Wednesday, October 03, 2012

i married them in boots {ps there is a giveaway in here}

Last weekend I had the very great honor of marrying one of my very best friends off to the love of her life.
The wedding was intimate, outdoors, on a beautiful deck overlooking rolling hills of changing trees.
The after party was on the roof of a hundred year old building under a sky filled with hanging lights and lanterns.
The entire affair was beautiful and amazing. It could not have gone better.

But it wasn't without some fretting before hand.
Whenever I officiate a wedding I always worry about two things - what to say (how to be personal, reverent and humorous) and what to wear (how to look nice, feminine and somewhat official, without distracting from the bride and groom's looks.)

This is what I wore and some of what I said. I think I did okay.

(what I wore for the ceremony)

Dearly beloved, we are gathered here in the sight of God, and in the presence of these witnesses, to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony; which is an honorable estate, instituted of God.To this sacred moment they bring the fullness of their hearts as a treasure and a gift from God to share with one another. They bring the dreams which bind them together in an eternal commitment. They bring their gifts and talents, their unique personalities and spirits,We rejoice with them in thankfulness to the Lord for creating this union of hearts, built on friendship, respect and love.

Shauna Niquiest (one of Amy’s favorite authors) writes these words 
“My life is a story about who God is and what He does in a human heart....
When things fall apart, the broken pieces allow all sorts of things to enter, and one of them is the presence of God.”  I think they would agree, that this is also the story of Jeff and Amy. They have both experienced pain, loss and the kind of complete falling apart that can lead to one of two roads - bitterness or hope.
Thankfully, for all of us really, they chose hope.

And because of that, you will not find two more tender hearts than this couple. And you will not find two people who understand the kind of joy and sweetness that God can usher in when we stop trying to hide the broken pieces and allow his presence to bring restoration and newness to our hearts and our lives. 

Today we are not just celebrating a marriage, we are also celebrating God’s great grace and mercy towards  his children. Today we are celebrating the gift of redemption. For we are all Abba’s children, no matter how banged up or bruised we may be.

(for the after party - aka the reception)

In her book Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert says this “People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that's what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.” I believe that together, Jeff and Amy have found this in each other, but with a beautiful caveat -they are honest and tender in their mirroring for each other. They do not use their mirrors as weapons, but instead as gentle reminders of who God created each of them to be. That as their imperfections will show up with merciless clarity in that mirror (as Anne Morrow Lindbergh reminds us) that they will not recoil in shame, but instead work on those imperfections in the warm light of their love and respect and patience for each other.

So, as we go forward today, as Jeff and Amy take their vows, as we leave here to go to an amazing roof top party, as they begin their new life as a family - bringing together both of their friends and families into this new life, there are still a lot of unknowns. One of the great things about getting married at this stage in your life, is that I believe that  they  are wise enough to know that marriage is not a solution to your problems. In fact I can guarantee that they will have tough times. And I guarantee that at some point
one or both of them will wonder why you took this leap of faith, if it is worth all the work. But as the very wise and astute philosopher Dolly Parton says “ Storms make trees take deeper roots”

So, with that in mind, I also guarantee that if they don’t take this leap, right now, in front of God and all of
 you, their very most favorite people in the the world,  that they will regret it for the rest of their lives.

So, friends and family, I just have one question for all of you. Are we ready to help Amy and Jeff take this leap? (To which, of course, everyone answered a joyful and resounding yes!)


Because the wedding and party were fairly casual affairs, I decided to wear my new Men's Rambler Square Toe Boot - Brown Bomber boots from Country Outfitter, who generously gave these to me as part of the AWBU event back in August.  
I picked these boots based on trying on a similar pair (in a larger size, as they were actually for a man) and loving how tough and comfortable they felt.
I am one of those funny yoga types who cannot stand to have my toes pinched up too much (bad for balance!) and I love a shoe that will allow me to spread my toes and plant my feet firmly on the ground. These are just those sort of boots. I have worn my Ariat Rambler's with almost everything - shorts, dresses, skirts, jeans.  And I love that that they are wide enough for my calves, without being tight. I know some of you understand this particular predicament. 
I also know that a lot of you also love a really great deal - like a chance to win a free pair of boots or a really great discount towards your dream pair, so I am excited to share with you this very generous giveaway:

Country Outfitter is giving you a chance to win a $150 gift certificate to go shopping on them. You could pick out your own Men's ramblers (I just love the worn look and comfort of these. Ariat really needs to make a lady version) or something completely different and more traditional and girlie.

To enter follow these steps:
1. Click here & submit your email address to Country Outfitter (you may receive occasional emails from them).
2. Leave a comment here on the blog letting me know you submitted your email to Country Outfitter and maybe tell me your favorite wedding moments?

A winner will be selected in two weeks on October 17th.

Good luck friends!

Technical disclosure stuff: CountryOutfitter, a retailer of Ariat boots, gave me these Rambler boots to review.  


