Blair is from Washington state. Jordan is a native Texan. Through the Father’s providence, they both ended up in the Catholic Studies program at the University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul, Minnesota. After three short months of friendship, Jordan asked Blair on a date. She agreed, but still felt like she didn’t know him well.
When Jordan picked her up for their date, however, bringing a gift of an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe and encouraging Blair to look into total consecration to Mary, as he had recently done, she knew she was in the company of a man pursuing sincere holiness. “Throughout the time we dated,” she says, “he proved this to me again and again.”
Around a year later, Jordan proposed at the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
From the Bride: Jordan and I were married at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes in Spokane, Washington--my home parish before moving to Minnesota. We both hoped our wedding liturgy would, in every aspect, reveal the richness and beauty of our ancient faith. We hoped, too, that it could be a moment of evangelization--as every Mass is--through the Scriptures and the witnesses to the sacraments and the truth.
We were grateful the cathedral’s choir, organist, and trumpeter were able to provide beautiful music for the liturgy. The Mass was chanted, and among other pieces, the choir sang Mozart’s “Ave Verum Corpus” and Palestrina’s “Alma Redemptoris Mater” and “Sicut Cervus”.
We chose to say our vows over a crucifix, symbolizing the marriage covenant made and sustained not through our own merits, but through the grace of God. After honoring our Blessed Mother with a bouquet, we each took a flower from the vase and surprised our earthly mothers by presenting the flowers to them, along with a hug.
The liturgy was reverent and beautiful. This is such a blessing of marriage in the Church: the sacrament is not just about the couple (and certainly not just about the bride!), but about their union and how that union may reflect the glory of God. We do not write our own vows, for instance, to highlight the uniqueness of our relationship. Instead, we recite the words that have been said by countless Catholic couples before us. We then hear these vows at every Catholic wedding we attend in the future, we're reminded of the promises we ourselves made. Though it can seem that Catholic weddings are less “personal” this is actually a gift given to us by the Church--just one more way for us to be a witness to the true purpose of marriage: to glorify God and help each other, and all we encounter through our marriage, to achieve salvation.
Our reception took place at a local 19th-century mansion. With the fireplaces roaring on that chilly November day, it was a glowing, cozy evening. We requested a black-tie dress code; it was so lovely seeing the women in formal gowns and the men looking dashing in tuxes and suits. Sticking to a traditional reception format, after dinner and beautiful speeches by our closest family and friends, we all danced the night away.
Our reception was a beautiful time to reflect on what the heavenly banquet might be like. For here we encountered family and friends from all over the country, whom Jordan and I grew to love in all the varied stages of our life, all feasting together.
As Jordan thanked our guests he noted this fact, and prayed this brief day of joy and unity might reflect that unending happiness we will one day encounter in eternity, in the presence of the Lord. Though our wedding day seemed much too short, it is meditating upon the idea of a much greater feast to come that allowed us to end the day with great joy.
Though many suggest that your wedding is the best day of your life, I think it’s important to remember that the wedding day is only a gateway to even more beautiful, blessed days with your spouse.
Ultimately, I encourage brides to not to be pressured to “feel” a certain way on their wedding day. Rather, try to take in all of the peace and grace the Lord offers.
Jordan and I had a blast on that wonderful day and we both count it as the most beautiful, grace-filled day we’ve yet encountered. What a beautiful preparation our wedding has been for receiving many graces in the days that have followed!
As an engaged woman working daily on wedding details great and small, I had to constantly remind myself that these details do matter. Though each bride handles wedding preparation in her own way, it’s okay to take the time to make the day beautiful for you, your future husband, and your guests. It is through this great care that can reveal your respect and care for the sacrament into which you will enter.
Of course, I had to carefully make sure I didn’t cross the line into frivolity or lose sight of the greater picture as to why this carefully planned event was taking place in the first place.
If you, like me, can become obsessive over details, I encourage bringing prayer into your planning.
Before working on any aspect of the wedding, it brought me great peace to pray to my patron saint, asking her to grant me both a spirit of care and attention to the wedding details, but also a spirit of poverty into my planning.
A few months after the wedding a priest friend questioned us: “So, did you memorize the vows?” We had not done so for the wedding day. “Great!” he said, “now is the perfect time to learn them!” What a beautiful set of words to take to meditation (especially when encountering struggles in marriage) and to repeat again each anniversary:
“…I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.”
This is the promise that all Catholic couples make, and that they will keep, if only through the grace bestowed by our Lord.
Photography: Joanna Traeger Photography http://joannatraegerphotography.com | Church: Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes – Spokane, WA | Reception: The Glover Mansion – Spokane, WA | Day-of planning: http://www.hayloevents.com | Florist: https://www.specialtouchfloristandgifts.com | Makeup & Hair: https://www.kissandmakeupspokane.com | Dress: https://www.celestialselections.com | Tailoring and Custom Veil: http://www.ninacherie.com | DJ: https://completewedding.com | Catering: http://www.redrockspokane.com