Lauri’s Take on The Wedding

26 Jul

Dan and I have been meaning to write more about our wedding, but things have been a little chaotic since we have been back. Dan is working a lot this summer and I am keeping the kids entertained while they are home. Casper has half a post written for the blog, but just hasn’t been able to pin daddy down to finish it. So, in the meantime I thought I would share a little myself.

Those of you who are regular readers know that I have been married before and that the girls are not Dan’s biological kids. What you probably don’t know is that when I married their dad we eloped. It was a lovely ceremony at a B&B in Eureka Springs and I never regretted that decision, but this time I wanted more of a “real” wedding. If it were up to Dan we would have just gone to town hall and done it with no bells and whistles, but he knew it was important to me to have our families involved so he let me do a small, but slightly more traditional, wedding.

The initial plan was a Halloween wedding here in town and about 50-60 guests, but we changed all of that because I had been considering going back to school in the fall. We reduced the guest list to pretty much only immediate family and found a lovely venue in Branson. Nothing local did all the planning for you and I didn’t want to have to get too involved in it since we had such short time. Well, as you know, that didn’t work out. The place just didn’t feel comfortable about Casper and we were not pleased with them at all. I managed to throw together a wedding in less than a week. Didn’t think it could be done, but I guess I am magic!

It was chaotic up until the moment of the ceremony, but it all came together beautifully. Our loved ones were all there and even my bestie (we have been friends since we were 12) and her boys were able to make it out. Dan was so handsome in his suit and Casper looked pretty good too (of course!). We will have photos to share soon and will have a whole post of just amazing pics.

Our church’s associate minister, Tari Carbaugh, is an amazing woman and we asked her to perform the ceremony. She was only recently officially ordained so we were her first wedding. This woman is so filled with love and joy that you can’t help but adore her. I could not have wished for a better person to do the deed. (Just a side note that we also love our head minister and would have been very happy to have him perform it, but Tari has connected with us on a personal level outside of church as well so it made it even more special. Kevin Tully, we LOVE you. He is so smart, well spoken, funny, and caring. I truly enjoy his sermons and am getting a chance to know him personally lately as well. Okay…)

You may have noticed from our blog that Dan and I are not traditional people. We attend a United Methodist church now, but have switched around over the years and were raised in different Christian traditions. We also honor many ancient traditions in our daily lives that we feel put us closer to the Universe as a whole and also blend with the teachings of Christ. Not going to get into a religious post, don’t worry. We usually don’t talk a lot about politics or religion here since it just gets messy, but this applies to our wedding so wanted to say that much at least. Luckily this mix of ideas is embraced by our minister and she was very helpful in putting together a ceremony for us. She gave us a book that goes through all the parts of a ceremony and specifies which ones are optional and which are required to be a legally binding ceremony. I picked a few items from this book, but mainly used it as an outline. I found other resources from literature and online. We did a hand-fasting which I had to find online as well. Tari helped me tweak it a little so that things flowed well and it came out so beautiful. Many of our guests came up to her afterward and complimented it. She was quick to give me all the credit, but she did help a lot.

I really love how it all came out (it even made Dan tear up and then that made me tear up) so I want to share it with all of you if you are interested.

There will also be a post soon from Casper and photos.

Thanks for your patience,

Processional, “I Will” by The Beatles.

We have come together families and friends to witness Dan and Lauri as they exchange their vows of marriage. We share with them their delight in finding love with each other, and support their decision to be together from now until the end of time. As this couple enters into marriage, they do so with thought and reverence. They give thanks for the past, which brought them to this place, and look forward with hope to what the future will bring.


Loving and Beloved God\
From the beginning you have made us to live
In partnership with one another.
We pray for the presence of your Spirit with these two persons
Fill their hearts with sincerity and truth
As they enter this solemn covenant


1 Corinthians 13 reads…

I may speak in the tongues of men, even angels; but if I lack love, I have become merely a blaring brass or a cymbal clanging. I may have the gift of prophecy, I may fathom all mysteries, know all things, have all faith- enough to move mountains; but if I lack love, I am nothing. I may give away everything that I own, I may even hand over my body to be burned; but if I lack love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind, not jealous, not boastful, not proud, rude or selfish, not easily angered, and it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not gloat over other people’s sins but takes its delight in the truth. Love always bears up, always trusts, always hopes, and always endures. Love never ends… But for now, three things last; trust, hope, love; and the greatest of these is love.

This marriage is a symbol of Lauri and Dan’s commitment to that love.


Lauri and Dan your marriage is intended to join you for life and I ask you now to join hands.

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever.
These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.
These are the hands that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other.
These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind.
These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow and tears of joy.
These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children.
These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one.
These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it.
And lastly, these are the hands that, even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving the you same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

 Hand in Hand you enter marriage, hand in hand you step out in faith. The hand you freely give to each other, is both the strongest and the most tender part of your body. In the years ahead you will need both strength and tenderness. Be firm in your commitment. Don’t let your grip become weak. And yet, be flexible as you go through change. Don’t let your hold become intolerable. Strength and tenderness, firm commitment and flexibility, of such is a marriage made, hand in hand.


