I appologize for the delay; somehow I must have gotten busy! For now I’m just posting one angle of the ceremony, as there is the possible potentiality that someone might perhaps maybe be considering working on compiling all the angles into one clean video… 🙂
Hmm… Something just struck me: if a picture is worth a thousand words, then at 60fps X 60 seconds per minute X 90 minutes… I should become a videographer!
Codename MiEl was underway. In case it hasn’t yet been mentioned elsewhere, this codename has been in general circulation since David F pointed out that taking the first two letters of Michael & Elizabeth’s names gives you the French word for honey (miel).
We started the day even earlier than the day of the rehearsal. The first van load was on route at 7:007:10 7:17, with most of the guys aboard. It dawned a beautiful, sunny day, perfect for spirits and photos alike!
Since I wasn’t there, I’m not too clear on what was happening at home, though looking at my mother’s camera gave me a few thousand words-worth about that subject. In any case, if events were following their normal course, chances are that the ladies were a good deal more busy than we were… and that’s saying something!
For some reason (whose purport will be left to the fancy of the reader’s conjectures), I did not take any photos during this period of time. We had some last minute technological setup to do, and after placing the cameras for the live stream, Jonathan checked to ensure that everything was running smoothly. To our utter consternation, the website on which the live stream was to have been hosted was returning a 503. For security purposes, port 22 is not open outside that LAN, meaning that SSH tunneling was utterly impossible at our location.
In short: It wasn’t working.
Elizabeth was one of the only ones left at home at this point, so we called her up and had a good old-fashioned heart to heart talk; Jonathan and I rattling off commands, passwords, and code snippets, she returning output. The funniest part about it (in after sight only!) was probably that while James was taking the groomsmen shots, my phone was inside Jonathan’s suit on speakerphone, and in between smiles and changing positions, he kept on saying what command to type next.
In the end, it was Robert Staddon who resolved the issue, offering to host it on their family blog. Since we were streaming through RTMP to YouTube, this was a matter of minutes to implement. An emergency e-mail was sent out to those who had considered watching the livestream directing them to the new location, and everything went forward.
The ceremony proceeded smoothly, including a time of blessing from both sets of parents, and, as you may have noticed in the post on the rehearsal, they also did the lighting of candles, symbolizing how their old lives have now been united into one inseparable flame. For obvious reasons, I again failed to take pictures, but thankfully, my mother got a few during the ceremony!
The ceremony was hosted at the retirement home where we frequently minister, and one of the blessings was that many of the residents and staff who would have been unable to attend otherwise were easily able to come to the wedding!
Directly after the ceremony, we had another photo session, which was then followed by the marriage supper lunch.
It so happened that the first time that Michael met our family was at the New Hampshire FEW (mentioned very briefly in this post). At that point it was Sincerely Yours who introduced himself to Micheal, having heard that he was knowledgeable in American history and politics. One memory is firmly fixed in both of our memories – sitting on the couch at the S family’s place talking about the American Constitution.
In keeping with these momentous beginnings, after lunch, Michael delivered a wonderful revamp of selected sections of the Constitution which apply to the establishment of a new family.
Obviously, the groom beeing a beekeeper and the bride beeing an expert cake decorator, the cake was made to match…
At the couple’s request, confetti was taboo… but bubbles weren’t! The children (well, maybe older “children” too…) had lots of fun blowing bubbles at the couple as they left the premises – and at each other, depending on the wind direction.
The couple drove away as Mr. W. started off the rousing hymn “To God be the Glory.”
Then followed the cleanup which invariably, though unfortunately, follows the exercise of the nuptial art.
Several of the families who had been at the wedding came back to our place for supper, which, for the extrovert writing this post, was for the most part a relaxing time. After supper, some people had a game of Dutch Blitz outside, while others fellowshipped inside.
Meanwhile, Michael and Elizabeth opened their wedding gifts! I guess this avoided an unfortunate eventuality of the border guards deciding to open them on their behalf.
Michael and Elizabeth, we are thrilled to see how God has led you two together! May your love for Christ and your joy in God grow exponentially as you seek His face together!
