Thursday, September 27, 2012

Remembering my wedding day

Slowly I am seeing pictures of it.
(including the one above,
with our wedding candles
a gift from our male sponsor from
the Greek monastery)
I wanted to write something before
more of my memory of this day
The day was a shining perfect day;
I woke at 4 AM I think
and had lots of time to get ready.
I was at church by about 9:30 and was
greeted by my familiar church family
all dressed up for the wedding
later at 3 pm.
It was Sunday and the sun shining
and it was clear, cool and blue skied.
I had a bag of rose petals and leaves
left over from the flowers and
the photographers came
(they are Orthodox as well)
and we met and I was so happy.
I went inside and the next while I put
rose petals and leaves by the main three icons
we venerate.
Something I have done in the past
for the feast day that I am
writing this post on
the Elevation of the Holy Cross.
I had confession the night before and felt
prepared and able to be at prayer,
which confession often helps one with.
Liturgy was wonderful and
my Orthoman's sponsor and some of his children
were with us in the same pew.
I remember seeing my friend who we
have walked many times to church together
Sunday mornings
in a different pew later in liturgy.
My spiritual father had myself and my Orthoman
come first to communion
as we needed to leave a bit before the end of liturgy.
My Ukrainian mother had food prepared
and made a beautiful table for four of us...
my sister, my Orthoman and one of my dear friends
who had already done my nails
and who did my make up that day
(we had been practicing and buying makeup
at various times in the summer).
We ate and the photographer took pictures on and off...
My hair dresser was a bit late.
My Orthoman went off to hang out with his sponsor and family
while my sister and other friend
hung out with me and helped me get my
Grandma's wedding dress on.
The hairdresser came.
I remember being upstairs at the candle desk and
giving a message to my Orthoman
via his sponsor's daughter
which included
madly in love with my Orthoman
We were both so happy.
Since the hair dresser was late
we did hair and make up at the same time
and many kids from church came down to visit me
as many were in the church hall
(different than the church basement where I was getting ready)
until the wedding.
And so I talked with various girls from our parish
as my hair was done,
dress on and make-up being applied.
My sister-friend and sponsor came
and got her dress on.
My sister was wearing on her wrist
my sister-friend's Cross necklace that I had gotten
from Holy Dormition Monestaries'
gift shop
(I was wearing one from there as well,
a red-jeweled one).
I had golden silk coloured komboskinis for
various of my Orthodox female friends
and gave them out
(except some that I did not see or have time to
give out then)
and so my sister-friend and her sons
played by my feet as we talked and
some of my nieces and nephews
were down by me as well
as well as church kids
and it was so much fun...
And later it was just my hair dresser
a Bulgarian whose Mom goes to my parish
and who I have gone to for 7 years
and my friend who did my makeup.
We were running behind
and my hairdresser quick
put my friend's hair up
in one minute and
so I said goodbye to my
longtime hairdresser
and soon went up stairs with my dear friend
who did my make up
helping me with my train as I went up the steps.
As my family is protestant we had my Dad
walk me into where I would be betrothed towards the back of
the church.
My dear friend held my train
and my Dad slowly processed in
following the
two wonderful kid icon bearers
ring bearer
and two little flower girls
and my sister-friend and my sister.
It was my wedding day!
I saw my Orthoman standing in the front
with our two priests
smiling wide
and I knew the smile on my face was
as big it could ever be.
I remember seeing many of my friends;
I vividly remember seeing a library friend
who came
and my family and all was dazzlingly beautiful
as the choir sang and my Dad brought me in.
The betrothal went beautifully
with my Orthoman's priest doing his ring
and my spiritual father and priest doing my ring.
Our male sponsor put the rings on our fingers at
the end of this part of the service.
Rings on, my spiritual father led
my Orthoman and myself into the church by the
small table that had a beautiful white table cloth
that a very loved parishioner in my church
lent me and had brought to liturgy that morning.
It was an older cloth
that her grown son had been
swaddled in for his baptism;
very precious and dear...
I was holding a small bouquet of roses and a small
white Brides Bible in honour of my Grandmother
who also held a small white Bible in her wedding.
I had a red silken komboskini on my left wrist
and my comfortable red Birkenstock sandals
on my feet.
The Gospel in the liturgy that morning
fittingly enough was about the parable of the
wedding garment and my spiritual father
explained that the guest who had no wedding garment
was lacking in love;
that love is the wedding garment.
The Crowning went all two quickly;
I remember trying to really pray throughout the service;
I and my Orthoman had been to the Greek monastery that past
Monday and the Abbess told me specifically to
pray to Christ during the service.
I remember we both bowed under the Gospel book that
my beloved deacon of my church in Ottawa
was holding for the reading;
I remember my sister-friend's husband standing behind us
reading the Epistle.
I remember looking at my Mother and smiling as
she also was radiantly beaming.
I remember everyone looking so beautiful.
We we hand-tied in a beautiful Ukrainian cloth before
the dance of Isaiah and
were standing on another one in front of the table.
I remember walking carefully by
my Orthoman around that table;
the homily was towards the end
and my spiritual father talked about the Gospel
