Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Newest Couple in Town

We attended the wedding of Lucy and Ivan (e-VAHN) today. I enjoyed it from start to finish.

Here the bride is dancing down the aisle. Some of her friends joined her in the aisle and danced with her. Dancing down the aisle can take from five minutes to 30 minutes. (Generally, the bride is not escorted by her father or uncle.) This is my favorite part of any wedding because there is so much joy that is evident and overflowing.

Lucy is from Nigeria and Ivan is from Denmark. They will be making their home in Brazil as missionaries with YWAM.

When the couple came in for the reception, I noticed that they had changed clothes, which is not a common occurrence here.

The more I thought about their attire, I realized the powerful message they were sending. During the wedding ceremony, Ivan had worn a suit and tie while Lucy wore a caftan-like wedding gown with embroidery. I didn’t think anything of their dress at that point. As the reception began, I noticed that Ivan was wearing a maroon caftan and Lucy was wearing a typical wedding gown. At first I thought, “Why is she wearing that wedding gown now,” but then I got it:

For the wedding, they came wearing clothing from their own cultures.

For the reception, they made a powerful statement as they adopted the attire of their spouse’s culture.

Not a word was said, but their clothing made a strong statement. Well done, Lucy and Ivan!

Lily looked forward to this wedding for a long time. I didn’t have to ask her if she wanted to go. In fact, she was out in the car waiting for me to finish getting ready. Lily had a wonderful time hanging out with the other little girls at the wedding. Now the boys on the other hand weren’t the least bit interested. Tobi got to go to a friend’s house, but David had to tag along with me. He wasn’t too happy about that, but at least he found a friend at the reception. His friend really saved the day.

My good friend and colleague, Sarah, sang a song in Hausa to the newlyweds. I love this photo because this is what happens so often in cross-cultural marriages: Lucy is interpreting the Hausa words into English for her new husband. This is just the beginning of a lifetime of translation!

I’ve adopted many Nigerian ways over the years: once we heard about the wedding, I promptly invited three other couples to come to the wedding. This is a very appropriate thing to do in Nigerian culture. I just hope I’ll remember to ‘behave’ myself when I go back to my home culture!

We pray God's blessings upon Lucy and Ivan as they begin their married life together.


Laurel B. said...

Hi Mary Beth - I don't know if you remember me from Nigeria 16 years ago, but this is Laurel (Wendy was my roommate) I had so much fun looking at the pics of Lucy and Sarah because I knew them when I was in Nigeria. I didn't know Sarah as well as I knew Lucy, but I remember she gave me the nicest card when my parents were not able to come to visit me in Nigeria because their connecting flight was canceled and there were no other ones available. The kindness in that gesture is one I will remember my whole life!

Mrs. O said...

Hi Laurel--Yes, I do remember you! Thanks for connecting.

Jill Borgwardt said...

How neat! Another fun wedding... did it start on time?? :)