We left at 2:45pm for the wedding. As can be expected, the Church was about a 35 minute drive from the hotel. That is assuming no traffic is encountered. Fortunately there wasn’t any because it was a Saturday. The Church were it was held was St Matthew’s Church in Newport Beach. You have to know the correct etiquette at American weddings and being from SA where we have no wedding etiquette that made it impossible for me to know whom I could have offended today. I know of at least one thing I did wrong – I took photos inside the Church. I did see that that they requested that we don’t do that but Helen was here with us and she wanted to see and so I ignored that and took photos anyway (sorry Josh & Rachel). I did do it very surreptitiously at least (like a good Safrican would).
The wedding ceremony started at 4pm. It was a Book of Common Prayer service i.e. very liturgical (look it up Paul – it can be your word for the day). The full service was printed for us in a booklet and number 22 pages A5. My fear was that it would take 2 hours. It took an 1 hour 15 minutes – always good to come in under expectations. Seating for the families was set and so my spot was allocated in the 2nd row on the left. I fortunately had an aisle seat that gave me a good view of the bridesmaids coming down the aisle (and also Rachel coming down the aisle). There were 8 bridesmaids which were matched by 8 groomsmen. Very impressive. I don’t think I could have found 8 Groomsmen for my wedding.
The ceremony opens with marriage questions (Wilt thou have this Woman/Man etc). After about 2 minutes that was done and Rachel & Josh were strictly speaking married. However, there were 4 priests involved in the wedding and they each had to play a part and so the service did last a little longer than that (as I have already mentioned). There were readings, prayers, incantations, more prayers, a homily (another word for you Paul), more prayers, marriage vows, more prayers, ring swapping, more prayers, more singing by priests, more prayers. The homily was very good. The priest explained that love is not a feeling, it is an action (and I agree 100% with that). He also explained (from Ephesians 6) that marriage is actually a picture of Christ’s relationship with the Church (and again I agree totally). He gave a word of advice also to both Josh and then Rachel. To Josh he said ‘Every time you think you nice she looks, say it out loud she wants to hear it’. To Rachel he said ‘Josh isn’t Jesus Christ, he isn’t perfect. You don’t need to continually nag at him and remind him of that. He knows already’. He said it much better than I can type it and it was quite funny too.
After all of this had happened when then went in a Communion service which took up the balance of the time of the wedding. This consists of an Offertory, Prayer for the Church, The Invitation, General Confession, Absolution, Proper Preface for Trinity, Prayer of Consecration, Oblation, Invocation, Fraction, Prayer of Humble Access, Agnus Dei and then Communion. Everyone was able to participate in communion if they wished by going to the front and receiving communion from the priest. Given there were about 200 people at the wedding, that took some time to complete (my sister said about 25 minutes). After that was completed there was a Prayer of Thanksgiving and the Blessing and then Mr & Mrs Watson were introduced to the congregation.
The reception followed and I will blog about that tomorrow am. I am just too tired right now to complete that bit as well.