Doug had to transport students out to the student camp, so he was pretty late returning home. In fact, he got home 10 minutes before the wedding was to start. I couldn't leave the kids, so I had to wait for him.
I ran to get in my dress (my hair and make-up were already done) and heels, and then Doug told me he'd drive me to help me get there on time. No piki today!
I got to the church at 11:05 for an 11am wedding. The last wedding I went to, the bride showed up an hour late (on purpose). But this bride was walking down the aisle at 11:15! I sat near the back, and waited to be bored to death.
Not this time!
The bride and all of her wedding party (a mere 28 people) walked down the aisle to the song, "How Great is Our God." I don't know if you remember how slow they walk here for the march down the aisle, but the song went on for a good 10 minutes. I teared up a bunch in those 10
minutes. It was pure heaven to sing praises to my Savior in English and remember how much that song had meant to me on different occasions in the States. I sang it on our last Sunday at Pinelake before I moved to Yoakum. I sang it our first Sunday in Yoakum, and I sang it on a Sunday when I knew God was calling us to missions. All three of those times I had cried, and here I was again.
I'm sure everyone thought I was overcome with the beauty of the bride, but it was actually the beauty of my Bridegroom that had me overcome! How great He is indeed.
Every word that came out of the pastor's mouth was pre-printed in our 12 page bulletin. When he got to the part about anyone knowing a reason whey these two shouldn't be lawfully married, he ad-libbed a bit and asked FOUR times in different ways: "Are you sure there is no one?" "No one wants to stand and say anything?" Etc. It was a bit much!
There was a lot of clapping. XXXXX
THEN, he asked the couple about the vows they were about to make "in the name of God, who is judge of all and who knows all the secrets of our hearts; therefore, if either of you has a reason why you may not lawfully marry, you must declare it now." After some silence, he asked again… (it was all pre-printed in the bulletin except for the repeated asking).
Before I go on, lets talk about the cameras. There were no hidden cameras at this wedding Six men surrounded the bride and groom. They could not even be seen by the audience. There were three still cameras and three video cameras and two blinding lights facing them and the audience. Every time I blinked I saw spots.
THEN there were two men walking the aisles. One with a flash camera; one with a video camera. I counted 7 flashes on me throughout the service, and I know I was filmed on 7 different occasions, because the blaring light attached to his camera would blind me. I can only imagine what this couple will think when they look at their pictures and view the video. "Who was that white girl at our wedding?"
I thought I was the only one with light colored hair at first until I saw some of the bridesmaids had spray painted spots or streaks of gold in their hair to match their dresses. And when visitors from Kampala were announced, I did see one other light-skinned blonde.
After every "I will," or "I do," or vow said, there was LOTS of clapping, whooping, and hollering. I wish I had a recording of the sound they make, and trying to type it out would do no good. Oh well. I forgot I had video capabilities on my camera because I put it out of my mind after trying to share with you the termite song back in the Spring. It was similar to a football (soccer) match. A lot of the women had shakers, and one lady marched in with her homemade vuvuzela.
Notice "USA" at the top :)
After the rings, the bishop said, "You may embrace your bride. And if you want, you can give her a very light kiss."
Later on, the reverend doing the sermon said the bishop had broken a record. They were the first couple to have kissed in the church. Then he went on for a long part of his sermon to say kissing should only be reserved for marriage, nothing before.
It was 1:00 when communion started. I saw one girl, with a purpose, get up and walk down the center aisle. I thought she must have something to give the bride. She walked up on stage, behind the pulpit, in front of the altar, and turned around to take a picture of the bride and groom taking communion.
THEN I saw 4 other people do the same thing! So now, along with the 6 "wedding photographers," there were 5 other spectators up there, too. It was crazy!
Order returned somewhat as the aisles filled with people to take communion, but as soon as that was over, and the couple was getting prayed over, 6 or so people went up front to photograph the couple kneeling in prayer. AND, since some children playing outside the church, who weren't invited to the wedding couldn't see properly, 15 of them entered in the side door at this point and stood in front of several people to watch from this point on to the end – and no one told them to move, leave, or anything.
One of the things I find hilarious, is that one of the hired photographers ran to a developer in town and had hundreds of pictures made of his two best photos of the couple, and he sold them at the reception for the equivalent of 25 cents a copy. Since the majority of the people do not own cameras, it was the only way they could have a picture memory of this day.
More pictures were taken as the couple signed their marriage license and then the bishop (not a wedding coordinator) told everyone where to stand for the final photograph of couple, best man, and matron of honor. The wedding party (which was announced at the reception as totaling 50) and the parents did not get up for pictures.
They did introduce the groom's step-mother at the end, and when she stood, I finally didn't feel like a stranger anymore. It was Karen, the head mistress at the school where I attend Kindergarten classes.
Oh, if that was only the ending, but it was only 2 o'clock. The reception hadn't even started!