Editors' Picks | Vol. 14: Catholic Home Décor

At Spoken Bride, we love a good book, a good meal, a standout statement necklace, a heel you can dance in, and the list goes on. And when we make those discoveries, we want to tell everyone. So every month or two, we're sharing our latest and favorite finds in everything engagement, wedding, and honeymoon-related.

Did you know the Spoken Bride Vendor Guide has a Gifts & Home Décor section? In addition to the artists and creators whom we’re proud to partner with, today we’re also sharing additional items that inspire beauty and prayer in your home (non-sponsored).

Framed artwork: Spoken Bride Vendor Michelle Arnold Paine

Framed artwork: Spoken Bride Vendor Michelle Arnold Paine

Stephanie, Co-Founder & Editor in Chief

Vatican Gift Icons: Iconography has been my favorite type of religious art for a long time; I love the immersive nature of the images for both artist and viewer and their many deep, beautiful layers of prayer and symbolism. Icons purchased through the Vatican’s online gift shop can be blessed by the Holy Father at your request--if you and your beloved aren’t honeymooning in Rome, items like these are a wonderful option for acknowledging your unique call as spouses within the universal Church.

Consecrate This House print: To celebrate your first home as husband and wife is to accept the invitation to make the home a domestic church and school of love. This elegant print from a Catholic-owned shop (one of our brides!) inspired by Scripture is a reminder “of God's presence within our homes and that He will never abandon us.”  It would take on a wonderful significance in your entryway, dining space, or another area of your home where your friends and family gather.

Wrought Iron Advent Candle Holder: I’m drawn to simple design for my home and love the clean styling of this candle holder, which could be dressed up with scattered greenery during the Advent season and would fit well with minimalist, rustic, or modern decor.

 

Jiza, Co-Founder & Creative Director

Monastery Icons: This company offers a wide variety of sacred art, including sculpture, jewelry, and, of course, icons. All icons are written by a religious brother in the U.S.

Lily Porter Niederpruem Art: It’s beautiful when the concept of “Catholic” art extends beyond the literal. For the abstract art lover, Lily Niederpruem describes her colorful, Impressionist-style oil paintings as an invitation to contemplate the spirituality of God at work in the natural world, “because nature shares an intimate relationship with the sacred.” Graphite drawings and watercolors are also available. I have a print of her Luminous Mysteries painting, and I love it!

 

Andi, Business Director

Sick Call Crucifix: Our dear friends gave us a crucifix similar to this as a wedding gift, along with holy water, beeswax candles, and instructions on how and when to call a priest for the sacrament of Anointing of the Sick. Although I generally don’t want to even think about needing to use this kit, I do like acknowledging this sacrament in our home and having necessary items ready. It’s like having an emergency kit for our souls!

Outdoor Statues: When my husband and I first bought our home ten years ago, I stumbled upon an Our Lady of Grace statue at a local outdoor shop and immediately brought her home. She’s lived in various places in our backyard ever since, usually with white roses nearby.

Sacred Heart Enthronement: The Enthronement of the Sacred Heart is a ceremony led by the Legion of Mary, wherein a family makes a formal entrustment of their lives to Christ. My family participated several years ago, and it was beautiful. We love having the image of Jesus’s Sacred Heart right on our mantel, under Our Lady of Guadalupe. Jesus is right there in the heart of our home, watching over us as we play, read, watch movies.

We love the sensory nature of the Catholic faith and the ways it invites us to contemplate the love of God in tangible ways—including those that can be experienced daily in our homes. Be sure to share the items that draw you into contemplation and beauty in the comments and on our social media.

Editors' Picks | Vol. 13: 2018 Bridesmaid Trends

At Spoken Bride, we love a good book, a good meal, a standout statement necklace, a heel you can dance in, and the list goes on. And when we make those discoveries, we want to tell everyone. So every month or two, we're sharing our latest and favorite finds in everything engagement, wedding, and honeymoon-related.

Your wedding provides an opportunity to showcase the unique gifts, tastes, and inner and outer beauty of the women you're closest to. Today, we're sharing our favorite trends for bridesmaids that help you accomplish just that.

