Wednesday, December 16, 2015
THOMAS AND RUTH'S WEDDING BY ANNA
We car drove from our house to pick up Bishop Eli and Emma - then went to Jean's house. Finally decision the wedding and dinner would be held inside the house. They were afraid that it would rain outside. Jean and I agreed that Marilyn sit next to me so she would be next to someone she knew. I wasn't needed in the kitchen so we sat in the seats closest to the kitchen - in case I was needed. Like with either the Old Order Mennonite or us Amish - the men sit on one side of the room - the ladies on the other.
The bride and groom were in one of the bedrooms upstairs with their attendants. Attendants are two singles girls that the bride chooses and two single men that the groom chooses. Ruth had two of her close friends. Thomas had Michael and Edward. The four attendants are witnesses to the wedding. Some of their friends that are dating couples bring up the gifts that people bring. After all the gifts are brought up, the single ladies go in one room and the single men go into another.
Ruth was dressed in a light blue dress with a white kapp (cap). Thomas wore a black dress suit with a white shirt. They will pack both of their clothes away tonight or tomorrow. These clothes are only worn two times - for their wedding and for their funeral.
When all us adults were seated, we were given a sip of wine and a cookie. These remind us of John 2:1 -10 where Jesus turns the water into wine. David, Jean's husband, called the names of all the dating couples as they came down the stairs. If there was a single fellow that is not dating, they will match him up with a single girl about his age who is not dating. They remain a couple for the rest of the wedding day. The dating couples sit in another area from the adults. They are divided with men on one side and ladies on the other.
After the dating couples are seated, the ministers, brides parents and Bishop Joseph go upstairs to speak with the bride and groom. When they return, the service starts and lasts for about 2 hours and then the wedding vows. Shortly before the wedding vows two Old Order Mennonite Ladies and myself went into the kitchen so Jean, Ruth's Mother and Grandmother Olive could see and hear Thomas and Ruth's vows. Wedding ends with Bishop Joseph's Blessing, ministers blessings and prayer.
There are no wedding rings, kisses, dancing, etc. Thomas and Ruth went upstairs while they changed the board seats into tables and seats. The tables were dressed (plates, silver ware, etc.). When the ladies were finished dressing the tables, Thomas and Ruth came down and sat at one end of the table with their attendants beside them.. Dinner had to be served in shifts. There were almost 400 people there.
After the dinner, the men started singing and those of us ladies not working in the kitchen sang with them. The rest of the ladies were cleaning up the table and starting the evening meal. We sang and chatted until about three o'clock when all us adults and little children went home.
As all we had to show Thomas and Ruth was an Amtrak train picture, Bishop Eli and Emma along with Elmer and myself told what our gift was. They were very happy - thrilled was more like it about being able to go to Pinecraft. We explained that when we can all get together, who is going when. They thanked us very much.
What happened after we left, you will have to get a post from Thomas and Ruth. Usually, the Bride and Groom spend their first night at their parents house to help clean up the house, the next day. David said they didn't need the help, but he still wasn't going to let them go over to their house. So Thomas and Ruth will stay at Jean and David's house while Jean and David sleep over at Thomas and Ruth's house. Old Order Mennonite single folks especially boys - same as some Amish folks like to go over to the house and disturb the new married couple by making noise, pulling pranks and alike. David said the surprise will be on the folks because he will come outside not Thomas. If they young folks come around David and Jean's house - Grandfather Albert and Grandmother Olive can handle them.The next night they switch houses.
It was a Blessed lovely wedding. We wish them many happy years the Lord's way. Also we wish them many children and rich crops.
Trust God's Wisdom,