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Wedding: Venue & Ceremony

October 30, 2012

Matt and I had our ceremony and reception at Club 1000, a historic building in the Quality Hill neighborhood of downtown Kansas City. The 6th-floor penthouse event space features breathtaking views of KC with a panoramic horizon of the downtown skyline, plus huge picture windows, soaring 18-foot ceilings, and a fantastic skylight over the dance floor.

I awaited the ceremony in a private room in the back.

I carried a bouquet of…purple kale!

Matt and I both walked down the aisle “unassisted.”

First him, then me.

Matt’s friend Mat officiated for us. He’s not a minister or anything; we just went outside the ordinary and got legally married at the courthouse a couple weeks prior. That way, our ceremony could be purely- well, ceremonial!

Since so many people have asked, I’ve decided to share the near-full text of our ceremony (minus our vows, which we’ll keep private with our family and friends) with you all. Our ceremony, like our entire wedding, was very non-traditional, personalized, unique, and extraordinarily meaningful. We wrote a ceremony that we thought fit our personalities and our love perfectly. It was full of emotional moments, and there were very few dry eyes in the house. Enjoy.

Amber & Matt’s Wedding Ceremony, 9/8/2012

Opening words
Officiate: “Welcome family and friends. We are gathered here today to celebrate the union of Matt and Amber. Marriage is the promise of hope between two people who love each other, who trust that love, who honor one another as individuals in that togetherness, and who wish to share the future together. It enables two people to share their desires, longings, dreams, and memories, their joys and laughter, and to help each other through their uncertainties. It provides the encouragement to risk more and thus to gain more. In marriage, Matt and Amber will provide mutual support, stability, comfort, and love to share for the rest of their lives.

Linguist and cognitive psychologist Steven Pinker has this to say about love:
“The thought of a loved one can turn our wits upside down, ratchet up our heart rate, impel us to slay dragons and write corny songs. We may become morose, obsessive, even violent. Lovesickness has been blamed on the moon, on the devil, but whatever is behind it, it doesn’t look like the behavior of a rational animal trying to survive and reproduce. But…nothing so primal could have been created out of thin air as a mere custom or product. To the contrary, romantic love is a human universal.
Don’t accept a partner who wanted you for rational reasons to begin with; look for a partner who is committed to staying with you because you are you. Committed by what? Committed by an emotion. An emotion that the person did not decide to have, and so cannot decide not to have. An emotion like romantic love.”

Writer and philosopher Ayn Rand once said:
“Love is the expression of one’s values, the greatest reward you can earn for the moral qualities you have achieved in your character and person, the emotional price paid by one man for the joy he receives from the virtues of another.”

Author and most genius of wordsmiths Vladimir Nabokov wrote:
“When that slow-motion, silent explosion of love takes place in me, unfolding its melting fringes and overwhelming me with the sense of something much vaster, much more enduring and powerful than the accumulation of matter or energy in any imaginable cosmos, then my mind cannot but pinch itself to see if it is really awake. I have to make a rapid inventory of the universe, just as a man in a dream tries to condone the absurdity of his position by making sure he is dreaming. I have to have all space and all time participate in my emotion, in my mortal love, so that the edge of its mortality is taken off, thus helping me to fight the utter degradation, ridicule, and horror of having developed an infinity of sensation and thought within a finite existence.”

Poetry readings
Officiate: “Amber and Matt would like to share a pair of poems with you today. Amber will begin with e. e. cummings’s ‘Somewhere I have never traveled.’”
Amber: (turns toward audience and reads)

“somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me, i and
my life will shut very beautifully ,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands”

Officiate: “Matt will now read Pablo Neruda’s Sonnet number 17.”
Matt: (turns toward audience and reads)

“I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.”

Unity ceremony: PB&J
(Officiate moves PB&J table in between Matt & Amber)
Officiate: “Matt and Amber will now give a brief demonstration to symbolize their union. On one hand” (officiate gestures towards Amber, who is spreading PB onto a slice of bread) “we have peanut butter: sometimes smooth and sometimes crunchy, always pleasantly nutty. On the other hand” (officiate gestures towards Matt, who is spreading jam on another slice of bread) “we have jelly: sweet, colorful, and rather fruity. Two very different tastes, textures, and personalities. The bread symbolizes shared interests, goals, and dreams; common values, beliefs, and lifestyle choices. When anchored by these shared values and combined into one unit, Amber and Matt complement and balance each other like peanut butter and jelly: that is to say, each component is wonderful on its own, but the whole is even greater than the sum of its parts.”
(Amber & Matt put the sandwich together and take a simultaneous bite of the sandwich. Officiate applauds to encourage audience to applaud.)

Officiate: “Matt, do you take this woman to be your wife? Will you love her, comfort her, honor and protect her, forsaking all others to be faithful to her for as long as you both shall live?”
Matt: “I do.”
Officiate: “Amber, do you take this man to be your husband? Will you love him, comfort him, honor and protect him, forsaking all others to be faithful to him for as long as you both shall live?”
Amber: “I do.”
Officiate: “Matt, please recite your vows to Amber.”
Matt: (reads his vows)
Officiate: “Amber, please recite your vows to Matt.”
Amber: (reads her vows)

Rings & Kiss
Officiate: “Matt and Amber will now complete the ceremony by exchanging rings.”
(Matt gets the rings out, hands his ring to Amber)
Matt: (slides ring on Amber’s finger) “You’re the queen and I’m the king…”
Amber: (slides ring on Matt’s finger) “…Nothing else means anything.”
Officiate: (Looking at Matt) “You may kiss the bride.”
(Amber & Matt kiss as exit song begins)
(Audience applauds)
(Amber & Matt exit)

(Remember, you can check out our wedding video for live-action glimpses of the ceremony.)

