Monday, September 13, 2004

Wedding in Las Vegas, Part 2

We make it to the wedding even though there were three choices of locations. The concierge were helpless and unwilling to help in trying to give location. I had to guess. Hmm, they didn't do it over the bridge because the people would have to stand? R is a Pin@y? They must be doing it in the chapel. Off to the chapel we went!

As we walk along the corridors, we sneak a peek into the rooms. We finally see the chapel and there R stands nervously waiting. I did not expect R to look like he did. He did go to Berkeley so I expected something else I suppose. In some ways, R reminds me of myself. Tall, dark and handsome. Cerebral in nature. Deep when it comes to philosophies of life. And confused as to how to live one's life.

I am surprised to find out as we enter the chapel that the bride's side is Korean. Korean? Hmm, how did R manage that? Koreans are a very closely knit community. Some would say that they only marry other Koreans. And here stands R breaking all those rules. The man who travelled the islands of the Philippines for God only knows why. How could he convince a Korean woman to marry him? That is equivalent to the parting of the Red Sea.

The wedding is flawless. The flower girl seems to be shy but a bit of a perfectionist. She made sure to count the petals as she dropped them while stooping. Probably did not want to hurt the petals. And the bride was beautiful as all brides are beautiful on their wedding day. The two of them are nervous. They have a hard time repeating the words of the judge. But the moment, the sweet moment of marriage lasts for the briefest of 15 minutes. Another Las Vegas signature. But the promise to each other love and devotion. In sickness and in health. For richer or poorer. Till death do they part.

So the couple leaves the chapel and receives the people. They are beautiful. Glowing and basking in the bliss of matrimony. Or is it the bliss of having finished the wedding?

The fiancee and I walk around the Venetian Hotel and areas afterwards. It is a beautiful hotel. The gardens outside are just plain cute with statues oo women spitting water. The insides of the hotel are gorgeous. Painitngs of masters are tastefully reproduced. What is interesting is that there is a canal inside of the hotel. We had planned on going on a gondola ride. We never made it because after the reception, we just hanged out with the bride and the groom.

The reception was at Postrio. We walk around for severall minutes trying to shop. Too expensive for our tastes. One store waws selling the Lladro porcelain figurines. Beautiful artistry. Shocking prices for something that will collect dust. I was intrigued by the porcelains that depict Asian culture. There was a Japanese man and woman sitting. And there were two Thai dancers. About a year ago, one porcelain became available through Ebay. It was that of a singkil dancer.

We go to the reception. It is a Wolfgang Puck creation. Pizzas come out as appetizer. Followed by the salad and the main course. Everyone in the restaurant is having fun. But it was quiet. Our table in which the couple's friends sat was also quiet. We met M who is a lawyer. His wife was off with the kids at Blue Man Crew. N brought his girlfriend form Chicago. We end up talking more once everyone had left. R the groom came by and sat down with us while his wife changed her clothes.

Walking around the area of the Venetian, you could see all the brides and grooms who had gotten married. Some were in the bar, while others were walking around the malls. Each one of them with an interesting future I bet.

We tell our own little stories of how we met. I ask about marrying a Korean. R and N tell of their escapades with a beat up old VW van and a summer of painting houses. A night of going to Denny's with the car not starting right at 4 AM. N had to push the van; all for that 2.99 meal which R graciously paid for. As everyone was laughing loudly and N's date was aghast with horror, I tell her: "This is Berkeley's finest. Tomorrow's leaders, Today!"

I learn that R is mild-mannered. Silent. Thoughtful. He's still getting used to the idea of being a couple. When he started taking pictures with his friends, his wife asked him, "Aren't I supposed to be in those pictures too?"

We end up in a bar and we stay till they close. We just chat it up. The fiancee and I talk about how we are preparing for the wedding day. I hope I don't have as many fears as when I did the pamanhikan.

Today, we drive back to Vegas. I tuck in another great weekend into the memory box to be recalled when I am having a stressfull time at work.

Weddings are interesting. I am slowly realizing that the location does not matter. Be it Vegas or elsewhere, it is a promise of a life together.

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