Despite friends’ enthusiastic intentions, neither Brian nor Becca was overly thrilled to try out swing dancing at the Catholic student center. But when Brian first saw Becca during the dance lesson, he initiated a strategic plan. “If I stand next to her, we’ll have to be partners,” he thought.
He was right--and rather successful! Brian only had to dip her once, and Becca was smitten. But there was one major obstacle to Brian’s pursuit: she was already dating someone else.
And so, Brian and Becca’s friendship grew gently and quietly. It was nourished by a boisterous group of mutual friends, regular communal night prayer, spontaneous theology debates, swing dancing, and $2 Sunday night dinners in the church basement.
Over a year later, Becca had been single for several months, and God told Brian the time was right, as the Lord would over and over with each milestone in their relationship. Also present at each milestone would be the Author of Love, fully present in the Blessed Sacrament:
Whispering in the silence of the adoration chapel, Brian first professed his affection to Becca, thinking it wouldn’t be returned.
Exclaiming prayers of thanksgiving in the same chapel some weeks later, they delighted in just having made things “official”.
On one knee in front of the altar and tabernacle several years later, Brian proposed in the very spot he hoped to soon marry Becca.
Two weeks before their wedding, kneeling in front of the tabernacle, they consecrated themselves to Mary.
Their hope for their consecration day, the Feast of the Annunciation, was that their yes to Mary would echo Mary’s yes to God, which would foreshadow their upcoming yes to each other on their wedding day.
To remind themselves of their consecration to God, Mary, and each other, Brian and Becca had their wedding bands engraved with the Latin phrase “totus tuus”, which means “totally yours.”
From the Bride: For years, I had been unsure of how it was possible to wholly dedicate myself to God and a husband at the same time. This question bothered me a lot, and I spent a lot of time praying about it.
I knew the answer, but I didn’t always feel it in my heart, especially early in my discernment with Brian. And yet, by the time I saw him standing at the end of the aisle, I deeply felt and knew the response to my years of “unsure-ness”—to say yes to God was to say yes to Brian.
Because our sacrament of marital love finds its origin in the Author of Love, we wanted to make sure the wedding pointed back to God in every way. We spent a lot of time selecting readings that we thought would be fruitful and eye-opening for both our non-Catholic and Catholic guests. We also spent a lot of time choosing music.
Music is so powerful. Just like in the movies, when you know what you should think and feel in a scene because of the music, the same goes for weddings.
Hymns and melodies reserved for the sacred sphere give the listener a profound sense of God’s presence in the church. It sets the events occurring inside the church apart from any other thing that happens outside.
We were blessed to have a spectacular organist and cantor, as well as a talented group of friends who sang some tear-jerking polyphony acapella. After the wedding, we were very happy to hear from several guests that they appreciated how the the Mass and ceremony were incredibly reverent.
I’ll let G.K. Chesterton sum up our attitude toward the reception: “for economy is far more romantic than extravagance.” Who said you need a ton of money to have a great party?
Brian and I enjoyed the romance of creativity with less funds, making the reception more entertaining with items that didn’t cost much. For example, the guestbook consisted of guests’ suggestions for bucket list ideas for Brian and I written on paper circles. The circles were then clipped to ribbons for a pretty and fun display. We got everything from “take your parents and in-laws on a cruise” to “conquer Lithuania using only a spoon and an Ethernet cable”.
Instead of clinking glasses for a kiss, guests clinked their glasses to get everyone’s attention. Then the glass-clinkers could sing a song, do a dance, or recite a poem about love and the bride and groom. It was hilarious!
The best performance was from one of our seminarian friends who clinked his glass, solemnly stood, and began “a reading from Sacred Scripture…” reciting super love-y lines from Song of Songs with perfect comedic timing and facial expressions.
After dinner, two friends taught a group dance called the ring dance, and many of our guests joined in for this crazy and fun mix of partner switching! My dad and I also surprised everyone (Brian included) with a father-daughter dance of Bollywood, ballroom, and dorky retro dance moves that my sister and I had mixed and choreographed some months before. Hearkening to our first encounter with each other, there was also lots of swing dancing throughout the night.
Brian and I couldn’t believe how not nerve-wracking, peaceful, and perfect the day was. We kept repeating to each other, “that was so beautiful and perfect! God is so good!”
From the Groom: It is awesome and inspiring when I consider the events of our wedding day in the context of God’s divine plan.
From the very moment that our souls were conceived in the mind of God, he had this day already awaiting us, and we set forth on a new path amidst his blessings and joys.
I had no qualms or second thoughts as I approached the altar and waited impatiently for Becca to do the same. I thought over and over to myself, “I was made for this.” You—as finite as a moment in eternity, and yet an eternal soul—were created for the mission entrusted to you by the all-powerful God of the universe. So be excited! Do not be afraid! God will never abandon his faithful servants.
From the Bride: We have the same favorite moment of our wedding day: kneeling together in front of Mary after Communion, saturated in the angelic singing of the Arcadelt Ave Maria by a choir of friends. We had doubly given our lives away to God and to each other, leaving us at once totally empty and totally full. Nothing had ever felt more right. Neither of us are criers, but we both had tears in our eyes.
To close, I want to pass along an incredibly useful piece of advice I received from my best friend. If you’re nervous about the crowds on your wedding day, think of all the faces turned toward you as you walk down the aisle. Yes, think of them. It might be a lot of faces, but all those people love you and your fiancé, and you and your fiancé love them.
Thus, there is nothing to worry about, because you are surrounded by love.
Photography: Soul Creations Photography - Spoken Bride Vendor | Church: St. Alphonsus Liguori Roman Catholic Church - Zionsville, IN | Reception: St. Alphonsus Liguori Roman Catholic Church - Zionsville, IN 46077 | Catering: The Juniper Spoon | Clutches: Tina Frantz Designs | Bridesmaids Dresses: AZAZIE | Bridal Gown: David's Bridal | Bridal Shoes: Ve-Ve's Dance Company | DJ: AMS Entertainment & Audio/Visual | Rings: Diamonds Direct, Monique Fine Jewelry | Jewelry: Tiffany & Co. | Cake: Confectioneiress Cupcakes & Sweets