Observations of a wedding guest

August 30, 2006 at 8:41 pm 24 comments

A few weeks ago, we were invited to a friend’s wedding.  The bride (a family friend) and her fiance used to live here in Winnipeg but they both moved to Hawaii last year and were coming back here to get married. 

The bride’s sister and the cousin, who are both my childhood friends and my kumares now, helped her plan the wedding through phone calls.  It was the sister and the cousin who made all the arrangements, from the church venue, restaurant, invitations, cake, flowers and all the little details for the wedding.  Because the bride and groom were arriving just one week before the date set for the wedding.  I think that was so nice of her sister and her cousin.  But that’s what family is for, right? 

A wedding invitation here goes like this… 

(The parents of both groom and bride)

request the honor of your presence to share in the joyous celebration of love of their children

(Name of groom and bride)

as they exchange marriage vows on Saturday, (date)

at one o’clock in the afternoon

(Church’s name and address) 

Reception will follow

At six o’clock

(______ ballroom of a certain hotel and the address) 

Note the difference in time.  There was a gap of five hours between the ceremony and the reception.  Okay, considering that the ceremony lasted an hour, there was still a gap of four hours.  I wanted to go to the church to watch the ceremony because the bride’s family is also close family friends with us.  The bride’s mother is my sister’s godmother.  The bride’s sister is my middle son’s godmother.  Both my sister and I are godmothers of the cousin’s daughter.  So you see, we are like one big family.  At first, my husband didn’t want to go to the church to watch the ceremony.  He just wanted to go to the reception.  He thought it was such a hassle to go to the church and then come home again and then go out again to go the reception at night.  But I convinced him in the end. 

We went to the church.  My mother, my sister and her family were also there.  But there were only a few other people, I would guess, only close family members of the bride and groom.   

My three-year old godchild (the cousin’s daughter) was one of two flower girls.  She looked so cute and adorable in her white frilly dress.  But she wouldn’t walk down the aisle when the march started playing.  So her father carried her in his arms while he walked down the red carpet.   

The rest of the bridal entourage was composed mainly of the couple’s sisters, brothers and their girlfriends.  It was only family.  I like that.  Aside from the best man and maid of honor, there were only three other pairs of secondary sponsors (for the candle, cord and veil).  It was just a small group.  I also like that.   

The ring bearer was the bride’s five-year old nephew.  He also looked handsome in his black suit.  But he started to get bored during the ceremony and disappeared from his seat at the front.  I saw him later beside the bride’s cousin nursing from his bottle.  And when it was time for the rings, it was his mother, who was the maid of honor and the bride’s sister, who handed the rings to the couple.   

Inspite of the two boo boos, the wedding ceremony was lovely.  It’s just a pity that there were only a few people who witnessed it.  Of course, it was recorded on video tape.  But still, how many people really gets to watch that tape. 

The bride’s brother-in-law was the photographer of the event.  He is the husband of the maid of honor.  He takes wedding pictures professionally, not as a full time job, but on the sideline.  How lucky is a bride to have a professional photographer in the family.  But I noticed that he was constantly taking pictures.  Every move that the bride makes. He was there at every angle.  And he was sometimes literally on her face.  I got really distracted.  Okay, a few close-ups maybe is all right.  But just how many shots do you need?  I don’t want this to sound as a rant because I love this family.  I’m just relating my observations here. 

I know why there was a four-hour gap between the ceremony and the reception.  The bridal entourage would go to some scenic spots in the city and do more photo shootings.  So I don’t really get why he had to take that many close up shots at church.  Even when we were at the reception, which was by the way attended by around 200 guests, I was trying to watch the couple dance and he was there again on her face clicking away at his camera.  Come on.  Had he not taken enough close-ups already?  I don’t know.  I haven’t gone to a wedding in six years.  The last one I attended was the wedding of the bride’s sister, who is my kumare and I was one of the bridesmaids then.  But I don’t remember the photo shootings to be quite like this.  Is this how they do it now? 

The reception hall was set up elegantly.  White covers on the chairs and table.  Lilac-coloured flowers and candles decorated the tables to match the bridesmaids’ gowns.  The masters of ceremony were both bubbly and they made some of the guests do the hula hoop if they wanted the bride and groom to kiss instead of the usual clinking of spoons on the glasses.  It was fun. 

Although most of the guests were Filipinos, the food served was more of “Canadian dishes.”  Cream of mushroom soup, boiled potatoes, carrots and stuffed chicken.  The kids were given a different menu – chicken strips and chips (French Fries).  The food was also good except my kids wished they had crab and corn soup instead.  And my teenager wished I had ordered him the kids’ menu.  He didn’t like the chicken stuffed with something that tasted like crabmeat.  But I liked it.


Entry filed under: Detour, Special Occasions, Winnipeg.

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24 Comments Add your own

  • 1. domestic rat  |  August 30, 2006 at 10:09 pm

    You could never guess how many shots the photographer would have easily taken. As much as 1000 in a day!!! But at the end of it all, perhaps only 300 to 500 (optimistically) are feasible for use. So it’s normal to shoot as many as possible to ensure the higher percentage of usable pictures.

  • 2. Lazarus  |  August 31, 2006 at 1:21 am

    Before the digital age, photographers have to be choosy. Now, they just click as much as they can, and select only the best for printing.

    btw, thanks for dropping by my blog..

  • 3. Major Tom  |  August 31, 2006 at 1:57 am

    Weddings are really such a long activity; even if one is just a guest, everything starts early in the morning and end up late at night, what more if one is a very close relative. Nonetheless, it is always an eventful day, with so many faces to meet, people you’ve not met for a long time, and new acquiantances to make. I felt everytime lthat every wedding I have attended is a scene so similar to the grand events inside a Leo Tolstoy book, like War and Peace.

