Monday, March 27, 2006

Wild Wedding Weekend

Oh my god I am sooo sore. Who knew being in a wedding was such a workout? So Sunday, March 26, the Engageds became the Marrieds. And in doing so they solved the riddle for the ages, how do you have a wedding where the bride and groom are deathly afraid of attention? The answer is - with a lot of joy.

There was so much joy throughout the entire weekend. I think having an enormous amount of good food helped. It started with the rehearsal dinner at Lebanese Taverna where people were chowing down on a mezze of kibbeh, fried dumplings filled with ground meat, felafel, hummus, babaganouj, spinach pastries, tabbouleh, and plenty of fresh pita bread. This was some good eating especially because the food was already laid out on the table ready to be eaten along with the friendly waiters immediately filling your wine glass. Now THAT'S good service. This being a Jewish wedding, there was a sizeable contingent of Israelis. They heartily approved of the meeze. Just when our stomachs were groaning under the weight of the delicious mezze, we learned that it was just the FIRST course. The second course consistent of grilled vegetables, squash stuffed with rice, chicken and lamb skewers, rice pilaf, and grilled salmon. Just when you couldnt eat anymore, they brought out baklava. Among the many funny things aobut the rehearsal dinner, the bride and groom were tucked away at the kids table which was located at two booths near the end of the room. Highlights of the evening? The mother of the groom's speech of how the bride's fmaily welcomed her and her family into theirs. Throughout the weekend you could see this wasn't just a pretty speech. The true kicker was when the groom's 8-year-old niece sang the L-O-V-E song. she sang it so well that I persuaded her to sing it again so our side of the room (the 30somethings) could hear her lovely voice. Little girls belting out big band standards? Me likey.

As this was a Jewish wedding, the wedding was actually on the Sunday. It was held at Meadowlark Gardens in Vienna and the Meadowlark atrium was a perfect setting for this indoor garden wedding. The tables were set in a blue and silver theme and the centerpieces were blue delphiniums, hydrangeas, and wildflowers along with little pots of fresh herbs. There were twinkle lights in the huge ficus trees and a little stream ran along the entranceway with a wooden bridge to let people over. Because I helped make the chuppah, the traditional wedding canopy, I was asked to hold one of the poles that held the chuppah up. It was a great honor to do that and an even better upperbody workout. Who knew fabric could be heavy? In case anyone's arms got tired we had chuppah backups. J was mine. but since I MADE the chuppah, there was no way I was going to let it go.

Speaking of the ceremony, the female rabbi ROCKED. She was dignified, yet fun with a slight Eastern European accent. The way she officiated the cermeony honored tradition but also honored the love that was in the room the community of friends and family. I was especially touched when she talked about me making the chuppah and how it symbolized the community that brought the bride and groom together. As a true crybaby, I totlaly started sniffling when the rabbi talked about how the couple talked to her about their relationship and why they wanted to get married. It wasn't gushy or oveblown, it was simply that thye could imagine spending their lives apart. It was lucky I was holding the pole that faced the bride and groom because if I saw J I would have been a blubbering mess.

After the ceremony, there was cocktail hour that was made even more special by the wedding cocktail that was a kir royale with a splash of raspberry vodka. The appetizers consisted of a fruit station, mozarella and tomato kebabs, mini latkes with smoke salmon and sour cream, stuffed mushrooms (that I never had a chance to eat), and cheese and crackers. Dinner was more of the typical wedding fare with a pasta bar and rice pilaf and stuffed portobello mushrooms. A standout though, was the moist and flavorful potato-wrapped sea bass. The sweetness of hte citrus glaze highlighted the delicate flavor of the fish.

After toasts from the father of the bride who was brief and eloquent and the best man who was so not brief and focused on his 12 page speech, the hora started. This is not your movie style hora with the bride and groom being foisted on chairs, this was everyone holding hands dancing in concentric circles. I loved how much joy was flowing out of everyone, escpailly the father of the bride who looked like he could step into the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof. He actually led the chain of dancing that went around the entire room.

After some requisite tunes from the 50s and 60s, the dancing was REALLY kicked off when the DJ played "I Will Survive." I will say this to you dear readers - do not underestimate the power of the Big Butt song. This will turn a party into a celebration. CA-rebecca and I were squealing like little girls when the dum-dum-dum-dum-dum-dum beat came on. I will also wax poetic about how much I love dancing with J. Unlike, the spazzing out that I do, J actually looks cool dancing. I love the way he pulls me too him on the dance floor when I cam clearly the biggest dork out there. I love being swung around the dance floor with him leading, making me feel graceful. I am never happier than when I get the chance to share the dance floor with him.

I saw the same look of happiness and love on the faces of the bride and groom. I saw two people who could be themselves with each other and know that they were spending the rest of their lives with the person who loved them best. I am so grateful to have that in my life and celebrate it in the lives of the Marrieds.

To DS and DS, thank you for getting married!!!!!

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