Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘church Ajaltoun (Mar Zakhia Lebanon)

D-Day for the wedding of Joanna and Yuhanna: It is 1:15 pm.  Part 3  September 3, 2010

In context, the previous post stated:

“D-Day for the wedding of Joanna and Yuhanna was on Saturday, August 28, at 1:30 pm in a tiny renovated church in Ajaltoun (Mar Zakhia, Lebanon).

The church felt cozy and even the priest cried: The couple were really happy and ready to finally get officially married.

Priests of two different christian sects (Maronite and Greek Orthodox) joined prayer in the ceremony.  There were no chatting in church:  People were attending an unusual event that was well planned and executed in joy.

I managed at the last minutes to have a picture taken with the bride before the convoy of 30 cars, decorated for the occasion, rambled off around 1:15 pm.  The church ceremony was to be held at 1:30 pm and we were 45 minutes away from the location.

The plan was that the convoy should be starting around 11:30 at the latest, but the bride didn’t come back from the hairdresser until 10:30 and the maids of honor not before 11:30.

Joanna sat by the chauffeur, her sister Ashley, and the principal maid of honor. and in Ashley’s little pistachio car too.

Grandmother Julia (who cried profusely when she heard the first arriving cars honking) tried hard to convince Joanna to sit in the backseat, as tradition requires.  Joanna would have nothing of that nonsense; how could she sit in the back while her younger sister Ashley is driving?

Joanna’s dad Victor wanted to be the second car behind the bride, but he got entangled with other less important details, such as with guests they don’t know the region or any of the family members.  Thus, Victor ended up lining up at the end of the convoy and he could not bypass cars, many of them drivers not used to driving in Lebanon.”

My dad got the ride with Victor and got terribly scared of Victor’s frantic driving.  Ashley was driving fast to make schedule and the line in the convoy broke down, along with the traditional honking.

The maids of honor decided in the last minutes to form two lines with colored parasols for the bride to walk through.

Yuhanna was waiting arms folded.  He had run out of the church to meet the bride but the priest reprimanded him on that behavior: Yuhanna was not supposed to see the bride yet.

Victor led the bride inside the church and delivered her to the groom.  The couple lighted a candle placed in a bouquet of flowers in the center of the aisle.

The groom and bride honor members entered from the side doors and accompanied their corresponding partners.  There were six honored pairs.

At the end of the ceremony, people not attending the party were to congratulate the couple outside the church. It didn’t work that way:  everyone wanted to congratulate inside the church and immediately.

One of the uncles of Joanna is a Jehovah Witness and refused to come inside the church, him, his wife and children.

The after wedding party was celebrated 30 minutes away in an open air restaurant in Faqra, called Troy and at the crossroad to the ancient castle.  This is a first for a wedding party held at 3 pm in the afternoon.

The weather was cool and dry and No flying pests were noticed:  Maybe because the food served was entirely vegetarian. The dishes were in great varieties, abundance, and wonderfully delicious.

The guests were awestruck with the novelty of the whole project. The buffet was filled with all kinds of vegetarian recipes and we navigated from surprise to surprise.

Fruity drinks and whiskey were  handed “a volonte’ ” and desert kept getting varied as the party progressed. That was a quick summary or a prompting. Now for a few details.

The convoy headed for the celebration party for eating, dancing, and taking more pictures.  Again the convoy got broken and Victor had to answer calls on the proper direction to the location in Faqra.

I was riding with Victor because my dad was apprehensive of repeating the experience with Victor and rode in another car.  As we arrived around 3 pm, most of the guests were already seated at their assigned places.

The friends of Joanna and Yuhanna, not related to the couple, were gathered around a table of 20  seats.

It was a beautiful day and cool inside the large white tent.

Before desserts were served, Joanna and Yuhanna opened the inaugural dance and immediately followed by musical performance Joanna on the flute and Yuhanna on the trombone.  Couples headed to the dance floor in the middle.

It got crazier and crazier as the party progressed and youth became the vast majority.  Ashley and Rania sang a duet.  There were no professional paid photographers, but everyone was a photographer; only three among them were professionals.

People kept visiting the buffet for additional servings as more varieties of vegetarian plates kept materializing.  The party disbanded after 8 pm and a group resumed the partying in Hamra.

(To be continued)

Note: Out of the more than 3,000 pictures taken by scores of photographers, I was barely captured in four photos; I made myself scarce but danced a lot.




November 2022

Blog Stats

  • 1,513,187 hits

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by

Join 820 other followers
%d bloggers like this: