Wednesday, July 24, 2013


This past weekend our older son and his fiancée said their vows to each other: Promises based on many hours learning to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. As Lois said to me, “They know each other better than we did when we got married.” They were unusually clear about what drew them together and what they need to do to stay together.

Their friends and family have looked forward to this day, and we celebrated joyfully. As the bride and groom and their parents stood in the receiving line following the ceremony, we heard one statement repeatedly: “This wedding was so (their names)!” It was.

We celebrated the ceremony in a tent beside a corn field, at a farm owned by a friend of the bride’s parents. The reception moved up a short slope to the barn, where the University Mennonite young people have held more than one barn dance: One of the happy couple’s favourite events as part of the UMC youth.

The ceremony contained eight hymns, a Scripture reading (Colossians 3:12-15), a children’s story (about two purple dinosaurs, and a reasonably accurate rendition of the couple’s relationship), and the vows. No set colour for the bride’s party; rather the bride wore white and her party wore solid colours, which showed up wonderfully against the tall corn beside the wedding tent.

Many at the wedding came from the University Mennonite Church, and they know how to sing. The tent became church as we sang and prayed and read and affirmed the couple’s promises. The barn was church too, even if we were more obviously partying.

Highlights of the reception included a stirring rendition of “I am cow” by some of the groom’s friends, with the groom joining in. It was perhaps a bit surprising that he knew all the words so readily. His friends added bits of costume to his outfit so that the words “I am cow” rang true. Then the toasts, and some rap songs about the couple, and occasional stories that led to some kisses.

Finally dancing, lots of dancing: A conga line led by a stuffed tiger, weaving in and out of itself and in and out of the barn. I rebelled against the limitations imposed by cataract surgery enough to do two dances with Lois. She danced more with our younger son, while his wife and I sat and watched. (She was being careful of a trick ankle, which did not mix well with the barn floor.) Wonderful food, catered by a local Indian restaurant, and the cutting of the wedding cake. The food and cake carefully included gluten-free options.

The evening closed with the bride and groom running down to their car and driving off into the night through two rows of sparklers. Very cool.
Family and friends and church gathered together—from old people to young children, with the pictures of grandparents who had died sitting on an empty chair. It was a good wedding, in a tent and barn that became the Body of Christ as we gathered together in Christ’s name to witness the promises made by the bride and groom. They promised. We assented. God sealed it. “What God has joined together, let no one separate.” God bless you both, our son and daughter!


KGMom said...

Oh, I hope someone got a photo of the sparkler line...but maybe not in the darkness. So, that's part of what I missed. Sigh.

Thanks for the elucidation on the barn's owner, and significance of the place. We suspected as much, but didn't know.

I trust your shoulder also held up well.

Climenheise said...

The shoulder is sore, but I didn't use it at the wedding, so it's just continuing soreness. The sparklers were cool, but I didn't get one.