Here are some photos from my big day. What can you learn about American culture from going to a wedding?
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In this American English Pronunciation video, you’re going to look at photos from our wedding!
A few months ago, David and I made a video where we announced our engagement to you guys. And you guys were so wonderful! I think at least a thousand people said congratulations to us, it was really neat. Thank you guys for that. I also had fun making a couple of videos leading up to the wedding from our wedding venue, where we studied real life American English. So it was fun to have you guys be a part of the process.
And, I want to share my wedding photos with you in this video, and just, sort of, talk through the day, and talk about what happened.
>> Um, David, what would you say, what stands out to you the most? About the day? A favorite memory, maybe?
>> I think what stands out the most is just being there with so many people that are important to us.
>> And being able to look out and see everybody’s faces as we were standing up front.
>> One thing that we did that was a little bit different is, we did something called self-uniting, which means that there wasn’t someone there to perform the ceremony. It was just us. And one of the things that was really cool about that is that we, we got to stand up and look out at everybody. Usually in weddings, the couple stands in front and they face forward, and the person who is performing the wedding is looking out at everybody. And, I didn’t even think about that, but it was so moving and so powerful…
>> …to be up there and just look at this sea of people that love you and support you. It was awesome.
>> But, let’s get to the most exciting part of this video, which is the wedding photos which our wonderful photographer took, so here it is: our wedding.
When it came time for our pictures, it was raining. That didn’t stop us from having a good time, though. We went to a coffee shop where we got a few shots indoors. Then there was a little break in the rain, so we went outside and got some photos in an interesting alley next to the coffee shop. Then we went over to the Delaware River, where there’s a pier under the Ben Franklin bridge, that’s been turned into a park. And we took some photos out there. This was about an hour or so before sunset. Then we headed to the wedding venue.
The wedding venue was in an old chocolate factory that’s been converted into a photography studio, so it was just a big space. And we hung a lot of lanterns. David’s sister and I and some friends made the flower arrangements. The tables were set up so there were five really long tables, each that sat 24 people. These are Wilburbuds, the chocolate that used to be made in this chocolate factory.
So we took some family photos. This is my family, and this is David’s family. Very different in size. We had a cocktail hour before the ceremony so we had a chance to catch up with old friends. Of course Tom and his wife Julie were there.
Then it was time to start gathering people in for the ceremony, so all of our friends and family packed in. It was short, so we didn’t have chairs, we wanted everybody to be very close and tight. So we exchanged our vows and rings. As is tradition in the US, we had our first kiss after officially becoming married. And then we decided to celebrate by singing some hymns. So we passed out hymn sheets, and I led the group in singing. My brother actually got some video of that, so here it is.
Then the ceremony was over and there were lots of hugs. And we signed the marriage license with our mothers as witnesses. And it was time for dinner and toasts. All four of our parents gave toasts before dinner. It was really sweet to hear what they had to say. So we all raised a glass and started in on dinner.
After dinner, two more people gave speeches, David’s friend Mike, and my friend Sara, who has been in several Rachel’s English videos. They were wonderful speeches that made us laugh.
Then we pointed out our friend Laura who had been the first person to set us up. And everybody toasted her.
Then it was time for the first dance. And we quickly called our friends out to the dance floor to join us. And then the party really began. Everybody came out to dance. Our aunts, our uncles, our parents. David’s family even did a flash mob, where they did a dance that they had been working on for months. At first we were a little confused about what was going on. But once we understood, we thought it was pretty great!
We danced with our parents, and then it was time to cut the cake. Typically at a wedding, the bride and groom each feed each other a little bit of cake. Every once in a while, it gets a little out of hand. Don’t worry, I forgave him. The rest of the night was really just about being with friends and family. And of course, lots more dancing. And we got to see our parents party as we’d never seen them before. We had so much fun.
What are weddings like in your country? What did you learn about American culture from looking at these wedding photos? Let me know in the comments below.
That’s it, and thanks so much for using Rachel’s English.