a take on a wedding

A long-time family friend wrote up a little something about my brother's wedding this summer for some other family friends who were unable to attend. I just came across it and really liked it. I have removed the names that were in the original e-mail. I added in some pictures for visuals of the written descriptions.


The wedding.

[The groom's mom] wore a beautiful knee length fitted shirred dress in a smokey purple colour. It had beading and added shirring detail at the neck. It really looked pretty and she'd had her hair done quite fancy by someone else. She said it looked messy, but it looked really good, flipped up all over. I don't remember what [his dad] was wearing.

[The groom] walked his mom in to the front of the church with his dad following behind. Sweet. [His] groomsmen were - best man - his brother [and 3 longtime friends]. The groomsmen wore black tuxes with grey stiped shirts. They all looked good. When the groomsmen walked to the front from the front side entrance they all stood in a line with their backs to the audience. Then [the groom] spun around and gave [the best man] a shove, [the best man] spun around and gave [groom's man 1] a shove etc., etc. It was cute.

The ring bearer was [the groom's nephew]. He came in on a battery operated, motorized John Deere tractor with an orange tool box in front of him with the ring inside.

Following him were [the groom's 3 nieces] the oldest two pulling a red wagon with the youngest, about 6 months, reclining inside. It was cute.

The bridesmaids wore black sleeveless fitted knee length dresses. They looked very pretty. I didn't know the bridesmaids.

[The bride] looked lovely, she had a strapless dress, fitted to the waist and then flaired with a little train. She didn't have a veil, but rather a flower with a spray of feathers in her hair.

[The bride's] dad brought her down the aisle. When they stopped near the front [the groom] came towards them. The [pastor] asked, who gives the bride? And the father said, "Her brothers and I do". It was a sniff kind of moment and a really nice touch. And then the wedding party was all gathered at the front. And the pastor acknowledged that they felt the loss of [the bride's] mom, that 6 months ago they'd been in church to say their goodbyes to her... and they would now have blessings from both sides of the family and the audience. So first [the father of the bride] and [her] two brothers stood in their place in the audience and read a blessing, and then [the groom's parents] stood where they were and read a blessing, and then the pastor read a blessing and the audience said, "We do." And then there were two congregational songs let by [a friend of the groom]. He suddenly popped up from the front left aisle of the church and stood right there while we stood and sang. Two traditional hymns. They must have had special meaning because they weren't all that wedding-y. And then there was a scripture reading by someone who popped up from the front right aisle. And then [the bride's uncle] gave a somewhat lengthy meditation. The verse it was based on was the love of God the height and breadth and depth. There was a prologue on what the verse was based on and he wove in the story of Jewish children, but I couldn't hear it properly and there was also a main part, which related to today and the wedding and then there is a postlude and conclusion. [He] is very well read but very soft spoken. He ended by telling the story of one of Tolstoy's books. Tolstoy believed that the love of God was everything and he wrote some very interesting books, one of which involved a Cobbler and his three visitors.

Next came the vows. [The bride and groom] both read them off a card held by the pastor, and they got that done quickly without any breakdowns of emotional excess or nervous giggling. And then the pastor said, I now pronounce you man and wife. They kissed and hugged and departed the church to a lively rocky tune. There were no candles or candle ceremonies or ring ceremonies or signing of the register ceremonies. I'm not saying that I missed them, just that they weren't part of the ceremony.

There were no church decorations other than two beautiful large multicoloured flower arrangements at the front with peaches filling the bottom of the vases, and what must have been the church ferns and other greenery. Nothing on the pews or window ledges etc. No arbors, candles or little tables. I'm not saying I missed it, just that it wasn't there. When we walked into the church there was a table with a few photos on it and a photo album where you signed your name.

[The groom's Aunt S] was not at the ceremony. Apparently [she] rented a handicap van and one of [her husband's] caregivers at Lyndhurst offered to drive [them] to the reception on his own time and for no charge. [The caregiver] and his wife will stay at [their] house tonight. How nice, yes? So [the groom's Aunt S] will have [the caregiver] there to help with all the heavy stuff. [My son and his girlfriend] were invited to the wedding. I was somewhat surprised to see them. Didn't know they'd been invited. [...] Ooooh, I also saw [the 4th grade teacher of 2 of my sons]. He's not a popular man in our household. He had no tolerance for slower learners and he was mean to [my oldest son]. And then he failed him. At least that's how we as a family look at it :) From behind me and to the far right, [my son] suddenly stage whispered to me, "Is that MR. ****** SITTING ACROSS THE AISLE?" And I nodded yes. And he stage-whispered, "HE FAILED [my brother]!!". I nodded yes. But he looked like he expected me to wrestle the man to the ground and throw him out of church. I shushed [my son] and restrained myself from any outbursts of physical violence.

After the wedding we went to [a friend's] place for yerba along with [some others]. The reception at [the groom's parents' house] starts at 5pm.

We were seated at a table with [the groom's parents, the groom's Aunt K and Uncle R and the groom's grandmother]. We had a nice time. [...]

[The] grounds were really beautiful. There was a large white tent set up in the side yard. When we got there we were directed to a different section of the gardens where they had a punch table and ice cream bars available. There was about an hour of mingling and then we sat at round tables inside the big white tent.

