Friday, December 19, 2008

Natasha & Ka-Loon's wedding Part 1

What a wonderful experience it was to be with Nat & Ka-Loon for their wedding in Virginia. All who were present will have their own impressions and will tell you what was special for them. Nat & Ka-Loon's official photographer was one who expressed her impressions on her own blog. Laura's creative photography style will undoubtedly provide a wonderful album of memories that recorded this special day. My impression of Laura was that not only did she and her sister enjoy themselves professionally, but became a special part of the day. Let me quote from Laura's blog with a couple of her photos:
"nat and ka-loon were married on a cold rainy sunday at white hall manor in bluemont virginia. despite the weather this was such a fun wedding. nat and ka-loon are so fun to be around they are always being silly together. nat is from Australia and her family came to virginia for the wedding. all three of her sisters were her bridesmaids. during the toasts they wrote and sang a song to nat. it was there own version of westside story’s America teasing her about meeting a boy in america. ka-loon was nat’s boy from new york. they are so cute and sweet to each other. we went out and took pictures after the ceremony in the dark cold rain. nat must have been freezing since it was 35 degrees but we got some really great pictures! nat had so many unique little details for the day. i loved her shoes and the designs inside, the place card board with all of the guests pictures on it: how cool is that?! i also loved how many people had cameras at this wedding:i mean normally several people have cameras but this wedding took the cake! there were flashes all over the place and during the reception they were walking around taking pics too. so funny! luckily it did not interfere with mine and lisa’s shots.;) congrats nat and ka-loon, thanks for being so wonderful!"
That was Laura's impressions. Mine were filled with emotion and pride. Nat & Ka-Loon's marriage was very much an answer to Carol's and my prayer that Nat, and indeed all our grandchildren, would find men and women of integrity with godly values. It was no wonder therefore that I rather lost it when the wedding procession began.

But.....I am getting ahead of myself. Let's start this story with a logical beginning and tell you how I saw it all unfold. Just a comment about the photos. While some are from my own camera, others have come from other cameras and I am grateful to acknowledge this as well as a couple of Laura's photos.

As Laura mentioned, it was a cold and rainy Sunday, which did not stop the warmth and happiness of two delightful people as they committed to each other for the rest of their lives. The ceremony at Whitehall Manor was a lovely setting for the event. The photo of the manor was taken during rehearsals the day before!The music was provided by friends of the bridal couple. I was delighted that Nat & Ka-Loon had selected St. Anthony's Chorale for Nat's entry. Her sister Amy also chose this music for her bridal entry and I was privileged to play the organ on the occasion of her & Richard's marriage. All my daughters came down the aisle on that lovely theme and it is good to see this continue today.The men patiently waited for the arrival of the Bride who was delayed by some fifteen minutes. Poor Ka-Loon must have been wondering, but it was nothing more than a car break down that caused the lately arrival of the bridal party.

Brenda & Mrs Tung as mothers of the bride and groom were the first to be led down the aisle:Followed by three beautiful granddaughters - how Grandma would have feasted her eyes and enjoyed it all!GemmaKarinaAmyAnd here comes the bride! Stunning! Poised! Confident! Regal! Ready for the big moment!
A very proud father Graeme led his daughter to Ka-Loon:Nat & Ka-Loon had invited me to bring the ceremony before the Lord in prayer, something I was delighted to do:Pastor Kenji did a wonderful job and I was impressed by his delightful sense of humour. It was such a happy occasion, shared by some family in Hobart over SKYPE video!The Vows!That KissThat kiss from Laura's view!

