The Bride Said…”Wow!”

In mid-October 2006, I traveled to Rochester, MN to attend the wedding of a college friend named Christine, who I have always known as “Cree.” Since Rochester is fairly close to my hometown of Independence, my family visited me there on the day before the wedding. From left to right are my sister’s boyfriend Justin, me, my stepfather Ronald, my mother Anita, my uncle Roger, and my sister Crystal. I call this photograph “Reflections on Family.”

The wedding was held in an outdoor grove owned by the Plummer House of the Arts in Rochester. The weather cooperated except for a bit of wind, as you will see in later photographs.

While we were staying in the Ramada, my family noticed a beautiful mansion secluded in a grove of trees on a hill visible from our hotel. When I took the hotel’s shuttle van to the wedding, I discovered that the mansion was the Plummer House of the Arts! The photograph above shows the view from the grove where the wedding was held. Below, in a small section of the photograph above, you can barely read the sign for the Ramada at which my parents and I stayed.

This wedding was also a sort of reunion for several of my friends from the University of Minnesota, especially those of us who met in Campus Crusade for Christ during my freshman year.
One of those friends, Bill, was a groomsman.

“Why is there a swastika in the floor?” That is probably the single strangest thing I have ever said at a wedding. The question was prompted by the floor tile above. We were assured by one of the curators of the House that this was one of many religious symbols included in the floor before this one was corrupted by the Nazis. I think the bride was most shocked at this tile because the groom was German.

The cake cutting was relatively dignified; neither bride nor groom smashed cake in the other’s face. However, Cree did accidentally get a little frosting on Thomas’ cheek and promptly removed it.

At the reception following the wedding, the groom tried his hand at the guitar.

At the reception meal, which was very good, each guest had a personalized envelope to mark his or her seat.

You may have noticed that the photographs and descriptions in this entry are out of their original chronological order. That is because I wanted to save the ceremony, especially the kiss, for last.

During his sermon, the officiant had the bride and groom hold and observe each other’s hands. He reminded them that they would use these hands to caress, comfort, and celebrate with each other for the rest of their lives. It was one of the best wedding sermons I have heard.

At left are the bride and groom. In the middle you can see one of my favorite parts of this ceremony: the unity candle. The bride and groom each took one of the small candles and used them to jointly light the larger candle. I like the symbolism, but a light breeze almost kept the unity candle from staying lit! At right is one of Cree’s musical colleagues, who provided the vocal music for the ceremony.

This is the best wedding kiss I have ever captured on film. The bride’s sister (at left) and the officiant seem to like it too. After they broke the kiss, Cree said, “Wow!”

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