Hard to believe that Jillian & Justin’s wedding capped off a beautiful spring, and now find us having rounded the corner into full on summer.
The day, as you witnessed or can imagine, was beautiful.
Not one to shy away from crowds, I assumed I’d stand up front solid as a rock while everyone around me wept… and while the infamous Walker boys did sob harder than a gaggle of Jr. High girls with Bieber Fever, I too became emotional.
As Ingrid Michaelson’s sweet voice played and Jillian walked down the aisle with a dad that adores her, I found myself a wee bit wobbly then, and throughout my duties as officiant occasionally felt myself tearing up.
There was no cheesy videographer running around, so mostly our memories of the day are from Ms. Lauren Wakefield‘s & Mrs. Jenna Davis’ beautiful photos, but it’s hard to capture words. And words are so very important. (Says the writer.)
With that said, I’d like to share with you the ceremony, the words, I wrote for Jillian & Justin.
I hope that as we all “We Will”-ed at the wedding, we will work in their lives as friends and families who take their marriage seriously, holding them tightly to the promises they made to each other that April afternoon.
Kate aka ‘The Rev’
Friends and Family of this beloved couple, Jillian & Justin, welcome.
We are gathered here today for this moment… this time of promising.
And while we also look forward to a night of dancing and drinking and laughing and making memories that will last a very long time, we came together today because we love these two. We celebrate these two. We support them, and we understand that deciding to love someone forever is something to be honored.
I met Jillian a few years ago, about a week after I had moved from Manhattan back to Indianapolis and started a brand new job. I think she was more than concerned at first, because it’s just not normal to be as loud and bubbly as I am, almost all of the time. And while she was probably terrified, I instantly fell in love with her. And after a couple of hours and the realization she wasn’t going to shake me, she decided on this forever friendship too.
A few weeks later, myself dressed in long blonde & pink pigtails with an “I heart Ken” t shirt on and she dressed as a senior from Dazed & Confused… (don’t worry, this was Halloween, not just another Tuesday), she pulled me off of the dance-floor to the bathroom for a little girl talk. Out of the pocket of her jean shorts she pulled a half-folded greeting card. I had no idea what she was showing me, but it turned out to be one of the first, and many to come, love notes from Justin. This friend of hers, that had just recently become more, and she was glowing with the newness, the excitement, the possibility of this relationship.
Justin has become a dear friend as well, and many months ago, came to see me at work before Lauren’s fabulous Florida wedding, and spilled the secret that he HAD the ring! I jumped and squealed and turned into a 10 year old girl with a New Kids on the Block backstage pass, I was that excited. I kept my mouth shut, as did the others that were in on this little secret, knowing that the moment Justin asked Jillian to be his wife, would be the best moment of her life, until today.
Since meeting Jill & Justin, there have been concerts and birthday celebrations, summer dinner parties and evenings filled with laughter with Jillian and Justin and the ones they love… as everyone here can attest to- Justin and Jillian have stitched their lives together with some amazing people… us!
These two, for as much as they can say they weren’t the other’s “type” have begun a beautiful season of life as the others best friend, biggest cheerleader, and forever love. They have drawn together their families, their friends, their former roommates and coworkers into the patchwork of this new chapter. One that some of us saw coming, and that all of us are here to celebrate.
I believe in a wonderful God, who adores his kids, who creates them with purpose and designs their lives with goodness, and we are here to witness some of that purpose and goodness today.
Jillian and Justin have both written each other a note to share a glimpse of what they’re heart is feeling today, Jillian, please share what you have written with Justin.
In the very beginning, I knew you were an amazing man, but you weren’t my type. It took a little convincing, and in this moment today, I am overwhelmed… I could not have dreamed that when we started, we would end up here.
But here with you, is exactly where I am supposed to be. I love you Justin, every single part of you.
You take my edge off, you take me out of my comfort zone, and you make me a better person every day.
Thank you for every time we slow dance in the kitchen, for laughing with me instead of fighting, and for being there when I need you to kill a spider.
Standing here today with you, as your bride, in front of those we love, promising all the right things…my heart is full. I love you so much.
Justin, please share what you have written with Jillian.
I remember, like it was only yesterday, our blossoming friendship; one that grew into a relationship, no longer denying our feelings for each other, we fell in love.
Our love is more powerful than anything I have ever experienced.
I have never been more certain about anything before, as I am now, about spending the rest of my days with you, my love!
As they prepare to join their lives together, it is important to understand that everyone here has played a part in shaping the lives of Justin & Jillian, and will play a vital role in their future. And thus we are not only here to witness their vows to each other, but also to bestow upon them our blessing.
I ask all of you here today, Do you bless this couple and pledge, now and forever, to support and strengthen this marriage by upholding Justin and Jillian with your love and concern?
Jillian and Justin, please face each other and hold each other’s hands… take a moment to realize where you are standing, who you are surrounded by, and acknowledge the beauty and importance of the words you are about to say to one another.
Please repeat after me…
“I, promise you that I will be your [wife/husband] from this day forward.
I promise to be faithful and honest in every way, to honor the faith and trust you place in me.
I promise to love and respect you in your successes and in your failures.
I promise to make you laugh and to be there when you cry, to care for you in sickness and in health.
I promise to be your companion and your friend, to choose to love you forever on this journey that we make together.”
May I have the rings please?
Please bow your head and join me in prayer.
Jillian, please take this ring that you have chosen for Justin, please place it on his finger and repeat after me: “”With this ring, I thee wed.”
Justin, please take this ring that you have chosen for Jillian, please place it on her finger and repeat after me: “With this ring, I thee wed.”
By the power vested in me by the state of Indiana, I now pronounce you husband and wife.
Justin, you may now kiss your bride.
Friends and family, I present to you for the very first time, Mr. & Mrs. Justin Walker!