with big smiles!
As we all settled into the moment, in the presence of Katie and Dale's great love, there was a noticeable intimacy and connection between the couple and all their family and friends. I told their captivating story, from a mac-and-cheese-filled first date; to the way they clung to each other in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy; to their deep appreciation for the sweet everyday moments they share, like conversations over meals and playing with their pets. I spoke of the support and encouragement they each provide the other, and the way their love and friendship has allowed them both to become the best versions of themselves.
Katie and Dale chose two readings that perfectly fit their personalities (see below for full texts). One, with a more serious tone and uplifting message, was about the vulnerability and trust necessary to experience true love, and how to recognize it when we've found it. The other was about a playful and silly set of circumstances, emphasizing the everlasting affection between the two.
As they were beginning this new adventure together, it was important to Katie and Dale that they begin a new tradition for themselves during their ceremony. They filled a keepsake box with a special bottle of wine from Martha Clara and secret letters to each other. They set a plan to unlock the box on their first anniversary, share the bottle of wine and read the letters, to revisit their wedding day and revel in joy of their marriage and the growing love between them. They are excited to then fill the box again every year with a new bottle of wine and new letters to open on each anniversary to follow.
Then came the vows and rings. As Katie and Dale bared their souls in the words they wrote for one another, there was not a dry eye in the crowd. (She was so moved, she actually clutched her heart as he spoke... look at this pictorial evidence from Paper Hearts Photography!)
The entire ceremony was a delicate dance of emotions that were experienced through laughs and tears. It was an open and honest portrayal of their love, in all its uniqueness and splendor, and each one of us was grateful to have been touched by it in this way.
As I relayed their hopes for the future and the ceremony came to a close, it was clear by the looks on Katie and Dale's faces that this was only the beginning of their life-long celebration!
Kind words from the couple...
Excerpt from Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach
A soul mate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are; we can be loved for who we are and not for who we're pretending to be. Each unveils the best part of the other. No matter what else goes wrong around us, with that one person we're safe in our own paradise. Our soulmate is someone who shares our deepest longings, our sense of direction. When we're two balloons, and together our direction is up, chances are we've found the right person. Our soulmate is the one who makes life come to life.
Disney Poem, Author Unknown
What's Mickey without Minnie, what's Piglet without Pooh,
what's Donald without Daisy, that's me without you.
When Ariel doesn't sing, and Pooh Bear hates honey,
when Tigger stops bouncing, and Goofy isn't funny.
When Peter Pan can't fly, and Simba never roars,
when Alice in Wonderland can't fit through small doors.
When Dumbo's ears are small, and happily ever after isn't true,
that's when I'll stop loving you.