Monday, January 14, 2013

Wedding Pictures

Alright, here is a special  post about Daniel and Sabrina's wedding for all of those who are awaiting news and pictures. As you read it, please keep in mind that I am writing it after traveling all night and that all the pictures were taken by unofficial  photographers, so please forgive any mistakes that may have gone unnoticed. :)

The wedding took place yesterday (Jan. 12th) at a "sitio" in Jundiaí. A sitio here in Brazil is usually a large piece of land that may have a few cows and even a garden on it, but it is usually used for recreational purposes. This sitio in particular had a lake with paddle boats, soccer field, horses, dormitories and several buildings which can be rented for special events. 

Sabrina originally wanted an outdoor wedding, so they rented this sitio and planned to have the ceremony on a lawn near the lake. However, three days before the wedding Jundiaí began having heavy rains to the point that several neighborhoods were at risk of experiencing mudslides.  The wedding ceremony was eventually moved to a covered deck near the lake.

Sabrina with help from her family did as many of the preparations for the wedding as she could. For starters, she made all the wedding invitations by hand. Here is a link to a video of her making one of the invitations if you would like to see it:

Sabrina helped her dad make the podium that was used for the ceremony...

....and she helped her mom make the chocolate and coconut candies which were served after the reception. Sabrina also took care of all the flower arrangements.

The Sukerth family also put together a special glass table for the wedding cake.

The finished cake table was very nice! Underneath the table Henrique, Sabrina's brother, put a small platform with colorful LED lights in it. This allowed the platform and the cake table to be always changing colors.

Now I don't want you to think that Daniel was lazy in the months leading up to the wedding so I will include some pictures of what he was busy with. :) Just as soon as he decided to propose to Sabrina, Daniel began looking for a house in São José dos Campos, which is where he works and attends church. The cost of housing in the booming city of São José is very high. Daniel quickly discovered that buying a house was out of the question and renting a house would be difficult. After reading the classifieds multiple times and looking into every option he could find, Daniel found a small house where he could rent the top floor.

As you can tell, the house wasn't in the best shape, but structurally it is a good house, so Daniel set to work fixing it up. He varnished the wooden ceilings, learned to do some electrical repairs, sanded and repainted the gate, and even put in a wall with the help of a brother from his church.

You will also be glad to know that he exchanged the  horrible green paint for several coats of a nice off-white paint.

The wedding ceremony was supposed to begin at 5:30 yesterday afternoon, but it ended up running a little late. This is not unusual in Brazil. Some folks even believe that if a bride arrives late to her wedding, it brings good luck. :) In Daniel and Sabrina's case, though, a good number of guests were still arriving a good fifteen or twenty minutes after starting time, so we all just had to wait.

Thankfully the time we waited gave us an opportunity to take a family picture....

....and it gave Benjamin and Daniel plenty of time to stand on the platform. :)

Yes, that is right! My older brother Ben came to Brazil in order to officiate at Daniel's wedding. I wondered, at first, if the eleven years Ben spent in the States would make his Portuguese rusty. But it didn't! At Daniel and Sabrina's request, Ben preached an excellent message on the need to have Christ first of all as Saviour and then also as the center of our marriages and homes.

The wedding ceremony began shortly after 6 p.m. Due to where I was sitting, I wasn't able to get pictures of many people coming down the aisle, but I did get this picture of Sabrina and her dad walking by.

Daniel and Sabrina sat on a park bench while Ben preached.

After the preaching was done, Daniel and Sabrina stood up and two little girls brought the rings up the aisle. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of  what happened, but it was a funny point in the wedding so I must tell you about it. The two little girls are sisters and they were very cute in their matching dresses. The older sister is ten years old and the younger one is just learning to walk. The littlest one did pretty well taking her baby steps next to her big sister for the first half of the aisle, but then she must have gotten tired and kept wanting to sit down on the floor after every two steps. The older girl did pretty well at first lifting the little one up and getting her to take another few steps, but about three benches from the end of the aisle the little girl couldn't walk any more. Her sister's vigorous tugging on her arm produced no results, so Ben stepped off the platform, lifted the little girl to her feet, and with one little hand holding onto her sister and the other little hand holding Ben's fingers, she made it to the end of the aisle. The rings, by the way, were carried down the aisle in a wooden box which Daniel made to use when he asked Sabrina to marry him.

After rescuing the little girl, Ben stepped back up on the platform and performed the vows. I was able to film that part of the ceremony. Unfortunately, my blog doesn't want to upload the video, so I will post a link to it here: 
I suggest you watch it, because right before their kiss Daniel and Sabrina gave the audience a surprise. :)
You might have noticed the rain in the video. January is the month of rain here in Brazil, and even though there were a lot of people hoping that the wedding day would be overcast but dry, it rained for the greater part of the day. Thankfully most of the time the rain was a light drizzle, but the rain became heavy during the last part of the wedding ceremony. During this heavy rain, the bride and groom were sprayed on their backs and a gutter overflowed and came gushing down onto the platform and generously sprayed Ben's pant legs, but everything continued on. During the reception I overheard two ladies jokingly say that Sabrina must have eaten out of a pan several times. It seems there is a Brazilian saying which states that if a bride eats directly out of a pan there will be rain during the wedding. :)

Following the conclusion of the wedding ceremony, we all moved to the adjoining building where the reception was going to be held. Sabrina's colors were for the most part various shades of pink, but the tables and chairs for the reception had been done in brown and white with a pot of pink violets as a centerpiece.

Here is a closeup of the table decorations. The white paper with the little bride and groom on it is actually a menu telling about what is going to be served.

The meal that was served was especially creative. Sabrina began the planning process for the reception by looking into various catering services, but they were all too pricey. Then she stumbled across this company called "Pizza Architects".

The "Pizza Architects" make their own pizzas, and then pack the pizzas and their own oven up and take them to the events that they are catering. The idea was creative and the price affordable, so Sabrina hired them to do the reception.

During the first hour and a half after the wedding, the "Architecs" served a variety of meat, cheese, and even vegetable pizzas. At our table we had a pizza with tuna and onions, another with zucchini and cheese, a very common one with pepperoni, and an uncommon one that had sliced hot dogs and shoestring potatoes. They were all good. Later in the evening, the "Architecs" began passing around sweet pizzas, which included a pizza with strawberries and chocolate sauce, a banana pizza sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, and a Romeo and Juliet pizza, which has cheese and guava jam.

While we were busy enjoying the pizza, Daniel and Sabrina took a lot of pictures,...

....walked around the room greeting people, and then Daniel had to sell a tie.

It is customary at Brazilian weddings for the groom's buddies to gang up on him, put an old tie around his neck and lead him around the room asking the male guests for donations. When a guest makes a donation, the groom's buddies cheer loudly and give the guest a piece of the groom's tie.

You should have heard all the wild cheering and clapping that went on when on when Ben donated a ten dollar bill!

Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Gardner

And that folks is the end of my pictures! Daniel and Sabrina are away on their honeymoon in Campos do Jordão, which is a pretty tourist city nestled among the hills not so very far from Jundiaí. The rest of us, with the help of coke, chocolate, and the alphabet game, traveled all night to come home. :)