Dan, will you have Lauri to be your wife

And will you love her faithfully as long as you both shall live?

            *I will*

Lauri, will you have Dan to be your husband

And will you love him faithfully as long as you both shall live?

            *I will*


The Creator loved us, and made us to love others. Our lives find completion only as we love and are loved in return. Together, we can become what we could never be separately. Marriage is of God.

Dan and Lauri, having spoken your intent to be joined in marriage, I ask you to please join hands and state your vows to one another.

I take you to be my husband from this time onward
To join with you and to share all that is to come
To give and to receive
To speak and to listen
To inspire and to respond
And in all our life together
To be loyal to you with my whole being
As long as we both shall live.*

I take you to be my wife from this time onward
To join with you and to share all that is to come
To give and to receive
To speak and to listen
To inspire and to respond
And in all our life together
To be loyal to you with my whole being
As long as we both shall live.*


From the earliest times, the circle has been a symbol of completeness, a symbol of committed love. An unbroken and never ending circle symbolizing a commitment of love that is also never ending. As often as either of you looks at this symbol, I hope that you will be reminded of the commitment to love each other, which you make today.


Dan, please place the ring on Lauri’s finger and repeat after me:

*I give you this ring as a sign of my love and faithfulness*

Lauri, please place the ring on Dan’s finger and repeat after me:

*I give you this ring as a sign of my love and faithfulness*

These two lives are now joined in one unbroken circle. Wherever they go, they will always return to one another in their togetherness. These two find in each other the love for which all men and women yearn. They promise to grow in understanding and in compassion. These rings, on their fingers, symbolize the love in their hearts.


Author, Simone Signoret, wrote, “Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads, which sew people together through the years.”

 Dan and Lauri have chosen to conclude their ceremony with a traditional hand fasting ceremony. This is a symbolic binding of the hands that inspired the modern terms “Bonds of Holy Matrimony”, taking a bride’s “hand in marriage,” and  “Tying the knot.” Throughout history in many different ways and in many different parts of the world, the hands of the bride and groom were bound as a sign of their commitment to one another. This is a vivid reminder that in true Christian marriage our lives are merged, even as we remain individuals. This is a symbolic prayer that God will enhance your own personhood and bless your uniqueness as individuals: but that He will also make of your hands ONE hand…of your hearts ONE heart…and of your lives ONE life.

Dan and Lauri, I bid you to take each other’s right hand and look into each other’s eyes.
Will you honor and respect one another,
and seek to never break that honor?

*We will*

[the first cord is draped over the couples’ hands]

And so the first binding is made.

Will you share each other’s pain and seek to ease it?

*We will*

[Second cord is draped over the hands]

And so the binding is made

Will you share the burdens of each so that your spirits may grow in this union?

*We will*

[third cord is draped over the couples’ hands]

And so the binding is made.

Will you share each other’s laughter, and look for the brightness in life
and the positive in each other?

*We will.*

[forth cord is draped over the couples’ hands]

And so the binding is made.

[Tie cords together]

Lauri and Dan, as your hands are bound together now,
so your lives and spirits are joined in a union of love and trust.
Above you are the stars and below you is the earth.
Like the stars, your love should be a constant source of light,
and like the earth, a firm foundation from which to grow.


Apache Blessing

Now you will feel no rain,
for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there will be no loneliness,
for each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two persons,
but there is only one life before you.
May beauty surround you both in the
journey ahead and through all the years,
May happiness be your companion and
your days together be good and long upon the earth.


Lauri and Dan, you have expressed your love to one another through the commitment and promises you have just made. It is with these in mind that I pronounce you husband and wife.
You have kissed a thousand times, maybe more.
But today the feeling is new.
No longer simply partners and best friends, you have become husband and wife and can now seal the agreement with a kiss.
Today, your kiss is a promise.

 You may kiss the bride.


May your joys be as bright as the morning, your years of happiness as numerous as the stars in the heavens, and your troubles but shadows that fade in the sunlight of love.

I am pleased to introduce to you, Mr. and Mrs. Dan and Lauri Schroll

Recessional: “Let My Love Open the Door” by Peter Townsend

Best Day Ever

20 Jun

Hi everyone –

You all know how I (Dan) love to write with Casper’s voice, and share his view of our crazy events, but I think this post will be a mix of all of our perspectives. The most important point for me today is to share with you all the details of the recent events; Including the one of the best days of my life, so far, June 14th 2015. The day I was finally able to officially make Lauri my wife. I’m sure Casper will add his perspective in here somewhere, but it’s already almost a week later, and I’m still feeling a bit drained. I need to share before time gets away. I may over share, but I want you all to know so many things, and just get others off my chest. This may end up being a long story, so go get your favorite beverage.

