Our ceremony was beautiful and emotional. Okay, I guess I'm a little biased! But seriously, every song and reading we chose was deliberate and meaningful. My girls walked down the aisle to St. Anthony's Chorale, a somewhat somber song but fitting none the less. You see, my father's favorite saint was St. Anthony, patron saint of lost and stolen items. I never found out why he was his favorite, but I do know that St. Anthony played an important role in my life growing up. Whenever I'd lose something, I'd pray to him and, almost immediately, the item would show up.
My dad was very Italian (obviously) and, you know those Italian men, they like to wear gold chains. When my mom first met my dad his birthday was coming up soon. Their relationship wasn't truly defined just yet so she was unsure of what to buy him as a gift. She chose a gold chain with a St. Anthony medal hanging from it. He put it on and didn't take it off...ever. When my dad was hit by a car later in life while crossing the street, the paramedics cut his necklace off of him. They couldn't get the clasp to open (it was fused shut since he hadn't used it) so they had to cut it. After his death, I got the necklace and my mom had it repaired. I carried that down the aisle with me along with my bouquet.
So, our organist recommended that we choose a slow song to have the girls walk down the aisle to as it would more appropriately lead into "Ave Maria". Ave Maria is a very prayerful piece and has always been a favorite of mine. Long before I was engaged, I dreamt of walking down the aisle to a vocalist singing that song. Our organist said that in his 25 years at the church, he never saw a bride walk to Ave Maria and wasn't quite sure if it was appropriate for the occasion. I, on the other hand, believed it was a fitting choice as my mother was giving me away. It was a dream that I was not willing to let go of and in the end he supported my decision, played it on the organ beautifully, and recommend the most amazing soprano to sing it for us. The music far exceeded my expectations.
At the alter, my husband was not the only one waiting for me. A photo of my dad (in which he was wearing a suit and tie with his hand in a bag of potato chips) was present along with a candle that was lit by my sister in his memory. It was wonderful seeing him up there! Here are a few of my favorite ceremony photos!