this was our first glimpse of our friend (the groom and his bride) after more than two years… in anticipation of the big event i failed to adequately prepare for the wave of emotion and subsequent tears that accompanied our long awaited reunion. arriving a mere 15 minutes before the “ceremony” we were able to quickly hug and introduce them to sterling and liberty. it was a beautiful moment of celebrating each other’s answered prayers.
in just a matter of minutes the “party” moved from the bedroom to the front door where they awaited their big debut.with a little pushing and shoving i was able to follow them out the front door to the courtyard where they symbolically “walked the aisle”.apparently this man was hired to handle all media. as the self-appointed FREElance photographer i’m grateful that i had my dslr on hand ’cause i rarely caught him snapping pictures. who doesn’t love to see a couple in love?the ceremony began with the couple facing the house, where their parents and key family members sat at the table of honor. somehow the western tradition of having a ring bearer and flower girl has been loosely incorporated into the eastern version of the marriage ceremony – though neither child served the traditional purpose. but that doesn’t prevent them from receiving their reward (a red envelope filled with money). as you can see, there’s value in being cute!i absolutely love this photo. not just because of that awesome smile but because of the background. a cornfield – his parent’s livelihood.here, instead of having a minister facilitate the ceremony it’s most common to have a dj entertain the masses. at the end of our time together we learned that this man has an interesting story – for he is one of only two people who’s ever confessed to us that he was adopted… by locals.
my favorite part of the ceremony was when the groom was instructed to address his in-laws as “mother” and “father”. after three times his father in law gave him a red envelope (undoubtedly filled with money).
then the bride was instructed to address her in-laws in the same manner. it was touching to see her humility and joy at claiming them as her own family. and of course, she too received a red envelope. so disappointed that i couldn’t jocky for a better angle as i was trying desperately to keep the speakers (just to my right) from blowing out mine & liberty’s ear drums as i carried her in the ergo and tried to capture this momentous day.
the dj garnered many laughs as he addressed each of them as “mother” and “father” in hopes of receiving his own red envelope. in the end the bride and groom bowed to their parents together – beautifully symbolic of the respect they have for them and the unity that they now share.the wrap the groom is wearing is unique to his people group – the mingling of the modern and the traditional.
what we didn’t expect from this countryside wedding was the huge crowd it drew. and suffice to say, the event did not disappoint!love the tenderness displayed in this image. truly so much about watching the groom and bride was a reminder to me of what kind of love we are called to in marriage.in previous weddings we’ve attended someone always gives a speech. more often than not one of their employers would be given the honor to tell everyone what a great employee the groom (or bride) was. we were grateful that at this wedding no such speech was given. instead, the groom’s eldest uncle (because both grandparents had already passed away) was bestowed the responsibility of blessing the young couple.
just to give you a glimpse into how quickly things are changing in this country – when we arrived 6 years ago no one wore jewelry. it was simply too extravagant and too expensive. but here, we had the honor of going to our first wedding where the groom and bride actually exchanged rings.happiness like this truly is contagious. and though my ears were ringing from the way too loud speakers i couldn’t help but smile so big my face actually hurt.
in every way it was a beautiful day…
and i look forward to sharing the reception with you soon!