We asked John if he would be one (if not the) of the officiants at our wedding. With a glad heart and deep sincerity he agreed. I sure hope he can fit in the "Deep peace..." ancient Celtic Blessing used at Feast of Lights I've come to love so dearly.
Yesterday, Katie and I also visited Bijoux, which is the jewelry boutique where I bought her engagement ring. The associates there are SO kind and so friendly that it's fun just to visit and say hello. We were there a week ago to share the good news and to show them how great the ring look ON Katie as opposed to the pictures I took or in the box. Yesterday, we came back to show them the pictures that Coco took during the engagement at Disneyland. (visit Coco McKown Photography here). We're also thrilled that Coco will be taking our official engagement photos as well as capturing the big day itself!
Jorge, the associate at Bijoux that Katie and I have seen the last couple visits is a great guy. At no point did he pressure us to buy anything or constantly barrage us with items. As I showed him the pictures, Katie walked around looking at potential wedding bands. You may think it's early in the game to pick out our wedding bands, but given the careful planning we're putting into this wondrous event, you can never be too careful! Katie has selected her band and I have selected mine. They fit our personalities and have elements that complement each other beautifully.
As for our wedding ceremony, Katie and I have been struggling about what to do regarding the church we are going to be married in. I'm a Catholic and Katie is a Christian but we're people who won't let religion come between us as it never has. We want to honor our families without compromising ourselves and our own happiness.
The rules within the Catholic Church nowadays are strict, to say the least. There are all sorts of hoops to jump through, promises to make, and things you have to do all short of signing a contract in blood. I've been talking with the Priest I grew attached to while I was in Sacramento, Father John, and he's offered some nice guidance about our decisions.
What we've decided to do is this:
We will have our wedding ceremony at Katie's family's church: First Baptist Church of Redlands. Katie's grandmother has been a long time member, Katie's aunt and uncle had a ceremony there, and Katie's parents were married there! It's fitting that Katie and I be married there to continue a wonderful sense of tradition.
Furthermore! A short while following our wedding/honeymoon, Katie and I will renew our vows at my church, St. Anthony's Parish in Sacramento with Father John. This way, our union will be blessed by the Catholic Church and we will be able to celebrate in a place that is so dear to my family as well. I grew up attending that church, my mom and grandmother are still active parishioners there, and my aunt and uncle had their ceremony there as well.
This is a path of compromise. Katie's family will be pleased. My family will be pleased. And (most) importantly, Katie and I will be happy that we're not "biting any bullets" or compromising our own happiness on what is one of the most important and happiest days in our lives.
Katie and I will be going to First Baptist tomorrow to get some information and potentially sign up for the marriage preparation course. I'm also conversing with Father John as to the preparation we'll also do to renew our vows at my church in Sacramento.
I'm loving engaged life. It's so nice to call Katie my "fiancee." And it's nice to stare at Katie's ring and think about what it symbolizes.
We're almost done with Katie's surprise for her Bridesmaids! Pictures to come soon!
And thanks to my guy friends who have all agreed to be at my side during the big day. Our forum on Facebook has taken on a strangely Lord of the Rings-vibe. We've been unofficially dubbed "the Fellowship of the Wedding Ring," though we're one guy short. Nonetheless, I love these guys and it's going to be a blast.
Have a great day, everyone!