A Slovak-Philippine Wedding: The Ceremony
If you’re curious about our recent wedding, you can read about the first part here, which gives a brief background on how we met, how I proposed, and all about our preparation and plans for the big day. You can also look through all our wedding-related archives on this post. As promised, this is a three-part blog series about our wedding. This is the second part which focuses on our ceremony. We are blogging it because very few of Ruby’s families and friends managed to go to our wedding – and we’re trying to relive the moment by writing about it. Here goes!
Peter’s Point of View:
Seeing Ruby standing in her dazzling dress was a moment I will never forget. She broke out her beautiful smile, clasped her bouquet, and walked slowly down the aisle, absorbing the whole moment. It was her moment and no one else’s. We all stood and watched as Ruby walked on and smiled. What struck me about that moment was that a bride never practices walking the aisle. We practice lighting the unity candle, we practice the music, we practice the ceremony itself, we practice the walk of every person in the ceremony EXCEPT the bride, we practice how the reception will begin, we do all these things, but the one thing that is not practiced, ever, is the bride walking down the aisle. It’s almost an unspoken rule, a mythology built into our culture: the bridal walk down the aisle is the very essence of the wedding, almost a saintly procession, and it must not be disturbed with premature attempts.
I’m sure most people wondered what was going on in Ruby’s head as she walked on with all eyes upon her. I’d guess that the experience must be more nerve-wracking than joyful, and I’d bet that most brides would agree. With that said, Ruby made it look like the easiest thing in the world. She smiled and joined me at the altar, and the ceremony officially began. Our priest, Father Russell, is a British man with a great sense of humor, and even though it was raining, he made sure to keep everyone’s spirits up with some light jokes. The ceremony itself was a full-length mass, so we began with the first and second readings (read wonderfully by our friend Marge and Peter’s niece Michelle) and then settled down to hear Father Russell’s remarks about the gospel.
One memorable line was, “The only time a man is happier than when he buys a boat is the day he sells it.” He implored us to look beyond material goods and to focus on experiences with family and friends as well as with spiritual guides (we’re Catholic, so our spiritual guide is Mr. Jesus). The speech was interesting and beautifully delivered by a man who has most likely seen his share of weddings. When it came to reading our vows, me and Ruby both prepared vows for each other, so I read mine first, and then Ruby read hers. I think hers was perfect: funny, touching, honest.
Then came the first snafu of the night. My mom and her sister lit unity candles near the altar, for symbolic reasons, and I was supposed to light the final one. Well, unlike them, I didn’t practice lighting the thing the night before, so I thought it was going to be simple and it turned out to be anything but. After about 6 attempts, Father Russell lent a hand, as well as two other people, and it looked like a scene right out of a comedy, 5 people trying to light one candle.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, we breathed a sigh of relief and joy, and walked out of the chapel. However, we were soon back in the chapel for formal pictures, with our photographer having us do different poses, and inviting everyone who attended to stand with us and have some pictures as well. After this, we stepped outside to a light drizzle outside, and were serenaded with some water bubbles, which was a nice touch because, well, who doesn’t love bubbles? We gathered the groomsmen and bridesmaids, and off we went into the limousine.
Stay tuned for Part 3, which will be all about the awesome reception party afterwards!