 

Jiza, Co-Founder & Creative Director

Mismatched dresses: Instead of matching bridesmaids dresses of the same color and same style, this is when the bride assigns a different color and/or fabric to each bridesmaid according to her wedding’s color scheme. As a photographer, I love the look coordinating dresses creates. It creates visual appeal in an image with the varying textures and color. Chances are, your bridesmaids are also happier and more comfortable in their dresses, because each was able to pick something for her own body. This can also help your bridesmaids find a dress within their budget—with online shopping today, searching for a dress is easier than ever.

Bridesmaid hangers: We commonly see dress shots with a beautiful hanger for only the bride. However, with bridesmaids’ dresses becoming more and more unique, it is also lovely having some additional dress photos with their gowns, as well. You may want to first dispose of the plastic hangers, and if you are in search of a good bridesmaids gift, a personalized hanger is both pretty and practical.

Non-traditional bouquets: This is becoming more and more popular, which I couldn’t be more excited about. Corsages are no longer limited to the mothers anymore--bridesmaids are wearing them now, too. Instead of a traditional bouquet, your bridal party can carry lanterns or floral hoops or wreaths. Or for something minimal yet still eye-catching, one singular, large flower with simple greenery, such as a magnolia, a dahlia, or a peony, is beautiful. Speak with your floral designer for unique ideas!

 

Andi, Business Director

Patterned and floral dresses: I love that we’ve branched out from all-matching dresses to coordinating styles that flatter every body, and now on to prints and florals for the bridal party. Some brides have their Maid of Honor wear a floral gown and the other ladies coordinating colors; others have all their maids in vibrant prints. It’s such a fun way to personalize your wedding!

Renting gowns: I’m a huge fan of this trend! It’s great not to have to purchase anything, and there are several options like Rent the Runway and other retailers specifically geared toward weddings.

 

Stephanie, Co-Founder & Editor in Chief

Pajamas: Especially with fall and winter weddings upon us, PJ’s are an inspired alternative to robes as you and your ladies prepare for the day. From cozy plaids to crisp oxford piping to delicate boho trim, there are plenty of sets available to suit any wedding aesthetic and budget.

Fresh skin: With moves like unretouched ads, lines offering dozens of foundation shades, and campaigns featuring models (or real women!) of different sizes and races, I find the beauty industry’s current vibe of inclusivity long overdue and so praiseworthy. I hope over time, the trend becomes more than a short-lived fad, but simply a norm and expectation, showcasing a true range of feminine beauty.

This sensibility is evident in makeup trends, as well: after a few years of matte, poreless looks with heavy coverage and contour, I love seeing an increase in dewy skin, freckles showing through, and making peace with lines and natural texture. Encouraging your bridesmaids or makeup artist to embrace each woman’s unique features still photographs beautifully and allows their outer appearance to make visible the radiance of their inner selves.

Millenial pink: If the product design, websites, and clothing I see everywhere are any indication, this shade shows no signs of going away any time soon. For bouquets, nails, or your main wedding color, soft pink flatters all skin tones and can function almost as a neutral. And depending on your taste and other wedding details, it can skew minimalist, romantic, or preppy.

We love hearing your own inspirations. Have you, or will you, incorporate any of these trends into your wedding party? Share in the comments and on our social media what selections you've made for your bridesmaids' attire, gifts, florals, and otherwise!
 

Editors' Picks | Vol. 12: Favorite Love Stories

At Spoken Bride, we love a good book, a good meal, a standout statement necklace, a heel you can dance in, and the list goes on. And when we make those discoveries, we want to tell everyone. So every month or two, we're sharing our latest and favorite finds in everything engagement, wedding, and honeymoon-related.

The best romances direct our earthly emotion and longings to the Holy One, the beloved of our souls whose love is bottomless. Today, we're sharing the love stories that inspire us from literature, movies, TV, and the lives of the saints.

Jiza, Co-Founder + Creative Director

Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe from the Anne of Green Gables series: Oh, where to begin?! There is something about Anne and Gil that will always give my stomach butterflies or make my heart skip a beat. I love Gil’s devoted pursuit of Anne and that he loves her for who she is, even when she is absolutely stubborn and unreasonable. From their early rivalry to their friendship to their eventual marriage, this fictional romance is one of my all-time favorites.