  1. Anonymous11:22 AM

    I love the wedding vows. I am thinking the husband and I should renew our vows on our 20th anniversary. In a barn and party under the stars with family and dear friends.

    And love boots!! I submitted my email address.

    Stacy M.

  2. beautiful words!
    was that reception on a rooftop in conway? i'm from there and i recognize it i think!!

  3. Done! We love Ariat.

    Fave wedding moment? I attended the wedding of one of my old Jr. High girls that I used to mentor. The other two girls in our group were her bridesmaids. I hadn't seen them all together in years!

  4. maggiecolorado@gmail.com11:48 AM

    signed up..
    and I got married wearing red cowboy boots on top of Pikes Peak in Colorado!

  5. Wow you look FAB!

    I submitted my email address to Country Outfitters (ssfashiongirl007 at gmail dot com)

    We got married in India & it was pretty crazy! I dont remember much, as I was drowning under the weight of all the jewelry! :P Oh yes, we had a fun Bollywood night and danced like crazy!


  6. I submitted my email to Country Outfitters.

    I love tradition and that the opening words at the wedding are "Dearly Beloved." Goosebumps every time!

  7. Submitted my email address . . . I adore boots, and yours are fabulous.

    My favorite moment from my wedding was when my preacher, a relatively stern man I' ve known all my life, who also married my parents and my sister, got choked up when he took our hands in his and said, "What God hath brought together let no man put asunder." It seemed such an, ardent and heartfelt prayer for our life together.

  8. I'm a little hormonal today so perhaps I was more acutely affected, but those vows you wrote were absolutely wonderful and even made me tear up! (And you looked lovely, btw.)

    Favorite wedding moment? The pure elation I felt when my husband and I were pronounced man and wife and hearing the cheers and clapping from our friends and families.

    Thank you for the chance to win, Jerusalem!

    Carolina Country Living
    (signed up with Country Outfitters ~

  9. Submitted my email...I need some boots!

    My favorite wedding moment, just happening a few months ago, was having my dad give me away and then marry us! Both of our dads were able to be a part of the ceremony, making it even more special than it already was!

  10. I submitted my email!
    I love what you said about what God can do when we stop hiding the broken pieces. You can't know how much that means to me--I've been hiding lots of broken pieces lately.

  11. Love the boots, love the outfits, especially your reception dress! So pretty!
    I entered my email on their website for the contest! My favorite wedding moment was when our friends Michael and Amanda left for their hotel after the reception, and we all formed two long lines for them to walk through as we all held lit sparklers. It was GORGEOUS! :)

  12. I entered. Live in Texas now...could use some boots! ;o)

    Favorite wedding moment? Just knowing we were husband & wife, 'til death do us part.
    Thank you.

  13. I submitted my email.

    I also teared up reading your words. Love the awesome reverence of the sentiments.

    Thanks for hosting the giveaway.

  14. I submitted!

    I love going to weddings and seeing the sincere love and happiness of a couple as they're just starting out their new lives together. It's an exciting time!

  15. so excited for a chance to win a pair of boots...

  16. MJ Moore3:27 PM

    I submitted my email! My favorite wedding moment was right after my own wedding ceremony. My husband and I whirled away into the room used for bridal preparations, and as the church emptied, we had a few minutes to savor the newness of being married. Still makes me all mushy inside!


  17. I am submitting. Probably a good thing you didn't talk about that too much in the vows. I really loved you flower belt :D

  18. I submitted my email!

    my fav wedding moment ...may be selfish ...but it was at my wedding five years ago *last weekend!* when the pastor asked for my husband looked at his best man and the best man.. checked all his pockets ring.. so the best man looked at the next groomsment..he checked all his ring.. it went down the line of four men until at the very end of the groomsmen was my litle brother who was 13..who put a huge smile on his face ..popped out his hand like he was showing his ring off and it was on his pinky! I could have killed them all!! What makes it special is that my brother and I are super close and he was really worried that if I got married I would forget about it was kind of his way to let me know that he was happy for me and "approved". Best moment of my life!

  19. loved your words for your bestie's wedding, what a wonderful night it must have been. you looked fab, too.

    thank you for the chance to enter your lovely give-away. what girl couldn't use a new pair of boots? especially when there soo sweet?

    favorite memory from my wedding, when i first made eye contact with my soon-to-be-husband anxiously awaiting me down the loooong aisle at the altar.


  20. I am here from WIWW. I just went to the Country Outfitters and put in my email. :)

  21. MY favorite part of my own wedding: I invited the whole family - my side, his side, my Mom's side, my Dad's side, the people I worked with, the people he worked with - everyone! I never thought in a million years everyone would come. None of my family live closer than 350 miles away. But, they ALL CAME. We didn't have enough seating and we ran out of cake and punch, but it was fun nonetheless.

    My favorite scene from a cousin's wedding - my eight year old son deciding he LOVED to dance, so we danced to every song all night long. And, anyone that knows me will tell you - I don't DANCE.

