Monday, June 02, 2008

Marriage Monday--Our Wedding Story

1st Monday Every Month at Chrysalis
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This month the topic at Marriage Monday is all about weddings, in honor of the month of June being "wedding month." You will find all kinds of touching, funny, sweet wedding stories at Chrysalis' site. Enjoy!

Settle in...this got long with the preamble. :-)

Our wedding story actually began before we were planning a wedding. I had for years wanted, should I ever get married, for the first act of worship my new husband and I would have as a married couple be to take communion together. Not a common practice in my Southern Baptist heritage, but very important to me nonetheless. As the Single's Minister in our church, I often attended the pastors' prayer meetings with all the pastors and youth pastors in our association. A few months before we were planning a wedding, the topic of weddings came up in the meeting. Communion became a hot topic. The Director of Missions emphatically stated that communion had NO part of a wedding ceremony and he would NEVER be a part of a wedding that had communion. I timidly said that I would have communion at my wedding. He told me "good luck." Of the 10 or so pastors there that morning, all but one agreed with him. The lone hold-out, bless him, said "when you get married, call me." I mentally put his number on speed dial.

Fast forward to wedding planning time. Remember, we chose to get married at Thanksgiving. Lots of people travel at Thanksgiving. Our pastor and friend was going to Oklahoma to be his parents for the holiday. Never fear! Our plan was to have a friend perform the wedding ceremony. Since he was not an ordained minister, we would actually "get married" the night before by a JoP and then have the blessing ceremony the next day. Our friend, liked the idea, but then decided it was not something he could do. So now we needed to find a minister! I, reluctantly, called the Director of Missions (DOM). He said he would love to, but his son was getting married the same day! I called Richard, the one who had said "call me", and he was going away for Thanksgiving. He suggested I call the DOM, and I said I had talked to him, but he was unavailable. Richard told me things had changed, so I called again and his son had postponed his wedding since his fiance was taking the BAR exam in November! Yay! We had a minister. Now to convince him about communion. When he understood what I wanted, and that my plan was not for the whole congregation to take communion, he agreed. Whew! Planning could start.

We wanted a simple wedding. We drove to Seattle to Pike's Market and stocked up on dried flowers. I arranged all the flowers in my Longaberger baskets to decorate the church. We would each have one attendant, my little "sister"/best friend in Spokane as my Maid of Honor and German's brother as his best man. Groom, best man and bride's father would wear tuxes. Bride's father was even allowed to wear his cowboy boots with his tux. Maid of Honor was to wear a evergreen dress of her choice, not long, that she would wear again. My bouquet would be a simple spray of daisies. Nothing frilly about this wedding. The ushers were given cummerbunds and bow ties to wear with whatever suit they owned. We wanted simple. The reception would be a dessert reception immediately following the wedding in the downstairs hall.

My dress was the only big purchase we made. My great-great grandfather gave his daughter a gold brooch on her wedding day. My great grandmother, instead of leaving it to one person, asked that every bride in the family use the brooch. Of my Mom's generation, all the female cousins except one carried the brooch on their Bible. The one had her dress designed with a high collar to wear the brooch. I desperately wanted to wear the brooch, so searched for a dress that would allow it. I was able to put the brooch on a chain and wear it. It was my something old. Something borrowed was my hat, that my aunt had designed for my cousin's wedding. Something blue was my garter. Something new was the dress.

Plans were made. We were all set.

Wedding day arrived. I went to the hairdresser to get ready. German and his brother the park. Here they are. Notice the time? The wedding starts at one!

Wedding time arrived. German's aunt and uncle who I had never met arrived from Tucson (they flew up to Spokane for the day). Guests assembled. Everyone was seated. Dad and I got to the door of the sanctuary and I said, "oh no...the communion table!" I had forgotten to take the bread and juice which were set under the table out! Dad said, "can't fix it, keep smiling!" And we walked down the aisle. DOM, notices the table as they walk out and says to best man "fix it!" I love my brother-in-law, but there is something you should know. He is not a Christian; in fact, he had only been in a church a couple of times before this. He knows nothing about communion! He said that all he knew was you ate something and drank something. He ran down to the kitchen, got a cup of orange juice and some potato chips, ran back up the stairs poured the juice in the communion cup and went to hide the other cup under the table where he saw the bread. Tossed the chips under the table and put the bread on the plate and ran to his place. In the meantime, DOM is praying the loooongessst prayer in the history of weddings. Best man in place, amen is said, wedding begins. German is totally oblivious. Had no idea.

The rest of the wedding went perfectly. Vows were said. Dear friend sings Steven Curtis Chapman and Geoff Moore's "Listen to Our Hearts" (heard here) which remains one of my favorite worship songs. He later sings another song while we take a silent communion--DOM hands bread to German who eats a bite and feeds a bite to me. Then we share the common cup. (I so wish I had a picture of German's face as he tasted orange instead of grape juice!). Prayers are said. Declarations made. And we leave as husband and wife.

After we signed the marriage certificate, we took this picture. It is my favorite because you can see the orange juice!

