Our Intimate December Wedding in Downtown Lancaster, PA
Updated: Feb 3
Today is our 5 year wedding anniversary so it seems like the perfect time to share our wedding with you!
We were married on our 5 year anniversary - a rainy, gray Tuesday in December.
After starting to plan a large (and expensive) fall wedding for 200 people, we shifted direction to a more intimate wedding of less than 30 people. We included our closest friends and family to make our special day truly magical. The following summer we had a drop-in cook out with an open invitation to every person we know. It was an incredible day full of fun and laughter and amazing food!
We began the day, getting ready. Tasha, in our apartment and maid of honor's home and Angel, in his parent's home.
Then we met up at North Plum Street for our first look and couple's portraits.
We hid from the rain to get a few outdoor wedding party & family photos
When we arrived at Thistle Finch, Tasha and Kate went downstairs to wait while Angel and the rest of our family waited upstairs to greet our guests. Our amazing coordinator, Daisy, did a fantastic job making sure the ceremony was set up just how we wanted.
We chose a self united marriage ceremony. This is a Quaker tradition in Pennsylvania. “Quakers believe they have a direct connection to God and don’t need a middleman,” explains Register Gordon. To that extent, they also don’t require a minister or officiant to sanctify a marriage in the eyes of God. So in lieu of a minister or officiant, we asked Angel's childhood mentor (and wonderful writer) to lead our wedding.
Below you can read along with our actual wedding script that he and Tasha worked on together.
Processional – Nothing Else Matters by Apocalyptica
Wedding March – Cosmic Love (Instrumental) by Florence and the Machine
OPENING WORDS & INTRODUCTION
Today there will be no dearly beloved, no betrothed, and no ancient rhyme of the married. Today there are no dead languages to solemnize vows that are very much alive and will remain so for a lifetime. Today, promises become permanent and friends become family. However, this day is not about the words spoken or the rings exchanged, nor is it about grand pronouncements and recessional marches. This day – the day of Tasha and Angel’s wedding – is about love.
OPENING PRAYER by the Father of the Groom, Angel Lopez, Sr
Dios nuestro, que al crear el género humano quisiste establecer la unión entre el hombre y la mujer, une en la fidelidad del amor a estos hijos tuyos que van a contraer matrimonio, para que siempre den testimonio con su vida del amor divino que hoy los trae aquí. Por nuestro Señor Jesucristo. Amen.
(God, who in creating mankind wanted to establish the union between man and woman, united in love and loyalty to your children who are going to marry, so you always bear witness to his life of divine love today brings you here. Through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.)
GIVING AWAY THE BRIDE
May I ask that all the parents of Tasha and Angel please rise.
This wedding is also a celebration of family. It is the blending of two families that have been separate up to this moment, but united from this day forward – blending their different traditions, strengthening the family tree. To honor this uniting of the families, Tasha and Angel wish to ask their parent’s blessing.
(To Bride’s Parents)
Dennis, Michele, Vickie, and Michael, do you offer this couple your goodwill? Do you welcome Angel as a member of your family and give him your love and affection?
PARENTS SAY: We do.
(To Groom’s Mom and Dad)
Angel and Juanita, do you offer this couple your goodwill? Do you welcome Tasha as a member of your family and give her your love and affection?
PARENTS SAY: We do.
Parent kindly be seated.
THOSE WITH US IN SPIRIT
At this time, we’d like to take a moment of silence to remember those who are not here with us.
Even though they are not here physically, they are a part of the foundation that makes Tasha and Angel the people they are today. May we always remember Michael, Iysis, Pap, Grandpa Hinerdeer, Grandma & Grandpa Lopez, Grandpa Alvarado, and baby Sierra. Please cherish the memories of these friends and family and all others who live on in our hearts. Amen.
READING by the Mother of the Bride, Michele Gegg
A Reading from Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
You are part of my existence, part of myself. You have been in every line I have ever read. You have been in every prospect I have ever seen since - on the river, on the sails of ships, on the marshes, in the clouds, in the light, in the darkness, in the wood, in the sea, in the streets. You have been the embodiment of every graceful fancy that my mind has ever become acquainted with. The stone of which the strongest London buildings are made, are not more real, or more impossible to be displaced by your hands, than your presence and influence have been to me, there and everywhere and will be. To the last howl of my life, you can not choose but remain part of my character, part of the little good in me.
