Friday, May 15, 2009

The Wedding Day Part 2

The Wedding Day Part 1 is here.

When we arrived at the church, everything was as it should be. The lovely, elderly woman who had volunteered to prepare tea and coffee for our reception was puttering around in the Fellowship Hall. There were several large, stainless-steel urns making loud bubbling and blurping noises. All the paper plates, napkins, etc. had been set out the night before by Ken and I. Our good friends J. and K. (a couple engaged to be married soon themselves) were ushering guests into the auditorium.

I have to pause here and say how grateful I am to the woman who made the tea. This is how sweet people are at our church: she hadn't even been introduced to us, but when she saw the announcement of our upcoming nuptials in the church bulletin she immediately called the pastor to volunteer her services. Words fail me here. How many people would step up with an offer like that for a couple they had never met? Would you? Would I?

I puttered around in the Fellowship Hall while the auditorium filled up, periodically stepping out of my shoes to rest my feet. After having been on my feet for over an hour at the Allan Gardens photo shoot, my toes were in pain. Shape of shoes: triangular. Shape of feet: rectangular. Ow.

Pretty soon I got my cue. Go time! The pianist played, the doors swung open, and all heads turned to watch the wedding party walk up the aisle.

We had arranged our wedding with the elder of the two pastors at our church. He's a white haired, bearded gentleman with a peaceful demeanor, somewhat reminiscent of Santa Claus. We had had several meetings to go over what he might say during the ceremony, and to clarify which vows we wanted.

Ken and I both agreed that we wanted traditional vows. Pastor B. offered us a few different wordings of traditional-style vows, and we selected one. Ken requested one change: instead of "for all the days of our lives" he wanted to say "until death do us part". He's hardcore like that, and I guess I am too because I agreed.

We'd gone back and forth with the pastor on the vows, not because we couldn't make up our minds, but because he kept getting the different vows confused. We'd say "OK, we agreed on Vow A" and he'd come back to us three days later saying "I'm just confirming that you wanted Vow B" and we'd have to go over it all again. Each time he forgot which vows we wanted he offered us a different alternate. That morning, I said to Ken "I think we might get random vows today." He agreed that it was likely. Oh well, what can you do?

However, Pastor B. got the vows right, and all was well.

Then Pastor K. stepped up to speak. Yes, we had both pastors at the wedding. Pastor K. had asked if he might be there to say a few words and support us. Again with the volunteers! Of course, we were happy to have him participate. The more the merrier.

Pastor K. said a few things about the sanctity of marriage and this and that. I was having a little trouble concentrating because my feet were distracting me. He was all "On this most important, momentous day in your relationship" and I was busy fidgeting my toes, which had gone numb inside my pointy shoes.

What was that he was saying as I tried to work some circulation back into my poor pinky toe? "So many marriages end in divorce. Half of all marriages!" I thought to myself: why are we talking about divorce NOW of all times? Come on, not now! He had my attention. Then he went on a bit about how divorce was all Satan's fault, and I squirmed inwardly as I thought of all my atheist/agnostic/new age friends sitting in the pews. Pastor K. is a bit of a Bible-thumper, and he was getting revved up.

"What are they thinking?" I wondered. If it were me a couple of years ago in their shoes, I'd be rolling my eyes. Fortunately Pastor K. wrapped up his preaching in fairly short order, reminding us to centre our lives on Jesus to guarantee the success of our marriage. I could go for that.

We exchanged rings, kissed, signed the register and phew! We were done! Pastor B. introduced us as a married couple. "...until one of them lovingly lays the other back into the earth." In the moment after he said that I felt profoundly sad, and very impacted by the reality of the vows we had just made. But there was no time to dwell on it. Much more urgently, it was time for cake.

Around 50 people poured into the Fellowship Hall. There was much hugging, kissing, handshaking, and chatter. The piano player livened up the atmosphere. The cake and two tarts were cut and eaten. The guestbook was signed.

The only two people who didn't bother to greet Ken and I along the receiving line were my new mother-in-law and younger brother-in-law. Yeah. I don't know what their problem was. They both avoided me until I went to each of them to say hello. A small sour blot on an otherwise perfect day.

At 4:45 pm the last folks were saying their goodbyes. By 5:00 pm Ken and I thanked our tea and cake volunteers once again, and headed out. The perfect weather had lasted until just about the time that our reception ended. As we left, the wind picked up, the clouds rolled in, and rain wasn't very far behind. But we'd had our perfect wedding day. What more could we have asked for?


Anonymous said...

It sounds like an almost perfect day. I'm sorry things couldn't be better for you with your new in-laws. What the heck?? Oh well. Many long and happy years to you and your husband.

All of Christ's blessings.


Warped Mind of Ron said...

