Saturday, July 11, 2009

"There Is Love . . ."

Do you know the song "Wedding Song"? It was an immensely popular choice for weddings throughout the '70s and into the '80s. My sisters and I, throughout our teen years, used to sing for/accompany other singers on the piano for/play organ for a lot of weddings around northwest ND, and "Wedding Song" was often among those songs that we were asked to perform. I haven't heard it at weddings in recent years, but my cousin's daughter Rachelle selected it for her own wedding this afternoon--a nod to tradition, perhaps! (The song is also known by a repeated phrase within its lyrics: "There Is Love." That explains the title of this post!)

If you don't know the song, or if you haven't heard it in a few years, it's worth it to watch this 1970 performance by the man who wrote the song, Noel Paul Stookey (of the folk music group Peter, Paul, and Mary).

Anyhoo, Rachelle and her fiancé Jason got married today, and our family traveled to Tioga, ND for the wedding. We got to Tioga early enough to stop at the The Drive In (clever name for a drive-in restaurant, huh?) to pick up potato salad and broasted chicken to take to my dad and stepmom's home for dinner at noon. Beverly and her sister-in-law were at a baby shower, but Beverly's brother and my dad were home, so we ate with them. After we got cleaned up and dressed up, we left Dad's home an hour before the wedding to make the 15-minute drive into town. Susan couldn't figure out why in the world we would want to be at the church 45 minutes before the wedding.

But, to Susan's surprise (but not to mine), the church was already quite full when we arrived, and we ended up sitting halfway back from the altar . . . and on the groom's side, no less (no room for us on the side of the bride, my actual relative)! I leaned over and told Susan that we should have left Dad's house even earlier. She rolled her eyes in disbelief at the presence of so many people so early before the wedding and stated that no one should be at the church 45 minutes before the wedding except the wedding party and the photographer! Hey, this is how people roll in northwest ND.

It was serendipity that, despite our "late" arrival (45 minutes early), I ended up seated at the end of the pew right on the aisle, so I was in a good position for taking pictures (we Mobergs take a lot of photographs at get-togethers). This one is of the aisle runner for the wedding. Zion Lutheran Church in Tioga has red carpeting in the sanctuary, making the gauzy white runner look somewhat pink. The blue rose petal was one of many dropped by the flower girl as she processed up the aisle (the wedding colors were royal blue and lime green).

That's the groom, Jason, in the lower right-hand corner. At the opposite end (on the left) is his brother and the best man, Jordon. The little blond guy toward the middle is Nicholas, the bride's brother (and my cousin Brenda's son).

The two women at the right are the bride's sisters. Farthest right is Meghan, the maid of honor; and beside her is Katrina.

Here's a closeup of Katrina and Meghan.

Rachelle was escorted up the aisle by her daddy, Rick.

Here are Rachelle and Jason being presented as a married couple to the congregation.

"You may now kiss the bride." And our daughters may now put their fingers up in front of their eyes and giggle and squirm in the pew.

After the wedding and the receiving line outdoors, the bride, groom, and wedding party left the church atop a fire truck! Jason is a volunteer firefighter, so he got one of the fire engines for the day, and some helpful gentlemen on the ground used a stepping stool to help all the be-gowned bridesmaids climb aboard for a quick drive around town with the sirens blaring. While they did that, I had my ladies pose inside the church entrance for a pic.

Afterward Jason and Rachelle had a reception and wedding dance at the Tioga Farm Festival Building, which they had decorated with a couple professionally printed posters (like this one) on the walls, tons of ropes of pretty blue lights on the walls and columns, and blue and green decorations and ribbons on the tables.

The tasty cake was pretty, too--and huge! They also served salted nuts, Hershey's Kisses in blue wrappers, punch, and coffee. Of course, this was all supplemental to the meal: pasta salad, fruit salad, pudding salad, buns, ham, corn, Swedish meatballs, and mashed potatoes and gravy. Delicious! (And with the Swedish meatballs, tonight's meal qualified for Scandinavian Saturday, too!)

Pretty background for the table at which the wedding party sat and enjoyed their meal. Meghan did a fine job offering a toast to fulfill one of her duties as the maid of honor. Particularly sweet, though, was the best man's toast. Jordon had written it out, enabling him to make the jokes that he wanted to make while still wrapping up on a serious note, telling how sincerely happy he is for Jason and how much he loves him. Jason stood up and gave him a lo-o-o-ong hug, and Jordon buried his face in Jason's shoulder and cried. It was so touching that I'm tearing up again just writing about it!

Here are all the Gohrick cousins (my aunt Penny's grandchildren): my cousin Darren's daughters Makenzie, Paige, and Shantell; and his sister Brenda's children Rachelle, Meghan, Katrina, and Nicholas. (Darren and Brenda's brother Jerry has no children.)

By the way, Darren and Jerry served as ushers for the wedding; Brenda (the mother of the bride) joined her daughters Meghan and Katrina in singing for the wedding; you already know that Meghan, Katrina, and Nicholas were in the wedding party; Makenzie was one of Rachelle's personal attendants; Paige was a punch pourer; and Shantell was a wheat attendant. I have a funny story regarding her job:

As we left the church, Shantell handed us each a packet of wheat wrapped in a small square of gauze tied with a ribbon. Abigail asked what it was for, and I told her it was to throw at the bride and groom. She said, "But won't that hurt?" Apparently Abigail didn't remember previous weddings at which we have unwrapped the packet of rice or wheat or bird seed in order to toss the grains into the air above the bride and groom's head rather than pelting their bodies with the hard little grain balls themselves.

Turnabout's fair play; at the reception, Susan had me pose with the lovely ladies.

Here I am with my dad. Do you see any resemblance?

I got to dance with Susan and with each of our daughters before we headed to Dad and Beverly's to spend the night. (Beverly made us all tasty late-night snacks: popcorn, ice cream floats, sundaes, etc.) During one dance with Susan, the DJ kept sending couples off the dance floor with commands such as, "Okay, if you're dating but not engaged, go sit down," "If you've been married for less than a year, go sit down," "Less than five years," and so on. With our 16th wedding anniversary coming up next month, Susan and I lasted a while on the dance floor before having to leave. The last couple remaining? My aunt and uncle Rose and Elton, married for 52 years! The DJ told Rachelle and Jason to take a look at the longest-married couple left on the dance floor and aim to be like them.

Between dances we were able to visit with many friends and relatives. As it happened, most of the relatives at the wedding and reception/dance were ones we had just seen at the Aune reunion last weekend! But there were others, too, including my second-cousins Kim, Val, and Jeri, with whom it was fun to catch up.

Aren't they cute?! We wish you all the best, Jason and Rachelle!


  1. How beautiful! I love the decor! Very pretty and elegant gowns on everyone in the wedding party, including Rachelle!
    Congratulations go out to them....

  2. Resemblence to Dad? ...Yes! very much...