Written by Dave Bender, mentor of the groom
Tasha and Angel, you stand before your friends and family today, but we’re not here because you stand. We’re here because you’ve fallen. Fallen in love. It’s a perfect expression, and the falling is real. Many years ago, I came oh so close to marriage. But I had a bad dream in the midst of all that love, a dream that I was being swept backwards over a waterfall. I didn’t like that feeling, and in my fear and my wish to stay independent, I lost the love of my life. The two of you are smarter than I was. And far more courageous.
Your courage comes from wholeheartedness, a fearless giving of each to the other. No walls. No hiding. Courage begins with Coeur – the French word for heart – because all courage begins with heart. All courage begins with love. Courage is what love looks like when tested by both the blatant and the subtlest of threats that will try to pull you apart. It is what gives you the strength to risk heartbreak and live to the fullest, knowing that if your hearts ever break, you’ll put the pieces back together as one, one that beats stronger than ever.
Your courage has allowed all of us to see the love you share. Not only the romantic love that shows in every look, every touch and every kindness you offer each other, but also the deeper love of friendship. You have become best friends, constantly giggling and taunting and teasing and very obviously having fun together. But friendship is more than fun. Friendship is forgiveness. No one gets through life without making mistakes, and it is the mercy and forgiveness from your best friend that will turn every failing into a hand that lifts you up, not a fist that knocks you down. Your friendship toward each other will always make each of you larger, more generous, more of the person you want the world to see.
At wedding ceremonies, we like to pretend that the promise you are about to make is the most normal thing in the world. And yes, making the promise is normal. Keeping it is not. Few couples make it to the end of their lives together. Even fewer do it with great love and happiness. And you should know that all of us will still love you even if you don’t succeed. Ah, but if you do! If your love and courage carry you all the way, then you and everyone here will see the reward, and that reward is joy.
True joy has a voice all its own. It’s not just a word. It’s a living thing. It wants to laugh and dance. It wants affection, chin to chin and skin touching skin, feet on the dance floor and singing in the car with the windows rolled down. It wants contact. Contact with each other, with friends and family and with nature. It wants to dive into the ocean in brilliant sunlight and stare at the stars on the darkest of nights. It wants you to see beauty in the simplest of things because you are seeing those things new together. It wants you to say to each other “I am here and you are here, and together we are making a world that no one else could ever make.”
The collective love in this room will help you find that joy and give you the strength to sustain the promises you make today. All of us here will help solidify this bond as you are joined as husband and wife. Marriage is much more than your signatures on a legal contract. You are promising, in front of all these people you love, that you want to be with each other and only each other for the rest of your lives, and that you will do everything in your power to honor the promises you are making here today. For our part, the people who love you will also do everything in our power to help you live with courage, fulfill your promise and embrace the joy that goes with it.
Now join your hands, and with your hands, your hearts. These are the hands of the one you love and adore. On this day, you promise to love and honor one another for all your days. Reaching out to the one you love, may you find strength. Standing side by side, may you find partnership. Sharing responsibilities and chores, may you find equality and ease. Helping each other in daily life and works, may you find fulfillment. Loving each other through dark and light times, may you find power. Look deeply into one another’s eyes, now, and promise to always see one another through the eyes of love. As you hold hands, may you warmly hold one another’s hearts. Our wish for you is that you build an extraordinary life together.
DECLARATION OF CONSENT (I DO’S)
Do you Angel promise to love Tasha freely – without restrictions; honestly – without deceit; now – without hesitation?
Do you promise to accept her just as she is, sharing with her and supporting her through the experiences of your lives, be they easy or difficult, happy or sad, challenging or mundane, till death do you part?
Do you Tasha promise to love Angel freely – without restrictions; honestly – without deceit; now – without hesitation?
Do you promise to accept him just as he is, sharing with him and supporting him through the experiences of your lives, be they easy or difficult, happy or sad, challenging or mundane, till death do you part?
INTRO TO THE VOWS
Marriage is not a legal document. No pastor or priest or justice of the peace can create a marriage because a marriage, truly, is nothing except the promises made and kept by two individuals. Today Tasha and Angel, your five year anniversary and wedding day, is one brief day in time, and although your vows are spoken in a matter of minutes, they are promises that will last a lifetime.
