If you'd told me two years ago when I started this blog that I'd be getting married...in Spain nonetheless...I'd have laughed my butt off. Funny how things change. Well, here it is--the big day. The wedding!
In case you've missed it, you can see the day's events leading up to the wedding here (for me) and here (for Diana).
Back in June, I had a crazy thought that must have somehow fallen out of my mouth. Diana and I were on the Metro here in Barcelona when we were talking about what we were going to do next in terms of our relationship as well as what country (or countries) we were going to end up in. Somehow, Diana thought that I had asked her to marry me right there but I didn't remember ever asking. You can go back to the engagement story to see that I was able to recover somewhat a couple of days later with the help of friends.
Move the calendar forward about three months or so and there I was, the first person to arrive at the church for the wedding. I waited outside the locked church alone, nervous, for about ten minutes before I saw my dad and Ginny arrive. About three minutes later Xavi (cha-vee), the priest, got there. Good, I thought, I'm here on the right day.
Someone from the church opened the doors a couple of minutes later and I went in to setup my computer to broadcast the wedding for the out-of-town folks. Over the next half hour or so people started arriving. It was all kisses and hugs for a while there. I honestly don't remember if seeing everyone made me more nervous or less. I do know that having my cell phone reset and become unusable while I was setting up the video rattled my cage. Diana's cousin Carol saved the day by allowing me to use her phone's data connection and everything was ready...for the broadcast.
I patiently waited at the altar but curiosity got the best of me and I went up to the front door of the church where I could see the car carrying Diana. I immediately got shushed away and went back to my post by the altar...and waited some more.
When the time was right, I went back towards the front door where my sister was waiting escort me to the altar. As we walked together to the front of the church, the music started to play and all I remember was thinking "Who are all these people?", "What are they doing here?", "Why are the taking photos of me?", and "OMG! I'm getting married!".
Since Diana's dad couldn't make it to wedding, she asked my dad to walk her down the aisle and we were off...
The wedding took place at the more-than-500-year-old Sant Ramon de Penyafort Catholic church on La Rambla Catalunya. Diana had wanted her favorite priest and good friend Xavi do a traditional Catholic mass, which he did an amazing job with.
I've mentioned it before but my mother would have been very happy that I ended up getting marrying to a great girl (that is a lot like she was) in a church. I know that she would have been proud.
I'm not sure if it was just our wedding or if it's how things are done here in Spain (I really need to learn Spanish) but we didn't have a maid of honor or a best man. Instead, Gema and Victor served as witnesses and document signers. Thanks guys!
During the mass, Carol, Pili, Andrea, and Victor all did readings (thanks!). We did the ring ceremony and a traditional coin (money) "pouring" ceremony (thanks Carol and Juan) as part of the wedding. I was able to fumble through all the Spanish that I had to say without too many problems. By the end, we were husband and wife:
Another thing that's different here in Spain than what I've seen in the U.S. is that you sign the legal documents during the service while still at the altar. In the U.S., the documents usually signed "offline" either before or after the wedding. For me, it was a strange "break" in an otherwise solemn ceremony.
I took advantage of the signing time to take some "self portraits" of Diana and me. See, Diana's always asking me to take photos of the two of us everywhere we go. I never really "got it" until just before the wedding when I was looking for some pictures of the two of us. All the photos that I ended up choosing and really liking were those self portraits that we had taken of ourselves during our travels around Spain and the world. This one, taken while Gema and Victor were signing, shows the altar and the church's La Moreneta statue. (Curiously, in a small-world kinda' way, churches at both Montserrat near Barcelona and Montserrate in Bogota are famous for their "brown Mary" statues.)
We also wanted to take a self portrait of the two of us with Xavi during the ceremony. He was kind enough to grant (put up with) our wish. Thanks for everything Xavi!
And so it was...we were married. We went out the front of the church where we were immediately ambushed by rice-and-bubble-wielding crazies:
Finally, one of the other things that Diana and I wanted to do was to take a "team" photo with everyone that was at the wedding. Almost everyone is in this one:
As a place holder and in case you missed it, this is the recording of the live broadcast of the wedding:
Thanks to everyone who was able to come to our wedding (in person, virtually, and in spirit). We appreciated having you share in our big day and for your support!!!