We chose to incorporate the signing of the marriage license into the ceremony for a few reasons. We wanted to emphasize the gravity and completeness of the commitment we were making in an additional way. We wanted to recognize all the dimensions of our marriage, spiritual, emotional, and legal. Also, I never understood the idea of signing either before vows are taken or after a couple is pronounced husband and wife (or husband and husband, or wife and wife, as the case may be).
So my dad built us a beautiful table that matched the arch on which to sign, and we bought a lovely white feather pen.
(My uncle Bill with the table my dad built)
Both items got rained on.
But the Best Man, Dan, graciously ran out into the downpour again to retrieve the pen.
(For all the things it might look like, this is Chris shaking the water out of the quill after Dan ran out and got it)
And we made it legal.