You have known each other for years, through the first glance of acquaintance to this moment of commitment. At some moment, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks – all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will” and “you will” and “we will” – those late night talks that included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe” – and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. Just two people working out what they want, what they believe, what they hope for each other. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed – well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another – acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. You have learned that good company and friendship count for more than wealth, good looks or position. And you’ve learned that marriage is a maze into which we wander – a maze that is best got through with a great companion. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, Angel is my husband, Tasha is my wife.
EXCHANGING OF VOWS
Tasha, five years ago today, we started on our journey together. Through the good and bad days, we remained firmly right beside each other. I promise to love and cherish you, as much as I do our dog Alexi. From this day forward, I will vacuum the carpet full of Alexi's hair whenever your parents decide to visit. I will care for you and protect you. Support you and adore you. Now, in front of our friends and family, we take the next step in our relationship. I take you as my wife and best friend. God couldn't have blessed me with a better partner to go through life with. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.
Angel, I hate your stinking guts.
On this day I promise to kiss you goodnight, share my desserts, and build a family with mutual love and respect. I promise to be a faithful wife who exemplifies the love Christ has for us by accepting you as you are, with all your strength and all your weakness. I vow to hold you up when you are down. To support you and make sacrifices to reach our dreams and goals. I will try my best to show you the patience that love demands. Please be patient with me as I try. I vow to speak when words are needed and to share in silence when they are not. To live in the warmth of your heart and always call it home.
BLESSING OF RINGS (ring warming ceremony)
Two people in love do not love in isolation. Each of you present here today have, in some way, formed Tasha and Angel --each of you has had some kind of meaningful impact on their lives which has altered them to become the people they are today. It’s because of this, then, that the couple wants to honor and thank all of you: the people who have so lovingly custom-built their partner for them. They’ve chosen to do this with a ring warming ceremony.
In a moment, the rings will be passed down the aisle, where Tasha and Angel ask that you warm them with your love. If you're seated at the end of a row, please hold them for a moment, and then pass them forward to the person seated in front of you. As the rings pass , we ask that everyone present today think of a silent wish or prayer for the couple, for their marriage, and for their future together. When these rings come back to them, they will contain, in their precious metal, that which is far more precious, that which is priceless -- your love and hope and pledge of ongoing support for their marriage.
Their love is a source of strength which has the power to nourish not only the two of them, but also the world around them. And in turn, we, their community of friends and family, continue to fulfill an essential role in their lives. Just as we have shaped them by guiding them with our steadfast care, respect, and love, we can support their marriage and the new family they are creating today.
READING by Mother of the Groom, Juanita Lopez
Ofrézcanse ustedes mismos como una ofrenda viva, santa y agradable a Dios.
De la carta del apóstol san Pablo a los Romanos 12: 1-2 & 9-18
Hermanos: Por la misericordia que Dios les ha manifestado, los exhorto a que se ofrezcan ustedes mismos como una ofrenda viva, santa y agradable a Dios, porque en esto consiste el verdadero culto. No se dejen transformar por los criterios de este mundo, sino dejen que una nueva manera de pensar los transforme internamente, para que sepan distinguir cuál es la voluntad de Dios, es decir, lo que es bueno, lo que le agrada, lo perfecto.
Que el amor de ustedes sea sincero. Aborrezcan el mal y practiquen el bien; ámense cordialmente los unos a los otros, como buenos hermanos; que cada uno estime a los otros más que a sí mismo. En el cumplimiento de su deber, no sean negligentes y mantengan un espíritu fervoroso al servicio del Señor. Que la esperanza los mantenga alegres; sean constantes en la tribulación y perseverantes en la oración. Ayuden a los hermanos en sus necesidades y esmérense en la hospitalidad.
Bendigan a los que los persiguen; bendíganlos, no los maldigan. Alégrense con los que se alegran; lloren con los que lloran. Que reine la concordia entre ustedes. No sean, pues, altivos; más bien pónganse al nivel de los humildes.
A nadie devuelvan mal por mal. Esfuércense en hacer el bien delante de todos los hombres. En cuanto de ustedes depende, hagan lo posible por vivir en paz con todo el mundo.
Palabra de Dios.