Chiara Corbella Petrillo and her husband, Enrico: Chiara is a young Italian wife and mother who died in 2012 of carcinoma. When you read her biography, Chiara Corbella Petrillo: A Witness to Joy, written by her friends Simone Troisi & Cristiana Paccini, the beginning delves a great deal into Chiara and Enrico’s roller coaster courtship. Their marriage, too, was also not short of great suffering and sacrifice up until her death. Their relationship is real, gritty, and painful, yet still full of joy, trust, and redemption. In a world that idolizes the appearance of a curated, blissful marriage, I find great consolation in Chiara and Enrico and their absolute surrender to always serve God and do His will, no matter how much it hurts.

 

Andi, Business Director

Jim and Pam from The Office: this has got to be one of the most down-to-earth, relatable love stories out there (you know you cried at their wedding!). From the start I loved how Jim and Pam were friends; their relationship just slowly grew from there, and the show drew it out over a few seasons because real life is messy and doesn’t always happen on our schedule. Jim was so patient and it was worth it in the end!

 

Mary and Joseph: As I recently prayed the Joyful Mysteries of the rosary, I was reflecting on the theological virtue of hope, and Mary and Joseph came to my mind. Saint Joseph shows us so much trust in the Lord when he decides to marry Mary, despite the unexpected news of the Word becoming flesh in her womb. They both show us hope by trusting in God’s plan for their marriage and family, even with all the unexpected circumstances they had to endure.

Ella and Kit from Cinderella (2015): I had very low expectations going into this Disney remake and ended up blown away by the tenderness and affection that grew between Cinderella and Prince Kit. So much depth, personality, and actual motivations were given to these characters, and it made them so real! I think my favorite aspect of their relationship is the purity it’s portrayed with: neither had the intent to use the other for their own purposes, and neither felt worthy of the other, allowing real love to grow.

 

Stephanie, Co-Founder + Editor in Chief

Kitty Scherbatsky and Konstantin Levin from Anna Karenina: Tolstoy’s novel is most famous for its portrayal of a love story gone off the rails, via the affair conducted by the title character. So I found myself surprised, as well as incredibly moved, when I read the book for the first time and discovered that in contrast to Anna’s infidelity and emotional caprice, the story also traces the development of another relationship, one rooted in constancy and personal growth. The romance between Kitty and Levin matures as each grows in awareness of human nature and suffering, culminating in one of the most beautiful proposals I’ve ever encountered--fictional or real.

Saint Gianna Molla and her husband Pietro: Saint Gianna, to me, is a woman of vocation. She embraced all the Lord called her to in both gladness and trials; her decision to give birth to her fourth child at the cost of her own life embodied our ultimate call, as Christians, to lay down our lives. Her sacrifice is heroic, yet what stands out to me most is the ordinariness of who she was, in the best way: a 20th-century working mother, like so many of us, who desired to create a joyful and peaceful home for her family. The number of canonized married saints is few, so I am grateful for the poetry and encouragement I’ve found in the letters exchanged between Gianna and her beloved husband, Pietro. They cared for one another with a beautiful regard for one another’s spiritual well-being, with a sweet tenderness, and even a holy boldness--feeling certain of her devotion to Pietro, who was the shyer of the two, Gianna was the first to say I love you, expressing her desire for a lifelong commitment and family!

Tami and Eric Taylor from Friday Night Lights: I consider myself emotional when it comes to love (read: crying over practically every Spoken Bride wedding submission), but I’m not easily swayed by shallow sentiment or sweeping gestures. I find the real and the messy romantic, because that’s who we, as humans, are. It’s what I love in the relationship between Coach Taylor and his wife. I truly can’t think of another TV marriage that is so realistically and positively portrayed: one rooted in abiding trust and good will, even when frustrated by life and work’s demands, one that doesn’t blow problems out of proportion for the sake of drama but confronts them with honesty and respect, and one with expressions of endearment and physical affection that feel so unaffected and true to life.

Did we include your favorite couple on this list? Share the love stories you love in the comments and on our social media.

Editors' Picks | Vol. 11: Wedding Favors

At Spoken Bride, we love a good book, a good meal, a standout statement necklace, a heel you can dance in, and the list goes on. And when we make those discoveries, we want to tell everyone. Every month or two, we share our latest and favorite finds in everything engagement, wedding, and honeymoon-related.

We've shared a selection of distinctively Catholic wedding favors with you before. Today, the editors chat about other give-worthy items that reflect who you are and offer your guests something beautiful, practical, or both.

