Tag Archives: bride

Weddings

I dreamed of a wedding of elaborate elegance,
A church filled with family and friends.
I asked him what kind of a wedding he wished for,
He said one that would make me his wife.
~Author Unknown

For several years I acted as the Wedding Coordinator at an historic church here in Wellington.  New Zealand is a very young country, so historic in this instance is only some 140 years.  However, I enjoyed my time there and loved being involved with so many brides and grooms.  Each year we had around 90 weddings, so there were plenty of people for me to interact with.

For whatever reason, today I found myself looking through some of the poems that had been read at the ceremonies.  Of course, there were those that were used again and again, eg  from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

“….Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away,
and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Those that truly love, have roots that grow towards each other underground,
and when all the pretty blossom have fallen from their branches,
they find that they are one tree and not two…”

and the Apache Blessing

“Now you will feel no rain,
for each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
for each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there will be no loneliness,
for each of you will be a companion to the other.
Now you are two persons,
but there is only one life before you….”

and of course 1 Corinthians 13

“… Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…”

And many others.

During my tenure I made many friends.  I have heard from some of the brides and grooms on where/how they spent their honeymoon, when their first child was born, how they celebrated anniversaries and generally they have kept me in the loop.  I received several invitations to the reception that of course I always refused and have many thank you letters filed away.   I feel very honoured to be treated this way.  After all, for most of them, I was only in their lives for a very short time at a very busy period in their lives.

And many have given me approval to use their photos in my blogs so here are a few:

BrideBride2Bride and groom


A Different Wedding

I dreamed of a wedding of elaborate elegance,
A church filled with family and friends.
I asked him what kind of a wedding he wished for,
He said one that would make me his wife.
~Author Unknown

I have used this quote in an earlier post on weddings because it is my absolute favourite.  Over the four years that I acted as Wedding Coordinator at Old St Paul’s I heard many, many verses and sayings about weddings and ceremonies; this is the one that has stayed with me.

During that time I  attended and coordinated more than 340  weddings.  We had weddings conducted in English (of course) Maori, German, Russian, Dutch, French and Italian.  In each instance, part of the service had been in English and so has been relatively easy to follow.

On January 24, 2009, we had a beautiful Chinese wedding.

Chinese Wedding Program

The bride duly arrived to the peal of bells. A fitting start to this lovely ceremony. The bride was a perfect picture so tiny and delicate in her beautiful white wedding gown.  The bridesmaids complimented her so well in their deep pink gowns.  Bride and bridesmaids each carried a bouquet of summer flowers.  What a great picture.

The groom and his groomsmen were also a joy to behold.  All had on dark suits with white shirts and a pink flower in the lapel.  Very smart and didn’t they all look so good standing awaiting the arrival of the bride.

The Priest was resplendent in his white robes with a rich red sash.

At the wedding rehearsal there had been a lot of talk in Cantonese/Mandarin but never was there a suggestion the whole ceremony would be conducted in other than the English language.

The bride told me she was ready and so I had the bell-ringers stop playing and the organist begin playing the processional for the entry of the bridesmaids followed by the bride.

But before the bridesmaids entered, the MC said a ‘few’ words in Cantonese or Mandarin and then indicated to me to start the ceremony.

The bridesmaids entered on my cue and each walked slowly down the aisle to their designated place.  Then, when all three were in place, I brought in the bride.  She was radiant but a little tearful.

The bride and her father walked slowly down the 34-meter aisle – the train of her dress following behind and showing off its snowy white perfection against the deep ruby red of the carpet.

The father handed the bride to the groom, the chief bridesmaid fluffed the train, the father took his seat and the ceremony commenced.

I can only assume that the priest welcomed the couple and guests in a speech in Chinese.  Then the ceremony took its usual course.  But all in Chinese so that I didn’t understand one word of it.  The affirmation and vows; the introduction of the candle ceremony and its significance, the homily from the priest; two Anglican hymns were sung, and all in Chinese.  I joined in the hymns, singing in English of course.  The hymns were “Joyful, Joyful” and  “To God Be the Glory”. Beautiful music and great words.

The Director of Music was a bit confused as he had to play music for the candle ceremony and signing of the register and he can’t see around the organ up to the altar.  Usually, he gets his cue from the words of the priest or celebrant.  This time he had to rely on my signals from the back of the church.  A bit like the blind leading the blind.

Then just as I was getting ready to cue the organist, a man stood and proceeded to address the bride and groom and the assembled guests.  Obviously, once again, I had no idea what was being said.  Then he waved to me that the recessional could begin.

Then the service was over.  The bride and groom started to walk back down the aisle and stopped and hugged parents and friends on the way.  The bells started to ring as they left the church.

All in all a great ceremony and full of emotion and feeling, even though I didn’t understand a word.

Following the ceremony, the bride’s mother was in tears so I gave her a tissue from the box kept always at the back of the church.  That seemed to set off a chain reaction as so many of the other women then took a tissue.

Photographs were taken in the church grounds.  Congratulations from me to the happy couple and hugs from the happy couple to me.

A fabulous summer morning wedding.

Love is a symbol of eternity.  It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end.  ~Author Unknown