Many love stories begin “Long ago and in a land far way” or “Once upon a time” or even “They met in high school”.
Megan and Ben’s love story is a combination of those beginnings! Long ago and in what now feels like a land far away, they met …in school—elementary school. But they did not spend time together or actually begin to know one another until high school when they became high school sweet hearts. In 2009 they began dating. Their college years were spent together at UNC Greenville, where they continued to date. They shared many “nerdy” interests and supported and encouraged the nerdiness of the other when the interests were not mutual
As we talked during our planning time together, it was very obvious that Ben and Megan are deeply in love! Their shared laughter, the knowing glances when I would ask a question said more than words can ever say. The glow in their eyes when they would talk about their individual interest was intense. His love of Magic the Gathering and her memorization of much of the Harry Potter books were what attracted them and holds them together today. They also share many interests and love simply spending time together playing games and sharing a growler of good beer. Due to the distance that has been separating them while Ben is away at grad school, they have moved their game playing to the Xbox so they can easily talk and play even while apart.
When I asked about their proposal story, both smiled that sly smile and then laughed about how perfect it was! They said it was a normal proposal. Now we all know that no proposal is normal—each one is completely perfect and unique for the couple. This one is no different. Recognizing that both Megan and Ben are introverts and do not like folks “all in their business” and enjoying quiet private time together, Ben proposed at Christmas 2014. After spending time with family, they returned home where in the privacy of their time together, he asked Megan to marry him. It seems they had cast a spell on one another that is life-long.
So, how do you take this beautiful love story and make it the central point of a secular wedding? Ben and Megan did not want prayers or scriptures used in their ceremony. This did not mean that it was not filled with love and romance! We used many game references throughout the ceremony. Things like playing the hand life dealt you, not being clueless, etc.
Normally we include information about the couple’s life together in their ceremony, but Megan and Ben are introverts and did not want to to be the center of attention with the love story—they just wanted themselves reflected in the overall feel for the ceremony. We did this with references to their distance during the engagement and the above mentioned gaming references.
Their vows were a mixture of vows chosen from our website. This allowed them to be sure their life long promises to one another truly reflected their love and commitment yet they did not have to write them from scratch.
The closing of the ceremony was words of wisdom from Albus Dumblore, in order to reflect their love of all things Harry Potter. The pronouncement of the marriage used a Latin phrase, just like in Harry Potter, to pronounce them married!
After the ceremony, Megan’s father approached me, with tears in his eyes, and asked how I knew they had spent many evenings together as a family reading aloud the Harry Potter series. I let him know that Megan had talked extensively about their love of Harry Potter which prompted me to write those particular closing words.
To see the photos of this wedding, these beautiful ones taken by John McCardell, you can’t tell any difference in this wedding ceremony and any other traditional ceremony. It is the words that set it apart and make it totally unique and special for this couple.
Photography: McCardell Photography
Venue: Starlight Meadow
Coordinator: Knots N’ Such
Catering: Above & Beyond Catering
Florist: Knots N’ Such
Dress: Vera Wang from David’s Bridal
DJ: DJ Joe Musico