Woot! What a great day! I personally would have gone with the non traditional vows. Like, "To have and to hold until one day when you pop a cap in their ass!" or "To be married until the sweet release of death." Someting like dat! :)

Scarlet said...

Sounds like you couldn't have asked for a more perfect wedding day.

I'm still thinking about the woman who volunteered to make the tea. How selfless and kind. I love it! We should all be more like her.

I'm happy to hear the Pastor got the vows right and that the weather held up until it was all over.

PS - How's your pinky toe now?? Hope you're rectangular feet are feeling better. ;)

Once again, CONGRATS!!

San said...

Spark, I loved reading your inner thoughts during the vows. You were pondering deeply the meaning of the vows, prompting in part by your triangular shoes, no doubt!

Your forgetful but kindly Santa Claus pastor sounds like the perfect person to dispense the ceremony. So much of a good marriage does depend on the ability to be kind and to forget. :-D

Wishing you and Ken a lifetime of shared riches, on all the levels...

LL Cool Joe said...

Sounds like a perfect day. I've never really understood this, so please explain the appeal of high heels? They must be so uncomfortable but there must be some greater pleasure that outweighs the pain!

I remember seeing Kylie in concert and some guy in the audience asked her to do something and she said "Not in these heels I can't!" and I thought "Well take them off then!".

Anyway, just wondering, as I do. :D

Glad you had a wonderful day!

whatigotsofar said...

Mmm... you got me thinking of cake now.

NicoleB said...

I am so glad you guys had the perfect day :)!

And your MIL? It's that sort of people one better doesn't even start thinking about!

Sparkling Red said...

darcknyt: Thank you. I've never had much luck with in-laws. My ex's family had its own problems. At least I don't have to live in the same house with them. I had to share a home with my ex-MIL. I think that's what finally killed the marriage.

Ron: I should have asked you to write our vows. Say, maybe you should become a pastor?

Scarlet: Thanks! There was no permanent damage to my wee toesies, although it did take a few days for my feet to fully recover.

San: True, I hadn't thought of it like that. Kindness and forgetfulness are both positive contributors to happy relationships.

Joe: I rarely wear high heels because they cause me so much pain. But for special occasion, nothing says "spiffy" like a high-heeled shoe. I do believe they're prettier than flats, and also my dress was a little too long so I had to wear heels or risk tripping on the hem.

WIGSF: You'll want to go here: That's where we got our cake from. I know the baker personally, and all her stuff is super-awesome.

NicoleB: Exactly. I don't spend much time thinking about her. She does have many good qualities, which I admire, like strength, and intelligence. She's just not a very warm person. At all.

Jameil said...

fabulous! the good things, that is! overall a good day! i love the traditional vows. i can see myself acting up at the altar if the officiant decides to go off on a tangent-- making faces as the hubster, sighing, taking a moment to look at who showed up... lol. that's so nice of the ladies at your church! so cool.

SoMi's Nilsa said...

The kindness of strangers is truly remarkable! Sounds like their contributions helped make your day pretty darn memorable! Yay!

savia said...

At my best friend's wedding, the pastor also said some stuff about divorce, which made me cringe, because it was the groom's second marriage. What is up with that? To make matters worse, the MC at the reception, who fancies himself a funny guy, made all these dead wife
jokes. WTF?

I keep meaning to thank you for sending me the wedding pictures. It was nice to finally see your face - you are too cute! And your hubby is very handsome as well. My favourite ones were of the two of you in the gardens. It really showed your personalities and the love that you have for one another. They are absolutely perfect pictures.

I wish you every happiness. It seems you have a very solid, loving relationship and really understand and support one another. I have no doubt that you will make it 'til the end. (Though the part the pastor said about lovingly putting someone in the grave was really creepy. No one wants to think about that at a wedding. Geez!)

Sparkling Red said...

Jameil: Yup, I can see you acting up. :-) I can't wait to hear the stories that come from your experiences as a bride!

Nilsa: It makes me want to pay it forward. So if you know anyone who's getting married soon, tell me and I'll make the tea. ;-)

Savia: Dead wife jokes? For real? Wow. That's unbelievably tasteless.
Thanks for your compliments. :-) I am very proud of those photos. When I'm an old prune I'll point to the album with a shaking finger and tell some young grand-niece how I used to be young and beautiful. And she'll be all "Great-Auntie Spark, didn't they have 3-D polaroids when you were young?"

Anonymous said...

Sounds like things went well!

wigsf said...

Roncesvalles??? Oooh, I'm dyin' agin!

Okay, seriously, I drive down to Caledonia & Castlefield once a year for my mom's carrotcake but Roncesvalles? That's a long way to go for a cookie.

But those gingerbread cookies sure look yummy.

Sparkling Red said...

Unsigned: Indeed!

WIGSF: It's probably for the best. Living too close to that bakery would be catastrophic for your waistline.