Brenda made the family presentation of the Holy Scriptures. She did it so well and looked lovely. The Bible has been such an enormous part of our lives and to begin a marriage with that as a good foundation is pretty good:Kenji commited the couple in prayer to God:And while Karina & Gemma sang Rutter's setting of "The Lord Bless you and keep you !" accompanied by Amy, the couple confirmed their vows in writing:OK!! It's time to face the music:Let's go.........The meal is ready. And look at the table decorations. Very much Nat's creativity at work:Sitting down for the first meal as a married couple, we give thanks to God for His love and blessings!
The inevitable speeches were really good. Graeme was very brave - and I admired him for it, to begin his speech in Chinese, especially to honour and include Ka-Loon's mum who does not speak English. She listened most attentively and, being at the same table, I noticed her following Graeme's words with appreciation. As always, Graeme rises to these special occasions and we were all very proud of him! He is obviously making a special point in the following photo!!
The three girls did a wonderful skit based on Westside Story - America. The audience was enthralled and the couple very much appreciated it, as did we all:What a happy evening, clearly evident in the following 'small' sample of photographs:I love the above photoIt was just so good to share the occasion. A proud moment indeed!Graeme looked the part!This is a lovely photo of Amy and me!The bride & groom's first dance. Ka-Loon became quite adventurous with Nat happy to follow!Gemma considered it was fair to share the limelight and dance with her new 'brother'. Looking at Nat and father Graeme, there was obviously no objection!But Nat had her own agenda and showed her stuff, much to everyone's delight!Go for it Nat, lead everyone a merry dance. The congo-line was just the ticket:
It was really fun!Laura must have really felt to be one of the guests as Nat led the line and hemmed her in, while she was trying to take photos. A happy moment indeed!

Well, on that happy note, I will leave you to savour the moments and join the family to wish Nat & Ka-Loon a wonderful and long marriage. The next chapter will be a bit different as a week following the above, we shared the Chinese wedding celebrations in New York City. Watch this space, but probably after Christmas.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Nat & Ka-Loon's Wedding in USA - Preliminaries

It is a week ago today that I returned from a fabulous trip to America to see my oldest granddaughter marry Ka-Loon Tung, a New York City lad who knew he saw someone special when he feasted his eyes on Natasha Ruth Holt.

There was no way I was going miss this occasion and with the blessing of my heart surgeon, accompanied Brenda, Graeme & Gemma to Washington DC via Tokyo, over the Artic Circle & Alaska to New York and then DC. It was a good journey with plenty of room on board our Japan Airlines flights on both sectors.

This blog chapter is just the introduction to two more chapters, covering the Australian/American Wedding in Virginia and the Chinese Banquet/Wedding in New York City. They were so different but special in their own extraordinary ways.

So, here we go: Hobart - Sydney (overnight) - Tokyo (also overnight and where we wandered around a shopping & restaurant area near the airport) - JFK - Washington DC - 'Tung Home' in Centreville (VA).
Tokyo Airport
We arrived in plenty of time and relaxed prior to boarding. Gemma's much travelled "Trevor" had to be part of the poto take and looked quite the part.A happy moment for the Father of the Bride. After all the hectic preparations, we all looked forward to sharing Nat & Ka-Loon's special day.
Four across!! But the seating was comfortable, especially after take-off when we spread out over six seats between us. Way to go!
Arrival in Centreville VA where Nat & Ka'Loon have their lovely new home. Their unit (see below) is amazingly roomy with three levels that must cover some 24 squares (old measure) of living space that includes three bathrooms, lots of living space, huge rumpus room, three bedrooms. So, plenty of room for expansion in the future!I enjoyed my morning walks on most days and the area has some lovely tracks to explore. The temperature was between 32-35 fahr, or 0-2 Celcius. Nippy, but invigorating! There was a lovely creek/river that added to the surrounding. I was lucky enough to encounter deer on at least a couple of occasion and of course plenty of squirrels.Natasha was ever the hostess and was ably assisted - true to form, by her father Graeme. We were never wanting for a decent meal and conversation.Speaking about meals. While the girls had their 'hen' party, the guys went to a steak restaurant and shared Ka-Loon's last meal before his moment of truth. The steak was absolutely out of this world. I ordered the small one (8 ounce) and when it arrived thought I could never eat all that. Wrong!! It was one of the best steaks I have ever eaten - probably the best ever. It was juicy, tender and very tasty. A great choice. I am sorry I did not take a photo of it. Just take my word for it.

For all of us it was fun to catch up with one another, especially with Karina Sally who arrived from London the day before. The family very much enjoyed catching up with Trijntje (on the left in the next photo) who flew especially to America from Holland to share the day. I very much enjoyed meeting her and found her conversation stimulating and fun.Trijntje, Gemma, Nat & Ka-Loon.But, we were there for a special event. The above photo sees Gemma (or is it Amy - these two girls are so much alike ) & Richard (Amy's husband) assisting in preparing special gift bags for the helpers. Nat was just so organised!!! She put a lot of effort into the wedding without having the benefit of her mum's presence. I know she was wonderfully supported and helped by the many wonderful friends she has. It was a pleasure to meet and chat with them.

Well, so much for the preliminaries. The next chapter will be the wedding.