Saturday, June 5, 2010

Wedding Video and Photos

When we were still graduate students, I was graduating and Lily would be at school for a few more years, we got married at a wedding chapel. The wedding ceremony was short and simple, however it was formal and solemn, with only two witnesses, our mothers.

As we walked out the chapel, our 10 minute wedding ceremony was playing outside on a TV monitor already. We bought the ceremony video for memory at $50 price - quite expensive - it was one of our all time best buys though! The first thing we did when we got home was to transcribe the video and translated the transcript into Chinese for our mothers.

Our formal celebration of our union was a reception a week later at our school. We entertained our friends, classmates and our thesis advisors with food, music and the video.

Afterwards the celebration of our wedding anniversary is usually very simple: We watch our wedding ceremony video together on the night of the anniversary day - "With this ring, I thee wed, this is my promise, you are forever my love", "With this ring, I thee wed, and with it I give it all the treasure of my mind, my heart and my hands" - we are moved by our own simple wedding ceremony every year!
The wedding chapel took many pictures of us during our ceremony - in our most natural postures and expressions because we did not know that pictures were taken. A friend also took many pictures of us on the school campus. The wedding picture we liked the most was the one taken by the friend - we held hands, looked ahead in the same direction, she was in the white wedding gown, I was in black suite and red tie. We were full of youthful energy, full of happiness, and full of hope. It has been a fixture at our night stand all these years.
To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we did something extra. Lily hand made a beautiful card chronicled the milestones of our marriage. Its cover was decorated with our initials A and L made from little heart shaped stars, and it ended with a beautiful poem "You are the one". It was a surprise anniversary gift to me. Coincidentally I was preparing a long article on our first 12 years together including our dating time. I started working on it on new year's day, I did not complete it on the anniversary day. It became a project for us, I would draft a chapter, Lily made comments and then I made revisions. I completed the 26 page memoir "Our Journey" on new year's eve. An intended wedding anniversary present from me to Lily became a new year's day present for ourselves.
Five more years have passed, as always, with ups and downs. On our wedding anniversary day, we will watch our wedding ceremony again, listening to the advice of the minister " Two of you are here to nourish each other, not just in words, but with deeds that can accumulate moment by moment ......two of you have taken each other into a closer brace, and a closer walk. That does not mean you disappear into each other. Both of you stand in the sunshine, both of you loving, both of you being studious, both of you being generous giving and receiving your attention and your warmth ........"

To us, marriage means being together, sharing one life. As we share our burdens, the burdens are halved, as we share our pain, the pain is reduced; as we share our joys, the joys are doubled, as we share our happiness, the happiness is amplified.

How small
a grain of sand
a wisp of hair
and man!
How large
a grain of time
a wisp of giving
and love!

Note: Shown in the picture was a gift from my mother in law - the Chinese characters mean "Forever in Love"

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