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August 4th, 2013 | Canada

Tiernan and Rachel’s Wedding…

After a quiet morning at our hotel, Patricia and I unpacked our “wedding gear” in preparation for Tiernan and Rachel’s wedding, which was to be held later that afternoon.

I am continually amazed at how my wife can conjure up a beautiful ensemble from a suitcase that looks as if it doubles as a laundry basket !! Once the zipper on her suitcase is released, the lid springs back as if on a tightly wound spring, chipping paint off walls and denting furniture, to reveal what seems like enough clothes to open a small store with !!

My suit on the other hand, had been carefully and lovingly transported, and dry-cleaned by Donna, Patricia’s sister, still in its original plastic cover, up and down the East Coast, from Maine to New Jersey (twice) and now from Maine to Prince Edward Island !! This suit is now more than ever, the official “Wedding Suit”, as I have only worn it five times, and every one of those occasions was to a wedding, one of them my own !!

The wedding took place on Rachel’s father’s farm, a short distance outside Charlottetown.

Tiernan and Rachel's wedding took place in a beautiful country setting, overlooking vineyards and a section of the West River.

Tiernan and Rachel’s wedding took place in a beautiful country setting, overlooking vineyards and a section of the West River.

Up until the point at which yarmulke’s were  handed out to all the men attending the wedding, I had no idea that this was to be a Jewish Wedding ceremony. On the few occasions that I had met Rachel, the topic of our religious affiliations had never entered the conversation, so I for one was understandably taken by surprise !

Very few of us had ever attended a Jewish wedding, and were keen to experience the different customs that the ceremony would be comprised of.

 Tiernan's sisters, Mikaela and Caitlin were bridesmaids, while Rachel's brothers, acted as groomsmen.

Tiernan’s sisters, Mikaela and Caitlin were bridesmaids, while Rachel’s brothers, acted as groomsmen.

A simple “chuppah”, or canopy had been erected near the vineyard, under which the couple were to take their vows. This canopy symbolizes the home that the newly married couple with build together. It is open on all four sides to signify unconditional hospitality… Sid and his sons had built the chuppah from boughs and stout branches. Simple and effective, and more than fitting, considering the beautiful venue…

 Sidney and Janet escort the radiant Rachel, down the grassy aisle...

Sidney and Janet escort the radiant Rachel, down the grassy aisle…

Richard Mennen, proud father of the groom, watches as his future daughter-in-law is led towards the Chuppah.

Richard Mennen, proud father of the groom, watches as his future daughter-in-law is led towards the Chuppah.

The simple, yet meaningful and beautiful ceremony took place against the backdrop of a portion of the West River, and a small vineyard that Sid hopes will produce enough fruit to start a winery. Above us, thick cloud threatened rain, but, as if to bless this special occasion, during a large portion of the ceremony, a rainbow hung out over the horizon… It was one of those magical moments in time…

 Rachel's parents, Sid and Janet look on as their daughter makes her pledge to Tiernan.

Rachel’s parents, Sid and Janet look on as their daughter makes her pledge to Tiernan.

The ceremony was conducted by a close friend of Richard’s, in both Hebrew and English,  and throughout the process he took time to explain the various stages of the procedure to us. For many of us, this gave us further insight into Jewish traditions and values.

 Rachel and Tiernam circled each other seven times during the ceremony, figuratively building the walls of their new life together.

Rachel and Tiernan circled each other seven times during one part of the ceremony, figuratively building the walls of their new life together.

After the exchange of vows and wedding rings had taken place, a wine glass, wrapped in a linen cloth, was broken under the heel of Tiernan’s shoe, which signifies that the couple identifies with the spiritual and national destiny of the Jewish people. It might also signifies the last time that Tiernan will get to “put his foot down” !!

At the end of the ceremony, the couple placed a hand on each other’s heads, and while I cannot recall the significance of this, it was for me a very touching part of what had been a moving and emotional coming together of two loving people…

"See Rachel, I am taller than you !!"

“See Rachel, I am taller than you !!”

The beautiful Mrs. Borrageiro and her Gypsy Biker husband.

The beautiful Mrs. Borrageiro and her Gypsy Biker husband.

We moved on to a large barn nearby, which had been renovated for the occasion, and where we ate and danced until well after midnight, celebrating this joyous event with Tiernan, Rachel and their families.

Ken prepares to feast... With chicken, no bib required...

Ken prepares to feast… With chicken, no bib required…

After a very hot bath, Patricia's lobster arrives at the table... I focused intently on my chicken

After a very hot bath, Patricia’s lobster arrives at the table… I focused intently on my chicken

Dinner consisted of either Lobster or chicken, and when one of the waitresses came around to confirm what we had ordered, I was horrified to discover that somehow the lobster had been allocated to me !!

I hurriedly entered negotiations with her to change that to chicken, as I do not do “crustaceans in their shell”, not in public, nor in private !!

The time and effort it takes to remove so little flesh from so much shell, in the case of crab or lobster, or crayfish for that matter, is just not worth the effort to my mind !!

And then there’s the messiness of having to use your hands to get to those hard to get bits of flesh… Sorry, that’s just not for me… Forks and knives were invented for good reason !! The chicken was delicious, by the way…

The following morning we returned to the farm to enjoy a late breakfast with the families of both bride and groom, and spent the morning taking walks down to the water’s edge and among the vineyards, and catching up with friends and family whom we had not had to opportunity to chat to the previous evening.

Once again, it had been well worth the effort of a long ride, to be at this very special event, marking a very special day in the lives of Tiernan and Rachel.

We wish them the very best of luck, and a long life together, filled with happiness and much joy !!

©GBWT 2013

1 comment to Tiernan and Rachel’s Wedding…

  • Murray

    Hi Ronnie, its been a while now since your last update of 2013. Like most people I would like to know how you have been and if there is anything in the pipeline for you?
    Perhaps one last big trip?
    Again, thank you for all the great memories. Very inspirational journey indeed.
    Cheers,
    Murray

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