Cameron House - site of the wedding
This was an experience that will never be repeated (I just misspelt ‘be’ as ‘bee’… the little gold necklace Elliot gave Erin the night before the wedding. The bee is something Erin loves.) It is things like that which popped up again and again. It was a truly magic affair.
All!!! And I mean ‘all’ family members behaved naturally, beautifully and had fun! That was my experience of my own extended family; Erin’s father’s family; and Elliot’s very extended family. During a pause after the vows, and before some rituals, a little 4 year old from Elliot’s family said in his own naturally expressive voice, “There is more!?” Everyone had a great laugh; with Erin assuring him not much ‘more!’. What came next was even more engaging: Elliot did the Jewish ritual of stamping on a glass to cement the vow; and Erin had candles set up to be lit… one for each of them to light, and one for the couple to light together.
Prior to all this, at the beginning were the fathers, brothers and cousins being piped down the isle by two Scottish pipers; the men all in kilts, ‘the Pride of Scotland’. (Sorry I don’t have a picture of them being piped down the isle… great! But caught us by surprise.)
After the men, came the very exquisite bride… strapless pale pink gown with a beautifully draped skirt… a brilliant two inch band of ‘diamonds’ edging the top of the bodice: her mother on her right (dark steel blue strapless lace gown and jacket); and her father (in his Scottish soccer team blue plaid kilt) on her left. Both parents incredibly proud… Barri holding back tears as best she could; Steven walking the Soccer man’s proud moment. As he arrived at ‘the alter/arch’ Steve delicately turned back Erin’s veil… very touching;
A video of the walk down the aisle! It can be viewed by clicking this link if you're having trouble: The Walk
and the bride and groom stood apart and ready. Somewhere amongst arrival and vows, both mother’s stood in turn to make the welcomes to family and friends; and speaking heartfelt of the moment at hand.
A thoughtful idea on Erin’s part to include this kind of welcome… not a dry eye. To be inclusive of all cultures and beliefs present, a ‘Humanist Society of Great Britain’ minister presided. The vows were executed in a very natural, but graceful manner.
The ushers were ever present leading us from one venue to another… from the wedding hall … to drinks and nibbles in the lounge (while the wedding hall was being turned into a dining room)
… then into the dining room. Names and table designation had been picked up in the lounge; each of us directed to our table… and awaiting gifts: homemade raspberry jam by Erin and bridesmaids, with a sprig of Rosemary (in tribute to Erin’s maternal grandmother) on the table for each; and for the women a pashmina shawl held in a roll with a pearl bracelet… each a different colour (Erin having carefully made a colour choice for each of us… a perfect choice, given her fashion expertise). But we did not get to sit. Instead we were called to the dance floor for the traditional Jewish circle folk dance… imagine 150 people! in 3 circles. In the center of all these circles Elliot and his twin brother did the ‘Russian’?? leaps and knee kicks. Everyone cheering.
Speeches followed … each parent, followed by the groom’s brother, and finally the groom. The best moment was Barri asking Erin to turn to her left (which Barri had very carefully figured out, as it required her thinking in mirrored image) to acknowledge her new husband….
Only! On the L was ‘the twin, Alexander’… Elliot was on the R. Absolutely not fair!! I have met them many times and cannot… ever! tell them apart. Great laughter.
The dinner delicious! Wine flowed! The 4 layered wedding cake decked out in fall coloured hydrangeas… made by one of Erin’s bridesmaids… on beautiful display table off to the side of the dinner tables with arches of hydrangeas coupled with purple-pink English roses, blue thistle; and draping raspberry coloured “chennile” flower.
Buckets of candies; and a ‘wishing’ tree… with tags & pens waiting for us to write wishes for the new couple completed the wedding cake table.
The ceremony started at 3:30pm and we danced until midnight to all the best! dance music. The evening ending with all of us in a circle surrounding the bride and groom with their parents, singing at full volume, “We’ll Meet You at Loch Lomond”. My voice was hoarse for the next 24 hours; my right hip is still adjusting from the hours of dance.
To put it in perspective, the actual wedding was one of at least 6 special events, including an “announcement’ ceremony at the family synagogue the Saturday prior, followed by lunch at Eliot’s aunt’s home; next day a tea for the bridesmaids at Erin’s home; on arrival at Cameron House, Loch Lomond on Saturday… skeet shooting in the morning (everyone who attended is determined to find the opportunity again!); a mother’s afternoon tea, including a special cake for Barri’s 56th birthday;
and evening drinks in the boat house.
To emphasize the special planning and thought is to mention the gift bag in each person’s room: a package of shortbread; a small bottle of Loch Lomond Scotch Whiskey; and a white linen hanky embroidered with an E & E… a hanky, it said, for tears of joy! The LOVE and JOY was palpable throughout: A glorious, fun occasion.
Post script to blog:
One more of those moments! Erin's dad delivers a 50+ pound, 18+ inch high marble Teddy bear to Erin at the head table.... actually, given it's weight, delivered by 'her' 6ft 2in brother. Took me a while, so no picture. WHAT? Yes, carved by noted carver... has carved for Queen; and marble, ancient with petrified rocks. But the real significance? Well, the bear has been a symbol of the Royal Wedding of 2011... little did I know. Steve then contexting Erin & Elliot's wedding year. A happy father/daughter moment in true Steven Donohoe style.
The Bear! (from Ms. Groves excellent professional photos)