that is read at all Orthodox weddings
of the marriage at Cana.
I was tired by this time
and two chairs were gotten
for me and my Orthoman to sit
in front of the table and
our sponsors and my sister stayed standing
while my spiritual father spoke to us
beautifully of this parable
being as the Fathers said
a miracle of pure beauty
and how the Mother of God and all the Apostles
were there at the marriage feast
in this parable and so would be also with us.
The whole world seemed to shine in
glorious beauty.
The homily ended and our two priests
blessed us with our two wedding icons that
were hand-written at the Greek monastery
and we processed out holding them
smiling out at all of our friends and family.
The line for greeting everyone was really special.
I was singularly aware of each person I talked to
and was so happy;
my sponsor and friends made sure I had
water to drink and some almonds to eat...
My Orthoman and I went to my favourite tree with
our photographers and we
were both so happy and excited about the pictures...
Afterwards we all went in the photographer's
car to the reception and I called my friends
as I was coming
and my dear friend had my makeup there to
do a quick refresh and we talked to more kids outside and
then we were introduced with everyone cheering and clapping...
I remember vividly seeing the older couple in my parish
who are like the matriarch and patriarch there
and who had blessed me that liturgy and in the receiving line.
(The same of whose white cloth was adorning the
wedding table at the church).
They are both in wavering health and when I realized that
both of them made it to the wedding reception I was
so honoured and pleased
that it was the first thing I wrote down in my wedding journal
We had a large head table and could see everyone there
(family, friends, church family...about 150 people);
after liturgy I was able to invite two people to the reception as
two others were not able to make it
and I loved seeing everyone there;
I remember seeing one of the newly invited
with two other of my dear friends
all three Russian speaking
(from three different countries/areas)
and seeing all my friends at their tables...
I had done the table chart myself as I knew
everyone there and we had a teen table and
it all went really well...
The caters brought the table clothes and votive candles.
My and my Orthoman's familiy
brought the flowers, ballons and white lights.
Our male sponsor brought over the icons,
crowns, candles and tray
and the two Rushnyks.  
My Orthoman and I had prepared some
joke kisses as of course we would be
asked to do this at the wedding reception.
It seems that every one's favourite was the first one
when we handed each other a Hersey kiss.
The meal went wonderfully
and each of our sponsors said a heart-loving honouring toast
and we had cheese cake
and my Orthoman and I cut ours in the front
with our cake knife and server that we
had been gifted with
earlier that summer.
We had a short slide show and
the head table
was seated in a half circle in the front
including my Grandma;
and I was so surprised by the cheering
(I think from the large teen table in the back)
when we had the slide with my Grandma and Grandpa's
wedding picture and I mentioned that I and my
Grandma were there
and that I was wearing her dress.
We remembered our parents and grandparents...
We were married on St. Phanourios' day and
had an icon hand-written in Romania to present at
our wedding to my church
and I presented it to my spiritual father
and one of our beloved parishioners talked to us
while I and then my spiritual father were
holding this icon
about how wonderful St. Phanourios is.
One of my Uncles was especially happy about
the gift of this icon and
I was surprised at how deeply his joy was
shining out of him...
We gave out Dutch little King peppermints and
Queen Willamina peppermints and talked to guests
as they were leaving...
including some of my closest girl friends...
Various kids were talking to me and my Orthoman
and at one point my sister-friend's second child
who is newly three years old
came running up to me and I scooped him
up in my arms...
My Godson
who is not yet 1 years old
was sitting behind the head table and at one point
was sitting on my train that was behind me as I ate...
My spiritual father and his Matuska stayed to about the end
as did my immediate family and deacon's family
and we talked;
happily there was wine left over and my deacon
took some to share at the church meal next weekend
after liturgy
though I would not be there myself
and this made my heart glad...
I wished many from church goodbye
and to some that I would see them on Tuesday
for the liturgy for the beheading of St. John the Forerunner.
My parents drove us newly married to our hotel
and gave love and hugs goodbye...
It was a perfect beautiful day
and it went by so quickly...


Michelle M. said...

Such a beautiful retelling of your wedding day! I have tears ofjoy for you and your beloved. You obviously took great care to make it a special day for everyone in attendance. I can't wait to see more photos. You were such a lovely bride! And the joy of the day can be seen on the faces of everyone. Many years!!

Matushka Anna said...

How beautiful! I'm so glad it was such a special day and so glad you thought to write it all down before it fades. You've made me go back to my own wedding day. (:

Many Years!

Maria said...

Thank you so much for sharing this with us.

Katrina said...

It was so nice to be part of your wedding day. Many years!

E Helena E said...

It's lovely to read your own impressions of that beautiful day!

elizabeth said...

thank you everyone! It was a day of real joy and of fellowship with many dear dear friends!

Donna Witek said...

Many years Elizabeth to you and your beloved! What beautiful memories! Can't wait to see more pictures :)