Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you for always: Mr. & Mrs. Baker!
The Celebration of Love for Melissa and Ted was a gorgeous, unique, personalized ceremony filled with much emotion. From an artistic rendering of what it should have looked like with the recently deceased Father of the Bride walking his daughter down the aisle, to the beautiful song sung by a family friend, to the couple’s dog Lambeau rushing down the aisle at the end to be the first to congratulate the couple, this wedding had all the feels.
Enjoy a few excerpts from this special ceremony.
“I am Holly Miller and it is an honor for me to officiate this union today. I have known the Maranos since I was a kid, and I adored my favorite “office lady” at St. Mark’s Mrs. Shirley Marano. Just before Christmas 1991 I rushed home from school to tell my mom that Mrs. Marano had a girl! And now here I am helping Shirley’s little girl get married. Such a blessing.
My mom and Shirley have been the best of friends for decades and Ted’s grandparents were long-time good friends of my parents as well. How we are all woven together is so special, and isn’t that such a Kenosha thing? We’re all connected somehow.
This ceremony presents us with a wonderful opportunity to celebrate love and we acknowledge the loved ones gone too soon and all of those not able to celebrate with us today.
As many of you know I also recently helped the Marano Family celebrate the life of the Father of the Bride, Peter. While I absolutely knew how much he loved his children, it was wonderful to learn just how much he also loved Ted. We can know with certainty that he is watching today with pride and that he will watch over your marriage with joy. Although, he still thinks we should be at the Italian American right now.”
Reading: “Our family is a circle of strength and love. With every birth and every union the circle grows. Every joy shared adds more love. Every challenge faced together makes the circle stronger. Founded on faith, kept by love.”
(Ted) Melly, I love you, I don’t say that out of habit, but as a constant reminder that you are the best thing that’s ever happened to me. You are my best friend. Today I give myself to you in marriage.
I promise to encourage and inspire you, to laugh with you, and to comfort you in times of sorrow and struggle. I promise to love you in good times and in bad, when life seems easy and when it seems hard, when our love is simple, and when it is an effort. I promise to cherish you and to always hold you in the highest regard.
These things I give to you today, and all the days of our life. Together.
(Melissa) Ted, for me to say everything you deserve to hear would take far too long and I know you get impatient so I will try to keep this brief. There are countless moments in our relationship that cause me to pause, smile and appreciate you. Those little reminders that you are exactly where I am supposed to be. Here are just a few realizations I’ve gathered along the way.
You are the only person I say exactly what is on my mind to. For you, it may be a pain to listen to my every thought but know that it’s because I am more comfortable with you than anyone else in the world. You are the hardest working person I know. Which is saying a lot considering who my dad is. You are calm and confident and it brings me comfort. And even though you can be a little reckless, I never feel safer than when I am with you. You are capable of growth and change. We are both pretty stubborn but we find a way to approach conversations rooted in disagreement with respect and understanding. You live an earnest life. Everything you do, you do because it brings you joy or makes you better. You are a great welcomer to new people and I love your efforts to make sure everyone has a great time. I love the way you love Lambeau. It’s unconditional and a side of you that only he brings out. It makes me excited to see you with our children someday. I love your relationship with your family, and the relationship you’ve built with mine, especially my dad. I know that the only person he would trust to leave me with is you. Lastly, I want to acknowledge that I underestimate you. And after 6 years, you still manage to surprise me.
You are my home and soon you will be my husband. And in our marriage, my promises to you are these – I will continue to challenge you without trying to change who you are. I will cherish our unique relationship and not compare us to others. I won’t take you for granted and I will appreciate the ways in which you show me love. I will be on your side, sharing all of your burdens and celebrating your victories. And I will love you, always.
“The love Melissa and Ted share is a beautiful blessing. May their love grow and through strength, unity, and time be a blessing not only onto themselves but onto their families and the world around them. Help them, Lord, to stay connected in any adversity and to treasure and protect their marriage. May we, as their family and friends, commit to uphold and encourage them to the best of our ability. May we honor and remember those gone before us and know that they are always with us in our hearts.”
Testimonial from the Bride, Melissa:
“A few months ago, I wrote a review of Holly’s funeral services for my father. In that review, I said that had I not already booked an officiant, I would have her do my wedding. A few weeks later, our original officiant backed out, and I immediately reached out to Holly and, I can’t imagine our wedding without her. As you can imagine, a wedding mere months after the loss of a father is extremely difficult and it was important to me that this day honored him while keeping focus on the celebration of love and marriage. Holly executed this balance perfectly. Meaningful tears, laughs and so much love filled our ceremony. Holly wrote a heartfelt welcoming message that was all about my husband and I while acknowledging the immense loss we experienced with grace. Our ceremony went extremely smoothly and knowing Holly was officiating kept me calm and confident. Throughout the process she offered guidance while allowing us to make the ceremony as unique to us as we wanted. It was so special to have her be a part of another day that is so significant to our family – this time a happy one <3.”
Cheers to Mr. & Mrs. Baker and a lifetime of love!