Monday, May 26, 2008

Coyotes, Flying Garlic, and Belly Dancers: Not Your Typical Wedding

Although thunderstorms were predicted for the wedding day, we awoke to mere showers. At breakfast, however, the real storm appeared. Someone had turned on the hormone faucet in our dear sweet 11 year old. She gave new meaning to the word sullen. It was ugly. It was clear she didn't want to be anywhere near her parents, her family, or any form of happiness or frivolity. Of all days, why did this have to happen when she needed to participate in a big family wedding?

I had to pull a rabbit out of a hat, and it had to be a big one. I don't advocate bribery very often, but it was an important day. I pulled her aside and made a solemn promise: "If you can find it within yourself to be pleasant and cheerful and cooperative and enthusiastic today, I will take you to get your ears pierced." That was one of the last big rabbits in my magic mommy hat, and I held my breath for her answer.

The clouds parted, her eyes brightened, and all at once, the delightful girl I knew was back. Now we just had to figure out the rest of the wedding day challenges.

The girls' dresses for the wedding were sundresses with little spaghetti straps. Wasabi Girl had forgotten to pack even a sweater. We needed wraps, if not trench coats for this outdoor wedding. While we were at the local mall we found an earring shop and both girls got their ears pierced.

Then my husband had to go to the wedding venue early to cover a bunch of swastikas with contact paper. As I understand it, the original symbolism of the swastika was something much more peaceful then it was in Hitler's day. This historic ranch had them all over. The groom's side is Jewish. Apparently there are Jewish weddings there all the time and people just cover the swastikas up.

On to the wedding itself. The cantor who was officiating began by teaching us all how to sing a Niggun - a wordless melody we all sang while the bridal procession began. First came Drama Girl, laughing and blowing bubbles.

Then Wasabi Girl, very serious, dropping petals along the path.

Then Jungle Boy with a little box with the rings and finally the bride, laughing and practically skipping. Her joy was infectious. Although there was a light misty rain we didn't feel it under the canopy of trees. Someone later said they saw a coyote far out in the adjacent orange orchard.

The ceremony was beautiful and eclectic, drawing from many cultures and traditions. Here's the groom shattering the glass at the end:

The place settings at the reception each had a bulb of garlic (they both love to cook) and a cd of the couple's favorite songs. The bride and groom entered the reception led by a belly dancer with a candelabra on her head.

When the bride stood up to speak, someone started throwing the garlic at her. The belly dancers came back several times to dance in different costumes. Female guests stuck dollar bills in the male belly dancer's pants.

A cousin did the Jewish dance with a bottle balanced on his head.

Then he led everyone in the Greek dancing, including a long line of dancing guests with clasped hands that snaked all the way around the reception area and back. The couple was hoisted up on chairs. The wedding cake was elaborate cupcakes with edible flowers and baklava on the side.

It was wild. It was a blast. It didn't rain. The kids were perfect. This was their first wedding. It took all my strength to keep a straight face as I told them "all weddings are just like this."

4 people stopped folding laundry to write:

Beth said...

Sounds like a wonderful wedding. Glad you had a great time and disaster was averted with ear peircing. ;o)


Widney Woman said...

Wow!! Now THAT was a wedding! Drama Girl looked soooooooooo happy and pleasant!! Bribery rocks!!

Burbank Babe said...

So, you were less than 10 minutes from my house this weekend...hhhhmmmm.

Good bribe.

The next bribe can be the second set of piercings in the ear and then comes the tattoo!~ :) (I am so kidding.)

What A Card said...

Wow, that sounds like a truly outstanding wedding! I wish someone I know would plan such a fun wedding!

Glad it went well for y'all!

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