Bryce and I don’t enjoy being the center of attention and we don’t have any religious affiliations so we knew that meant one thing for our ceremony – it would be short and casual.
It actually ended up being what I believe is a fairly normal length ceremony, but either way we wanted it to be relaxed and we wanted it to be about our love not about the fanfare that’s usually associated with a wedding ceremony. We wrote our own vows, picked out music that we loved, found a “unity” ceremony that we actually wanted to do, and came up with a short ring exchange that felt meaningful. Our officiant, Rev. Jane Stewart, was wonderful and accommodating. I will say that we didn’t know what she had planned for her speech and that’s where our ceremony got a bit long. It was very sweet, but I was happy to move on to the rest of the ceremony when she finished.
“Stubborn Love” by The Lumineers played while our best friends started the ceremony. My dad walked me down the aisle to a teary-eyed groom while “Gold” by Wake Owl played. Emotional, I got up to Bryce and let out a “geez” while wiping a tear – that’s what I’m saying – our ceremony was casual. Mostly because I can’t be emotional or serious for more than 5 minutes at a time. Our groomsman, Kurt, read a love quote from Albert Einstein and Bryce’s sister, Kaitlyn, read the Apache Wedding Blessing. In place of a unity candle or sand ceremony we had a wine box. We both wrote letters to each other the night before and found a bottle of wine from the year we started dating, 2007. We added those to a box we painted gold and shut it closed together. After our honeymoon we added some chocolate we got in Seattle. It will all be enjoyed on our first anniversary. My Maid of Honor and I had a sly exchange of my bouquet and vow book (she ran up behind me with a choreographed move of my bouquet over my shoulder and vow book in the opposite hand at my hip with no turning around). There is no recorded evidence of this (which makes me a little sad), but it’s probably because we are sneaky ninjas. It did, however, get a good laugh from our lovely guests. Bryce said his vows first and that adorable guy got so choked up I told him to just breathe. I practiced my vows and didn’t cry until the last line. It was special and beautiful and man, do I love that guy. We kissed and I was so excited to be married I started heading down the aisle before it was officially announced that we are Mr. and Mrs. Bryce & Ashley Ulmer. We glided out to “Halo” by OneRepublic (awesome cover – check it out if you haven’t heard it) and gave hugs to our friends and parents before waving our goodbyes as we headed up the elevator for a few minutes of alone time and photos. Best moments of my life.