The observant reader knows that to date, the most frequent poster on our blog has been Elizabeth. And some have perhaps wondered whether our blog will now wither into oblivion or whether some other courageous person, though perhaps less skilled, would attempt to fill her shoes.
Though I can make no guarantees going into the future, I at least thought it appropriate to make a post concerning the rehearsal and another, later to come, which will treat the marriage itself. I apologize in advance for the diminished quality of some of the photos; many of them are simply snapshots from my phone. But if a picture is worth a thousand words, and the quality of the pictures has declined by 50%… I guess my pictures will at least be worth 500. 🙂
After a time in the Word and prayer over breakfast, most of us left for the premises where the wedding was to take place. Upon arrival, we all became as busy as bees. William and a couple of the Staddons immediately set to work setting up tables, while David set up the chairs.
There was also a crew creatively redecorating the pool table, since we had been requested that it not be moved.
Meanwhile, Nathanael & Jonathan were working on setting up the technological equipment for amplification and live streaming respectively. Though there were a few bumps along the way, including a computer that refused to start, the trial run of the live streaming system went so beautifully that it almost seemed too good to be true! (More about that in the next post…)
Sarah, along with a most willing helper, was working on the dessert table. (Hmm, I wonder how large a commission he charged?)
Time flew. But we were grateful that everything went quite smoothly (thanks to the ladies’ great planning!), and although lunch was a bit late (I remember), we were pretty much ready right on time for the rehearsal. We did three dry runs of the wedding, though Yours Truly skipped out on the last two to go get the pizza for supper. Don’t worry, the couple to be married was not wearing the same costumes on the day of the wedding, and her real bouquet looked significantly better than the makeshift prop!
Would you guess that this is a pool table? 🙂
Supper time at last! Imagine the feeling of frustration driving 20 minutes with the smell of 18 hot pizzas wafting from the back seat of the car… Good thing they didn’t count them when they arrived!
We were all so grateful to see the hand of God working so providentially to make everything come together! In spite of multiple transportation issues with our American friends and some technological issues, it was thrilling to see how closely everything went to what was planned!
So many activities have kept us busy these past few months, that I have not until now had opportunity to complete the wedding posts. Here is the final one. (And I’ll be brief so it really gets published!)
decorating the cakes
Those of us who hurried ahead to the reception had things to do before the arrival of the guests such as milking the cow and putting the flowers on the cakes.
As people began to arrive, we were very grateful that we had erected our big tarpaulin. It never rained heavily during the reception, but the clouds drizzled from time to time.
Nana and Grandma & Grandpa
The reception went well. There were speeches and blessings from the groomsmen and the fathers, and the couples shared songs and Scripture passages too.
Toward the end of the afternoon, amid cheers from the remaining guests, the couples left in their well decorated cars – one bound for the east coast, the other for the west.
There were tears in many eyes as we watched them go. Life would never be same again. But even as we sorrowed over our loss, we rejoiced in our gain and took heart in the remembrance that sunset in one place is sunrise in another. In closing one chapter of life, God opens another. Though He was, is, and always will be changeless (Jas 1:17), the Christian walk is not a stationary process.
As soon as the pre-wedding photos at the house were over, the photography team headed up the hill to set up for photographing the ceremony. Mrs. Taylor, both of my parents, and the ring bearers followed soon after. Though we were already a little late, the rest of us lingered a while longer to give plenty of time for all to be seated (and the grooms to become impatient). At last we girls climbed into the nicely cleaned up farm truck and Mr. Taylor drove across the street, heading toward the hill. Just then, his cell phone rang: a needed corsage had been left in the house! Quickly we turned around and came back only to discover that no one had the house key. Not a problem – even in her fancy attire, Evelyn succeeded in climbing through a window to rescue the corsage. Now we were really on our way.
