As soon as I arrived at the Marriage Factory Wednesday, I had three weddings back to back. I thought, yes finally Wednesday is back to being busy. No, just the three as soon as I got there, and then I read and played games on my phone. I miss those busy busy afternoons. As always I enjoyed doing the ceremonies.
Wedding 1 was for a very Americanized Vietnamese couple. The bride wore a creamy white chiffon sheath, a black belt, a black shrug, and black heels. He wore a white shirt and black pants. They were both grinning, great smiles. Their parents were with them. I realized the parents had very limited English. I asked the couple if one of them wanted to translate during the ceremony. They said, “No need. This ceremony is for us. They get what they want at the cultural ceremony.” It wasn’t mean spirited. It was a compromise.
The next couple the bride was 10 years older than the groom. She was mid forties, he mid thirties. The groom looked 10 years older than the bride. He had graying hair and a lined face. It was his third marriage and her first. They were so solemn. There were no smiles, no jokes, no reaction to anything. Then as he started saying his vows it was as if the sun came out. They smiled, relaxed, and just beamed.
The last couple the groom was Iranian and 61. The bride was Chinese and 47. He was dapper, in a light grey suit with half glasses on his nose. She was exquisite in her bright red sheath. The dress was knee length with an A line skirt, a square neck, and cap sleeves. Her jewelry looked antique. The necklace was silver filigree with a dark patina through the design. Garnets were set though out the necklace. Her hair was up and had two clips in it. Both clips were silver and black metal bows. And the groom gave her a huge diamond ring. For the first time I saw a groom receive a circle of diamonds for his ring.
This couple was having such a good time at their wedding. During the vows the bride got a bad case of giggles because she could not say the R sound. The harder she tried, the worse it became, and the more she giggled. Before the ceremony I had barely noted her accent, but nerves did her in.
It was a quiet day, but three more couples have begun a new level in their relationship. They had a civil marriage ceremony that was not cold and impersonal. They were congratulated in the elevator and the hall by staff, people in the lobby called out good wishes. We may be a government office, but our couples feel the good wishes from all.