For Russ and Amy, that place happens to be the ‘Wall of Trundling Trolls’ in the Santa Catalina Mountains, near Tucson. I had the huge joy of creating and leading their wedding ceremony, held on November 11, 2011. Thankfully I have a few photos, because words feel pretty feeble in attempting to capture the magic of this place. Being up there as the sun rose in a fiery sky and the full moon set amidst silver clouds, made it all the more magical!
I opened the ceremony by ringing a bell and smudging the couple of honor with sage. I shared John O’Donohue‘s Blessing For Marriage. Before exchanging their personal vows and rings, I shared a few of Russ and Amy’s beliefs about marriage:
” To both of you, entering marriage means being together in a completely honest and loving way. It means walking beside each other because you pretty fiercely want to. While beside each other, you become who you really want to be.”
Pretty wise words, eh?
I love how the ‘dogs of honor’ were with us, too – Bear and Abby – Amy and Russ’s fur kids. Little Miss Abby perched herself on the rocks right next to us, during the whole ceremony. She definitely took part in the fun!
During the ring exchange, I shared the meaning and symbolism of the rings Russ had custom-made out of stainless steel by a friend, with an heirloom diamond in Amy’s ring from his Grandmother. A videographer was capturing this all on tape for friends and family to see later, so the storytelling was important for many reasons!
No doubt for Amy and Russ after a two-year engagement and lots of planning, PLUS the hour long hike into this breathtaking site, my pronouncement of their marriage and their big kiss was a great exclamation point on an amazing morning. Then Russ had even more in mind: he packed in a big bottle of champagne for us to enjoy a celebration toast, too!
What a completely amazing place and time for a ceremony. I feel so grateful to have been a part of this and wish you the best in life, Mr. & Mrs. Whitacre! Here we are together after the climb out. I think your smiles say it all! Congratulations with lots of love to you always!