Ascending the hill, we looked at the sky. A seemingly endless stream of dark, grey clouds scuttled quickly across. Mr. Taylor prayed aloud, “Lord, please make those clouds go to the south and to the north.” And God did just that. All around, heavy rain clouds hurried by, but in a circle above the farm, there constantly remained a clear blue sky with only the occasional fluffy whiteness. Numerous people commented how the hill was ringed by a “halo.” There was no question about the miracle.
the flower girl and ringbearers
here come the brides
singing during the signing
wedding group photo
The wedding ceremony went without any major incident. Amy was the perfect little flower girl and did a wonderful job of spreading the flower petals – on the way back out too! 🙂 None of us had thought to teach her how to do the recessional! It was cute, though.
A brief message during the ceremony reminded us all of how serious a commitment marriage is. This a covenant for life and is not to be taken lightly. The delight of being joined together as one also comes with responsibility. May God provide to all you who are married all that you need to live out faithfully this picture of Christ’s relationship with His Bride. And may those of us who are single, be careful not to treat marriage flippantly – as though it were to be bought for a song and later discarded as an old toy.
No sooner had the ceremony ended, when the sky overhead began to darken and a cold wind blew. The rain was on its way. There was only time for two photos before a sprinkle was felt. That quickly changed to a stream and then a downpour. Guests and wedding party alike fled to the waiting vehicles. The remaining photos were taken under the trees by the house.
And now for the final part of the day. Some of us had to hurry quickly away…
August 4th, 5:00 a.m. Nathanael’s cellphone rang. The momentous day had finally arrived and the weather did not look very promising. A decision needed to be made now. “Was the ceremony to be at the top of the hill or in the hay shelter?” Mr. Taylor asked the two grooms to pray together, and make the decision. A few minutes later, they called him back. Both felt confident that as God had lead so clearly until now, demonstrating through His repeatedly perfect provision that He desired all the glory of this union to be strictly His, He would not allow His glory to be displaced now. At 6:00 a willing team was at the top of the hill laying out hay bales, decorating, setting up the signing table and guest book table, etc. Grey clouds scuttled continuously across the sky, but withheld their contents.
the horses looking nice
At our end, chores were again done in haste and all but Daddy, Mommy, and the two grooms piled into the van and headed to the farm. Once there, we joined in the last minute decorating and helped out where we could. The photographer arrived with his team. Two of his daughters assisted with the photography while the eldest daughter and a friend shined up the horses – a beautiful final touch to the decorations on the hill!
The grooms arrived with Daddy and Mommy. A tie tying session ensued and boutonnieres were pinned on. During this time, a problem was discovered with the sound system at the top of the hill. Nathanael quickly dashed off to try to solve it. (Nothing like keeping the groom busy on his wedding day!) He returned back to the house just in time for the grooms’ photo session with their parents. About this time, the sun began to make itself seen from time to time. The horizon all around, however, remained dark with heavy clouds.
Once the grooms had headed up the hill, the girls emerged from the house: another photo session.
The photos over, it was now time for the remaining wedding party members to head up the hill. But I’ll save that for the next post.
August 3rd dawned cloudy and drizzly and the forecast for the following day didn’t promise anything more cheerful. Nevertheless, we went about the day as previously planned. Chores were done in haste. Nathanael headed out early with the SEM van pulling the trailer, already loaded with sound equipment. Our van was loaded up with things that would stay at the farm for the following day and all the remaining family members.
Arriving at the farm, we met up with the Taylors and the family of the officiant and musicians. Mr. Taylor showed us around their new cover-all shelter where the ceremony could be held if it were raining. It was a roomy, open shelter that would do nicely, though it definitely wasn’t as picturesque as the top of the hill where we all hoped the wedding would take place.
Then we moved up the hill. The rain throughout the previous week had left the road up somewhat muddy, though it wasn’t terrible. There was some discussion as to whether running fifty vehicles over it would render it impassible for the last few.
The rehearsal itself went fairly well, but we were forced to take cover under the trees at the edge of the field a couple times as it began raining. The big question on everyone’s mind was, “Can we plan on having it up here with good weather looking so unlikely?” Mr. Taylor chose to put off that decision until the following morning. Visitors staying at the farm had volunteered to get up early and help set up all the hay bale seats then.
As soon as the rehearsal was over, Mommy and the girls headed home to begin the final sprint of food preparation. The men remained behind to discuss parking, and Nathanael had some sound system issues to sort out. Not long into the afternoon, we were joined by the G______ family. Their contribution to the afternoon’s labour was inestimably valuable and most appreciated! Thank you G______ Family! Together we made sandwiches, prepared fruit plates, and organised how the reception would run.
