Paula & Sherman’s Wedding

A Little Background

Neither of us had ever been married before, and we both had a lot of friends (and Sherman had a LOT of relatives), so it was a BIG wedding. We didn’t have a lot of money, and wanted a more community feel in any case, so we did a potluck wedding dinner with our wonderful (volunteer) kitchen coordinator Nancy Duggan (whose anniversary to her husband Colin happened to be the same day), and a bunch of volunteers to help set up, decorate, play music, and call contra dances for the reception. My friend John Combs took pictures and Jonathan Ross took video. We had whole teams of volunteers that also had some coordination by our friend Donna Richardsen. We had 209 people! About a week before the event, we expected around 80, because people don’t seem to like to RSVP for weddings…

We did a Renaissance Wedding, too, with costumes, and encouraged people to dress up likewise. My dress was one I’d made (all without electricity!) back in the mid 90s and I made Sherman’s outfit to match after he chose a fabric he thought would go well with the dress. It was a very non-traditional wedding. The Masonic Temple worked great for this, having the “thrones” (I was determined not to have to stand through my own wedding!). Finding the venue was the most nerve-wracking part, actually, as several other places fell through in the planning through various mishaps (construction delays, one place was going to be sold but then the deal fell through and the guy told us, “I’m a pirate–I’d feel totally fine about taking your money and running, but I’ll let you know that up front. We listened, and went elsewhere.), but the Masonic Temple was perfect, being big, historic, a really cool building, good acoustics for the wedding itself, with a water fountain in the foyer and a huge kitchen with plates, etc for us to use, as well as lots and lots of chairs! We had the guests carry chairs down at the end–I’ll bet it’s the only wedding with people carrying chairs going through the Receiving Line!

If I’d known how nerve-wracking organizing a huge wedding with volunteer food, setup, making the Groom’s Cake myself, throwing a party the night before for family to meet one another, etc, I might not have taken on the additional load of performing at my own wedding, as well as writing and performing a duet! I wrote the service initially, and then Sherman had some suggestions that we worked on together adding in. I made my own mother & brother play for the opening music and processional, and Sherman’s mom sang and his dad (a minister) gave the benediction (I had written one, but he did one of his choosing ūüėČ Everyone was a volunteer–I put my family to work!–but the leading minister did request a six-pack of my homemade chocolate stout as her “payment.” I had made a batch of mead for the event, but since the Masonic Temple didn’t allow alcohol, I had four gallons of my chocolate kava drink, instead, which was very appreciated by all who drank it… During the dinner, too, we took a break at sunset for a dove release, courtesy of our friend Julia of A Spirit’s Wings.

The Video

When I first tried to upload video of our wedding to YouTube, the time allowance was only 15 minutes per video. Our wedding outstripped that, and the software I had was not terribly good at splitting up the pieces and making them good quality, so what I have are small videos of each segment of the wedding.

Part 1 (Processional, Paula sings Jesu, Congregation Hymn, Aramaic Lord’s Prayer, 3 Rituals)

Part 2¬†(Exchange of vows, Jennifer’s Reading, Sherman performs Secret Marriage, Paula & Sherman’s duet, Pronouncement, Benediction, dismissal)

Dove Release (done after ceremony and during dinner, up on the top of the Masonic Temple, downtown Asheville, NC)

The official order of the ceremony:

Wedding of Sherman Hoover and Paula Bishop
October 2, 2010
5:00pm
Officiant: Reverend Harriette Bugel

(4:45pm) Musical Prelude of Renaissance and Medieval works
Gail Ann Schroeder, treble viol, Ann Stierli, recorders and tenor viol, Martha Bishop, bass viol, Bryan Bishop, harpsichord and piano, Mary Hoover, soprano voice

Processional    Ductia, Anon 13th Century

Jesu (excerpt BMV 147) by Johannes Sebastian Bach (sung by Paula Bishop)

Invocation    (Rev. Harriette Bugel)

Congregational Hymn: “All Things Bright and Beautiful”

Reading: The Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic (Rev. Jay Joslin)

Three Symbolic Rituals:
1. The Candle Ritual
2. The Loving Cup
3. The Ring

Sherman and Paula pledge their troth to one another

Reading: Apache Wedding Blessing (Rev. Jennifer Stansbury)

“The Secret Marriage” by Sting¬†¬† ¬†(Sherman Hoover, bass and vocals, Bryan Bishop, piano)

“Duet of Vows”¬†¬† ¬†(written & sung by Paula and Sherman)

Pronouncement of Man and Wife    (Rev. Harriette Bugel)

Benediction    (Rev. Kenneth Hoover)

Recessional of Couple and their families    Trotto (Italian, 14th Century)

Dismissal

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