Posted: Saturday, June 30, 2012 10:28:04 PM
In the morning of my wedding day, I looked calm, but those butterflies in my stomach were fluttering their wings.
By 11:00 am, the bridesmaids had arrived at my sister’s house. Once they put on the beautiful burgundy dresses, they were transformed. My six-year-old niece, being the compliant child she has always been, was doing everything her mother told her to rehearse as the flower girl. As my sister was putting the finishing touches of the makeup on my face, the doorbell rang. It was Daniel, the six-year-old son I “borrowed” from a friend at church to fill the role of a ring-bearer. He was beaming with a toothless smile, visibly proud of the silver-colored tuxedo he was wearing.
When my sister helped me put the wedding dress on, I sensed that The Moment had arrived. The bridesmaids and I donned the lovely dresses, all handmade by my capable sister. Each of us held the orchid bouquets in our hands and slipped into the Mercedes sedan my brother-in-law chauffeured.
This is so like Cinderella! We were all transformed! We were transported into a kind of wonderland.
The church ceremony began with our friend Barb dancing down the aisle. Her graceful movements announced the arrival of the bride. A Nigerian and an Indian friend read from the Bible. When the minister, a white Canadian, got up to preach the sermon, he called our wedding, celebrating the marriage of a white man to a Chinese woman, a glorious chaos.
It looked as though the ceremony was going as planned, until I saw the minister whispering to the custodian. The minister looked agitated. Minutes later, when he began serving communion, he was pinching off tiny crumbs from two pieces of pita bread to place in the hands of the wedding guests. My wedding was the fourth one on that day. The church had run out of bread for communion!
After the glorious ceremony with more than 200 guests from many countries, we made our way to the auditorium for the reception. My friend, Judy, had organized a group of friends to contribute a wide variety of foods: salmon, pastries, fruit salad, vegetable dips, and punch. The abundance made me and my new husband, poor graduate students at the time, look so rich.
As I was chatting with each of the guests, I wondered why the wedding cake had not yet been delivered. “I’d better call the baker,” I thought. The baker said, “I’m sorry! I thought you wanted me to wait for your phone call before I come.” By the time the baker arrived, only about 30 guests were still around!
Now entering my 30th year of our marriage, I see that the wedding was just the 21-gun salute that announced the beginning of a journey, a journey of facing disappointments and obstacles together while creating happiness and keeping our commitment to each other. Keep on keeping on!