This weekend Jim and I were in Pennsylvania for his nephew, Justin's wedding. He married a very lovely gal that he has been with for nearly 10 years. So both families seemed to think it was about time. Justin is kind of a quiet sort of guy though, and he just didn't want to hurry into anything!
The wedding was in an absolutely beautiful old church in Indiana, Pennsylvania. Yes, friends, there IS an Indiana, Pennsylvania! And furthermore, it is the home of Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP)!! Indiana is also the boyhood home of Jimmy Stewart. My Jim's claim to fame is that he worked in the hardware store owned by Jimmy Stewart's father when he was in high school, and dusted the Oscars in the window of the hardware store. Indiana, PA is a sweet little town, very similar to Valparaiso, kind of hilly, lots of beautiful old homes, a vibrant and alive downtown. Indiana has always felt homey to me because of the great similarity to Valpo.
The Calvary Presbyterian Church where the wedding was held had a huge dome over the center of the building, all made of stained glass. The stained glass windows in the sanctuary were spectacular. I thought they might be Louis Comfort Tiffany windows because of the shading and details, but the minister said they were done by one of his understudies. At least I was close! The church was built in 1901, and had been Jim's church when he was in high school. It had beautiful oak pews, very similar to the ones in our chapel. The outside of the church was a dark reddish brown sandstone sort of material, with huge covered porches at the entrances. It was one of those churches that will never be duplicated because the cost in this day and age would be astronomical. Indiana, PA is loaded with beautiful old churches. There were at least 8 in the downtown area that I would have loved to see the insides.
The men in the wedding party wore the new linen look beige tuxedo/suits that we also have available. This was the first time I had seen them on a wedding party, and they were REALLY sharp!! For a summer wedding, they are dynamite!
The reception was held at the Indiana Country Club. There was a huge table of hors d'oeuvres as well as candy and cookies available when everyone arrived. The candy and cookies were all coordinated to the chocolate, light blue, beige, and white theme of the wedding. It was very pretty, and I was surprised to see how many people actually did take cookies and some of the candy from the table. It seemed that everyone admired the candy, but took the cookies. I know we haven't had very good luck with the candy tables, so I wasn't too surprised by that.
Jim and I both enjoyed being able to sit back and enjoy ourselves, and not have to DO anything! It was fun to watch what they did, service wise and all. We did actually get a couple of good ideas from it!
Many of the traditions are the same there as here. The introductions took place, and then the bride and groom did their first dance right away, and cut the cake. I did notice there were some couples dancing before the intros, which is kind of an Eastern thing. They did a dollar dance, which is, of course, a pretty popular thing here too, but after someone danced with the bride or groom, they made a circle around them, and the circle kept getting bigger and bigger, and it was moving around them as they danced. Pretty soon there was another circle around them, and then another. It was difficult for the new dancers to get into the center to dance with the bride and groom! The dollar dance kept going until everyone in the room was pretty much involved. Great fun.
Another tradition I found out about this morning, when we all had breakfast together, was that people tied their money up in little balls for the dollar dance. They tied knots in them, balled them up together, and made it really difficult to flatten them out! It was something I had never heard of. My sister in law said that it was to teach them to solve problems and deal with difficulty in their marriage. Hmmmmm. Interesting!
All in all it was a wonderful weekend! I wish I had some photos to post, but I took the weekend off from taking pictures, and just enjoyed myself. Maybe one of our relatives will take pitty on me and send me some to add.
Best Wishes, Stephanie and Justin!