Stephanie, Co-Founder & Editor in Chief

Personalized Wine Stoppers: For a winery reception or couples for whom wine or cocktails are a hobby, these American-made wine bottle stoppers featuring your names or invitation suite logo look great on countertops and serve a practical need.

Charitable donation: If you’d like one of your first gestures as husband and wife to be an act of giving, consider making a donation to charity. Be sure to share info with your guests identifying the organization and explaining its significance to you; it’s a unique opportunity to share a cause you’re passionate about. To keep things harmonious, I suggest choosing an organization without strong political or moral overtones. Catholic Relief Services, L’Arche USA, and The Laboure Society are all excellent options serving humanitarian causes and the future of the Church.

Christmas ornaments: A festive choice for Advent or Christmas season weddings, send your guests home with something to trim their trees. You might choose something as simple as glass spheres purchased in bulk, or as elaborate as a custom monogrammed option.

Personalized Pencils: A pretty and useful way to share your married names, wedding location, or phrase from a favorite saint or prayer in your wedding colors. I’d smile to receive these from a bride and groom who were teachers, artists, or writers, but would also appreciate them from just about anyone!

Andi, Business Director

Cookies: Consumable favors are my favorite, simply because the majority of guests will consume them and not leave them on the tables after the reception. My preference is to source from a local bakery, one that’s special to you or your wedding destination--my husband and I chose a famous bakery from his hometown--or go homemade with a family recipe.

Spices: One of my clients was a nutritionist who served Greek food at her reception and gave her guests a small jar of Greek seasoning to take home. I’m still using my jar, and every time I use it I think of the couple.

Handmade soap: Another excellent consumable! I’ve received these as favors before and loved using them in my bathroom and in the tub.

Hand-lettered quotes: Most people like inspirational quotes, and prints like these are a simple way to evangelize through beauty and truth.

Custom Rosaries: I was so impressed at my friend, who crafted a Rosary for each and every guest at her wedding. When I pray with it or even just see it, I instantly remember her and her husband’s special day.

Jiza, Co-Founder & Creative Director

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Fans: If you are getting married during the hot season or if your reception will be outside, fans can be the perfect practical favor to help keep your guests cool. My husband and I got married in August, which can be very hot and humid in the South, so the fans we provided were well used during our reception.

Prayer Cards: A customized card of your patron saint is a beautiful way to share your faith with your wedding guests. Much like what you would see at an priestly ordination, you too can customize a card with your names, wedding date, patron saint(s), and a prayer. My husband and I created a card with Saint Raphael, Tobit, and Sarah on the front and with our names, date, and a quote on the back.

Food: Who doesn't love food? I can't pick just one category. There is an abundance of ideas out there when it comes to your favorite food as a wedding favor: your favorite spice rub, liquor, coffee, or even hot sauce. You can flip your favorite snack into a bar for creating candy bags or decorating donuts. Maybe you have a bakery or shop that you absolutely love. The possibilities are endless.

We love hearing your ideas and seeing the myriad ways your wedding details reflect who you are as a couple. Share the favors you gave out, or will give out, at your wedding, and the best favors you've received from others, in the comments and on our social media.

Editors Share | The Rituals that Make Up Our Marriages

It’s a gift to be invited into your story and vocation. In gratitude, we love to share ours with you, as well.

If major life events--your wedding, honeymoon, the births of children--are the framed, album-worthy milestones of a shared life, small daily routines are more akin to your phone’s camera roll. But who doesn’t love scrolling back through those memories? Rituals elevate the routine to something memorable. “Whether they’re big or small, simple or elaborate, daily or yearly,” writes Jenny Rosenstrach, “all our rituals serve the same purpose: They bring comfort, connection, and meaning to our days.”

Today, we’re sharing the rituals that deepen our relationships and create a sense of warmth and tradition in our marriages.

Photography:  Wyn Wiley , seen in  How He Asked | Emily + Jeff

Stephanie, Co-Founder & Editor in Chief

The Rosary in the car: When my husband and I first started dating, we spent hours wandering aimlessly around our college campus, hand in hand, and would often find time to pray the Rosary as we walked. Years later, with three children four and under, our time for uninterrupted walks is limited, but we do still love to pray together to Our Lady, usually on long car rides home from visiting family. I hope the memory of falling asleep past their bedtimes, listening to their parents pray, is a memory our kids will hold on to.