There were 2 or 3 chandeliers hanging from the ceiling and 81 chinese lanterns of various sizes, mostly white, with some lime green. The table linens and chairs were white. The tent rental place wanted $10.00 for renting each chinese lantern. (they're round paper globes with wire inside). They found the same thing on-line and at dollar stores around the city for $1.00 each. They didn't light, but they looked really pretty.

Each table had a centerpiece in a squat square vase with a variety of flowers. Very pretty.

[The groom's Aunt S and Uncle M] showed up just as the food was starting. They both looked good. [The groom's uncle] looks like he’s lost a lot of weight and he looks older, but he held up well at the reception and they stayed till after 9.

I have never had better food at a wedding in my life. They had a caterer who made 4 kinds of green salads, an assortment of different breads, a pasta dish, tiny coloured tortellini filled with cheese in a cream sauce, tiny oven baked potatoes, carrots, broccoli with cheese, amazing melt in your mouth chicken breasts with a light cream sauce, green beans and then there was a different meat station with beef tenderloin that had been barbequed by Fritz Klassen, Matt Wiens, Carlos Wiens, Bob Wiens and Harry Wiens. It was seasoned perfectly and you had your choice of rare, medium, medium-well and well done. It just melted in your mouth too.

And then there was a dessert buffet. At least 15 varieties of cakes and tortes each one better than the last. We'd barely finished the program and they brought out another assortment of food. A sushi bar, huge shrimp, cheese-filled tortilla bites and many other squares and slices. It was hard work but I think [my friend] and I sampled almost everything.

There was a bottle of red and a bottle of white wine at each table. After the meal every table got a bottle of ice wine. Lots of coffee and tea and the huge punchbowl kept getting refilled too. One funny thing was that one of the waitresses suddenly came up to [my husband] and started chatting like old friends. He had no idea who she was until he suddenly realized that he'd just finished pouring a basement for her and her husband. It was one of those things where he thought she looked familiar but he couldn't place her. He knew she was a teacher, so he asked what she was doing moonlighting for a caterer. She said she had to earn extra money to pay for her new big house :)

The program was short but nice. [The bride's] 2 brothers were the MCs and they did a really good job. They have quick one-liners and a good sense of humour. When they introduced the wedding party, they had funny comments for everyone. For [groom's man 2], they said that he’s been spotted in downtown St. Catharines checking the parking metres. He may try telling you that he’s a cop but don’t believe him. For [groom's man 1] they said, he’s an engineer and works for Hydro 1. Although he won’t admit it he’s responsible for the recent power outage that shut of electricity in southern Ontario and parts of the U.S. He did it because he was tired of standing in [the groom's] shadow. For [the best man, a.k.a. the groom's brother] they said that he likes to think he’s a carnivore and hunter, barbequer, but he’s been spotted sitting in his dark basement secretly eating vegetables with humus.

There were really good speeches by the best man and the maid of honour. No sobbing and very funny in places. Speeches by [the groom's parents and the father of the bride]. A funny song sung by [the groom's nephew and oldest 2 nieces] with pictures of [the groom's] various mustache growths accompanying it. A short slide show, a speech by [the bride and groom], and that was it.

Then everyone was told to go out of the tent onto the lawn and there was an amazing fireworks show. I think it rivaled the Virgil Stampede. After that there were about 20 4ft-diameter paper lanterns set alight (I think a small gas canister inside was lit) and they were released and floated up into the night sky. It was so pretty watching each one follow its own flight path and disappear into the dark. They'd gotten permission from the Niagara on the Lake airport to do it. It looked kind of dangerous to me but apparently they go high enough that they don't set anything on fire and when the gas runs out, they burn up in the air or do something biodegradable. By then I was too full to really care about the consequences. Closer friends and relatives lit the lanterns and then the very last one was lit and set afloat by [the father of the bride]. It was beautiful and symbolic.


And after that some of the people stayed outside, some went to visit inside the tent and others danced or ate sushi and stuff.

A very funny moment happened when [a friend of the couple] (I think she was the D.J. came up to [the groom's father] and asked him to check the fan in the women's bathroom. She said it was really really really hot in there. [Friend L] and I were wondering why anyone would stay in the washroom long enough to feel the heat that drastically, but [the groom's father] went to check it out. [My husband] helpfully suggested that he take a paper fan along and fan the women as they entered the washroom. ha ha. I should say that the rented washrooms were very nice and I personally didn't find them overwhelmingly hot at all. They were big and white and clean. Between the men's and women's section was a wheelbarrow painted John Deere green and filled with flowers.

[Friend M] did the decorating. [Friend K] said she had helped [by] filling vases with water etc. I reassured her the water in the vases looked particularly clear and fresh. That she'd done a good job. Also I noticed that at the end of the evening, while [friend L] and I were busy with food, [friend M] came up to [friend K] who was in the process of brushing date square crumbs off her top and asked [friend K] to help collect vases and take them to the garage. [Friend M's] sons were also helping. [Her husband] was particularly helpful in that he had a small pen flashlight on hand and he was illuminating the sushi display for [friend L] and me.

I particularly liked the section of the gardens were the fireworks were displayed. There were paper bag lanterns randomly hanging in the trees. On the other side of the large tent, there were strands of mostly white lights strung from the tall trees. There were also paper bag lanterns lighting the path to the washrooms.

[My husband] and I left at around 10:30.

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