Yep, you read that right!
We went to a Ukrainian wedding.
What an experience!
We were in for a total culture shock.
It was a neat adventure for sure.
The wedding was held in the middle of a church service.
Actually, it pretty much was the church service.
We were going to attend church with Yurie and Svetta at the local Baptist Church but Yurie had to take some other guests of theirs to the airport so he had a friend of his, a local doctor, come pick us and Svetta up to go to his church.
It was a Penticostal church and was very different from the one I grew up in.
Yes, I was raised Penticostal and then now attend a Baptist church.
Before anyone gets all upset about me even mentioning religion, please understand that I don't care what the outside of your church building says as long as the core beliefs are the core beliefs.
Jesus is God's son, he loved us so much that he gave his son in death to cover our sins.
I could care less about all of the legalistic bull.
The point in telling you this is that you would understand that this church in particular did things very different.
The first thing we were told is that it was a Ukrainian bride and a Polish husband.
The Polish family sat on one side of the cafeteria and the Ukrainians on the other side and we were somewhere in the middle.
The bride was not escorted in by her father or anyone else.
She leisurely walked into the room before the ceremony and just started visiting with everyone as we would do during a reception.
I'm sure she was thinking, who on Earth are those people?
I was in awe and just joined the rest of the "paparazi" of family and friends.
She was not wearing any make up which was so odd to me as it was her wedding day.
She looked lovely none the less.
The bride and groom meet up as it was time to start after the groom climbed up a stool to fix the sound of course. Then they sat together on a bench on the side of the room as the preacher gave a sermon about how important marriage is.
We had the doctor who was translating for us but unfortunately, he was not very fluent in English and we got a summary every now and then of what had happened.
This had to be the LONGEST wedding I've EVER been to.
Seriously, it was over 4 hours long!
No, I'm not kidding!
They did a lot of talking, then praying all at once, standing up and shouting at the top of their lungs, then they would have one side of the family come and sing and then the other and repeat several times.
Here is the wedding party.
Her best friend and his best friend standing beside them.
Simple yet effective.
Now, this was one of the coolest parts of the wedding that I've ever seen!
The mothers of the bride and groom came and laid out a customary blanket for the couple to kneel on.
They knelt together and each prayed to God to bless their union.
This is one of the most beautiful expressions of love I've seen.
This man on his knees, praising God for giving him his wife and asking that God would help him to be the husband he is called to be.
After they did their prayers, each of their mothers came and layed hands on them, praying over them and their marriage as well.
The Maid of Honor and Best Man were by their side the whole time praying for them as well.
It was truly a beautiful thing.
I think we can learn a thing or two from this ceremony.
Think you'll see some of these things in my kids' weddings?
Couldn't hurt to pray over them and after all, God is to be the CENTER of our marriage!
Why not start with him there?