Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Jay and Hannah's Wedding, Day 2

September 4, 2011

Dance Instruction

To get ready for the first dance, a Samoan one, at the wedding reception a little instruction and practice was needed. Ladies went with Hannah who instructed the ladies on Samoan movements and how women are to be aloof, teasing them, but “not really” to notice the wild movements and yelling of the half-naked men gesticulating around them. Meanwhile Jay instructed the men that they were to be like roosters, crowing about and puffing out their feathers in hopes of attracting a hen or two.

More activities



The Wedding Ceremony

One of the reasons Jay and Hannah picked this camp was the hillside site high above a West Virginia lake where they would exchange their vows. As luck would have it, minutes before the ceremony was to begin, it began to rain. Hannah had a backup plan to have the ceremony in the same building as the reception. This proved to save the day; not as picturesque, but certainly drier. I had the honor to act as “officiate” for the ceremony, being both part Rabbi, representing Hannah’s side of the family, and part Faifea’u, Samoan minister, for Jay’s part of the family. The ceremony was conducted under a Huppah, ending with Jay stomping on a glass while everyone yells “Mazel Tov!”

The Huppah, messages were written to the couple on the cloth quilt

The wedding party is coming

Taking their vows

"Although I have no power vested in me, I now pronouce you man and wife"

Exiting processional

The Reception

At the reception there were toasts from the Maid of Honor, Kate Everett, Best Man, Sonny (Jay’s Samoan cousin from Seattle) along with the Mother and Father of the Bride. The fun started with the first dance as Hannah performed her graceful moves while Jay did his Samoan male part of wildly dancing around her. Then the others joined with a wild passion, not even hoped for during practice earlier in the day. We were all Samoans. The party had begun.

Note: Due to the unwritten rules of Peace Corps Volunteers many parts of the reception have been excluded.

Wedding cake top with cup cakes of sea colored frosting and tropical ingredients

Bride and Groom starting First Dance

Group 78 attendees
Front: Kate Everett, Mary Shuraleff, Hannah Goldman, Christian Heath, Erin Jenkins

Rear: Jacob Burney, Nick Shuraleff, Donna Barr, Justin Newnum

Peace Corps attendees

Front: Cale and Sara Reeves, Laura Hanks, Kate Everett, Hannah Goldman,Sally Briggs,Erin Jenkins, Eric Geer

Rear: Nick Shuraleff, Megan Veltrie, Jacob Burney, Donna Barr, Justin Newnum, Christian Heath, Stephanie Hue

Script of Wedding Ceremony (Written by Hannah and Jay)
Huppah with Uncle Steve, Mom, Dad, and Donna (due to illness did not hold Huppah)


6 members of the wedding party one at a time



Hannah circles Jay 3 times


Nick: Beloved family of friends, we are gathered on this beautiful hillside to celebrate the marriage of Hannah and Jay. This is a joyous occasion when we get to witness the joining of two lives and two unique families. Jay and Hannah are dedicating their lives to each other and embarking on a lifelong adventure that will be exhilarating, enlightening and challenging. Fortunately, they have already shown they have all the tools needed for this journey: patience, mutual respect and the ability to find joy in every day. They will use these tools to face together whatever life throws their way, be it good times or hard times. To symbolize the sweetness of a life shared by loving spouses, Jay and Hannah will share a cup of wine.

Prayer over the wine by Jay

Jay: Baruch atah adonai elohainu melech haolam, borei pre hagafen.

Jay offers sip to Hannah, then Hannah offers sip to Jay

Nick's comments on couple

Introduction to vows

Nick: Marriage is a lifelong commitment to be celebrated, yet taken with care and reflection. A bride and groom speak aloud their promises to each other during their vows and will from then on, wear a reminder of those vows on their ring finger. Before Jay and Hannah make those vows, they have asked that you bless their union and their rings by warming them with your well wishes and your hands. When a ring reaches you please hold it just for a moment, and take the opportunity to make a silent wish or prayer for the couple. Then pass the ring on to the next person so that when returned, the rings are all the more precious for containing your love and support for their union.

Ring Warming

Vows/Rings (Each line is repeated by Hannah or Jay, Hannah first)

Nick: Please repeat after me

I, Hannah/Jay

Take you Jay/Hannah

To be my beloved husband/wife

To love and to cherish

To respect and to protect

All the days of my life

For richer and for poorer

In sickness and in health

And in all the times in between

I promise

To never stop laughing, singing or dancing

To always sleep naked

And to always be your equal and loving partner

Take this ring as a symbol of my everlasting love and devotion

Nick: Although I have no power vested in me by anyone, I now pronounce you husband and wife. Jay, you may kiss your bride! (Kiss)

Jay smashes glass and everyone yells “Mazel Tov!”

Recessional (bride and groom first)