It was a cold winter day but there was no shortage of warmth that came from the love that was shared on Holli & Johnathan's wedding day! The planning began in October for their February wedding day. From the moment I met them, I thought they were such a sweet couple. Their strength lied in their emotional connection and high level of communication. The bride and groom chose to marry in Flagstaff because the proposal took place at the summit of Mount Elden at 9,300 feet! Viola's Flower Garden provided the perfect backdrop for their wedding and I knew they were in great hands with the staff there.
Johnathan and Holli chose the 'Love Story ceremony' which included some unique rituals. Besides the sharing of their story, they wrote love letters to one another and placed it in a box with a bottle of bubbly to be opened on their 5th anniversary. The letters describe the good qualities they find in one another, the reasons they fell in love, and their reasons for choosing to marry. Upon opening it on their 5th year anniversary, they will replenish the letters and bubbly to be opened on their 10th anniversary and so on. We signed the marriage license during the ceremony with their maid of honor, the bride's sister, and the best man, the groom's brother. Playing in the background was the theme from 'Mission Impossible' - haha!!
It was an intimate gathering. The bride and groom included a number of family members in the ceremony. The groom entered with his parents, and the bride entered with hers. Holli and Johnathan's parents both have long term marriages; 25 years on the bride's side and 30 years on the groom's side!
I always appreciate it when a bride and groom take the time to write personal vows to one another as it adds so much depth and meaning to the ceremony. As they exchanged their vows, you could hear laughter erupting and see tears being shed by their family members.
After the kiss, the newlyweds walked out gracefully to Colbie Caillat's 'I do!' Then they went inside to warm up and enjoy the reception!
Photos by Monica Saaty Photography
Jen Paul, Life Cycle Celebrant, Ordained Minister, Wedding Officiant, Healing Arts Practitioner, Life Coach, Death Doula