Sriracha noodles: For a quick meal after our kids are in bed, for an indulgent Sunday lunch (butter, pasta, no vegetables), or for pure comfort, this recipe is our go-to a few times a month.

Crosswords: There are few things I find more relaxing than the feel of my husband’s hand on my shoulder as we hunch over the Sunday crossword at the kitchen table. We love puzzles, particularly crosswords, and you might be surprised how after just a few weeks, you’ll start to pick up on the structure of the clues and be able to fill in most of the answers!

Andi, Business Director

Netflix: My husband Matt and I love to watch movies and binge watch TV shows together. Half of the time we’re just talking about our day and random thoughts that come up, but it’s so nice to just snuggle up on the couch and watch something together. Current favorites include stand up comedy specials, Victoria, This Is Us, and The Crown.

Good ice cream: Whenever we travel somewhere, we like to find local ice cream spots to treat our kids at. Our favorite so far is McConnell’s in Santa Barbara--I was pleasantly surprised by their Lemon Marionberry during our last trip. I’ve been known to grab some Creamistry or Talenti Gelato for us, once the kids are in bed as a late-night treat.

Nighttime prayer: Every night we tuck the kids in their beds and Matt leads us in prayer. Many nights it’s the Rosary or Divine Mercy Chaplet, or the little litany of prayers that have slowly become our family favorites: the Guardian Angel Prayer, Hail Mary, thanking God for his blessings today, and naming all our family saints and asking for their intercession.

Christmas and Easter waffles: Every Christmas and Easter morn after Mass, we bust out our waffle maker and Matt makes waffles from his late grandfather’s recipe. When Matt was growing up, his family always went to Grandma and Grandpa’s after Sunday Mass for waffles, bacon extended family time. I hope it brings our kids happy memories of delicious breakfasts with us, even if it’s only twice a year.

Jiza, Co-Founder & Creative Director

British TV: At the end of the day after the children have gone to bed, my husband Mark and I like to decompress from the day by watching British television series. Everything from Downton Abbey, Poldark, Victoria...we have seen them all.

A brisk walk for heavy conversations: Sometimes talking about big life decisions and/or tough situations can be hard. So, taking a brisk walk or jog helps us to at least alleviate any physical tension and stress which makes for a more productive conversation. It helps us to clear our heads, get some exercise in, and sometimes a Rosary.

Taco Tuesdays: What can I say? We love everything about tacos. It is one of our favorite meals. It helps us during the week to have one dinner that doesn’t require too much planning.

Pilgrimages: Since we move often for my husband’s career, I always look for Catholic shrines or historic churches to visit during our travels.
 

Editors' Picks | Vol. 10: Beauty Favorites

At Spoken Bride, we love a good book, a good meal, a standout statement necklace, a heel you can dance in, and the list goes on. And when we make those discoveries, we want to tell everyone. So every month or two, we're sharing our latest and favorite finds in everything engagement, wedding, and honeymoon-related.

When held in the proper perspective, makeup, hair, skin, and nail products are a fun part of femininity that can enhance, rather than be the source of, your self-worth. Today we’re sharing our favorite beauty products, for both wedding events and for everyday.

Andi, Business Director

Trader Joe’s Face Mask Trio: Available every holiday season until it’s gone, my favorite mask of this trio is the exfoliating pineapple one.

Buxom Full-On Lip Cream in Mudslide: This is my everyday shade of lip gloss. One tube lasts me almost a full year, and the shade is neutral with just a hint of shimmer.

Bobbi Brown Blush in Nectar: Blush is the one beauty item I use almost every day. It helps break up the tans and browns in my complexion and hair color with a tiny pop of pink, and I find I’m a little perkier when I apply it. This shade works on a variety of skin tones and doesn’t look like a fake shade of pink.

OPI Nail Polish: I tend to go with extremes with nail polish, my current favorite being white for my toes, especially in summer. Come fall and winter, I love navy blue or black. I find OPI has the longest wear, and I don’t have use as many coats for full opacity.

 

Jiza, Co-Founder + Creative Director

ACURE Organics Brilliantly Brightening Facial Scrub: It’s important to take care of your skin daily, especially as your body undergoes the stress that comes before your wedding day. A good skincare routine not only keeps your skin healthy before the big day, but allows you to get into the everyday habit of simple self-care. Pair a facial scrub with your daily cleanser and moisturizer 2-3 times a week, and it will help deep clean the pores of your skin. I love ACURE’s mission with their plant-based products. Not to mention, this scrub makes me think of the beach every time I use it!