Life is a crazy mix of ease and stress; trying to remember to go with the flow, anticipation, and over thinking what will take care of itself without my interference, and interfering anyway. I feel lighter over the past few days than I have in quite some time. I found it amusing that so many people asked me if I was having pre-wedding jitters, second thoughts, or a whole host of other terms for me being unsure about this supposed huge step in my life. I really think some were surprised my definitive answers. There is no doubt in me, that I have found the woman who I will walk life’s path with. I know with my soul that this woman, and these daughters, are mine from here out. It may have taken me 38 years to find her, and 41 for me to get married, but so what! I have never done anything on anyone else’s schedule, so this is really no different.

Everyone that I’ve talked to say that planning a wedding is stressful. This is definitely true. It is in fact so stressful that I was worked up, and I did exactly NONE of the planning! Early on both of us knew what we wanted and agreed on what our wedding would look like, the time of year it would occur, and who would be invited. We wanted a fall wedding, Halloween fits me perfectly. We were going to do that for a while. Then we decided against it for several reasons, including the concern that kids would be attending and while we planned on making it fun, we didn’t want a costume party wedding. Then we wanted an April wedding, and decided against that because Lauri wanted to get her Masters degree and planning a wedding and being in school would be daunting. We talked about how to get all of this done at the same time. The next idea we had was to find a location that had a package, where we didn’t need to do all of the planning, find the catering, photographer, and on, and on. Lauri looked locally, and the options were, well, not acceptable to us. Branson, MO offered a few different locations and options for guests to have places to stay and things to do during down time for those that would be traveling distances to be our guests. We settled on this option, now we just needed to take a drive and see the venue we thought we wanted. Lauri and I took a drive one day, she was happy with the answers to her questions, the services provided, and the fact that the location was a bed & breakfast with guest cabins right on sight. They offered indoor and outdoor options for the ceremony, seating for the reception dinner, and a winery on-site. Lauri seemed super happy, and in my mind this is HER day so we took the next step. I never spoke up, but my intuition screamed “NO! Find somewhere else!” I didn’t like the location from the time we hit the driveway, but I told myself it will be fine, and it helped that the pricing seemed acceptable. I moved on. What followed was what seemed like a battle of wills. The package we bought fed somewhere around 50 guests. Our guest list was closer to 30, so I asked Lauri to see if they would adjust the menu and pricing; they wouldn’t. Next, our package did not include a DJ, so I asked if we could have a DJ over bringing CDs. The answer was no, unless we bought the next level package. The next package included too much food, and would cost too much money. Every step there was resistance, including allowing early check-in so we could get ready for the ceremony on-site. We forged ahead, right up until we asked them to keep their cats indoors during the ceremony so Casper didn’t get distracted. This also was an issue for them. We had email and phone conversations about ADA law, and the responsibilities of parties evolved.

The law states, in summary, that if an off leash animal causes a distraction and the handler, service animal, or bystander is hurt then the owner of the off leash animal is at fault. We are not the type to take legal action, we simply wanted to inform them of their rights, and ours. The response was colorful, and I was told that they are now “afraid” and wanted to talk to their lawyer. Apparently they did and must have been told we were correct. Within the next day or so Lauri received an email offering to break the contract and provide a full refund. This was funny to me, because the contract we signed allowed them to keep the down payment for any reason. For them to offer a full refund a week before the wedding told me that I was no longer welcome. If we declined the offer and something “unforeseen” happened this would open us up to having less of a legal advantage. Why would we want to be somewhere we’re not welcome? Lauri and I talked and agreed to take the offer. Great, we’re getting our money back.

Now, after months of planning, guests with airline tickets, reservations and who knows what else. We didn’t have anywhere to hold a ceremony, welcome our guests, or even have a meal. It was time to put a ceremony and reception together in record time. I was amazed! Lauri had a plan less than 24 hours later. I thought we’d have to tell our guests we were not getting married, at least not in Branson on the day we thought we would. Then magic happened, another bed & breakfast for our wedding night, and they agreed to allow us to use their back yard for pictures and a ceremony as long as we left the space the way we found it. Next, she found a restaurant with a private room that was more than happy to welcome us for dinner after the ceremony, and they didn’t even charge us extra to use the space. I couldn’t believe we faced so many weeks of issues, and literally over night, others were so welcoming and positive.

The ceremony was short, sweet and perfectly executed. My bride was beautiful. My best man, Casper, did his job like the true professional he is. We had stairs with no rails that we traversed with ease. We took pictures, and introduced our families to each other; everything moved along so well.

After the ceremony we headed to our reception. We were welcomed as friends, with the room setup especially for us. They even made us custom Bride and Groom menus! We had our own wait staff of 3 for our party, and they ensured everyone was well tended to. They even allowed us to bring in our own gluten-free cupcakes which we already had ordered for the day.

The day really could read as an epic wedding day fail; I’d rather see it as an epic success! Sure there are more stories we’ll tell in the coming days, there are more ups, downs, and stories to come. Ultimately, I couldn’t be happier with the way everything happened. We have stories to tell, and I have my wife and family. I couldn’t ask for more.

The Happy Couple

The Happy Couple

**More photos to follow (with Casper in them!) once they are received from the photographer.**


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,008 other followers