I have once again returned to my small, second-story city abode after an extended weekend of Mennonite wedding festivities. After a bad experience with a rather unpleasant bus driver who nearly didn’t let me on the bus, I made it safely home. Memories have been made, much food has been consumed, and many miles have been travelled. My “little” brother is officially married and I can take a break from obsessively practicing prelude music…:)
The “little” brother and I…
The other “little” brother and I…
Now, you may wonder at the relevence of the next few pictures… “What,” you may ask, “Does a barn and a herd of cows have to do with a wedding?” You guessed it, folks! This particular wedding took place on a farm and the reception was, yes, in a barn. It was, however, all quite sanitary and the setting was lovely! (We didn’t bother the cows and the cows didn’t bother us!)
The ceremony took place down a dirt lane by a quiet, romantic lake, and thankfully the rain held off until we could get back to the barn for the reception!
Instead of having wedding cake, my sister-in-law decided to have cupcakes which her and the bridesmaids and family made themselves! Her family also made the food for the wedding! Let’s just say it was some amazing Mennonite cooking!
The ceremony was pretty typical of most Mennonite weddings. I played the prelude music…
I played a piece while my brother ushered in the mothers, and then the processional was followed by a short time of worship. After we sang several hymns the audience sat down and one of the pastors from Dallas and Hanna’s church gave a short message.
And then my dad officiated over the vows, after which they were pronounced husband and wife…
Unlike Jewish weddings, while they had a wooden arch, there was no canopy and the groom doesn’t smash a glass! They did, however, have what is known as a unity candle. There were two taper candles on either side of one bigger candle. The two outer candles represent their individual lives, and the couple lights the middle candle from those two and then extinguish their individual flames to symbolize the start of a new life together as one entity. After this, they gave roses to each of the mothers and then both sets of parents came to the front to pray a prayer of blessing over the couple.
After this the couple was officially presented, all involved parties commenced down the aisle, and they lived happily ever after! Well, at least we hope so! 🙂
Mennonite receptions are usually quite different than Jewish ones! One big difference is that there is no dancing…this is quite unlike many Jewish weddings–especially Hassidic Jewish weddings…here are a few fascinating examples!
So at the reception we basically ate and some people gave a few speeches. While it was rather warm, I think a good time was had by all, and the happy couple drove off into the sunset!
Now, if you know anything about Lancaster Mennonites they have this thing where they “go to the cabin.” It seems like everybody has ‘a cabin’ that they periodically go to as families. Growing up in a community in Indiana we didn’t have such things, but in Lancaster I guess most people do! This weekend I was able to experience what it was like to “go to the cabin.” My family stayed in a cabin in the boondocks for the weekend, which was a nice change from the bustle of the city. And of course, a weekend in Lancaster at “the cabin” would not be complete without Dutch Blitz and ice cream!