Both weddings were pretty traditional and both of them were lots of fun.
Now before you get any crazy ideas about do-overs or my cousin sneaking around like some kind of a bigamy ninja, let me tell you about the two weddings.
The first one was a traditional Laotian wedding ceremony, which had as its centerpiece … an actual centerpiece ceremony. Said centerpiece was this big object decorated with flowers and shiny paper, with strings hanging out all over it. After some chanting (and I’m afraid I don’t speak Laotian at all, so I can’t relate to you what the officiator said), you took a piece of string, tied it around somebody’s wrist and gave them a blessing.
As is fitting for any wedding, the bride and groom got blessed the most, but there was plenty of string and blessings for everybody, and we all went around tying strings on each other. It was fun! Common blessings for the happy couple: lots of children, happiness, prosperity, lots of children, wealth, fidelity and also lots of children.
My cousin was grinning like crazy and his wife was absolutely radiant.
I blessed my cousin by hoping he’d have a geeky baby, him being a fellow geek. (My aunt says that now she knows who to blame!)
Frankly I just want an excuse to go toy shopping again.
Then we all ate lunch, which included a spicy curry-chicken soup and also a cold-cut platter. The foods came from two different cultures, but everybody ate everything and everybody talked to each other.
Then we started getting ready for pictures and the second wedding–a traditional Lutheran ceremony. These I’d seen plenty of times before, but I’d never been actually in one before. The ceremony was awesome–my uncle officiated, gave a beautiful sermon, led us in Children of the Heavenly Father and then we went off to the reception and dance.
Everybody danced together. I danced with the wedding party. I danced with my mom. I danced with the other bridesmaid. Then I danced with my grandfather, who is well up into his 80s and outdanced not just me, but me, my mom and both my aunts. He’s like the Energizer Bunny-grandpa or something, I have no idea where he gets the energy. Grandparents these days, I tell ya.
The weddings were awesome, and though it’s been more than a week, I still have a little blessing-string tied around my wrist, reminding me of two fun families, two fun cultures, two fun weddings and two fun people who, according to everybody’s custom, are now one.
And how much of a blessing is that?