I'm not a big wedding fan. I find all the schmultzy love love disingenuous. I started thinking that people should get married after living together for 10 years. At that point, you can safely say you are going to love this person "forever" because you've seen them at their lowest low... and they have seen you. I thought - now that's a wedding I want to attend.
I got the opportunity this month.
The bride (my maternal cousin) and groom have been in a relationship for 11 years. They have traveled the world together, lived in a single bed at my aunt and uncles, lived in foreign countries, and made a life together.
Here are my Aunt (my Mom's sister) and Uncle.
Their wedding was the epitome of what a wedding is... the coming together of friends and family to witness the formalization of their commitment to one another; and it was a lavish affair!
(Tables set with Johnny Walker Black)
If you think about it, their community has been waiting for a long time to have this celebration, and its like they had been saving up!
The location was serene, the food was the BEST wedding food I have EVER had! (the main course was a BRAAI! with chops, ribs, and mielie meal with gravy!; the desserts were FUDGE, pavlova, and chocolate cake! yummmmm!), and the people were ecstatic.
Since the groom's family is religious, the wedding was a very traditional Jewish wedding.
My aunt had gotten everyone together to make patches of love for the couple, and then sewn them together to make the underside of the chuppah (in this photo, you can see the bride looking up at it... I love this photo).
The bridesmaids were wearing saris, and wow, that was spectacular! What a brilliant idea!
This is the maid-of-honor, the bride's younger sister looking beautiful in her sari.
The highlight of the night for me were the speeches delivered by my two cousins. When I left South Africa, these ladies were small children. They were amazing children, and since my Mom and Aunt are close, we spent a lot of time with them. Hearing their speeches at the wedding made me realize that they have grown up into even MORE amazing adults! and I very much miss being a part of their lives.
The younger wove a story and some anecdotes about the couple into a piece of prose. She explained who the bride and groom are with perfectly chosen adjectives that demonstrated that they are gracious people who are very giving, and have a bond in how much they care for others. She then went for the low punch of taking on the question of the night: why were they finally getting married when it had never mattered before? and her answer, because it was a nice thing to do for their community.
I have never heard such a well constructed speech! every word chosen deliberately.
And then... the bride! wow! talk about taking it on!
The bride is an audiologist and speech therapist who has chosen to work at a hospital that caters to the poorer populations. This was a conscious choice so that she can make a difference in people's lives. The first thing she said when she stood up is "I am going to take this opportunity of you as my captive audience to speak to you about the importance of living at this time in South Africa!" And then she appealed to her family and friends to remember that they are in control of making a difference in how the new South Africa evolves.
And unlike me (who would have been direct and probably come off as BOSSY!), she was graceful, clear, and convincing in her appeal.
Two truly amazing women!
One last thing of note... This wedding connected the one side of my family to the other. I am now related to myself on both sides =)
My maternal cousin is also my paternal step-cousin in-law in-law
My maternal cousin in-law is also my paternal step-cousin in-law
My paternal uncle is also the grandfather of my (blue)step-cousins...
(seriously freaked the kid out when I told him that!)