Prepping the peanut butter and jelly sandwich for our unity ceremony

Note the custom-framed his-and-hers bat art, handmade by my amazingly talented friend Emily! Bats were our theme, if you haven’t picked up on that. 😉

Finishing the sandwich


The kiss

The exit

Immediately after the ceremony, while the guests enjoyed cocktail hour, Club 1000 allowed me, Matt, and our photographer to have a private half-hour photo session on the roof of the building. It provided a beautiful backdrop for pictures and a comforting interlude between our ceremony and reception.

For more wedding posts, visit my Wedding tab!

22 Comments leave one →
  1. October 30, 2012 2:25 pm

    The peanut butter ceremony instantly transports me to this hilarious nonsense
    And based upon that, you can tell I’m very easily entertained…just as a cat likes nothing more than to swat at a paperclip on the cold kitchen floor at 2am.

    I have loved browsing through your wedding photo…everything looks like it was amazing. The venue, the dress, all of it. Beautiful poetry, beautiful everything. I love the little Quality Hill neighborhood just over to the west of us. It’s very quiet for the most part. In fact, we almost moved in there. The actual apartments, not the town homes or anything else in that area. But apparently they are in HIGH DEMAND (just about the only place downtown you can find 2 beds and 2 baths for under a grand) as just as we were going to take a tour of one at 5pm, someone placed their holding deposit an hour before our scheduled showing. And nothing else ever opened up. But I believe everything has some kind of reasoning or willed-outcome behind it, and obviously where we are at now is a better fit in terms of the amenities.

    You will definitely have something fun to show the grandchildren one day. 🙂

    • October 30, 2012 2:26 pm

      Crap. Didn’t realize the video would actually show up in the comment. You can take down my comment if you don’t want that stupid video showing.

      • October 30, 2012 2:32 pm

        Bahaha! It’s cool, I’ll just edit out the link. But yes, we heard “Peanut Butter Jelly Time!” from severl guests that night. 😛

    • October 30, 2012 2:37 pm

      Thanks Trish! As I keep saying, we definitely did things our own way. 😉
      Quality Hill is pretty awesome. We got some great photos in the streets there before the ceremony; I’ll probably put them up on FB soon.

  2. October 30, 2012 3:22 pm

    Oh darling, a part of me is so grateful you didn’t post your vows, because I’m currently in the Porter airport and I can’t risk bursting into tears all over again! The bathroom is too far away for me to run too like I did after you and Matt went up to take your photos.

    I’m so grateful, and so honoured, that I was there to celebrate you and your Matt on this wonderful, wonderful day/night. I’ll never forget how glorious, and how *you* (meaning you both!), the ceremony was. Love, love, love always. xoxo

    • October 30, 2012 3:29 pm

      I’m so happy you were there to hear those vows, though 🙂
      I’m so happy you were there, PERIOD!

  3. October 30, 2012 10:44 pm

    I love everything about this! A bouquet of kale! I’v thought so many times someone should do that. It’s the perfect little counterpoint to the quintessentially urban vibe of the rest of the wedding, from the visual setting to the pb&j (another awesome touch) to even the poems (another gorgeous spin).
    so much love to you both!

    • October 31, 2012 8:31 am

      Thanks Ela – I thought you in particular would appreciate the quotes and the poems we chose. 🙂

  4. October 31, 2012 6:08 am

    PB&J… that is so cool! You had an amazing ceremony, thank you for sharing it.

  5. October 31, 2012 12:25 pm

    Whoa! That dress is beautiful!! I love the black lace on the sleeves. You looked so pretty! And the kale bouquet is genius!! I’m glad you’re posting all these pics and the text since I missed it.

    • October 31, 2012 12:34 pm

      Thanks Bianca! I just posted our entire wedding album on FB, if you wanna take a peek. 😉

  6. Tara permalink
    October 31, 2012 3:51 pm

    What a beautiful and special ceremony! I especially love the Steven Pinker quote and the PBJ unity ceremony. I can only imagine how moving your vows were to those present…. : )

  7. October 31, 2012 5:18 pm

    Wow. such a beautiful ceremony, beautiful words and a gorgeous bride. i want to get married all over again with the bouquet of kale and the PB&J sandwich 🙂 We had a very very elaborate Indian wedding which was all done by our parents and since then i have told hubbs that we will renevw our vows some years down the line in a smaller ceremony with things that we like:)

  8. November 2, 2012 10:17 am

    I love that you made your wedding totally yours! A PB&J unification sandwich? So awesome! I wish that I would have thought of doing a civil ceremony ahead of time, so that the wedding itself could have been just how we envisioned it. That never occurred to us, but it’s such a good idea. Otherwise, on the day of the wedding, the person officiating is adding a lot of his/her own stuff, which may or may not be what you had in mind. You looked gorgeous!

    • November 2, 2012 10:53 am

      Exactly! We wanted complete, 100% control over EVERYTHING at our wedding. Yes, I’m a bit of a control freak. 😉

  9. November 2, 2012 4:15 pm

    Such a sweet wedding. You two are just adorable…I can feel the love. Thanks for sharing. I’ll never get over your amazing wedding video!

    Have a great weekend.


  10. November 2, 2012 5:16 pm

    What a beautiful ceremony Amber. The kale bouquet is just too cool!!! You and Matt look so great together.

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