A Cambodian/Hawaiian/American/rustic chic/temple weddings
About a month ago, I found out on Facebook that my soul mate companion Sister Ang was finally coming to America to marry the guy who has been wanting to marry her for some 6 years. It's a long, roller coaster-y love story where at one point she was oblivious to his affections, another closer to annoyed and borderline repulsed, shortly followed by willing, then eager, and now enamored and destined for eternity.
I 100% invited myself to the wedding and dubbed myself the official bride helper. Nary and Ammon had a huge Cambodian wedding (in the eyes of the Cambodians) slash engagement party (as designed by the couple) before they left Phnom Phen so the bride wasn't too concerned with little traditional details like having special wedding jewelry and shoes, and being pampered with pedicures and lingerie. The groom was mostly just stereotypically oblivious to a lot of these things, things like having something to eat for breakfast on the morning of the wedding and sending out invitations to people before a week prior to the wedding...or at all in some cases. C'est la vie, right? Or as the Thais would say it: arai goh dai! Whatevs.
The sealing was lovely. I got to be an escort for the second time, which is really special for me. The sealer was one of the best I've ever heard, maybe because I'm new to this wife thing and finally have some context for marriage advice. He talked about all parts of the ceremony, which is quick as it is a blur, especially for the bride and groom. He talked about promises and blessings and the power of these, and he talked about the importance of receiving your spouse, for everything they are and are not, and giving yourself to them as the focus of your efforts. "You don't see eternity by looking at yourself , but when you look at your spouse," or something like that. I have for a long time not quite understood why in the LDS ceremony, the woman promises to give herself to the man, but the same is not said in return. As the sealer talked, it clicked that when a man holds the priesthood, he has already promised to give himself to whatever is under his stewardship, which might be a church calling, but is very much a family and especially a wife. Since women do not make any similar promises to God about giving themselves to others prior to a sealing, this is their chance. Both husband and wife are asked to promise to receive their spouse, a new thing for everyone. A new responsibility and opportunity to be blessed. God always has blessings for us that we have to decide to receive or not. Marriage, and the companionship, example, and stewardship that comes along with it, is one of those blessings. We choose to receive it (i.e. him or her) for better or worse, in sickness and health , yada yada yada. And the more fully we receive, the more full our blessings and more rich our injection as a family unit.
The reception was luau style, meaning starting at 1pm and was filled with food. The groom is half Hawaiian (I'm convinced 1/4 Polynesian must be the prettiest ace combo I've ever seen, btw) and his sister, likely a Pinterest fan, strung colorful bunting and paper butterflies around the backyard, which, by the way, was also my dream back yard full of fruit trees, a trellis shaded patio and a soft lawn.
I love my Nary and I'm so happy to get to be there at many stops along her love roller coaster, especially this one. Ammon is a good man, and he will love her and give her as much independence as much as every woman needs.