I finally made it to the church. The church doors were closed. The church bell on top rang while I was waiting (seriously, talk about nerve-wrecking!).
The doors opened and I went in… To keep myself from crying, I found Karl at the altar and just stared at him the whole walk down…
I had the biggest smile ever once I saw his face! Then he smiled too!
It was a small church, but that walk felt like forever.
By the way, I was told I had to enter the church following Brazilian traditions, on the right side of my dad, not the left as I’m accustomed to seeing. It bothered me at first, but on that day, it didn’t matter one bit. But that is why you see me to the right of my dad. The father is supposed to leave the right side, while the groom picks up the bride from the left.
I couldn’t take my eyes off Karl! And I couldn’t stop smiling! So much for thinking I was going to burst into tears!
Karl finally took his spot next to me, and walked me the rest of the way up the aisle.
I was still nervous, my heart was still pounding on my chest, but I was ridiculously happy to be there next to him.
You can’t really tell, but I was holding on his arm for dear life.
The priest asked both our moms to give a speech (they were caught by surprise!) then asked my brother and his wife to come forward and give a speech as well (again, we were all surprised!)
We had to make a speech too (enough with the surprises already!). Karl gave this amazing speech, my mind went blank and all I could think of was “I’m so happy, I love you” (except it was probably even less coherent than that).
People had told me that the priests do whatever they want on the ceremony, and they weren’t kidding. We had no clue. His next surprise was to ask me to translate everything he said to Karl. Sweet, sure, but it means that our ceremony was twice as long as it should have been. I think we were there a whole hour. Those cute shoes? Started to hurt my feet too!
We were both so nervous during the whole ceremony! Hard to have all those eyes staring at you…
But the picture below? Shows exactly how I was feeling!
My brother never sat back down on his original seat up front after he picked Gabi up to replace our missing groomsman. But this is still a nice view of the church…
My parents were sitting right by my side…
Karl’s parents were by his side. And can you see all the people up on the balconies? You can spot Amy, Nikki, Masha, Margaret, Ken and Brit!
The other side was full too (here you can see on the right Erin, Jane, Pete, Kathy, and my uncle with my little cousin).
This setup is the Brazilian tradition too — your groomsmen/bridesmaids sit below the altar, and both set of parents sit next to the couple at the altar.
The priest gave tons of advice. Despite being a religious ceremony, most of his words had to do with marriage advice and counseling, there was barely any religious sayings to us (a good thing, since I’m a bad Catholic, and Karl is not Catholic). It was a long ceremony, but if felt like a really personal experience.
It was finally time to read our vows (we had traditional vows). Karl had practiced somewhat, but the priest let him read his words to me, since he was repeating them in Portuguese. It was adorable!
And it was time to exchange rings…
While Erica’s kids continued to steal the show. (Don’t you just want to squeeze them?)
We signed our marriage certificate…
And we were finally declared husband and wife — and allowed to kiss for the first time that day!
The guests threw rose petals at us from the balconies!
And my parents apparently found the whole thing funny…
We hugged our parents and our bridesmaids/groomsmen…
And took a picture with our parents at the altar.
And left the church as husband and wife
Can you tell we’re happy?
Outside some of the guests blew bubbles on us (unfortunately, it seems not all the bubbles I bought were distributed. Eh. At the end of the day that was just a detail of many…)
And then it was time for more pictures!
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