The wedding started out the day before, with the wedding party arriving at the "wedding facility" (basically a hotel which exists only to cater weddings) the day before. There was a series of game rooms downstairs. Here Marie is watching my nephew, Alex, and my very-nearly brother-in-law, Justin, play a guitar video game. (I'm sure there's a more correct term, but I can't remember what it was.)In the adjoining room there was Wii, shuttleboard, air hockey, a pool table, and even some toddler toys. Probably more. The children were well entertained.
Here's a photo of part of the bride's suite:
The actual ceremony was planned for outside, but unfortunately, rain ended up moving it inside.
My sister-in-law, Kristy, helping to set up the Christmas tree. Guests were invited to bring an ornament to hang on the tree just for the evening, but I have a feeling that we weren't the only ones who actually got an ornament to give to Ruth and Justin.
My brother Shawn, who always goes goo-goo over babies:
Shawn with his wife, Lindsey. They got married last December. Our anniversary is also in December, and the other brother's is in January, so the four of us have our anniversaries within just over a month of each other.
Unfortunately a blurry photo, but this is Ruth getting the daffodils ready. I think she said that they had 150 plants? Each table had one big pot and several small ones, and all guests were supposed to take one home. We couldn't, of course, but she had an empty pot for us as well as some bulbs, and we did get them safely home, although we haven't planted them yet!
A (slightly blurry) close-up of the sticker on the large pots:
My dad, my sister-in-law Lindsey, and my dad's sister, Aunt Dolores.
My brothers with their wives. (The brother who isn't Shawn asked me not to put his name or face on my blog, but his wife, Kristy, didn't mind at all.)
Lazing around waiting for the rehearsal to start (it was several hours late, but that didn't matter--it's not like we had other plans, and we had a great place to hang out!) This is my dad, my mom, Aunt Dolores, and her husband, Uncle Jerry. And Elisabeth, of course. :-)
Unfortuntely, this is the only photo we have of this particular dress. Ruth found it partially sewn in a box of fabric from our paternal grandmother. Ruth finished it and wore it for the rehearsal, and it wasn't until that day that Aunt Dolores saw it and told her that our great-grandmother brought the fabric back from China!
The hotel also included a bar, which had dozens and dozens of hats hanging on the walls. Katie and Lukas, aided and abetted by various uncles, had fun finding hats for everybody. This one matches Lindsey's outfit so well, one would think it was a British wedding. (At the actual wedding, as far as I noticed, the only hat at all was the groom's.)
All the children got baths before the wedding, but we only took a photo of Elisabeth getting ready.
The board for holding the place-cards, before and after the cards were hung up.
When Ruth and Justin got engaged, they had a professional photo shooting. The photos on the background are from that, and Ruth's matron of honor, Amanda, put this together.
Each table was identified by the name of an author (the children's table, for example, was Maurice Sendak, and we were at Roald Dahl, and the wedding party table was Douglas Adams), and guests were assigned to tables, but not to specific seats. Each guest had to find his or her name ont this board, then go to the assigned table and choose a seat. I liked that system quite well, and also liked having authors' names.
The cousins: ushers Alex, Jacob, and Kyle in the back, flowergirls Helen and Katie flanking ring-bearer Lukas and reader Marie on the couch, holding cutie-pie Elisabeth.
My mother is a United Methodist pastor and she performed the ceremony. Here she, Justin, the best man, and Lukas are waiting for the bride.
Ruth came in on my father's arm to the band playing and singing "Hey There, Little Red Riding Hood", accompanied by wolf whistles from the guests. (For those who don't know the song, as I didn't, here's a link to one version on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FA85RO89HA&NR=1 )
Helen had a moment of panic walking in behind Katie and cried out for Katie, then for Mommy, and ran to me. But then she remembered her job and turned her whole basket of petals upside down in front of me and said loudly, "I pour it, okay?" She then wore her basket as a shoulder bag and enjoyed the rest of the ceremony, watching the candles, and occasionally going up to Ruth and holding her hand.
The intentions were woven into a Celtic hand-fasting ceremony. 14 people (including the siblings and their partners as well as a few friends) each laid a cord across Ruth's and Justin's joined hands and said what the color represented. I had white, which represented peace, serenity, and...hmm...something starting with "D", I think. Once all 14 cords had been placed, the four parents tied them--this photo shows my dad tying them, although we don't have any photo of the actual cords.
I'm not sure exactly what was being said here, as they're both facing forward, and they faced each other for their vows, which they each wrote individually and read to each other. Justin told Ruth that she's his 42. :-) The "vows" were really cool, in a way telling a history of their relationship. Not having spent much time with my sister in the last 20 years, I really, really enjoyed that part of the ceremony as a bit more insight into her life.
Marie read the love passage from 1 Corinthians.
First kiss as husband and wife.
The cake. (Obviously. I'm getting tired! Incidentally, it didn't taste anything like most U.S. wedding cakes--it was actually quite good. There was one little mix-up, however...apparently, there were three different flavors. The one I had was "red velvet", which I'd never heard of before and as far as I understand, is chocolate with red food coloring. Not sure of the point, but it tasted fine. There was also a dark brown one, regular chocolate, I guess. And there was one light-colored one, which all of the parents assumed was vanilla and quickly chose to give to their small children to make less of a mess than chocolate would. I never tasted it, but did think it was strange that Helen hardly ate any of it. It turns out that the light-colored one was the only one with alcohol in it! I don't remember what flavor, but I'm glad Helen didn't like it, and I'm also glad that Lukas and Katie refused to take it and insisted on chocolate...)
Marie dancing with Uncle Justin:
Somehow, most of the photos of the dancing were from the back. Oh well, here's one of my parents anyway:
Ruth and Helen :-)
There wasn't a lot of dancing, for some reason. Helen and Lukas were the only ones that kept dancing the entire time, all the way until we couldn't stand up straight anymore and made them go to bed!
At breakfast the next morning, Ruth wore our maternal grandmother's wedding dress.
And at home the next evening she showed us our paternal grandmother's wedding dress, which Grandma had made herself. It's missing the buttons on the sleeves, as they happen to be on the sleeves of my own wedding dress, which my mother made for me. :-)
Anyway, it was a beautiful wedding and I'm glad we were able to go. I look forward to seeing the professional photos as well as snapshots from other people.