Team McLeod : Setting the Scene

83 degrees and sunny without a single cloud in the sky. This is how much the universe loves us. To give someone this kind of weather in central Florida in early October is a big deal. 365 days before this Gainesville saw a four-day thunderstorm marathon. We're talking flooding and windy, constant rain. Still technically part of hurricane season, we knew October could give us just that scene while at the same time, historically October was one of the driest months of the year.

What a gamble well worth it.

To set the scene for you through these next few ceremony posts, I'll give you a little listen to the soundtrack of our day. We played a variety of contemporary favorites before the ceremony began. Sigur Ros, Sufjan Stevens and Do Make Say think made up the playlist of post-rock instrumental - my favorite.

A shot of the one of the tables at the ceremony with programs, guestbook cards, and flowers. Our black/white/green color scheme really popped outdoors against the natural garden backdrop. To be honest, the poms and ribbons tied in the trees were intended to go inside and decorate the reception space. It was supposed to be grand and dramatic (and I think it would have been) but with fill-in coordinators I was just happy to see that there were decorations at all. The plan was originally to have varied lengths of ribbons hanging separately from the branches, each with a smaller pom hanging from the end. I can't tell you how many hundreds of hours I spent folding and cutting tissue paper and ribbon - only to see just half of it hung. I won't lie - I was disappointed, but when I saw the oak tree after our guests were all seated below the branches it all looked perfect.

Asa showing off one of our programs. They turned out exactly like I hoped and we were able to include all our important information including all the members of the wedding party, our families, text for both readings and the Scottish wedding blessing, as well as a thank you from us and an additional selection we didn't want to fit into the ceremony itself.

Collin's grandparents Gordon and Audrey (Craig's dad and step-mom) reading that same fabulous program!Our dads laughing before the ceremony. Craig is carrying the tartan sash for the pinning ceremony later.Our long-time friend Chris (middle school days) also took some photos of his own during the wedding. Armed with a fisheye lense he was able to get some really sweet shots.
Like these:

This whole time the groomsmen were diligently working on ushering guests to their preferred seats and Collin had a few minutes to mingle and relax before the start.

Almost full now - everyone is taking their places.
When I saw these pictures for the first time I assumed that Fred was helping Collin relax a little right before the processional. He told me that it was more the other way around! Fred is a lawyer and notary, thus perfectly qualified to legally marry us. However it was his first time actually performing a ceremony at a wedding so he was really nervous! He did such an amazing job, whatever Collin and he talked about must have worked because I couldn't sense any anxiety at all.
Proud parents looking on at their son.

And Collin waits for me.