Thursday, April 1, 2010

Here Comes the Bride!

Since we're about to start planning a Honduras/US wedding, I paid extra careful attention to the traditions at the wedding our family attended last night. Just fyi - in spite of being a small country, Honduras has several diverse cultures, and the traditions I share in this post are not necessarily to be found in all parts of Honduras.

Russell's girlfriend's brother Melvin (got that?) was wed to his long time girlfriend, Haydi. Many parts of the ceremony were similar or identical to traditions found in the US. As I write this, I'll concentrate on the differences, rather than the similarities. Oh, and I apologize for the blurriness of some of the pictures - the lighting was low during much of the ceremony. If you click on the pictures, you can see them closer up, which makes them a bit clearer.

The wedding was scheduled to begin at 6:45 (according to the invitation). We arrived about 6:15, and were the first guests there. People started trickling in about 6:45, and the ceremony started at 7:50. I've got no comment on this - that's just the way it is here. I'm really not sure why we showed up so early, as a delay like this wasn't unexpected.

The sanctuary was set up with small tables all over the room. In our area, the reception is generally held in the same room as the wedding.

Without pews, there's no permanent aisle in the church, so the aisle is created by the decorations. I especially liked the border of flower petals along each side of the aisle.

The first attendants to process are a young girl and boy, who cut the ribbons which were strung across the aisle. The girl wields the scissors, the boy holds the ribbon for her. This little lady was feisty, and provided us with quite a show, as she threatened the little gentleman with the scissors before the procession started.

Following the ribbon cutters, there were a number of other young attendants. Two girls carried pillows (which were used later in the ceremony, when the bride and groom knelt), a boy carried an open Bible, another boy carried a basket of fruit, there was a ring bearer, as well as two very small flower girls who scattered flower petals. Here's the ring bearer, with his very decorated pillow:

Here are a group of young attendants, gathering just before the start of the ceremony (the girl in white wasn't in the ceremony, she just happened to be in the picture):

The parents of the bride and groom sit at a table at the front of the church, facing the assembled crowd. Another couple, called the "godparents of the wedding" are also seated at that table. These folks all process in - I doubt I'll get this exactly right - it seems that the groom accompanied his mother, the bride was escorted by her father (last in the procession, of course), the father of the groom walked in with the mother of the bride, and the godparents walked in together. I'm a bit uncertain about this, because I'd not met the parents of the bride prior to the ceremony, so I was uncertain who was who, as they were processing.

After the parents (except for the father of the bride) came the bridesmaids and groomsmen. They processed up the aisle, then turned and lined up along the aisle, awaiting the bride. Things were getting a bit crowded around the aisle at this point, as many folks were standing close to take pictures (ummm, including my family, as you can probably tell from our pictures).

Here comes the bride! I cropped the shot to show a few of the crowd of photographers. I forgot to mention that we clapped for each person or couple, as they processed.

This has gotten rather long already, so I'll post this and finish tomorrow (assuming weather, power, etc permit me to get online).

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