My brother-in-law tells me that I looked livid during the whole wedding address, which focused on the sanctity of marriage, how it is being attacked today, and defined marriage as between a man, woman, and God. He was sitting in the front row and took pictures as evidence. Apparently it's very obvious in the video -- I was standing behind the speaker.
My maid of honor speech went over well. I got the most laughs. Not that it was a competition or anything...
The quick highlights:
* Island time! Everything started at least an hour late. So yes, the Palmer side all got there early and had to wait forever.
* The photographer, who was booked very last minute, basically followed the guests around and sponged off of their shots. He didn't direct any photos or make any suggestions. It was actually kind of hilarious, to see him trailing behind the small crowd of camera-carrying guests.
* The groomsmen were all huge fans of The 300. So we kept hearing their rallying cry of "Spartans! Spartans!" in Kiwi accents. Everywhere.
* The bride put the wrong hotel on the invitations, so half the guests went to the wrong hotel first for the reception.
* There were 11 total toasts or speeches on the reception program. The first one was offered to the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. With water. Which I find a little ironic, given Jesus' first miracle, at a wedding in Cana. The Martinelli's arrived late, sometime during the fourth or fifth toast.
* The bride's family accidentally stumbled upon the reception program in the limo from the church to the reception. That's when we realized half of the insanity of the wedding planning was the bride being flaky, and the other half was her hiding the fact that the pastors were orchestrating the whole thing.
* The first dance was some random song I wouldn't even recognize if I heard it again. But at least it wasn't "Bless the Broken Road"!
* Turns out the "first" dance was also the only dance, unless you count the Polynesian troupe of girls from the church that performed twice.
* My brother-in-law was asked to put together a PowerPoint presentation of the couple's respective childhoods and then eventual life together (we were joking that they wanted a photo montage of "the broken road.") Problem was, there are only like nine pictures of them together to begin with. Then there was the issue of the groom's childhood pictures being in black and white, which made him look a hell of a lot older than he really is. The bro also had to try valiantly to mask the huge age difference between the two, by sticking in a lot of the bride's pictures from college.
* Most people who spoke from the groom's side mentioned the fact that it was a wedding of "widow's children." But they referred to the bride's childhood as if her dad had died when she was 2 and not 20. As a sibling of the bride, I was a little offended. It's not like we were raised fatherless. And the bride didn't correct anyone! La Madre eventually did, in her allotted speech time, but still. By then, it had already been harped on at least five times.
There were also so many layers of ethnic, cultural, and religious factors to deconstruct. When missionaries arrived in Samoa in the early to mid-19th century, traditional Samoan community leaders became pastors. They were then recognized as leaders by both their people and the British/Americans/Germans.
The groom's entire family are pastors. So by default, all of the speeches by family members were mini sermons. Which meant I was the only speaker at both the ceremony and reception that didn't mention God.
And damn! Coming from an oral tradition means not only a lot of speeches, but long ones too! And we thought Palmers could blab...
In the end, despite the fact that the bride's family had to spend six hours venting to each other yesterday, the couple themselves seemed happy.
Now accepting bets for when the first kid arrives...