My husband is not the most religious man in the word. He does not pray (at least to God), neither does he put the fear of God into himself or other people. He does however wear the cross, since the day we wed. He treasures it as he does his wedding ring, or his bikes. This is his choice. The church wedding was a necessity, the reasonable and the right thing to do. Having not stepped into church for over 10 years, he was right to be nerveous about it. All the wishfull people out there wailed about how long the ceremony is, how tired you get, how dizzy you get and how it never seems to end…. and they were so right.

I do not remember all the details, there was family, and wine, and candles, and icons and wedding bands and vows…doesn’t sound too bad does it? What has ruined the experience however is that another couple was getting blessed at the same time, sucking the uniqueness right out of the experience. Alex was a nerveous wreck, not knowing when to kiss the icon or when to say “I promise, I do, I will” and I was doing my best not to break out into giggles while hearing Cynthia fiddle around behind me. Cynthia and the best man had a very special task. They had to hold crowns ABOVE our heads. We are taller. And I am wearing heels. So the new measure of friendship is the amount of time you can hold a heavy crown on an outstreched arm, 50 cms above your head.

There is also a point in the ceremony, where the couple together with the crowns above their heads are supposed to follow the priest in circles around a basin. I didnt know that. Neither did Cynthia. But at least I speak Russian. She had to supress her exclamations of surprise, untangle my veil from under her shoes and try to keep the crown above my head as I walked ahead. She managed to contain herself througout the experience, but I heard plenty about it the momment we stepped out of the holy house of God…Casualties aside, the ceremony was breath taking, my then 5 year old brother, behaved unbelievebly well, aside from the casual tagging and nagging for me to talk to him. The icons were blessed and instructions were given to keep them nearby wherever we may go.