By the end of the day, we were all tired, but everything we had planned on doing that day at our end was done. Only putting the flowers on the cakes remained as a last minute preparation the following day. Everything was culminating toward the big day, but I’ll tell about that next time…
In contrast to how long it takes to write about it, and even to show pictures of it, the cooking was really a big part of preparing for the reception. The challenge, of course, was to have everything ready on time without having it done so far in advance that all the food went stale. Juggling all the different things to make was interesting. It made for fun times in the kitchen, though!
working late one evening
A little over a week in advance, wedding favours were made. These little boxes had the names of the two couples pasted one on each side. Then they were made up, filled with a piece of traditional fruitcake wedding cake, and decorated with a piece of curling ribbon. It was certainly teamwork to get them all done.
During the final week, the kitchen became a hectic zone. In one day, nearly one thousand two hundred cookies were made in four hours. That is about 12 seconds per cookie!
What a mess!
cookies, cookies, cookies!
And of course there were the cakes.
the cakes minus the flowers
The last minute food preparation wasn’t done until Saturday afternoon, August 3rd. However that tale will come later along with pictures of the rehearsal that morning.
At last, here is the post (or perhaps I should say the first of several posts) for which everyone has been waiting. Thank you all for your patience!
I had never attended a wedding in my life before, let alone participated in and prepared for one. I had no idea how much goes into such an event! Long before the wedding day, talking, planning, cleaning, re-planning, etc. took place. Though the planning and discussing took much time, we actually have no photo documentation of that lengthy process. Someone did get one of some window washing, though.
Since the reception was to take place at our house, a lot of time went into decorating – both indoors and outdoors. Evelyn is our expert when it comes to working with silk flowers. It was fun to work with her to get everything looking nice. We decorated all the wall and ceiling lamps as well as the window sills, piano, and even the beam that runs the length of the room.
taking out the flue
A few of the decorations were actually disguises… Expecting to be tight on indoor space, we wanted to minimise floor space taken up by food and beverage tables. William suggested using our wood stove as a table for coffee and tea. Nathanael, arriving on the scene just then, proposed taking out the flue to facilitate things. What great ideas!
hiding the evidence
The only problem remaining was what to do with the bit of pipe hanging from the ceiling. (We didn’t want to run the risk of someone getting sooty coffee.) No problem!
Slipping a two litre Coaticook ice cream container over the remaining pipe (which actually fit perfectly!), covering it in tissue paper, wrapping it with twine, and placing flowers all around created a beautiful solution!
Another object necessitated some creative decorating. A ten-foot long wire hung out of a switch undergoing alteration. The situation was a little complicated in that the wire would go neither up nor down and the only solution appeared to be opening up the wall in order to remove it. Horrors! We were at that point only a week away from the wedding. We couldn’t undertake such a project and have the place looking nice in a week’s time! So, mustering our creative powers, we disguised the wire by coiling it up, wrapping it in our handy green tissue paper, covering it in plastic greenery and topping it off with flowers. And no one knew it wasn’t planned…
Decorating outdoors was kept simple. We erected a tarpaulin in case of rain or oppressive sunshine. A few balloons were hung. Unfortunately the rain and wind that night undid some of it, but the balloons were easily replaced.
Unlike at the farm where the ceremony was to be held, parking at our end was rather complicated. There was no room in our driveway for forty to fifty cars, however, our neighbour very kindly allowed us to have everyone park on his lawn. Signs to indicate where to go were put together. It is amazing how many little things had to be considered!
Though I don’t want my readers left in suspense any longer than necessary, I believe I will have to end this post here. Stay tuned! The next instalment of the story should soon be forthcoming.
Everyone has been busy the past few days cleaning, finishing miscellaneous jobs, working outside, and of course cooking. The kitchen has been very busy today, getting ready for the upcoming wedding – especially this afternoon. In under 4 hours, 1146 cookies were rolled and baked. Here is the 1000th cookie: