Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Wedding Reception

I had to put the wedding reception totally out of my mind in order to enjoy the wedding. It threatened my thoughts once, but I said to myself, I said...this wedding will go so fast...I'm not wasting a moment of it fretting! So I kicked the thought plum out of my mind. What a wedding! It was worth every bit of attention. I can't wait to watch the videos to catch some of the subtleties, I'm sure I missed. Someone said Josh was making funny faces trying not to yawn so I'll be sure to look for that...oh, this blog entry is about the reception. I've gotten so good at blocking it out of my mind, I did it again without even trying!

Look at all those people! We figure there had to be close to 300 out to the house and maybe more if you count the little people.

The bride and groom arrived about the time everything was coming together. Angela and Alatheia finished decorating the cake, and Sam moved it out on the deck, Mrs. Larsen had all the lemonade poured for the toasts and Rod had the sound system set up and working. I forgot the small detail of bringing out the toasting glasses, knife for cake cutting and bubbly for the bride and groom, but that was soon remedied and the formal part of the reception could start.

Rod started the reception by blessing the couple with the "Six reasons for marriage."
After each blessing, the crowd below raised their glass, said "Hear, Hear," and drank to the couple.

1. The first purpose of marriage is Companionship…God said, “It is not good for a man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him…” May God bless you and make you each other’s best friend and companion for life.

Hear, hear…

2. The second purpose of marriage is delight, pleasure and enjoyment…May your love for each other be more delightful than wine…May Abby always be a crown to you and the delight of your eyes.

Hear, hear…

3. The third purpose of marriage is Completion…For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife and the two shall become one flesh…May Abby complete what is lacking in your life and may you complete what is lacking in hers. May you view the short comings in each other as opportunities to complete what is lacking in their life.

Hear, hear…

4. The fourth purpose of marriage is Godly children…has not the Lord made them one…and why one? Because He was seeking godly offspring… Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in ones youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. May God richly bless you with godly children.

Hear, hear…

5. The fifth purpose of marriage is Protection…Caleb, you are to love your wife as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it…May God go before you and protect you and make your way straight before your face.

Hear, hear…

6. The sixth purpose of marriage is Illustration…The picture a godly marriage presents is also a picture of Christ and the church. May God use your marriage to bring Himself great glory.

Hear, hear…

After the toasts, the couple cut the cake and fed each other. Rod told the folks where the tradition came from. The cake and wine are symbolic of communion...the first a couple takes together. Also, after a covenant was formed between two parties, it was traditional to take a meal together to ratify the covenant.

Caleb and Abby managed to hit each other's mouths with the cake, though the bubbly posed a bit of a challenge!

After the cake cutting, the bride made ready to toss her bouquet. Rod narrowed the field to those 15 and older as the girls gathered on the north side of the deck. We knew two girls with marriage on their minds would be vying for that bouquet! Abby tossed the flowers high in the air, and they sailed directly down in the direction of Staci Hess, but out of the blue, two hands and a red head made a flying leap for the bouquet snatching it up in the knick of time! Alaina Moore, Josh's sweetheart, made the astonishing catch!

Photo by Joel Nelson

Instead of a garter throw, Abby and Caleb opted for a football throw. All the young men would much rather have a football than a garter, and it was a game day, so the football toss seemed very fitting.

After a bit of teasing, the groom gave the football a mighty heave.

The young men waiting to catch the football were spread out on the other side of the pine trees and couldn't see Caleb or the trajectory of the football till it crossed like a rocket over the tops of the pines. This fact made catching the football quite a matter of luck...or was it a matter of desire?! The reports from the other side of the pines were conflicting...First, Aaron had the football, now Josh had the football, then somehow Joe got the football, then back to Josh again. And Josh emerged triumphant! He had to get that football since his girl got the bouquet!

Photo by Joel Nelson

Angela Emrich made the wedding cake. Isn't it lovely? And tasty too. There was only one piece of cake left after all was said and done, and someone stopped me on the way to the trashcan to throw away one of the cake trays so they could eat the cake bits off the tray. It wasn't even a kid. (but don't ask me who...that day was quite a blur!)

After the football toss, the bride disappeared inside to be attended to by her maids. In typical Nebraska fashion, the wind had played havoc with her hair and she wanted to change into her matching brides'maid dress to keep from getting the gown dirty.

Caleb made the most of the time by signing the marriage liscence on the hood of Angela's suburban!

The guests made themselves at home, visiting, eating cake and icecream, bouncing or getting rides in the lawn tractor trailor.

After the cake and icecream was dispatched and a few other errands were taken care of (right, Thomas?) the young men started a game of volleyball and hillside ultimate frisbee. The Ukraine guys liked the volleyball, but hillside frisbee was new to them. I guess Texas is pretty flat!

Mr. Adams wandered through the madding crowds finding willing souls to say a few (nice) words to Caleb and Abby via the video camera.

The three oldest Wood girls, Ellie Stangl and Amanda Wittmann faithfully served cake, icecream and punch for hours till it was all gone! The icecream also served to attract nasty old yellow jackets, so Natalie Wood became the wasp dispatch attendant!

Mrs. Larsen and Elizabethe Powell worked diligently all afternoon long to get dinner on the table by 6:00 p.m. We moved the food line up to the deck where it has traditionally been served and prayed that God would bless and multiply the food. I think He did it by keeping the young men occupied playing sports. I didn't talk to one of them that actually got anything to eat at the reception!

After dinner, (actually as soon as they got to the reception!) the bride and groom were ready to leave. They had a leafy leaving. It was Abby's wish to have the well wishers throw lovely fall colored leaves at the departing bride and groom. She got her wish about the leaves. The Stangls delivered a truck bed full two nights before the wedding! Praise the Lord! We put the leaves into grocery bags or folks could grab handfuls.

The bride and groom enjoyed their leafy journey down the driveway till about a 100 ft from Caleb's car. Then, some interesting individuals who shall remain nameless because we all know who they are broke out the silly string and started coating Caleb and Abby.

(By the way, let it be known that when Dan Beasley gets married, he wants to be pelted with Silly String. As a matter of fact, he'd like twice as much as Caleb and Abby got! Bring it on!)

They made it to their car in an unrecognizable state. Their dear silly string friends helped them to brush it off, but it was too late for Abby. With four hours of sleep under her belt, a huge day behind her, a bitter sweet good bye ahead and silly string covering her dress, she started to cry. Caleb rescued her and tried to get her into the car to leave, but the car was full of helium inflated balloons. He pulled as many balloons out as he could to make room for Abby. The white balloons sailed off gracefully into a blue Nebraska sky...It would have made a pretty picture if he'd have been in the mood to appreciate it, but his girl was crying so he just wanted to get "outa' here!" The car was beautifully decorated with a calligraphy "Just Married" on the windows. Obviously, Josh had not been the one doing the decorating!

The couple drove off into the sunset, hopefully to a wonderful evening and a good night's sleep at a hotel in Omaha. Their plan was to take off early the next morning on a plane to the North East to enjoy the beauty of fall in New York and Vermont.

The party didn't stop when the bride and groom left...but it did peeter out once the Nebraska football game started. Fortunately for you, Caleb, you didn't miss a thing! It was a blow out with Missouri winning 41 to Nebraska's 6.

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