Sunday, March 22, 2009

"Goin' to the Chapel, and Gonna Get Married"

I love weddings! I love the celebration of love and happiness. Add pretty dresses, wedding cake, and dancing, and I think it is about the best party ever!

Our Liberian friend's wedding had it all and more! The bridesmaids wore dresses of different colors with co-ordinating head wraps. They slowly danced their way down the aisle. They each carried a wooden bowl that contained different kinds of vegetables (like okra or rice). No, I have not learned what that symbolizes yet; just am told it is an old African custom! The groomsmen were waiting at the front of church in outfits that co-ordinated to the girl's dresses.

The groom, in white, matched the beautiful bride. She carried the traditional African hand bouquet of rice stalks, and she also danced slowly down the aisle to her beloved. They exchanged vows, rings, and publicly signed the official registry as husband and wife.

The minister talked about love being patient and kind (good words we all need to be reminded of, no matter how long we have been married!) and pronounced the couple "Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Jefferson!" (Yes, that is Jefferson's full name.) Clapping, rice throwing, hugging...all the regular wedding stuff completed the ceremony.

The reception was held on the porch of an elementary school. We had a tasty Liberian dinner of spicy rice, chicken, spare ribs, potato salad, and a bread/cake thing (it was pretty good!). Jefferson thanked everyone for coming and expressed his great love for Cristiana. They cut the cake for the photographer and received greetings from friends.
I think there was dancing next, but we did not stay. One of our riders was our very pregnant laundry girl and she was tired and wished to go home, so we loaded her and several others into the car and went back to the village. But it was a fun, enjoyable celebration for Jeff and his bride. Glad we were invited. Even Dave enjoyed himself. But next time, we will stay for the dance!
Hope the pictures will inspire anyone making wedding plans. We thought especially of Brian & Stacey, and Nick & Erin. The headdresses in the U.S. would make quite a statement, I think. Hey, go for it! Oh, there was also an offering in the middle of the ceremony. Dave thought that was a great idea to defray wedding costs!

Have a great week!