Sunday, May 18, 2008

"A wedding? I love weddings!"

One of the reasons we went to visit Seattle when we did was because our good friends M and K were getting married (to each other. We weren't going to wedding-hop!). T and M have known each other since they were little boys, and M was one of our groomsmen at our wedding. When M and K started dating and we met K, we knew these two were perfect together. M had asked T to be one of his groomsmen. What a joy it was to share in their wedding day! (Also, they're Byzantine and it was GREAT to attend a Byzantine wedding!) We went to the wedding rehearsal and dinner on Friday, which was quite enjoyable. Fr. Joseph, who officiated at our wedding, also married M and K, and it was very good to see him again. He is such a proficient priest and he's done so many weddings the rehearsal went very smoothly (despite the fact that there was a couple missing from the wedding party). His deacon, Michael, was also there and was a big help (as always!). I wasn't in the wedding (which was fine), so I was just there to take pictures (see album below). It was lots of fun to see a wedding rehearsal from the "outside," as it were. It brought back many memories of my wedding rehearsal, and the few other weddings I've been in. It reminded me of how a bride feels on that beautiful day before the beautiful day. I loved seeing M and K smile at each other. I could see their eyes say, "This is it." There were a few funny moments, too. M and K, for the first part of the rehearsal, were sitting at the end of the front pews across the aisle from one another. After going over the vows, Father told everyone to sit down where they had been before, but K says, "Can't M and I sit together?" I remember asking that SAME question at our wedding rehearsal, and I heard the same pleading meekness in her voice, "Please Father?" Father looked at hear with a twinkle in his eye (after all, he IS a romantic at heart!) and told all six of the groomsmen to move down to make room for the bride on the groom's side. It was cute :) At the rehearsal dinner, there was a good conversation with Fr. Joseph and Deacon Michael about the superiority of Maker's Mark, a very fine bourbon, which is Fr. Joseph's favorite and (after Father's influence) Deacon Michael's favorite too. K's younger cousin, the flower girl, was absolutely enthralled by Father in his impressive black and purple Byzantine regalia. Father loves children, and it was a new experience for me (with no children of my own yet) to see him interact with this sweet little girl. Then, in response to a remark about the weather, Father mentioned he would be rather warm the day of the wedding, what with all the layers he's wearing. K piped up, "Well, I'll be wearing quite a few layers too, Father." But Fr. Joseph put his finger over his lips and said, smiling, "Oh, shhhh. That's supposed to be a surprise." And I could have sworn that he winked at her and M :) On the day of the wedding, although I would be sitting with T's family in the pews (yes, we took up more than one), I got ready early and left with T and his brother E (also in the wedding party). It was a good thing I did, too, because the pianist (who was playing music before the wedding, since Byzantine liturgies have no accompaniment) and I hit it off big time, and she and I were both able to help out with little odd jobs around the church before the big moment. I even helped put pew bows together :) Despite a small problem with the microphones for Fr. Joseph and Deacon Michael (which they discarded half way through the Liturgy), the wedding was simply lovely. A Byzantine Crowning is a beautiful ritual--the bride and groom are crowned King and Queen of their own, newly formed Domestic Church. M and K did get to sit together after the vows (and the six groomsmen were very courteous). Their wedding icons were written by M's mom and were gorgeous. Likewise, the reception was loads of fun. Although I felt a bit lonely at first having to sit without T (I was with the family, though, so really it was ok), I had good conversations with both the pianist (it was GREAT getting to know you, dear!) and one of T's good friends who married one of my good friends last summer. We are struggling with some similar issues and it was very edifying to connect on that particular score. Praise God for such good people :) M and his brother P even did some Irish step dancing, which was a rare treat. Did you know they were international competitors? All in all, a fabulous time of friends, family, love, and laughter. After the newly weds drove off and the reception party dissipated, T and I a several friends went to hang out at Red Robin (yummy!) for a long night of MORE laughter and friends and family. Life is good. ...I told my cousin the other day that every wedding T and I attend is, in a very small way, "our" wedding, too. It's not possessive or anything, but every time we're blessed by attending the celebration of one couple's union before God, T and I can renew our own commitment to each other and ask God, once again, for the strength to be a good example of His love in the world. It's true that I love weddings (drinks all around!), especially weddings where the couple is so well suited for each other, where the liturgy is beautiful and deeply meaningful, and most especially where it is so clear the Lord is present in all these things.

1 comment:

  1. There is something so satisfying about a Eastern Liturgy wedding. I say this because most of the modern American Western weddings I have been to are so dissatifying. They last about 15 mins. All that planning and preparing the brides spends more time thinking about accessories and wedding accouturements than preparing herself for her married life with her husband. I am excluding Roman weddings in this rant. I think that by having a full liturgy that too is satisfying. A girl from the church in Spokane is getting married next summer. I am afraid we might have to miss it. I really hope we can make it for another beautiful Byzantine wedding. Thanks for sharing. It makes me reminisce fondly on our own marriage crowning. Now, I will have to go look at pictures.