The wedding was wonderful. The weather was beautiful and actually a little too warm for my shawl but I wore it anyway because that's the way I roll. (I'm still needing to buy something in order to get pictures off my camera by the way. I promise to post pictures as soon as I can.) The groom was a member of my entering class in grad school and we joined the same lab. So, I know a bit of what he went through in his quest to find the right mate. He was a big fan of internet match sites for Jewish singles (it was very important to him that he find someone who was Jewish; as an aside, about half of the people in my lab are Jewish, one person is Hindu, and the rest [except for me and a new post-doc who is Greek Orthodox] are agnostic or atheist, this is very different from where I grew up where religious diversity meant being either Methodist or Lutheran) and went on a lot of dates (several years worth) before meeting his wife. It was a rough road for him, but he persevered (spelling?) and you could tell by the look on his face it was all worth it.
People generally are happy at their own weddings, of course. But sometimes it feels like they are no happier than their usual relatively happy state. And then there are some people where the happiness they are feeling is palpable. This guy fairly radiated joy and it really was wonderful to see. And even though I was missing my husband (who couldn't come with me) and I was tired and fretting about my lab work, the joy of the happy couple was coming off in such huge waves that I couldn't help surfing along on it.
The wedding itself was at a country club and was a fairly traditional Jewish ceremony. The wedding program had lots of information about the various rituals for us Gentiles and included the story of the first recorded Jewish wedding in that county of Ohio which was officiated by the man who started the Reform Judiasm movement. The huppah was a log frame made by the bride's father covered with a quilt top made by the bride which will eventually become a quilt for their bed. The ceremony included the stomping on a wine glass which was in a little pouch also made by the bride. The bridesmaids were all in dresses in the same spring green color and fabric, but of different styles. I never would have thought of that yellowy green color for bridesmaids but it was beautiful and flattering. The flowers were yellow and white. Between the green dresses and the yellow and white flowers and the log frame on the huppah, it felt like we were in a spring meadow.
After the ceremony, there was a wonderful reception full of Israeli dancing led by a member of the band. I'm not sure I've ever seen people have so much fun dancing. There was also the traditional "chair dancing" in which the bride and the groom sat precariously in chairs that were raised high above the crowd while people circled around them. As a sign that it was a fabulous party, nobody wanted to leave and the reception hall people had to kick us out. Following the reception, members of the "younger" crowd (including myself) congregated by the nearby river at an old railroad trestle bridge to have criminally strong mixed drinks made out of illegally obtained vodka and whisky (some of the bride's cousins bought it from the hotel management; the illegal part comes from it being a Sunday night when no liquor is to be sold) mixed with scanty amounts of Sierra Mist or Pepsi (why yes, I did have a tiny headache the next morning). It was very surreal--like I had suddenly been transported back in time to high school, except that I was never invited to do such a thing in high school (and may not have went even if I had been invited). All we needed was for someone to suggest we toilet paper some trees and I would've been convinced that the last 15 years had never happened.
Sadly, nobody commented on my shawl except for my roommate who knew that I had made it. Oh well. You can't have everything. Besides, it was perfect for me and this occasion and that's all that really mattered, right?