My niece got married last Saturday. I think I'm pretty safe in sharing this photo, since you can't make out their faces too closely.
The wedding and reception were beautiful; in fact, the entire day was beautiful. Sunny and warm, without a drop of rain.
The bride was stunning and she and her groom clearly enjoyed their day and are very much in love.
The occasion got me thinking about traditions; what we are keeping and what we may be losing, for better or worse (pun intended). For example, we received our invitation by snail mail, but RSVPs were to be e-mailed to the bride. I can see the huge savings in postage if you've invited, say, a hundred people, but I worried about the possibility of our response getting lost in cyberspace, and in fact, this is what happened. I got a Facebook message from my niece a couple of weeks before the wedding, asking if we were coming. This created a bit of a panic in my daughter, who worried that we wouldn't "get in".
The bridal party was small, which was nice, but I did miss the presence of a flower girl. Then again, perhaps my niece and her groom didn't know any little girls who could take on this role. And it can be a tiring day for little ones, especially if they are participants in the action.
The music was piped in, not live, and that was okay too. It got the job done. No jitters for a soloist, or technical difficulties such as the one I faced when I sang at my cousin's wedding. In that case the pianist was supposed to accompany me, but opted out without warning, so it was just my voice and my husband's guitar. It worked out, but still; it caused a bit of confusion.
A neat feature of Saturday's ceremony was the mingling together of two vials of sand (his 'n hers, so to speak). This expressed the coming together of two people into one family or unit. Similar to the unity candle idea, in which two candles lit by the mothers are then used by the couple to light a larger single candle. In this wedding, both symbols were used - the candles and the sand. The nice thing about the sand is that it's a memento they can keep on display in their home "ever after".
The ceremony itself was fairly traditional, apart from the sand thing, which I'd never seen before. There were the wedding vows, the exchange of rings, the signing of the register, the 'you may kiss the bride', and the introduction of husband and wife. Also, the giving in marriage by the bride's parents and a receiving line afterwards.
The reception was also fairly traditional - a buffet meal followed by various speeches. The bride and groom got around to each of the guest tables to chat with those who'd come to celebrate the day. There was the couple's first dance, but no wedding cake in sight, and therefore, no cutting of it. Of course, if you're not going to eat the cake and it's primarily a prop, I suppose you might ask what the point is.
Not so traditional was the anointing of the couple with oil by the bride's father. This was a first for me, but I thought it was a really neat idea. Marriage is a holy covenant, ordained by God, and the oil, complete with fragrances of frankincense and myrrh (to represent the groom), spikenard (to represent the bride) and hyssop (representing the Holy Spirit) was used to mark a cross on the foreheads of my niece and her new husband to show that they are set apart for each other and for God.
Our family really enjoyed the celebration from start to finish, and any observations are just that - observations - lest anyone think I am criticizing apparent 'omissions' from the day. After all, I got some ideas in the event that one or both of my own children get married some day :) And we saw something old and something new.
As for the title of the post, 'something borrowed, something blue', I have no idea if that tradition was followed or not. I wasn't asked to lend anything and I didn't see anything blue, apart from the sky.
Much love, and wishes for lifelong happiness, to AL and C. May God richly bless your marriage as only He can.
And now, dear reader, do you have any wedding traditions (old, new, or new-to-you) that you'd like to share with me? I'd love to hear them.