Thursday, May 31, 2012

Celebrating a Marriage

On Saturday, May 26, we had the wonderful opportunity to celebrate the marriage of our oldest daughter at the Minster Church of St. Andrew in Plymouth, England. This Anglican church is the home church of our son-in-law and has the second longest church (non-cathedral) aisle in all of England.

The ladies gathered at our hotel to get ready for the day. Stan snapped this photo as we waited for our rides to the church.

One of our sons walked me down the aisle, and then in traditional English fashion, Stan walked the bride down the aisle followed by the bridesmaids. See below for some American traditions brought into the wedding!

The service was a wonderful time of worship with five hymns, the repetition of vows, a charge given by a friend of the groom (who is also a clergy), prayers and Stan giving a blessing.

After the blessing, the bride and groom, along with their parents, maid of honor and best man, and other members of the wedding party joined the vicar in the "vestry" to sign the official wedding documents, while a friend of the bride sang "'tis so sweet to trust in Jesus."

Following the signing, we all lined up behind the bride and groom and recessed to the back of the church and out the door under the bell-tower, where the bells were chiming. Our second daughter said it was just like Cinderella!

Group photos were quickly taken (this is not the professional photo here, but one we pulled of someone's facebook site!). This is a group shot of the De La Cour and Bowden clan (which far outnumber us!) and wedding party.

The reception was at a Yacht club just off the Plymouth Hoe--about a mile from where the Mayflower set sail for America.  This is one of the first photos their professional photographer has released. Aren't they a lovely couple?

And while not the best photo, here  are the bride's parents, thankful for a wonderful day of celebration and rejoicing in God's wonderful blessing in bringing their daughter to this day. 

We have enjoyed the time getting to know our son-in-law's family.  They graciously opened their home to us for two nights earlier in the week, and we spent Sunday afternoon around the table on their deck enjoying a delicious dinner and Sunday afternoon conversation.

Now the new couple is on their honeymoon in France, our second daughter and my sister have returned to California, and the four of us from Japan are wrapping up a few days touring London.  We take the Eurostar to Paris tomorrow and then go on to Normandy for a church retreat. We'll be back in Japan by June 6.

**American Traditions brought in:
  • "Her mother and I do" in answer to "Who gives this woman to be married..."  In England it appears to be only the father that gives her away.
  • "You may kiss the bride."  
  • At the reception, the maid of honor spoke, not just the best man.
  • The garter...created some anxiety among not only some of the guests (who pumped every American attending to see if this is really done) but also the groom wanted assurance that this was really done.


Anonymous said...

We enjoyed every word and picture. What a beautiful couple and Faith, you were gorgeous!
Bucky & Matilda

Doug said...

Wonderful, wonderful pictures and commentary. I wish I were there to enjoy it with you all. God has blessed you greatly and we rejoice along with you. Thanks for the post.

Two small comments. I can understand their trepidation about the garter business. I always thought it an odd and almost taboo tradition over here myself. And second, "I'll" bet that even on the "isle" you were on "aisle" is still spelled "aisle". (wink, wink) - You got it right one out of 3 times.

Lord bless,
Doug & Julie

Faith writes... said...

Doug, I took care of the aisles... Thanks for the reminder.

And to others who have written notes with our children's names included, we choose to not publish their names in our blog, so your comments will be read only by us. Thank you for the best wishes.

Bruce and Jean said...

Young women with bubble mowers really grow up. Stan and Faith, your family has grown to be such fine women and very tall men. B was a beautiful bride and I cannot believe that your second daughter is now a college graduate. She so beautifully complemented the bride. Last but not least was the groom. Very handsome and one can see he definitely is in love with Bethany. The family continues to grow. Best wishes and may everyone continue to grow closer to the Lord. Bruce and Jean Campbell on Celebrating a Marriage