Saturday, January 29, 2005

No work today, because I went to wedding. It didn't help that I saw the beautiful morning, and made plans to go walking with my friend, Linda, and THEN Steve reminded me we had this wedding to go to. Change plans to walking with Linda tomorrow... make plans for my turn to drive her to chemo Monday... and change my comfy clothes to something presentable. I had 3 minutes to spare.

I was a little unsure about this wedding. It was a Catholic service, and I'd grown in the Catholic church, so that wasn't it. I knew the service hadn't changed that much in the decades since I stopped attending; I still knew when to stand up and when to sit down at parents' funerals last year.

But this was a Filipino wedding. And the wedding invitation listed 38 people in the wedding party. THIRTY EIGHT. We had 2. Friends had joked that we might be get to the reception by dark... I didn't know what to expect.

The service was quite nice actually.

It was standard mass with a relatively standard wedding service in the middle. There were a couple items I had never seen before... but they weren't all that strange. Remember when I was younger and all my friends were getting married, they didn't even do that silly "unity candle" stuff that everyone is doing now. It's a gesture that may have one time held some meaning... now it's usually just a good chance to call the fire department.

Anyway... on to the service.

After the couple exchanged thier vows (with no mention of obedience, but lots of references to having children... I don't recall those from the past)... a couple came up and handed the groom a small bag of coins. The groom gave the money to his new wife (I LIKE THIS IDEA!!), as a pledge that he would provide for their family. She accepted the coins with a pledge to manage their money wisely.

Then another couple draped a veil over both of their heads, pinning it in place. This symbolized the shelter they would share. Another couple wrapped the two of them in a rope; showing that they were tied together forever.

After this, the service went on as usual. Oh, yeah... they did undrape and untie them.

Probably like most married people there, I thought back to my own wedding 20 some years ago. We were married by a JP in the foyer of the reception hall. Fast and quick. Good thing, as I laughed through the entire service. Then a quick receiving line, and IN FOR DINNER and dancing. Our cake (a German Chocolate cake with the real icing on it).. was topped with the candle of a pig holding a heart that read "pig of heart"... And NO, I'm not going to explain it. It was right at the time. Simple, small and to the point... we were married, we celebrated and then got on with life.

But that's me.

I want to wrap this up with some pithy comparison between the two couples.. but nothing worthwhile is coming. Sorry. To get those great conclusions, you have to read real journalists (if we're lucky). Enough to say that another family unit is started... I wish them well.

Now I need to go walk the dogs.


1 comment:

GraceD said...

Going through your archives, Debra. Filipino Weddings are a mixed bag for me. Being a conflicted Filipina (Madonna/Whore values and Catholic church issues; don't let me go on) I dig some rituals, but get embarrassed with others (the money dance! I know, I know, that's not exclusive for Flips, but I think we have the corner on the money dance).

You didn't mention the reception. How many whole roasted pigs did the bride's family provide? My sister was a Two Pig Bride and we talk about that to this day.