Thursday, November 19, 2009

I'm Married!!! Mrs. Ginger Ranae Rowlett de Martinez!! November 7th, 2009, Ramfis and I celebrated in a perfectly us fashion on Lake Coatepeque in El Salvador. We were so blessed because most of my family, and a few of my closest friends were able to attend (a huge blessing). Also, that weekend there was a strong hurricane passing, and there was quite a bit of destruction and disaster in the country. The thing is, we had no idea because God blessed us with safe, beautiful skies for the ceremony. Granted, I was a bit worried before the wedding, thinking that our cool wedding inside the lake was going to be ruined. But, right at 3 p.m. (the hour we were supposed to start), the clouds parted and it stopped raining. There was even a little bit of sunshine. What's crazy is that before 3, we couldn't even see the mountains or the lake because it was all covered in a thick fog. So, we count the weather a miracle.

We got started late (no one was surprised :) ) because Ramfis' brother had carried the microbus to pick up some people, and he didn't have the ownership card. So, when the police pulled him over, they were going to take the car from him and fine him a lot of money. Well, I had the card, so they had to come get it from me without me knowing all of the chaos. I had no clue, but was upset that his brothers and people were late cuz we couldn't start. But, everything worked out fine, he didn't have to pay a fine, and we got married - regardless of the hour.

I entered the lake with my dad in a row canoe. The ferry boat thingy was already in the water, and Ramfis helped us onto the boat as my sister sang At Last with Ramfis'brother playing guitar. There started more disorder because I noticed that my decorations weren't how I'd put them, and they'd put this ugly green tent thing where we were to be married (from water falling down), and there were tables at the entrance!!! I was thinking, hello! How did the 3 hours that I wasn't present create such a mess??? But, whatever - supposedly we needed the tables for the Civil ceremony. But, I didn't like them. But, finally, after deciding where to stand and what to do with the tables in my way, we finally started the civil ceremony with a very nice lawyer that has become a friend of ours, Saul. See, in El Salvador, the civil wedding in mandatory, and the religious ceremony is optional. So, we had to have 2 ceremonies. Pastors and priests aren't authorized to marry here. Another cool thing is that we had 3 extra small motor boats circling our ferry boat full of friends that couldn't fit on the ferry because of the weight restricitons. It was funny and cool. They were floating around taking pictures.
We kissed our "first" wedding kiss, and then signed our papers. Then, preparation for the REAL wedding ceremony. I walked to the back with my sis and my Dad, and we waited for the sound to work and all to get settled. I had a chance to look around at the scenery, and I was in awe. It was perfect. We were on the water, with most of my favorite people, one of my favorite places, my favorite colors, beautiful climate, and to see the man I love hugging his Dad as tears run down his face. It's a lovely day. The song begins, and I walk the "aisle" down the boat. What's funny is that once again there was disorder because Ramfis, Uncle Mitch, and Mr. Mauro had put themselves outside, where no one could really see us. I'd appointed a place under the palms to get married. So, my dad and I stopped where I thought we were going to get married, and we waited on them to change positions. It was funny....I don't think anyone will forget this wedding.

Once we were in position, from there on out, it was smooth sailing. Uncle Mitch spoke wonderful words of wisdom, and shared passages of the Bible that I love, like 1 Cor. 13, the Love Chapter. Then, my Dad gave us his blessing, we wrote and said our own vows (loved it!!), exchanged rings, and then we did something special we wanted to do. We washed each other's feet in on the side of the boat to show humility and servitude to one another. This also gave us the chance to talk to each other a bit. It was our favorite part. As we performed this act, my Uncle Bubba sang the Lord's prayer. It was beautiful. We took a long time, so he probably could have sung another song, but it was great.

Then, we did a tradition here in ES. The lasso of unity. We elected my Nanny and Grandaddy to put the lasso around us, since they represent a marriage based in love, faith, respect, and service for 50 years! Mrs. Olympia (Ramfis'mom) explained the ritual, and my grandparents placed it on us as they whispered a quick blessing in our ears. Now, we were pronounced Mr. and Mrs, and we kissed.....again!!! Yeah!!!
The trio we hired began to play, and champagne and wine were served for a brindis, and we also took advantage of photo opps as we headed back to land for the reception. We had our first dance there on the boat. They say the boat went down on one side because everyone went to get wine and chat. But, I never felt it. They were freaked out about it, but I had no idea!!
As soon as we got into the restaurant for the reception, it began to rain again - perfect timing!! They announced us, and my Uncle prayed over us again for those that only came for the reception. Then, Alfredo Ramfis' other brother, came out to give a brindis and said he was going to give us something that truly shows unity. He then cuffed us!!! He had bought real handcuffs, and we had to be together all night!! We ate like that, sang and danced like that, etc. It was hilarious!! The food was delicious.....carne asada, baked potato, vegetables, sausage, bread and drink. Then, coffee and our cute cake with candies my mom made, and also some typical ones from here for dessert. We had a big shindig with different people playing instruments, singing, including some Southern Gospel with my grandparents and uncles. It was fun!! Then, started the disco party with dance music, Mardigras hats and stuff, and disco lights. That was a surprise for me, and it was a good surprise!! Fun!

I threw the bouquet, and Ramfis threw the leg thingy. His act was so original and funny. He had me stand on a bench, and he was looking under my dress, like that he couldn't find the ligo. Then, he comes out and has some granny panties!! He throws them and keeps looking (head under my dress)...then, he comes out with little girl panties!! He throws them again and they land on his nephew's head!! It was funny. Finally, he found the ligo and he took it off with his teeth. My friend Casey caught it, and my friend Jenny caught the bouquet. The funny thing is that they don't really get along, so it was ironic!!
We loved our wedding and our party. A huge thank you to my family and friends that traveled many many miles to attend and share this special day with us. Also, thank you for your patience with us, as it is a very different culture and time is looked at differently.
Another huge thank you to Julio, Don Julio and Alfredo for helping with transportation and logistics. Also, camera and photos. Couldn't have pulled it off without them!! To see more pictures, go to my facebook page. They're mostly all on there.

We love each other, we love you and we're so happy to begin our new life together!!!! God Bless!!