  • 4. ipanema  |  August 31, 2006 at 2:20 am

    I can understand having to wait, especially if you have children. Come to think of it, besides my own siblings’ weddings, the weddings I’ve attended here are Chinese and Malay weddings. They each have there own customs and traditions which I find fascinating. Mostly we are invited in the reception part…lol.

    I’m not so sure if I can still view my wedding tape as it was still in betamax!…lol However, photos help preserve such memorable event.

  • 5. ladybug  |  August 31, 2006 at 2:35 am

    I guess it all depends on the bride and groom. When I got married last year, we decided to satisfy the guests (meaning, majority of the budget went to food) and think of what will make them feel most comfortable. After all, years after the wedding, what the guests will remember is how they felt, instead of how the bride and groom looked. Anyway, I love attending weddings, even if sometimes they can be a hassle.

  • 6. Eric  |  August 31, 2006 at 8:19 am

    Never heard of “in your face” wedding photography; I mean how many close-up shots of the bride is necessary for a wedding album?

    In NYC, the time between after the church and the reception (usually about 2-3 hours) there is sometimes a cocktail reception where guests could enjoy some drinks and finger food, because it is just too long a wait at times. If none, some groups would go to a cafe or somewhere to chat and catch up. Nonetheless, it can be a tedious waiting period. This is why most opt to attend the reception only.

  • 7. Phil  |  August 31, 2006 at 10:50 am

    My wife and I renewed our vows last April. I can’t imagine giving so much consideration to photos over the natural flow of the proceedings… Incredible! I’ve NEVER heard of anyone doing such a thing… Good thing I wasn’t invited. Was there a wedding planner? Too me, the wedding should be the THING, the reception only a frill. Your commenter above is right, with photography the way it is today, there’s no reason for so much attention to picture taking… If there’s one thing i hate more than the picture taking its…… heck, THAT IS what I hate the most!

  • 8. niceheart  |  August 31, 2006 at 8:07 pm

    DR, thanks. What you said makes sense. I didn’t realize that couples would want 300-500 pictures. I didn’t even have a 100 wedding pictures. But then again, it’s been ages since I’ve been married. 🙂

    Lazarus, thanks also for the visit. You know what, I’ve also noticed that I’m taking more pictures now with my digital camera because I know that I’m not really wasting film. That makes sense too.

  • 9. niceheart  |  August 31, 2006 at 8:11 pm

    Major Tom, weddings can be really a tiring event, not just for the people involved but also to the guests. But yeah, I also like weddings. It sometimes becomes a family reunion and you get to catch up with everybody.

    Ipanema, it must be interesting to witness the customs and traditions of other people. I remember the betamax. Oops, we are dating ourselves here. 🙂

  • 10. niceheart  |  August 31, 2006 at 8:16 pm

    Ladybug, I love weddings too. And you’re right. It’s how I felt that I’ll remember on that particular wedding, if I was comfortable or if I liked the food. 🙂

    Eric, this was also the first time I saw a photographer right there on the bride’s face. You would think she was a celebrity. Of course, she was the star of the day. But then again, it was really distracting.

  • 11. niceheart  |  August 31, 2006 at 8:29 pm

    Phil, that’s wonderful, renewing your wedding vows. I like having my pictures taken but not during, what you said, the natural flow of proceedings. You know, some priests here don’t allow photographers and videographers during the actual ceremony at church. Because it takes away the solemnity of the ceremony. When my kids had their First Communion and Confirmation, no picture taking or videotaping were allowed during the proceedings. Not only do they take away the solemnity but they are also distracting especially to the children.

  • 12. Abaniko  |  September 1, 2006 at 8:23 am

    To get rid of boredom while waiting for the couple, you guys could have fun with parlor games at the reception. With prizes, of course. 🙂

  • 13. niceheart  |  September 1, 2006 at 8:22 pm

    Parlor games is a good idea, Abaniko. The wedding organizers could have thought of that. 🙂

  • 14. Karen  |  September 2, 2006 at 3:42 am

    i love weddings! especially big weddings. not that i wouild want that for my own wedding (close friends and immediate family only), pero i really enjoy going on one kung hindi ako ang gagastos ;).
    i attended this wedding before and whenever the cameraman would take a picture he’d say: “don’t blink!” he’s been on his feet for hours and took so many pictures, just imagine how many times he said “dont blink?” 😉

  • 15. niceheart  |  September 2, 2006 at 10:24 pm

    Karen, that’s new. Usually the cameraman would say cheese. Mahirap din sigurong maging photographer ano? Sore feet by the end of the day. And then kailangan mo pang i-re-touch ang mga pictures para maganda lahat. 🙂

  • 16. haze  |  September 3, 2006 at 9:18 am

    When I got married there was also 4 hours waiting after the mass and before the reception. Thanks a lot to my in-laws they’ve already anticipated the “waiting time”…between that gap they’ve reserved an appetizer on the boat then people waiting didn’t get bored at all…

    It’s just so sad that digital camera was not invented yet! So we only have the noramal cam but i don’t mind because the wedding was just perfect…it was a mixed of french and filipino wedding 🙂 and there were tagalog songs (translated of course even the ceremony mass itself) ;).

    Happy WE !

  • 17. niceheart  |  September 3, 2006 at 11:52 pm

    Haze, people here usually skip the church ceremony and just opt to go to the reception. That’s nice of your in-laws to serve appetizers. I would have liked that too. 🙂

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    Thank u for the great article for sure it will be of help to all the women who wanted to become a bride and to all men who wished to become a groom too.

    It would also be best if you prepare yourself to be relax and be more beautiful.


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