Sunday, May 10, 2009

It was what we thought it would be

How do you capture the essence of a wedding celebration? Do you sit back and watch the participants? Do you allow the happenings to unfold then try to sift out the nuggets and tell only those stories that you first remember? Or do you talk to people and let them tell you what they felt was happening? Those were all the thoughts I had as we retired from the scene and the Mother of the Bride smiled and said that she was waiting to see what "The Blog" would say about their long planned for day. Talk about pressure. But here it is 7:00 a.m. Mother's Day (the day after) and I am searching for words to briefly capture the Hanayik-Hawes wedding.

First the comments: With chopping motions with her hands and a smile on her face Cindi said to us at about 10:00 p.m. "Perfect. It was absolutely perfect. The only thing that could have made it better was if Dad were here." I could end the story right there. Because from the comments of those around me, the day was perfect. The weather was perfect (although storms had been predicted), the church service was perfect and the meal and dance were perfect.

The observations: weddings should be about families coming together. That was their goal and they achieved it. What I saw, in no particular order, was children participating and learning the ways of their culture. There were opportunities through participation during the wedding, from the young ushers escorting their elders to their seats, the guardian eye on the guest book, being there in grown-up clothes with bright eyes and happy smiles. There was dancing, smiling children enjoying themselves.

There was the wedding party with their maturity and grace, not to mention their beauty that oozed the significance of the event. There were the parents of the bride and groom with their welcoming smiles and handshakes to the guests. And there were the guests themselves representing the amalgamation of the "both sides of both sides." All of those outward indicators showed that the mission was accomplished.

Of course there were the jewels which pop out during the course of the ceremony. The bride and groom were laid back and happy both at the wedding and at the reception. They laughed, they giggled, they were serious, and they looked as though they had fun. The "wedding dance" which in the Midwest is referred to as the "dollar dance," was given a Slavic twist which added to my wedding experience.

The father of the bride was "in charge." He said so and he took the leadership role in the celebration events beginning with his toasts to Carrie and to Barry. But he also included the guests. Rob walked among us with a hand-held microphone and tapped each military veteran on the shoulder, named them and their branch of service and had them stand. When he got to our table he solemnly said, "...Uncle Jim, United States Air Force," and I melted down.

In all there were 26 of us on our feet (preponderance were Army vets due to the friendships and close connections through his long career.) He had found a common thread that skillfully weaved it through "both sides of both sides."

His toasts included those who were missing, which had an impact on "our side" of the four sides that were coming together.

The food was ample and surprisingly tasty and plentiful for such a big event (150 people.) There was wine for those who enjoyed it...not from Oregon, but the Cabernet was excellent, and I saw repeat servings of the Chardonnay being requested.

We danced and talked and took pictures and made a phone call or two to include the extended family. Then we retired, exhausted, to ready ourselves for the Sunday breakfast and the trip home. But oh, the Karaoke went on as we strolled for the exit. Rob has mastered that art too.

So, Cindi, "The Blog" approves...very much so. It was the culmination of years of relationship building and months of planning. It is just too bad we were missing Daw.


Anonymous said...

Thank you Uncle Tom...the blog was perfect too. What a day, what a weekend. Wow.......



Cheri said...

Those were beautiful words! You captured the day like none other! I smiled, I cried! That's a good blog! Thanks for bringing in Daw, he was missed! I cry again! Good night!