    *I submitted my email too. Thanks!

  22. Anonymous7:04 PM

    My daughter just introduced me to your blog and I am so glad she did.
    You can betcha if I ever get married again I'm wearing my cowgirl boots! My favorite wedding was my daughter's beach wedding. She was such a beautiful bride and of course I'm not being biased! I entered the giveaway via email.

  23. I entered my email!! They have many beautiful things!!!
    You looked very beautiful in the pictures. I love looking at your house! I am excited to see the changes you have in mind, now that you will be staying!
    My favorite wedding memory has to be my own. Even though we are divorced now, I still remember the hope and promise of that day.

  24. Your wedding fashions were so precious!

    I entered this morning ( Got my first pair of boots for my 4th birthday--they were all I wanted. Had my 34th on Tuesday. I think it's time for a new pair!

    I would say my favorite moment of my wedding was when I saw my sweet husband for the first time. We got married in a double-aisle church, and at 4'11", I knew I wouldn't be able to see him if the congregation stood up when I came in as is tradition. Our officiant asked that they remain seated so that I could have that experience, and I'll never forget the moment we saw each other as the ceremony kicked off.

    As far as other folks' wedding go, I think my favorite moment was at my cousin's wedding. Same church, which was really tiny. The guest list was so large that the attendants (all 20 of us!) had to sit in the choir loft because they had to bring in extra chairs for the guests. We were packed in there tight as a tick, but once the ceremony got underway, I remember thinking how beautiful it was to enter into this life literally surrounded by the ones who love you most.

  25. I signed up. i dont know how a girl would pick just one pair.

    I adore your haircut. It makes me want to chop my hair off pronto. My hubby would have heart failure though and I love him to much to do that to him. Today, anyway.

  26. Elissa12:38 PM

    Hi Jerusalem! Such a lovely wedding
    in every way. Loved your outfit as well. My wedding was shared by family and friends. An intimate
    afternoon at our favorite restaurant. My fellow floral designers decorated Il Cielo with breathtaking flowers and a floral bouquet made of all my favorite flowers, lily of the valley and violets. Your blog is a daily inspiration! Kind regards to you and your loved ones.

  27. Elissa12:47 PM

    P.S. I submitted my e-mail address to Country Outfitter. Your boots are awesome!!!

  28. Karen4:49 PM

    You waxed eloquent, my friend. Lovely, lovely words for your friend. :)

    I'm entered and all official. Love me some cowboy boots!

  29. You are as lovely as the day is long! I LOVE a wedding that has an "after party" sounds like SO much fun when you say it that way!

    My favorite wedding moment was when my daddy kissed me on the forehead just before we walked down the isle together. I am such a lucky lady to have the BEST men in my life. Oh love!

  30. Love those boots and love the dresses you chose to wear. You look lovely!!!


  31. I have 2 beautiful friends getting married next month. Their wedding invitations, response cards, envelopes, everything has tandem bicycles on it. "Because people were meant to go through life two by two." Thomas Wilder-Our Town
    I can't wait to celebrate with them.

  32. submitted email

  33. I love these pictures! And I love that you got twinkie boots with my daddy.

    My favorite current wedding moment was seeing one of my dearest friends be the most beautiful mother of the groom ever. It's so amazing to watch the women around me still growing into even more beautiful ladies! LOVE!

  34. 1. I didn't know you officiated weddings, and I want to know more about that.
    2. Your words were beautiful and your look was perfect for the occasion.

  35. I submitted my email to Country Outfitter
    my favorite wedding moment was watching my husband play with my sister in laws kids on these huge balls the venue had set up for all the kids we invited (plus my husband wanted to play on them too)
    mermont84 at

  36. Anonymous10:27 AM

    I submitted my email (connie dot starkey at gmail dot com) -- I've tried to enter comments here several times so ignore any duplicates!

    I've only recently stumbled across your blog and so happy that I finally found this place...we are practically neighbors as I'm in Conway.

  37. I entered! My fav wedding moment has to be at my own wedding when my husband said his vows while looking into my eyes. He was teary eyed! And that was 32 years ago!

  38. You looked gorgeous! My wedding was at a courthouse, so though not very romantic, still incredibly special. My favorite moment was walking out a Mrs. :)

  39. I entered! How cool is it that you're an officiant?!

  40. Love your reception dress! You're as lovely as you are lovely.

  41. Oh you know I had to enter this one after seeing your awesome boots in person! My favorite wedding moment was when our "exit" song didn't play and my Uncle was waving in the back for us to walk out anyway... he looked like he was trying to land a plane.

  42. I entered the giveaway. This laid back kind of wedding is so my style.

  43. Katie B.10:32 AM

    I entered my email. This type of casual yet elegant wedding is exactly what me and my husband did. And it was perfect!


ok, really. tell me the truth... do these comments make me look fat?

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