Friday, April 2, 2010

Here Comes the Bride, part 2

Yesterday I started the story of the wedding my family attended on Wednesday evening. There are a couple of things about the procession that I neglected to mention.

First, there was an announcer, up on the platform, who announced the name of each participant in the procession, and their relationship to the bride or groom. After each announcement, we all clapped for them, so there was a lot of clapping during the procession.

When the children each reached the front of the church, they went to a row of chairs which had been placed across the front of the room. The groomsman/bridesmaid couples walked to the front of the aisle, then made a U-turn (boys to the left, girls to the right) and lined up along the outside of the aisle. Each attendant stood in front of one of the decorated stands, with candles on top. When it was time for the bride to enter, the attendants lit the candles, and the room lights were lowered, so that the bride entered mostly by candlelight.

The bride and groom walked up onto the platform, where there were two stools waiting for them. The bridesmaids and groomsmen had chairs with the children, across the front of the room.

Here's a look at the setup at the front of the church:

You can see the female attendants sitting in their chairs (the male attendants were sitting on the other side of the aisle), the announcer (in the light suit) at the podium, the three couples (parents of the bride, parents of the groom, and "godparents of the wedding") at the table in the middle, and the bride and groom sitting on stools under a sort of trellis. On the far left of the picture, you can see a bit of the table which holds the wedding cake.

Once everyone was in place, there was some special music. I'll post a picture, even though it's fuzzy, because Russell's fiance, Iris, and two of her brothers were the singers.

The pastor of the church spoke for a few minutes, then addressed the bride and groom directly, and led them in their vows, which sounded pretty much like the standard version we use in the states (for better, for worse, in sickness and in health, etc). Rings were exchanged, and then, a tradition which we gringos find extremely amusing - a special rope (called a lasso) was placed around the shoulders of the bride and groom, signifying that they were then tied together. Again, the pictures are blurry, but I'll post one anyway, just so you can sort of see this:

Then came the kiss, and the ceremony was over. The newly married couple descended to the bottom of the steps, and people came up to them to offer hugs and congratulations. There were a lot of hugs and congratulations!

While this was going on, dinner was served to each table. Boo took a picture of her dinner, since she thought you'd like to know what we ate:

Our family left before the reception was over, but the one thing I consider the oddest part of the wedding happened after we left. The fancy wedding cake was cut for the pictures, but the cake wasn't served to the guests. That isn't done here. The parents of the bride and the groom took home the cake, and ate it themselves. This is the one Honduran tradition that I've told Russell we'll have to omit, and do the US way, for his wedding. I just can't imagine what our US guests would think, if we didn't share the wedding cake with them!

I have a few more things to share, regarding the cake, the dresses, and the decorations, so I'll try to finish up the story of the wedding tomorrow.


Jennifer said...

This is all very interesting, Trish, and I'm glad you're having the opportunity to see how it's done before you have to do it!

Cindy in California said...

I was "La Madrina" or Maid of Honor in a wedding in Tegus two summers ago. I was the first person to go down the aisle, followed the "kids" (two flower girls, ring bearer and a little boy carrying 20 coins that the groom gave the bride during the ceremony) and then by the bridesmaids & groomsmen. There was no lasso at this wedding. The bride and groom each had a glass of colored water that was poured together signifying they could not be separated. They cut the cake and had it available to eat but most of it was packed into single serving boxes and each person took a piece home.

Overall, I was surprised by how much was the same as in the US. I did think it was funny how people with cameras and cell phone cameras felt like they could go anywhere and take any picture they wanted during the ceremony. There had to be 20 people doing it.

Live Simply Love Strongly said...

Much of this is the same as the Hispanic churches here in my city. You mentioned that you found the lasso amusing...why? I always found that tradition so beautiful in it's symbolism and it was something we did at our wedding.

Tara said...

I'm such a need to tell me what's on that plate of food. Please? :)

Anonymous said...

The cake is to be shared with the guests. If they didn't do it, it maybe a family tradition, not a Honduran tradition.