The Big Event: The Wedding Ceremony

Finally — a recap of the amazing ceremony 🙂


Honestly, it was perfect.

When I left you all before, our coordinator had just come into the bridal suite and let us know we were ready to walk down the isle.

Previous recaps here

the ceremony

There really is no moment like that walk down the isle.

Because of the windows surrounding the building, I was kept in hiding until I was the only one left to go down the isle.  Which meant my parents and I were given the gift of a few quiet moments to share together.

I choose to have both my mom and dad walk me down the isle.  To be truthful, I have two of the most amazing people in the world for parents, and they have both been such amazing supports in my life, that I don’t know how I would have gotten through that walk without the both of them.


My dad was amazingly strong, while my mom and I were both fighting to hold back our tears.   There was no real conversation.  Just lots of deep breaths and me reassuring us all that we were going to be OK.

When we were released, the second I turned the corner to the isle I searched for Zach’s eyes.  I was shaky and full of so many emotions, but seeing him helped to calm my nerves and remind me just how amazing of a thing we were here to do.

We walked down the isle, and Zach’s brother, our officiant, asked my parents who was there to give me away.  I remember my father answering strongly, “Her mother and I.”

At that point, I hugged and kissed my mom.

Then looked at my dad.  Ahhh…my dad.  I remember him just looking at me and taking a deep breath before he could move my vail up.  I think every Dad imagines this moment for their daughter, and I felt like I could see both relief and sadness in my dad’s eyes.  He knows how amazing Zach is, and couldn’t be happier to have him joining our family…but I think I’ll always be his little girl ;).


I love the emotion in all 4 of us in this picture.  You can see Zach’s tearing up, Ryan’s huge smile, and my dad and I just trying to hold it together.  Amazing

Once my dad pulled back my vail, I turned to Zach and just couldn’t stop smiling.


I had been waiting so long to marry this crazy boy. . . and it was finally happening.

Ryan did a beautiful short reading and introduced us to start our ceremony.

Zach and I wanted the ceremony to be very personal.  Thankfully, we have amazing family.  Zach’s aunt offered to sing a song to us, and it was the most beautiful way to begin our ceremony.

A Sleeping Bee

When a bee lies sleepin’
In the palm of your hand
You’re bewitched and deep in love’s
Long looked after love
Where you’ll see a sun up sky
With the morning dew
And where the days go laughin’ by
As love comes a-calling on you
Sleep on bee don’t waken
Can’t believe what just passed
He’s mine for the takin’
I am happy at last…
Maybe I dreams, but he seems
Sweet golden as a crown
A sleepin’ bee done told me
I will walk with my feet off the ground
When my one true love
I has found
Sleep on bee don’t waken
Can not believe what just passed
He’s mine for the takin’
I am happy at last…
Maybe I dreams but he seems
Golden as a crown
A sleepin’ bee just told me
I will walk with my feet off the ground
When my one true love
I has found…


If that wasn’t enough to make us and our guests cry, we then had a reading by another of Zach’s amazing Aunts.


Destiny is a mysterious thing. 
No matter what you do or where you go, you cannot avoid it. 
And, no matter how hard you try, even putting forth your greatest effort, you can’t force it to happen before its time.
This occasion we witness today is the destiny of two souls.
There is not a force in the universe that could have kept you apart, and there is nothing they could have done to come together sooner. 
Each of you had to live your lives , lives that were stepping stones that have led to this moment in time, this uniting of hearts and minds that shall be forever more. 
This occasion we celebrate today is destiny of two souls.
Yes, destiny is a marvelous and mysterious thing.


Zach and I found this reading online and knew it was perfect immediately.

After the readings, Zach and I had our a groomsman and maid of honor step up to read a little something we had prepared for each other.

Before the ceremony, Zach and I wrote up a list of things that we wanted to say to each other — what we love most about each other.  how we’ve grown together.  how we’ve made each other better as people – and had our groomsman and bridesmaid read them to each other for the first time at the ceremony.


This part was amazing.  These are the kind of things you want to say to each other, but either feel cheesy or know you won’t be able to get through them?  So to have them written down and articulated to us by the people we care about the most, was just very moving.

If that wasn’t enough, then it was time for our own vows.

Yup…Zach and I wrote our own vows.  To be honest, this was what I stressed over the most as the wedding got closer.  I felt like what I wanted to say to him, in my own words, would make me very vulnerable and maybe our guests just wouldn’t like it. But honestly, it had the exact opposite reaction. It was what our guests spoke to the most about the ceremony.

You know we were meant for each other when we wrote about the same things in our vows, not knowing what the other had already written.  It was perfect.

I want to leave some of the moment sacred, so I’m not going to completely write out the vows — but I will let you know that we both promised to love the weather (me promising to try and understand it, and Zach promising to try and NOT inundate me with it ;),  both vowed to love skiing (but Zach vowed to always love me MORE than skiing ;), and both included our furballs.   When/if you get to know us as a couple, this was a perfect moment.  Everyone teared up and laughed simultaneously, and instead of feeling vulnerable I felt this overwhelming sense of joy and love from everyone we were sharing that moment with.

And once that was done, all that was left were the I Do’s and rings.


Of course, our fingers were totally swollen thanks to altitude and heat — but we managed to laugh through pushing our own rings on. . . with everyone in the audience.

And then, we kissed.


And were pronounced forever, husband and wife.

Welcome, Mr. and Mrs. Zachary and Ashley Jara 🙂


And then we partied the night away! (reception recap to come of course)

It just doesn’t get any better than that. . .


13 thoughts on “The Big Event: The Wedding Ceremony

  1. Good morning Sunshine. You did an amazing job of capturing the memories of your amazing day. I know that when your Dad reads this, he going to get all choked up again! My only wish is that we had been able to record both of your vows – it was an affirmation that the two of you are soul mates and know each other inside and out! Thank you for bringing back such incredible moments and memories. Love you both!

  2. OMG I was definitely tearing up at work reading this- thank goodness for your vows about skiing to stop my tears! I LOVE every single one of these pics, but one of my favs has to be the 2nd one with you and your parents before the ceremony. It’s beautiful and captures the moment such that I feel like I am there. And I think this is the first time I saw the setting for the actual ceremony (with the trees and everything)- gorgeous! LOVE LOVE LOVE!!

  3. What a beautiful wedding. It really does sound perfect, even the vows. We didn’t do vows but if we did, I know it would be really stressful up to the wedding day just trying to think of what to say and how to word it just right.

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