Saturday, May 7, 2011

Zo Wedding Plans

God knows I am a hopeless romantic... really, He knows this about me! Most of the time, he has to work hard to reel me in and calm me down, because my sentimental heart starts to go into hyperdrive. But every once in a while, he endulges me in healthy ways. Yesterday afternoon was one of those times...

Brenda told me the other day that there is to be a Chin-Zo wedding later this month, and Paul (our "Director of Chin-Zo Affairs") needed help creating a wedding invitation for the couple. So I said that sounded fun, and I spent the next three days trying to schedule a time to sit down with Paul. We planned to meet Thursday at 2:00, and when he arrived, he had two Burmese friends with him. At first, I thought they were with him because he was transporting them around town that day, which he does a lot. But then I realized it was a couple - a very young couple - and they were glowing and smiling shyly like soon-to-be... newly weds! "Oh, is this the couple who is getting married?" I asked, and Paul said yes. We laughed and I congratulated them and they thanked me. Then Paul said, "Ok, so you help them make invitation?" Then Paul left, and I was alone with the shy kids. Suddenly, the whole project transformed in my mind from being an impersonal secretarial job to an exciting role of partial-wedding-planner with the happy couple.

The girl is 19, the boy is 22 (his birthday was Wednesday), and they have known each other for a year. The wedding is next weekend - yes, invitations being created one week in advance! All of the American-culture questions (the kind every American girl has answered by the time she's engaged) that I asked the bride were met with sweet naivete: no color scheme yet, no flowers picked out yet, not sure about music, and the wedding party was... well, the whole church and anyone else who wanted to come (at this point - not 30 minutes after we were introduced - I was invited to attend). We looked at some invitation templates, made some unique alterations, and typed in the information. "What time is it going to start?" And the groom answered, "Let's make it... 2:00, ok?" They were both equally excited about the plans and details that started to unfold in our time together, though the bride (of course) was a little more particular about things than the groom.

The funniest thing for them was that I wanted to put the bride's name before the groom's on the invitation. I tried to explain that is the proper way we do it in America, but they laughed and said it would never do. They said that in Burma, you always put the husband first, and since most of the people receiving invitations were Burmese, they would just be confused. So I laid my silly American traditional ideas aside and reminded myself that I was serving Burmese people in America, and if I was in a different country I would want my wedding to be from my own culture, too.

We had a fun afternoon together, and by the time they left I felt like we were old friends. "Ok, see you next weekend!" we said as we parted ways. I can't wait to attend my very first Chin-Zo wedding!

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