READING by the Sister of the Groom, Edna Negron-Lopez
A Reading from Colossians 3:12-17
As the chosen of God, then, the holy people whom he loves, you are to be clothed in heartfelt compassion, in generosity and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other if one of you has a complaint against another. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these clothes, put on love, the perfect bond. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together in one body. Always be thankful. Let the Word of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God; and whatever you say or do, let it be in the name of the Lord Jesus, in thanksgiving to God the Father through him.
INTRO TO EXCHANGING OF RINGS
Though we have heard the vows, which have been shared by Tasha and Angel, words, once spoken, are carried away on the wind. Therefore, the wedding ring is a visible symbol of the promises that have been made.
EXCHANGING OF RINGS
Angel, as you place the ring on Tasha’s finger, please repeat after me:
With this ring, I marry you and bind my life to yours.
It is a symbol of my eternal love and promise
that I will love, honor, and cherish you,
In all times, In all places, And in all ways, forever.
Tasha, as you place the ring on Angel’s finger, please repeat after me:
With this ring, I marry you and bind my life to yours.
It is a symbol of my eternal love and promise
that I will love, honor, and cherish you,
In all times, In all places, And in all ways, forever.
BLESSING OF MARRIAGE
Written by Dave Bender
Remember that your love is the foundation of this marriage. Desire nothing else; fear nothing else. Give each other room, comfort and freedom to let love blossom, and let the promise of this moment be fulfilled through the days and years to come. As you love each other, may you come to love all people. As you trust each other, may you come to trust all life. May your hands be forever clasped in friendship, and your hearts forever joined in love.
CLOSING PRAYER by Stepmother of the Bride, Vickie Hinerdeer
As we joyfully witness today, the joining of these two lives, I pray you will bless all their days together. Not only that you bless their days but that they may be a blessing to others and carry out your will, seeking to bring you glory. I pray that they will recognize that you are the beginning and the end of everything, including this marriage. I pray they will seek you first with hearts on fire for you and each other. I pray that you will place your hedge of protection around this couple and these families, now joined together. I pray that you will fill their lives and marriage with the fruits of your spirit, which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, forgiveness, goodness, and self control. I thank you for everyone that is here today, that in some way you have used to help shape these two lives. Please Father, continue to help us support this young couple as they begin their journey together. It is with thankful hearts that we bring these things before you today.
Through your precious son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
PRESENTATION OF THE COUPLE
Today, Tasha & Angel honored you with their invitation to be present with them today for this ceremony. And so, this day, they declare before all of us that they shall live together in marriage. In the traditional way, they entered into their marriage with the joining of hands, the making of vows and promises, and the giving and receiving of rings, an outward symbol of their voluntary commitment to one another. And now, to all the friends and family who have come to celebrate this union, I take great pleasure in presenting, for the first time anywhere, the united couple Mr. & Mrs. Angel Lopez. You may kiss your wife.
Recessional – Crazy in Love by Emeli Sande (from the Great Gatsby soundtrack)
Our first official photos as husband and wife
And off to Lancaster Brewing Company for dinner and dancing
BLESSING OF THE MEAL by Stepfather of the Bride, Mike Gegg
BEST MAN SPEECH by Brother of the Groom, Danny Lopez
MAID OF HONOR SPEECH by Kate Dellinger:
Let me start off by saying I had so many good ideas for this speech I just forgot to write them down so this is what you get...
