Observations of a wedding guest
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.