YETI The Rambler 30 oz. Tumbler: A water bottle or tumbler isn’t a “beauty product,” per se. However, keeping your body hydrated is important when it comes to beauty. Bring a reusable vessel with you to work, school, vendor appointments, and marriage prep classes; by drinking at least 6-8 glasses of water a day, you help keep both your hair and skin looking and feeling healthy. I love a good stainless steel tumbler (easy to clean, easy for travel, and hard to damage), and the YETI now comes in pretty colors like pink and seafoam!

Honest Beauty Truly Kissable Lip Crayon: I am picky when it comes to my lip products and the way they feel on my lips. I like a nice color, but I don’t like anything too dry or sticky. I love this lip crayon by Honest Beauty, the new line by Jessica Alba and the Honest Company). Their antioxidant blend of jojoba seed oil, murumuru butter, and shea butter is so moisturizing and soothing on my lips, I wear it almost every day. This demi-matte lip crayons include a range of perfect colors for women going for a soft,  more natural bridal look!

Klorane Dry Shampoo with Oat Milk: For easier styling purposes, a lot of brides won’t wash their hair a day or two before their weddings. If this is your plan, but you don’t want your hair to get too oily or dirty in the meantime, dry shampoo helps keep it clean while also creating good texture and some volume for styling. I absolutely love Klorane’s dry shampoo! With oats organically harvested in southwest France, this dry shampoo gently cleanses my hair without weighing it down in residue.

 

Stephanie, Editor in Chief + Co-Founder

TruSkin Naturals Vitamin C Serum: After a ferocious battle with cystic acne a few years back (so painful inside and out), I now prioritize skincare in my beauty routine and try to keep my complexion clear enough to go foundation-free. Vitamin C is known for its ability to even skin tone and, when paired with SPF, its benefits of extra protection from sun damage. When researching options, I learned Vitamin C is considered most effective in concentrations of 20% or more; some luxury brands don’t meet that standard, but this no-frills serum does. It’s significantly lightened my old acne scars and noticeably smoothed and brightened my skin. When I do wear foundation, I use the original Bare Minerals formula for how natural it looks and for the fact that it lets my freckles show through.

Sally Hansen Diamond Flash Topcoat: Like Andi, I love dark nail colors. Chips drive me particularly crazy with them, though, because they’re so much more visible than when I wear paler shades. This topcoat takes care of things and could last you from your rehearsal dinner all the way through the first few days of your honeymoon. It’s thick and shiny like a gel, dries nails to the touch in 60 seconds, and helps my manicures endure almost a week with minimal chipping.

Flower Beauty Glisten Up Highlighter: I love the look of fresh, glowy skin. I’ve tried a few other highlighter products, but too often, “glowy” translated to “sparkly,” which just isn’t my preference. This stick version truly lives up to its name, imparting a pretty, glistening effect that doesn’t glitter, but beautifully enhances the radiance you already possess. For your wedding day look, a subtle highlighter like this would look lovely not just on your face, but on the collarbones or shoulders, as well.

L’Oreal Double Extend Mascara: Featuring a primer on one end of the tube and color on the other, I’ll be forever loyal to this two-step mascara that provides significant volume, doesn’t smudge thanks to “tube” technology that wraps around lashes instead of adhering to them, and rinses off with warm water; no remover required. While it’s true that tears are technically warm water--hello, wedding emotions--my secret is to avoid rubbing at my eyes when I get weepy, and the product stays put.

We love chatting with you about favorite things like these cosmetic items. Chime in with your favorites in the comments and on our social media! If you're planning on doing your own bridal makeup for your big day, don't miss our video tutorial with professional makeup artist Nicole Caruso.

 









 


 



 

Editors Share | Wedding Readings

It’s our privilege to be invited into your story and vocation. In gratitude, we love to share ours with you, as well. Today, the team shares the meaning behind the readings used at their wedding Masses.

 

Christina, Associate Editor

First reading, Tobit 8:4b-8: When I was single, St. Raphael was one of my most-loved intercessors, thanks to the book of Tobit--one of the most under-appreciated books in the Deuterocanon. That alone was enough to make this reading a top contender, but in the end we chose it because of the important role prayer has played (and will continue to play) in our relationship, and because the prayer of Tobias and Sarah recounts the establishment of marriage by God in Genesis. It’s like getting two Old Testament readings for the price of one!

