March the twelfth was the day we decided on. It was February and we only had a few weeks to plan. The big wedding and honeymoon went out the window as we struggled and pinched pennies to plan a small, intimate affair.
The wedding was to be held in the youth chapel at Modesto Revival Center. My sister, Cindy would serve as matron of honor, and Paul's longtime friend, Scott, would be the best man. Paul had requested that his girls play a role, so, Paul's youngest daughter Noelle was the flower girl and his middle daughter, Natalie and my niece Madison served as candle lighters. Paul's oldest Nicole, is our daughter with special needs and there was not an army, stampede of horses or threat of death that was going to make her be in the wedding! So, she was an observer. Kendra was the official wedding photographer, and Haley joined Nicole in the "observation booth."
I was shooting for simple elegance. I had chosen soft colors of wedgwood blue and butter yellow with accents of gold. I made the bouquets, floral arrangements and the boutonnieres. We had a reception in the church lobby of cupcakes, sparkling cider and a snack table complete with candies and a variety of nuts and snack crackers. It turned out exactly as I had envisioned it.
I thought long and hard about the music that I would play. I wanted each song to tell a story, to be a testament to our individual circumstances, of what we had both suffered and lived to tell about.
The wedding began with "A New Day Has Come" by Celine Dion. It goes something like this....."I was waiting for so long for a miracle to come. Everyone told me to be strong, hold on, and don't shed a tear. Through the darkness and good times, I knew I'd make it through. The world thought I had it all, but I was waiting for you." The candle lighters also walked down the aisle and lit their candles to this song.
The maid of honor walked down the aisle to another Celine Dion song entitled "Have You Ever Been In Love?" One of my favorite lines in this song is, "The time I spent waiting for something that was heaven sent. When you find it don't let go, I know." I walked down the aisle during the crescendo at the tail end of this song.
Pastor Keyes conducted the ceremony with the assistance of Paul's Pastor, Lawrence Exum. They both had marvelous things to say with Pastor Keyes recounting embarrassing stories of me when I was a teenager and Pastor Exum addressed the idea of a blended family and the challenges that we would face. The atmosphere was a very relaxed and joyous one.
We had thought long and hard about the song we would play during the lighting of the unity candle. The song we eventually chose was "Bless the Broken Road" by Rascall Flatts. I had not wanted this song, even though I dearly love it, I just felt that it had been way overused and I wanted something original. However, the words of the song were too incredibly "dead on" for us to ignore, and that is the song we settled on.
The first notes of the song began to play and we walked over to the unity candle just as we had practiced. We lit our candle and blew out our individual tapers and made our way back to the front. We stood there holding hands, looking into each others eyes when I said to Paul very quietly....."I always hate this part in weddings, it is so awkward standing here with everyone looking at us."Paul shocked me by saying "Do you want me to have them stop the song?" Before I could respond he turned to the man running the sound and made a motion as if cutting his neck, meaning to say "cut the music!" I was appalled! What in the world was he doing??
Before I could regain my composure, a man that Paul worked with walked up to a microphone with an acoustic guitar in his hands! And then Paul had a microphone in HIS hand! Much to my shock and delight Paul began to sing to me a song entitled "Let Me Down Easy." by country artist Billy Currington.
Paul has an incredible voice and I was thrilled to the very core of my being as he sang, "The smell of your perfume, floating in the air. You're lookin' like an angel lyin' on a blanket with a halo of hair. And those lips are too good to be true. Once I taste that kiss I know what'll happen, I'll be at the mercy of you!" I am blushing even now as I type.
Much to our surprise, his co-worker who was accompanying him on the guitar joined in with sweet harmony on the chorus! It was a hit. The audience began to feel very relaxed and there were cat calls and whistles coming from the crowd. It was electric! At the close of the song there was thunderous applause. I was smiling so wide I thought my cheeks would surely crack!
Before we knew it, the ceremony was over and my Pastor gave Paul permission to kiss me.......and.......he did! And it was good! And now, I was Mrs. Paul Ray Moore. I walked down the aisle to my future with ALL of OUR kids trailing along behind.
The reception was lovely and very relaxed. We enjoyed visiting with so many family and friends. We could not wait however to get on the road to begin our honeymoon. We were going to Bodega Bay, and then on to Disneyland for three whole days and then the Reagan Library on our way home. We had an absolutely wonderful time, it is just too bad that we could hardly stay awake the whole trip................