We follow the balloons and "W + D" signs down Fern Lake Road to the wedding, turn into the grassy drive, and park our car in the meadow. It's almost 12:00, and wedding guests, the bride and groom, and our hosts are milling around the backyard, talking and nibbling on locally-made goat cheeses, strawberries, and crackers. Someone starts a fire in the barbecue, so kebabs can be grilled later on. We avail ourselves of the basket of insect repellent, as the mosquitos are out in full force, but we're happy standing around visiting until the ceremony actually starts.
Two carloads of guests are late, however, so the ceremony begins after they arrive, closer to 1:00 than noon, but no one seems to mind--least of all Wai Yee and David, who look happy and relaxed. Although it rained early that morning, the weather now is perfectly sunny and warm, but not too hot.
We process down a path in between grasses and wildflowers to the edge of the woods, where the ceremony is held. The guests form a crowd two or three people deep and stand, facing the wedding party, during the vows, rings, scripture reading, homily, and three lovely songs. Wai Yee and David kiss chastely, then again when someone yells happily, "One more!"
When we reverse the processional and return to the yard, there's a receiving line, and then someone is grilling beef, chicken, and vegetable kebobs, and big bowls of salads join the cold drinks and appetizers on the many tables dotting the lawn. Most people carry their plates over to the long tables underneath the tent. There's no dancing, but music is piped out on speakers, and everyone comments on the nice mix of Madonna, the Beatles, and "Kill Bill" songs, among many others.
Our hosts pour champagne, and the best man and maid of honor toast the happy couple, who then cut their cake and daintily feed each other small pieces with their fingers. The bridal pair made the cake themselves, with friend Kristijan's family nut-cake recipe, and the three small tiers are each wrapped in marzipan and decorated with green ribbon and daisies. Then, the cake demolished, Wai Yee throws her daisy bouquet, and David ("It's an old Polish tradition!" he claims) his daisy boutineer.
When the festivities wind down in the late afternoon, some guests leave for drives home, and others go to area motels to check in and change. Wai Yee and David change, too, into pants and matching hooded sweatshirts, and most of the young people return around 9:00 at night for a bonfire in one corner of the yard.
Then, everyone roasts marshmallows, corn on the cob, and Vermont natural-casing hot dogs on the fire, with some people making s'mores. Meanwhile, a mob of Eastern European and Russian guests sing Russian drinking songs, and various male guests take turns poking at the fire, shovelling coals, and adding more wood late into the night.
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Created: 07/05/04. Last Modified: 07/05/04.