Somewhere between the brook and the butterfly bush
by Beverly Sullivant--NJ Wedding Minister on 07/23/11
Minutes before the backyard ceremony of Karlie and Joe, I asked Joe about his vows. Karlie had written hers weeks before and was able to incorporate them into the wedding script that had been prepared. The spot on the script where Joe's vows were supposed to appear just said XXXXX. So I should not have been surprised that Joe's response to my question about his vows was, "I'm just going to say 'ditto' after Karlie does hers."
I didn't worry, however, because I was able to observe some things about him. I noticed the moment when he was taking her in with his eyes while she gave instructions to the caterer. I admired the way he patiently explained to their sons why they needed to wear their tux jackets during the ceremony even though doing so made them "sweat A LOT." I was right next to him when he called out to Karlie with a concerned voice, "Honey, honey, you're stepping on your dress."
I didn't worry whether Joe had his vows written down because Joe was all about commitment and marriage and understanding and caring and loving his relationship and his family and his wedding day. In the end, Joe's vows, which were articulate and rehearsed and clearly planned in advance, were a deep and powerful expression of his love and devotion for his wife.
It was an beautiful ceremony. We stood on a grassy knoll between butterfly bushes and a babbling brook. A damselfly kept alighting on my binder. The bride was radiant. And the groom nearly stole the show by saying a lot more than "ditto."