First and foremost, Tasha, Angel, congrats! Thank you for letting us all share this special day with you guys. It's amazing how time flies, it seems like just yesterday Tasha, you and I were so excited about all the time we had to make crafts for your wedding. And now here we are, and we've made a total of zero crafts. But it's the excitement and the thought that counts! If you know Tasha, sometimes it may seem like she isn't super excited about something, she may not show it on the outside, but as we talked about her wedding day over the past months, I could see that along with yes, being nervous, she was and is today glowing inside and out. You just can't hide it when you've found your true love.- As our friend Scarlett from the hit TV series Nashville tells us in her song " there's no music, no confetti, crowds don't cheer and bells don't ring, but you'll know it, I can guarantee, when the right one comes along" And you can't hide it when you're more excited about your wedding day than an unlimited budget at IKEA--folks, that's love! Tasha introduced me to IKEA, and just like their marriage today, there is no turning back! Tasha introduces me to a lot of things and keeps me updated with the times when I'm slacking so I don't look like a fool to the rest of the world-Thanks for that! But when she introduced me to Angel....I think it was at Olive Garden that we first met- (back when I could EAT Olive Garden-side note, could someone make a gluten free Olive Garden? Thanks!) I wasn't so sure that this guy, Angel Lopez was good enough for my Tasha, my beautiful, smart, funny, amazing best friend. But, each time I saw them together, when I heard Tasha talking about him over text or girl talks, a little bit at a time-I realized what an awesome guy he really is (other than the fact that he's an eagles fan....Angel, if you want to root for a team that actually wins, you know who to choose, GO PATS!) ahem, anyways... Aside from the volunteering at kids camp, raising money and awareness for St. Baldricks, spending time with his family-his niece and nephews, and so much more, putting all that aside....he loves you Tasha, plain and simple. He loves you in a way that none of us can. He will (he WILL!) support you and help you through things that we couldn't begin to help with. So for that, Angel, I have to thank-you. Thank-you for loving and caring and supporting my best friend when I can't. And you can call me as a back-up if you ever need help. I'll always be here for you guys, unlike Chip Kelly for his team- Angel, there's still time for you to be a patriots fan, just saying.
I know the Maid of Honor speech is a lot of telling crazy stories, bring back fun memories, and making everyone feel sentimental about friendships...but I'm not the traditional maid of honor, and Tasha, you're certainly not the traditional bride...I mean, who gets married on a Tuesday? Only Tasha, and you know what? I love that. I love that my best friend is different in such a wonderful way that I know without a doubt I'll never encounter anyone like her- anyone that will ever be a better friend to me. So I could stand up here and tell you about the time we skipped school to get a frosty, or our adventures in the high school basement, all the "wonderful" times in AP art and our crazy teacher Mrs. Shaw, or the countless laughs we've had, or the sometimes very strange texts we send each other, or how we still love to jam out to N'SYNC, but I'm not going to do that. Because that's all behind us now, and while its close to our hearts, today is about the future of you guys Tasha & Angel. It's about knowing in 30 years from now, hopefully, you'll be spending this anniversary with your family-your kids, maybe even grandkids. It's about looking ahead, trusting God in all that you do, loving each other no matter what, and laughing a LOT along the way. I haven't been married too long-(7 years, whoop whoop!) but Ben and I have learned a few things in these years together, and I can't tell you it will always be easy, (but what worthwhile thing is anyways?) and there will be days where you simply just don't like each other, and you wonder who did I marry?!? And on these cold nights when he pulls all the blankets and you wake up with cold chills, you have to just breathe, pull them back and store that away for later (you make his food so he better watch out!). You start to know what the other person is going to say or do, like know exactly-sometimes that's not a good thing either. But the saying is so true "I LOVE YOU MORE TODAY THAN YESTERDAY, BUT NOT AS MUCH AS TOMORROW". No matter what, true love grows, and that's all I wish for you both, that your love grows each day regardless of the situation, and that God blesses you with super cute kids.
So let's raise a glass and all wish Tasha & Angel only the best marriage of all, they deserve it! Congrats! Love you guys!
Cake Cutting – Marry You by Bruno Mars
First Dance – I’ll Follow You by Shinedown
Father/Daughter Dance - Time Waits For No One by Black Label Society (never actually happened)
And to end the night, we spent a few minutes dancing in the rain.
Photography - sarah b photography & Landon Wise Photography
Video - cory slifka
Paper Products - designed by me at Tasha Skye Creative
Wedding Dress - Designed together and custom made by Ruth at Ruth's Sewing Time
Groom's Suit - Men's Wearhouse
Father's Suits - Central PA Tuxedo
Flowers - Marcy at Foster's Flower Shop
Makeup - Amanda at Blush Beautiful
Hair (cut & color) - Deanna at Vida Hair Lancaster
Wedding Day Hair (Bride & MOH)- Melissa Photis at Hair Cuttery
DJ - Tim at 30 West Entertainment
Nails - Tran Nailery + Spa
Day of Coordination - Daisy at Perfect Settings
Cheesecake - The Cheesecake Factory & Lindsey Jacoby
Venue - Thistle Finch Distillery & Lancaster Brewing Company