We left the next day for 8 days in Germany. By the time we got back, the DOM had told every pastor in the association the story of communion with potato chips and orange juice. I believe it still gets used as a sermon illustration that it is not the elements, but the attitude, that matters. But he now means it when he says he will NEVER have a wedding with communion. lol

I apologize for the quality of the pictures...they did not scan well.


Constance said...

That was great! Thanks for giving me a good chuckle! We have communion every Sunday in our church and everytime I think about communion I'll remember,
"It's not the elements but the attitude!"

Constance said...

Oh, and the brooch, I LOVED that! Recently I was back home in St Louis and while at my FIL's house I came across a hanky that was Dave's Mom (she passed away Aug 2006). Her mother had made it for her birthday over 30 years ago and it had never been used. Dave's grandmother had tatted the edges and emroidered a "K" for my MIL's name, Kathleen. Our youngest daughter Laura is getting married in November. Laura's middle name is Louise as was my MIL's. I brought it home for her to carry as her "old" and as a way of her grandmother to be with her on her wedding day.

Honest to Ya~Ya said...

I'm glad you stopped by my blog today!

I enjoyed reading your memories!☺

Tami Boesiger said...

It's nice to know we aren't the only "weird" ones who wanted communion at their wedding. Parallel lives, indeed! How funny.

Congratulations on your marriage. I praise God's perfect sovereignty in putting you two together.

(Now, what else do you s'pose we have in common? You didn't start a fire with a wok during your first few months of marriage, did you?)

I LOVE getting to know you this way, MiPa. You make me smile. Have a terrific day, friend.

Found said...

I'm going to have to come back and read through your post later...gotta go be a momma to two rambuncious boys, but real quick just wanted to say I always enjoy your blog when I stop by and I'm sorry I don't often leave comments. I'm looking forward to reading this. And I think your pictures scanned fine...I love the one sliding down the giant wagon. :)


Anonymous said...

I loved every word of this post, and I'm grinning from ear to ear. What a cool shot of your husband coming down the slide... where it that?

We're not far from the Pike Place market... they have the BEST flowers, don't they?

Here's to many more years of happiness for the two of you. And thanks for joining us for Marriage Monday today, MiPa.

Hugs, e-Mom @ Chrysalis

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry you had issues with communion at your wedding. My husband is a Southern Baptist pastor and I asked him if he would have a problem with it and he said he would not.

We did everything we could to make our wedding a worshipful experience. Communion is an excellent idea!! Hmmm.. you've got me perplexed about that pastor!!

Loved the story and the pictures!! Glad you got to take communion anyway!!

Connie Marie said...

Orange juice and chips! That will probably always come to my mind when we have communion now... but I can change it to use it as a time to remember to pray for your marriage, Miriam (my dil's Mom's name).

Thanks for sharing.

MiPa said...

Tami~nope, no fire from a wok; but I'm sure we will find other things in common

e-mom~the slide is in Spokane, near the falls

robyn~his issue with communion in a wedding is that he believes since communion is a sacrament for the church it should not be made an "individual spectacle." However when we explained that we wanted it to be our first act of worship--a symbol of DH as the head of the house sharing it with his bride, he was willing to do that. It was totally the most special thing about the day for me as well, full of symbol and reverence.

xsquared said...

It is so interesting to me to see the differences in the Christian denominations. As a Catholic, there was no question that you would have communion at your Nuptial Mass - it wouldn't be Mass without it! The only time is is recommended that you don't have communion is if the bride and groom are not both Catholic - because then their first act as a married couple would not be shared. There are also occasions where the couple choose not to have communion, and therefore not a full Mass, for the wedding. Usually this is done when a large portion of the guests are not Catholic (eg, if one of the bride or groom converted, and their family is not Catholic).

We get a little grumpy when there isn't communion at a wedding, because then it doesn't count as our Sunday Mass obligation LOL

Lalaine said...

You truly had a memorable wedding!..I love the orange juice and chips part..LOL! Yeah, i can't imagine everyone's face after drinking the orange juice.

By the way, thanks for dropping by! God bless!

Shari said...

We had communion at our wedding too, but it wasn't as memorable as yours. I like your communion story much better. It makes for some good memories. I like the simplicity of your wedding. I wanted mine to be that way, but my mother and others kept saying how it had to be better. I was going to just get some flowers from the grocery store, but my mom ended up taking me to a real florist. I still got the daisies and wild flowers though.

Living Beyond said...

We had communion too but thankfully they had run out of orange juice.

We also had Listen To Our Hearts during the signing of the register - thanks for posting the link I just sat and went back in time for a few moments.

Do you think the other 9 pastors said no to communion because they thought you wanted the whole congregation to take it? I was shocked at their responses.

We wanted communion to be the first thing we did as husband and wife - it meant the world to me.

Thanks for sharing your wonderful wedding memories.

Peculiar said...

Oh my word, this was so funny! I enjoyed reading it. It was definitely the most interesting wedding I've read about so far. Thanks for sharing.

jennifer in OR said...

What a riot about the communion!! Very, very endearing story, thanks for sharing this.

Jan Parrish said...

What a wonderful wedding story. Thanks for sharing it. Stop by my site and read about our Colorado blizzard wedding.

Carol said...

I like the brooch tradition. Very cool!