Real Wedding: Ian and Larissa

If you are one of the millions of people who viewed their video, first introduced in 2012 by Desiring God ministries, then you are already familiar with Ian and Larissa Murphy. On August 28, 2010, they became husband and wife in a beautiful wedding ceremony. But the four years leading up to that moment were full of questions about whether this dream could ever be a reality. If you are unfamiliar with their story, you can view it here and learn about the accident that nearly took Ian's life, and the marriage they thought might never be.

The Book

Two weeks ago, on August 28, 2014, Ian and Larissa's book, Eight Twenty Eight: When Love Didn't Give Up, was released. I cannot recommend it enough. It is truly beautifully written--the first two chapters had me crying and laughing out loud. Raw and brutally honest, the authors' goal is singular--to bring glory to God, not to self. For more on the book, check out my friend Lindsey's excellent review here

AND be sure to read to the bottom of this post, as B&H Publishing has generously given me a copy of Eight Twenty Eight to give away here!

The Wedding

Today I am thrilled to feature an interview with Ian and Larissa about their wedding. They graciously, thoughtfully (and at times humorously) answered these questions, and I hope they encourage you today, as they did me. And be sure to watch the short wedding video at the bottom, which so beautifully captures the spirit of joy Larissa describes below. Thanks to Ian and Larissa for sharing their thoughts with us!

If you could choose one word to describe your wedding day, what would it be and why?

Ian - Beautiful, to the minute I fell asleep, it was awesome.

Larissa - Unbelievable, from the weather to the incredible people that were with us, to the instant dance party and the surprise lanterns and fireworks from my family. We married on my parent’s property and so for months my dad was working on preparing the land - arranging for temporary electricity, regularly mowing, spraying for bugs. And the best part - he LOVED it.

What was your favorite part of your wedding day?

Ian - “Don’t they know it?” (haha - I’m sure you can deduce - Larissa)

Larissa - Watching Ian laugh during the best man speech. He was so very, very happy.

What were some of the unique challenges you faced in planning your wedding? 

Larissa - By day, I am an event planner. So in a sense, this was a DREAM event because I could do whatever I wanted and not have a boss to report to :) I think what presented the most unique challenges was making sure that the entire wedding was wheelchair and Ian-friendly. Which might be confusing when you look at our video, since we got married in a giant field. But we planned around that and had a golf cart available and seven groomsmen to lift him where he needed to go! We got married in the evening so that Ian wouldn’t be in the hot sun. We needed to make a way for us to all be sitting during the ceremony so Ian wouldn’t be the only one in a chair. Just extra things to think through.

I couldn’t have planned my wedding without my mom. The amount of work she did was remarkable!

What did you want your wedding to mean and represent? How did you present that meaning?

To show Christ’s commitment to the church, and also the importance that each of our guests has in our story. We wrote thank you notes ahead of time to each guest, to help them feel at home and understand the unique role they each played in our story. We wanted it to just be a party, because we had all been waiting for that moment for so long.

What advice would you give couples as they plan their weddings?

Let the marriage be your focus. Pinterest is the best and worst for weddings - it can make things so much easier but it can also make us feel like we have to do every single idea and spend hours and hours making the perfect event. If creating an atmosphere is important to you, by all means do it! But let others help you, and pay for services when you can, because to enter into a wedding day feeling relaxed is one of the greatest gifts.

What do you see as the relationship between the wedding and the marriage?

Ian - The wedding is more symbolic - the marriage is actual.

Larissa - I think the wedding, like Ian said, is a symbol of what’s to come. Those with us that day helped us get to that point, and they’ve certainly been crucial in getting our marriage to where it is now. No marriage functions on its own (or should even try to), and so having that celebration of looking back and forward is so beautiful. 

Any other thoughts or things you want to say about your wedding?

I simply loved it. Ian was so happy. I was so happy. And it’s because we were surrounded by people who love us. So often we hear from our friends and family that it was the best wedding they’ve ever been to. And it’s not because of my homemade centerpieces. I think God was just there with us, in a unique and incredible way, and we were simply able to celebrate.

And now, we get to be one together, and it is incredible.

To win a copy of Eight Twenty Eight please just leave a comment below (and either sign in or leave your email address in the comment so I have a way to contact you if you win. Giveaway ends Friday at 11:59 pm EST. 

The giveaway is now over. Thanks to everyone for entering! I will contact the winner, Jessica, by email.