Sunday, November 16, 2014

Manti's Wedding

I'll have to post this saga in segments. There is just too much info to do it all at once. Besides, I took approximately 500 pictures from the time we left Georgia. Picking which to post and resizing for this blog... takes time and energy. I'm low on both.

Anyway, the wedding specifically is the point of this post, so here we go!

Sheryl had asked me to make her a white buckskin dress for her wedding dress to wear at the temple. I had never met her face to face, so making her a dress was near impossible until I could meet her. We drove for 3 days to get to Albuquerque. I slept a night and the next day, Sheryl came to help me start working on her dress. I started working on it on it Tuesday. Wednesday we had somewhere to be, someone to meet, ...stuff to do. So we worked together. The motel housekeeping was stunned to see the mess we made in the floor, but thankfully she vaccuumed it anyway.

We worked Tuesday until suppertime, then Wednesday we were busy. Thursday, she had a lot to do with other arrangements, but she jumped back into it with me and nearly finished it. Friday, I did the last couple things to it and handed it over. She likes it I think :)
I was super thankful to Mama for making Manti's shirt. He's pretty pleased with it too. Of course, his modeling talent needs practice....

Saturday morning, they went to the Albuquerque Temple at 10am. They had an interview and some time there together, and then they got dressed in their wedding clothes. I was walked to the sealing room where I waited. I was so moved watching my son walk in to the room and sit down next to me to wait for his ceremony to begin. I cried. And of course, it was moving for me to see Sheryl in the dress she and I worked so hard on.

After the ceremony, we all went outside and waited for the couple. It seemed to take forever for them to come out! Later, Manti told me that the reason for that and for the hassle he gave me about making the dress "just right" was because the temple president was getting a picture so he could use it as a guideline to show other women that may wish to wear a buckskin dress into the temple in the future. I was wowed to think that little nobody me helped him have a visual standard to set for others in the future. Talk about an honor! And thank goodness I didn't know that beforehand! I would have stressed even more and doubted myself through the whole thing!

They did come out, and look at that smile!

Her family came too and were there for pictures. This one is of all the kids (well, except for 2 of Sheryl's siblings that are missing from the pic because they couldn't make it). That's a lot of family! 

This little girl is Sheryl's baby sister. Jared has claimed her. Seriously... he says this is HIS girl. He held hands with her, took care of her every 'need' and cried when he had to go home to Georgia and leave her in New Mexico. The boy is lovestruck! He had me print this picture out so he can keep it in his room with him and look at it....constantly.....and remind us that she's sooooo pretty.

So next was the reception. The cake was decorated like a traditional Navajo wedding basket. That ceremony happened later and because it was dark and a brand new experience for me, no pictures were taken (by me, at least). They told me they wanted to put their wedding clothes back on and take a picture of themselves, so maybe that will happen. They were absolutely stunning! But back to the reception....
They posed for a moment for a picture...

And then they went after each other. Both had chipmunk cheeks filled full of cake they had crammed into each others mouths. It was quite a funny moment. There IS a video of it in existence and we're going to try to get that available to show too.

The Navajo ceremony was gorgeous and awe-inspiring and memorable and.... purely awesome! It was so wonderful seeing them bind their families to them, and we were overjoyed to be included.

I'll say this:
I've learned that we are a ceremonial people. No matter what culture you are, what religion you claim, what race you are,....doesn't matter. We all are ceremonious. We have ceremonies for weddings, for baptisms, for deaths,....and its how we value those ceremonies and live up to those promises made and love and support offered that will guide us to be the people we truly are. We put on faces all the time, but those faces aren't always true indicators of WHO we are. Our value of those ceremonies does indicate who we are....really!
Think on that next time you find yourself in a ceremonial situation. What value do you place on this event? What does you level of value at that moment tell us about who you are?
Something to think on :)