Stacey and her fiancée, Tony have attended our church since they were teenagers. Even with help from their parents, they don't have a great deal of money to spare and were concerned that they would not be able to have the wedding celebration that they really wanted. However, thanks to the rest of the congregation we gave them a wedding fit for royalty.
There was no need to send invitations because everyone in the church knew about the wedding. Of course, the wedding would be at our church with an outdoor reception immediately afterward.
Saturday night a team of the most creative members of the congregation decorated the church to make it look like a royal wedding was about to take place there. A royal blue carpet runner was unrolled down the aisle and they also made dozens of pew bows in royal blue and gold.
Most of the flowers came out of the gardens of our congregation and were brought to the church early by volunteers on the morning of the wedding. Beautiful roses, daisies, tulips, carnations and even a few sunflowers and ivy were made into garlands to decorate the pews.
Stacey's grandmother and aunt are fantastic seamstresses and both made their own wedding gowns when they got married. Stacey's grandmother had made many party dresses and costumes over the years for her children and grandchildren. By making Stacey's dress themselves, she could afford a gown that was far more elegant than anything she could buy.
Our church is blessed with many good cooks and I think the food was the most fun to prepare. The first thing we did was to sit down with the couple and design a menu and then divided up the work of preparation, and serving and presentation. I spent a week learning how to carve melons, oranges and zucchini into amazing shapes. I had a ball!
Stacey's father used his computer to make up wedding programs. They were really elegant and creative. On the cover was a picture of Stacey and Tony. Below were the words, "The Royal Wedding of Prince Tony to Princess Stacey." Inside was the sequence of events including instructions for the special candle lighting part of the ceremony.
I think his creativity was infectious because Tony's little sister and her best friend looked up the families' crests on the Internet and made banners out of scrap material they bought at a fabric shop. The banners would be carried by the best man and maid of honour. They were really beautiful and I couldn't believe how much they looked like the actual crests.
The weather for the wedding on Saturday afternoon was perfect. Everyone dressed elegantly as this was not just a wedding, but a royal one. One of the women in the congregation is a harpist and agreed to play pieces selected by Stacey and Tony for the processional and the ceremony.
As everyone filed into the church, each adult was given a white taper to use in the special candle lighting ceremony.
Tony indeed looked like a prince in his black morning coat with gold buttons and epaulettes, a white shirt and royal blue cumber bund and bow tie. His black pants had a matching strip of royal blue running down the side seam. Our minister stood beside him wearing vestments of blue and gold.
The best man, Alex, was dressed in a black morning coat, but without the epaulettes. His cumber bund and bow tie were royal blue and he carried Tony's family crest banner proudly as he walked towards the altar. Beside him the maid of honour, Beth, carried the banner of Stacy's family crest. She wore a royal blue dress with a princess neckline and skirt complimentary in style to the bride's gown.
Stacey's gown was made of white satin. It was styled after a Victorian gown she saw in a picture. It had a corseted bodice, sweetheart neckline, long sleeves, a full skirt and long elegant train. The bodice of the gown was adorned with beadwork and trimmed in lace. Around her shoulders was a matching white satin cape, lined with gold satin and a collar of faux ermine fur. Her dark hair was intricately piled on top of her head and she wore a rhinestone tiara worn by her great grandmother on her wedding day.
Stacey's father also looked very regal in his black morning coat as he walked his daughter down the aisle. His coat was trimmed in gold like Tony's and he also wore a royal blue cumber bund and trousers with a stripe of royal blue down the side seam. He led his daughter to Tony and placed her hand in his then backed away.
At the end of the traditional ceremony, all the adult guests came up and lit their candles from the flame of the white pillar candle held by the bride and groom, then went back to their places while the couple read a special message thanking everyone for being a part of their wedding, as well as a part of their lives.
The guests extinguished their candles after the recessional of the bride, groom and wedding party then went outside to watch as a dozen white doves were released. The photographer captured a beautiful image of Tony and Stacey kissing as the birds took flight.
To make things simpler the royal feast was served buffet style. There were lots of tables set with, royal blue table cloths and silver utensils. The centrepieces were very beautiful. Troy's aunt had made them. She took wine bottles, tied a gold artificial rose around them with organza ribbon and placed a gold candle in the mouth of each bottle. She also made the favours which were royal blue boxes decorated with a gold silk rose on the lid and filled with homemade mocha almond fudge.
A really terrific band played a variety of music, but mostly people were lining up for the buffet. There were so many wonderful dishes: lemon pepper chicken, roast beef, and glazed ham. There were even more side dishes, roast yams, green beans, creamed spinich, roasted potatoes, and a variety of salads. Everything was so delicious!. Everyone got to have a look at the wedding cake while standing in line for the buffet. The wedding cake was a masterpiece; ornately decorated with sculptured sugar roses, silvery sugar pearls and an intricate lattice work of frosting. It had been made by the bakery Stacey's family has been going to for years.
The band leader introduced Stacey and Tony as they made their grand entrance. The wedding party took their places at the head table and Alex, the best man made gave a toast as everyone was sitting down to eat.
After dinner, the band leader announced the bride and groom's first dance and after it, the daughter father and mother son dances. After that everyone, from young to old, got up and danced.
An hour later there was another pause in the revelry for the bouquet and garter toss. Stacey and Troy decided to do both at the same time so all the single men and single women lined up at opposite ends of the dance floor while they stood in the centre and tossed both on the count of three. I thought the variation was really great. Tony's younger brother, Rick caught the garter and Beth, the maid of honour caught the bouquet!
Everyone danced and chatted until it was time to cut the wedding cake. It was so beautiful it was almost a shame to it. It was very delicious with an apricot filling, yum!
After everyone had a piece of cake, Stacey and Troy said their good-byes and departed in a white limousine for their honeymoon.
Both families thanked everyone for making this the most elegant wedding either family had seen. From start to finish it was a lot of fun and everyone considered it an honour to participate in making their wedding day so memorable.