Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Wedding

Here is a description of some of the things that happened at the wedding we had at our house a week ago. I have done it through pictures so you can enjoy looking at what we experienced. 

This is where they set up the wedding.
We have a concrete slab in our yard
that the kids run around and play on.
It was perfect for hosting a wedding. 
Emily is swinging while Stevie, the pastor's son, pushed her. 
Rob and our Pastor were taking the cold sodas to the tables for decoration. They were not opened and drunk until the wedding reception was almost completely finished. They were hot by this time. 
The girls with their friend, Nuru. 
The event area was ready. The crowd had gathered. All we were waiting for was the bride. She showed up at 4:30pm, looking absolutely beautiful and humble (not smiling and bowing her head) in the traditional African way. 
I couldn't help snapping this picture.
I have no idea what they were talking about
but they looked like they had everything worked out. :)
These are three of the faithful ladies of our church.
It was wonderful to have them there supporting the newlyweds. 
This is the Best Man, the ring bearer, and the Groom!
The way all the colors of the clothes
and the decorations matched was so cool!
The men were waiting for the bride to enter.
This is a rare moment in an African wedding. I think this is one of the few smiles I saw from the bride the whole day. As a bride you should seem very solemn and sad out of respect for your parents. You don't show that you are happy to leave their home. Our pastor said that she did a very good job of acting in the traditional way. Many women today, especially in the big city, act very differently. They smile a lot and do not bow like they should. 
Here comes the bride...walking very, very slowly.
Then the men join them...walking very, very slowly.
It was quite hot that day. The matron of honor removed sweat from the bride's face many times during the festivities. I even caught the Best man doing the same for the groom. They took their jobs very seriously, which seemed to be to serve the Bride and Groom in any way possible.

In this picture the bride's uncle is giving her away on behalf of her family.
This was interesting because her father was there as well.
This picture was taken after they entered, but before they sat down. Our pastor did a lot of talking that day.
 I am happy to say that I understood some of it.  
The Vows.
The Rings.
The bride bowed both to give his ring...
and to receive her ring out of respect.
This was the only time he kissed her.
It was on the cheek and very fast.
I think he was teased about it later by the pastor. :)
This is another lady from our church who sang songs for them. 
During the ceremony.
The sun had gone down enough
so that the shade was in a perfect position. 
I prepared the marriage license paperwork
so that they could sign them during the ceremony.
the bride signing the papers.
The kids did an amazing job that day considering it was all happening in Swahili, they were hungry, and the thought of cake was constantly on D's mind. 
Cutting the cake.
As the pastor said, "You are now husband and wife, you may kiss the bride!" Or whatever he said in the cultural way. The groom took her shoulders and pulled her a little forcefully into his arms and kissed her cheek. I think. Maybe it was just a hug. I couldn't tell. Everybody laughed and cheered at this, so I am guessing he did it right!
He didn't forget the other side. 
And off they go...well, just to our guest room for a short break before returning for the reception which almost immediately followed the service. 
This was the lovely cake.
Unfortunately it was left out unattended for a while and little fingers that will remain nameless, D, wondered inside and did only a little damage. They didn't even notice the damage like we would have. Rob did a great job of fixing it.  
The kids with some of their friends from chruch!
The wedding party returned...walking very, very slowly.
The reception had begun and the MC
walked everyone through what to do. 
Lots happened at the reception. One thing I found interesting was that the ladies, and gentlemen, of the bride's family got up and started doing a dance together. 
Bringing the cake. See, no one noticed the fixed finger marks.
Donovan with his friend watching the cake come in and asking from a distance, "Mommy, can I have some cake too?"
The bride and groom cut the cake then took a few minutes to feed each other a bite, along with the wedding party, the parents/family members, and the pastor and his wife. 

The bride bowed when she served cake to her new husband and family. 
Another celebration dance including everyone. 
Then the wedding party left...very very slowly!
The married couple entering the house in front of all the guests.
I guess that is like getting in the car and driving off together.
The couple asked if they could stay in our guest room that night, so we said yes.  I am glad they did, I didn't get a picture of us together the night before.
This was taken the next day when all that was left to do was
to take down the tent and pick up the trash. 

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