Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Andy and Farrah at The Barn at Valhalla in Carrboro, NC

On August 15th I had the privilege of marrying Farrah and Andy. I had been involved in their planning more than with most other couples, encouraging them to check our The Barn at Valhalla (just outside of Chapel Hill off highway 54 west) when they were looking for sites that might not already be booked already for their desired Saturday. And they were delighted with The Barn which seemed perfect for their needs.

There's a large sloping lawn, ......

A large paneled lodge house with bedrooms upstairs that look like it could be a NC version of an Aspen ski lodge and a lovely large deck for cocktails.

The day was warm so the guests were provided with those wonderful fans that show up at summer weddings. I'm a fan of them (Oh, bad pun!) but they do make the difference between warm and hot.

Farrah and Andy met in Thailand and grew their love on both sides of the Pacific Ocean. It was great that her father and sister could be here for her wedding. She had a simple bouquet of summer wild flowers which beautifully offset her elegant dress. The wildflowers came from Andy's parent's yard and the yard of their friends, Bob and Brenda Vance. Bob and Brenda also arranged the bouquets.

Grace was their flower girl. She and her family are special friends of Farrah's. And our ring bearer was carrying a special pillow made from Thai silk, fashioned by Andy's mother. It's a good thing he wasn't carrying the real rings!

During the ceremony their friends read poetry of their own choosing which was light spirited about how they imagined each one of them would be in marriage.

Then after their exchange of vows and rings we had a special ceremony that was part of the tradition of her part of northeastern Thailand, called ' Isaan.' The ceremony is called 'pook khan.' (phonetically in English that is), and it symbolizes the welcoming of the new member of the family. It signifies congratulations and the unity of the new family being created.

It's performed by tying a cotton thread around Andy's and Farrah's wrists. The thread came from Farrah's home town of Khon Kaen and was brought by her father just for this purpose. We invited each of the members of Andy's and Farrah's families to come forward and each tie a thread around both their wrists and when doing so, offer them either a silent or verbal blessing. It was a softly spoken ceremony full of joy accompanied by delightful fiddle music provided by family friends, Jani and Buddy. (You can see the simple cotton thread bracelets in this picture from their reception.)

Their recessional music was ragtime. It seemed wonderfully upbeat and fitting for their day. All their ceremonial music was provided by Melissa, Andy's aunt who is a professional musician in Ohio with Bella Musica Columbus. She played the electric keyboard, which worked with the help of a looooong cord.

I was amazed at this picture and hoped that the wedding party didn't need to do this often. But by the men wearing suits they were much more comfortable than in formal wear, which doesn't breathe at all in the heat. Somehow I think this one was before, not after the one above.

The wonderful pictures were all taken by Andy's friend, Rand Harcz. He's also a professional photographer. We thank him!

The General Store in Pittsboro did the wonderful catering and the cake for the reception, and Jorgie Brown from The General Store was the wedding organizer for the day. She was a huge help in so many ways.

It was good to recently hear that Farrah's paperwork to stay in this country is going well. I wish them both a wonderful life.

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