Scenes From a Wedding

Astor Courts in Rhinebeck, New York,

Rhinebeck, New York, was the place to be on Saturday if you had a yen for wedding madness.

Security was tight in the otherwise tranquil, tree-lined, Hudson River village known for its annual Dutchess County agricultural fair and vintage aerodrome shows. The buzz among the townspeople was palpable with congratulations signs in all the merchants’ windows. Even the four local pizza restaurants were trying to outdo each others’ wedding day specials by making new offers hour-by-hour. . .

. . . from two slices and free Coke to two free slices and free Coke to two free slices, a free coke and a half price calzone.

I arrived at the wedding venue early, presented my Print magazine press card and was told to wait in the garden. I immediately pulled out my iPhone and, pretending to look at the Weather App,  secretly began snapping pics.

The faulty antenna, however, isn’t the only problem with the iPhone 4. I couldn’t get a usable image (see below). So I switched to the tiny novelty digital camera on my key chain – not bad for five bucks.

Weddings always make me nostalgic for the old country:

The traditional Ukrainian wedding took place in the early spring or the autumn and lasted several days. It was divided into many acts or episodes: (1) the matchmaking (svatannia)—discussions about the marriage between the bridegroom’s representatives (starosty or svaty) and the bride’s parents or relatives; (2) the inspection (ohliadyny, obzoryny, rozhliadyny)—a visit by the bride’s relatives to the bridegrooms’s house for the purpose of assessing his wealth; (3) the betrothal (zaruchyny, rukovyny, khustky)—the marriage agreement between the young couple, symbolized by the joining of hands; (4) the branch (hiltse viltse)—a ceremonious dressing of a green tree with flowers, ribbons, and ears of wheat; (5) the wreaths (vinky)—a ritual making of wreaths using periwinkle, the symbol of virginity; (6) the invitation (zaproshuvannia) of guests to the wedding; (7) the seating (posad) of the betrothed couple in the place of honor at the table.”

Sorry. Back to the wedding: When the bride entered the main hall, she was not wearing a hiltse viltse or vinky, but she was as pretty as a periwinkle.

I watched  as her entourage,  wearing orange and blue taffeta bride’s maid gowns with purple and pink orchid corsages, helped tighten her bodice laces. The moment had arrived.

A minister and rabbi presided, each taking turns quoting from Fleetwood Mac. Following the recitations the rabbi asked the traditional: “Do you Mary Ann Smith take William Ian Dexter, for your husband?”

Hey, wait a minute, Smith and Dexter?

What the. . . I was at the wrong wedding!

Darn, my iPhone camera wouldn't work

I heard wedding guests stayed at this storied inn

Rhinebeck is also famous for the Rhinebeck Fair

Flashed my Print Magazine press card to get in

The kid's table had their own cake

You'd think they'd have cleaned up better

The bride wore white...

Darn, that camera!

Who tied that bow?

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