Sunday, July 16, 2006


Where to start?! Other than by wondering if there is anywhere nearby that can develop my film onto CD this afternoon... despite Liam & Dylan 'borrowing' my camera I didn't quite finish the second film so it would probably make sense to wait and get both done in Kaitaia. Not sure what I've got pictures of entirely - Liam (who turned 9 yesterday) has taken some pretty good shots on my camera before but I'm sure half of them this time were of the floor or people's backs!

Various people have been asking me what kind of wedding was it going to be, to which my best answer was 'a Sarah & Karl one' which kind of ended up being about as accurate as you could get! There were readings from Quaker Faith & Practice during the ceremony, their vows were given to each other without the 'repeat after me...' stuff (in choked up voices - at which point Liam stole the show in his pageboy outfit by reaching up and patting Sarah on the shoulder which was sooo cute, even by his standards!!) and then the speeches etc were very much of the Maori tradition in style with contributions in Te Reo then English and each followed by a waiata (song). Mim (as bridesmaid) managed to wangle getting everyone to sing 'Happy Birthday' to Liam to be her waiata though which seemed a cunning plan and a half if ever there was one =) Karl's whanau were amazing with their waiata - can't quite imagine any of my family being able to produce multiple contributions in harmony and without songsheets at the whim of whichever family member had gone up to speak.

The 'traditional' speeches were followed by an open floor session where anyone could go up and say their piece (and then sing which resulted in a distinct bias as to which side of the family got up!) which reminded me in many ways of how anyone can give ministry at a Quaker wedding. Whilst my Te Reo is far from enough for me to be able to understand all of what was being said, thanks to helping M&Q practice their mihi's I had a pretty good feel for the structure of what was being said, who was being given thanks to, recognised, remembered etc. The haka performed by Karl's cousins was amazing altho at one point I had to try not to laugh out loud (which would not have been appreciated!) as I got a fleeting image of Aidan flapping his arms around trying to copy Jonathan at WGYF!

The importance of family/whanau was stressed time and again and Karl's Uncle Karl showed a powerpoint presentation of old photos from both sides of the family (which raised a few laughs and great embarassment to certain family members!) and spoke of how those branches are now entwined.

The way the wedding was organised, with different branches of the family taking on responsibilty for the various tasks - the hangi, the cake, the amazing greenery (sorry - never did take any pics of that), setting up, catering there, clearing up etc etc etc it really was a whanau event which I was made to feel very much part of by everyone not just Sarah who has considered me part of their whanau for a while (whether I wanted it or not I think was what she said!). Karl & Sarah sang after Karl's speech the first verse and chorus of a song which brings a lump to my throat at the best of times (thanks Leith!), I don't think they could have picked a better one for the day....

Give Yourself to Love (Kate Wolf)

Kind friends all gathered 'round, there's something I would say
What brings us together here has blessed us all today
Love has made a circle, that holds us all inside
When strangers are as family, loneliness can't hide

You must give yourself to love
If love is what you're after
Open up your hearts, to the tears and laughter
And give yourself to love, give yourself to love

It was a day I'll certainly not forget.

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