Building Our Wedding Altar

Clear blue skies…warm sunshine…a small secluded canyon of gorgeous Sedona red rock…surrounded by twisted Pinon trees and white barked Sycamores…air filled with the scent of pine…bright butterflies fluttering and tiny hummingbirds hovering.

Long, slender tree, bleached white by the sun and the beauty of age…tugged up from a small nearby ravine…placed on a ledge of the canyon…a perfect start!

Pine cones gathered from all around the property… scattered heavily along the inside edge of the tree…and on our wedding day…the final touch of bright, colorful, crazy daisies sprinkled over the pine cones…beautiful!

Just like the loving relationship we consciously created over time we built our Sedona wedding altar over time…each day as we worked on the altar the butterflies fluttered, and a beautiful tiny hummingbird flitted and hovered nearby, watching…her presence adding to our joy.

I found her to be called Anna’s hummingbird, named after Anna the Duchess of Rivoli. Believing that birds are often willing messengers for spirit…I think she was visiting to let us know that Mark’s mother, Anna, was with us…and wanted us to know she was happy for Mark.

As I worked on the altar I sent pictures to my good friend Kathleen and she was inspired to ask her sister-in-law Marianne, who just happens to live in Sedona, and just happens to be a wonderful baker, to bake a wedding cake for us. Marianne called and we talked about what kind of cake it should be. We chose Mark’s favorite, carrot cake. So glad we did! It was a four layered, tall, beautiful, moist cake, iced with butter cream icing, and delivered to us on the morning of our wedding day.

We put that gorgeous cake on an antique glass, footed, cake stand and topped it with a vintage bride and groom we had found in an antique store during our visit to my sister Candi in Oklahoma City.

While visiting Candi, she made the suggestion that turned out to be one of the best ideas ever! She suggested that Mark’s sister Cathy become an on-line minister so she could marry us in Sedona during her upcoming visit. We asked Cathy if she was interested, and thirty minutes later she sent us a picture of her official certificate and let us know that we should now address her as “Your Eminence”.
Not too long after we finished the altar our wedding party arrived. Two of Mark’s sisters, Cathy and Rosina, and one of his nieces, Suzy, had flown from Ohio and Indiana to spend a long weekend with us, and they willingly became the perfect wedding fairies for our special day.

Mark and I wrote our own vows to one another and Cathy wrote a beautiful ceremony. Rosina was my maid of honor, and Suzy was Mark’s best man. We played Canon in D as Mark and I descended the stairs from the house into the petite canyon, both of us with tears in our eyes as we moved toward our altar and our wedding company.

We spoke our vows, shed tears of joy, and danced our first dance together on the beautiful red rocks as man and wife, to the song “I Just Want to Dance with You” by George Strait. Our favorite song.

Afterwards we all celebrated, played music, danced, and drank champagne in the Sedona sunshine until it was time to keep our dinner reservation at Poco Diablo. At Poco Diablo we sat out doors with a view of the hills of Sedona and enjoyed a delicious meal together with our wedding fairies.

Just like our life together…..the day could not have been more perfect!

A year later and here we are in our special place again…Sedona… just the two of us, and the vows I spoke one year ago today are just as meaningful as they were on our wedding day.


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