I came to Massachusetts, and to the US at all, to be in my best friend’s wedding. Christina and I met in Beijing; she met her now husband, who is from Nigeria, in Cambodia; they got legally married in Thailand; then we we all together to celebrate their church wedding in the US. Confused yet? There was a decorative signpost at the wedding showing the distances guests had travelled to be there. There were guests from London, Abuja (Nigeria), and I think 7 different US states – plus me, and my 10,091 miles from Sydney. Rich (who came from London with his lovely wife, who I was delighted to finally meet) said there was no contest on distance with me there, but I said of course there was a contest – because I won it! It’s pretty amazing to have people travel from three additional continents to attend one’s wedding – but that’s the sort of people Christina and Eddie are.
The trip from Christina’s hometown to the church where she was to get married was an hour without traffic. I made the round trip four times in five days – the day I didn’t go there, I went into Boston. The next day I went to Boston AND to the church. Like I said in my last post, I drove 1,000km in 5 days! One of those Boston trips was for a little celebration – Christina, her sister and I had a mini-bacholerette night which involved a painting class and good food.
There were so many highlights – especially the reunion of many friends from China. Two other bridesmaids were in Beijing with Christina and me – we worked out that the four of us hadn’t been together at the same time in nine years. We dearly missed the fifth member of our crew who was unable to make the international trip to be there. Another bridesmaid was a(n American) friend of Christina’s from Cambodia, who I had met there briefly on one of my many trips. The maid of honour was Christina’s sister, who I felt like I’d known for years, even if we’d never met in real life. It was a lovely group of girls to spend time with.
The venues for the wedding and reception are worth a mention on their own. The ceremony was held at First Baptist Church of Townsend. The beautiful little church was built in 1834-5, with the clock tower added in 1836. This makes it a few years older than my church in Sydney. It is a lovely building, and home to a lovely community of people who chipped in to help make Christina and Eddie’s wedding a special day. The reception was held in the hall of the Congregational Church, a few minutes down the road. Both look out onto a small public green with lovely old trees, lamp posts, wooden benches, and a lovely gazebo. It was a lovely small town atmosphere, and I may have made a few Stars Hollow references…
The wedding itself was beautiful. Christina and Eddie are truly wonderful people and it was great to see a community come around to support and celebrate them. The bridesmaid dresses – in different styles but bought from the same collection in the same colour – came together really well. The church and reception hall were decorated beautifully. We managed to get a bunch of photos taken despite being behind schedule. The service was lovely. I played and sang a song I’d written for the occasion, and it came off well.
The reception was a really fun celebration, with dancing and matching African outfits Eddie’s mum had made in Nigeria from beautiful local fabrics – Eddie and Christina looked joyfully bridal in theirs, and their mothers looked fabulous in their matching dresses and hats. And as the night wound down, everyone chipped in to pack up and clean the hall before we had to be out of the building. Others had served the food all night. It was a real community celebration, and I loved it.
The morning after the wedding I drove into Boston to drop off the hire car, see another Beijing friend, and take a bus to my next destination – New York City – for some more amazing reunions.