Second Reading, 1 Cor. 12:2713:8a: For the longest time, I swore I would never choose this reading for my nuptial Mass, simply because everyone chooses it. But, as my husband Kristian and I were praying about which readings to choose, we kept coming back to St. Paul’s famous “hymn to love.” It is the perfect description of the kind of love Christ has for his Church, and the love Kristian and I strive to show each other.

Gospel, Luke 1: 26-38: We chose this Gospel because it is the preeminent example of the fact that “nothing is impossible for God.” Throughout our single years, Kristian and I both struggled to believe we could, like Mary, trust in the Lord completely and place our lives in his hands. When we met and fell in love, our faith in God’s ability to do the seemingly impossible was renewed. In response to this gift,we hope to make Mary’s fiat our own throughout our life together.

 

Stephanie, Co-Founder + Editor in Chief

First Reading, Tobit 8:4b-8: Valentines’ Day of my sophomore year of college, I read an article by the Vatican’s Zenit News describing several individuals who’d met their future spouses after habitually saying a particular prayer to St. Raphael, the intercessor of Sarah and Tobias’ relationship in the Book of Tobit, the patron of “happy meetings,” and of Christian marriage. Honestly, I was skeptical, but having known the ache of singleness and deep desire to be known and seen, I began saying the prayer daily for my future husband.

God is never outdone in generosity. Three years later, I met my husband, and we continued praying to St. Raphael in thanksgiving, and for friends and family, as we dated. When the time came to choose our wedding readings, an Old Testament reading reflecting our devotion to him seemed like a natural choice. This reading from Tobit, the wedding night prayer of Sarah and Tobias, is beautiful to us for its words of love prevailing over lust and life over death. A love that praises the Father and is life-giving is what we strive for in our marriage, and we revisit these words often.

Second Reading, Eph. 5:2a, 21-33: I have to admit choosing this passage as our Second Reading was partially rooted in defiance. St. Paul’s instruction that wives be subordinate to their husbands is so widely rejected or misunderstood. We hoped for an opportunity to shed some light and clarity on what is actually a beautiful framework for self-giving, self-emptying love that imitates Christ’s own sacrifice. Our priest did illuminate the true meaning of this reading wonderfully in his homily.

Gospel, John 2:1-11: From the start, Our Lady has been the avenue of grace upon grace in our relationship. At Cana, as Jesus readies himself to perform his first public miracle, water into wine, his mother instructs the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” My husband and I loved the fact that it’s at a wedding where Christ chooses to begin revealing his glory, elevating marriage to a sacrament, and moreover, that Our Lady speaks not only to the servants, but to us. Seeking to follow Jesus, through Mary, is a constant pursuit in our marriage, beginning with that Gospel right before we said our vows.

 

Andi, Business Director

First Reading, Genesis 1:26-28, 31a: I love this reading for its simplicity. At the time of our wedding in 2007, the definition of marriage was much less controversial. This is where it all began: God creating man and woman and affirming them as good. He then blesses all of creation and commands them to be fruitful and multiply--something we hoped would happen soon after our wedding.

Second Reading, Eph. 5:2a, 21-33: During my courtship with my husband, my girlfriends and I delved into this passage from Ephesians and what it really meant for husbands and wives. When wives submit themselves to the mission of their husbands, whose role it is to die to themselves for their wives and family. We were blown away by the beauty of it all.

The Gospel we chose is same as Stephanie’s, and we selected it for a similar reason.

 
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Jiza, Co-Founder + Creative Director

Our Lady and the Solemnity of her Assumption played a significant role in our courtship, and since the date of our wedding providentially fell on that day, we decided to have our Nuptial Mass fulfill the Holy Day of Obligation. Our wedding was celebrated as a Solemn High Mass in the Tridentine Latin Rite (Extraordinary Form); within the Extraordinary Form, the readings are on a one-year cycle (vs. a three-year cycle in the Novus Ordo). Therefore, the readings for August 15, our wedding day, are always an Epistle from Judith 13:22-25 15:10, and a Gospel from Luke 1:41-50. It was so special for us to honor Our Lady in such a way.

Your story is a blessing to our community. We look forward to hearing the stories behind your own wedding readings in the comments and on our social media!