The “morning of” everyone was up at the crack of dawn. First off was the morning walk with my Dad and Arul. The “walk” takes us out the back of my parents place and into the fields beyond. Give how hot the day gets, you’ve really got to get out there by about 6:30am at the latest to make it back before the heat climbs up too far. I must admit that getting up for the “walk” is no easy feat, but it’s always something you’re happy to have done. And besides, at that time of day the fields at dawn are bathed in the most incredible light, and the only sound is that of your footfalls, your breathing and dogs running ahead.
Back at the house Mira was up and cooking breakfast for three of her friends. One might wonder why the bride should be doing anything, but it was her way of taking her mind of the rest of the day, and doing something special for her closest and most supportive friends.
As the girls concluded their breakfast, Aaron descended to help Dad cook up a spaghetti bolognaise. As you can see, most of our household activities revolve around the kitchen and have something to do with food. The bolognaise, incidentally, was intended for lunch and beyond.
Next up, the cosmetician arrived and set up shop in the front living room where she proceeded to do not only Mira’s hair and makeup, but the 2 mothers too. The wedding photographer also showed up to document and capture Mira’s “transformation” on both a video camera and a still one. In the meantime, the rest of us went about our days, ironing shirts, prepping the bottles of whiskey for transport, etc.
Speaking of whiskey…
Ok, so Mira’s wedding was to be a very traditional Israeli wedding, but we can’t forget our Scottish roots, and our affinity for a wee dram. That being said, we had been collecting bottles of single malt for the last year. It is customary in our family to bring a bottle of good whiskey whenever you visit, and as such, we had managed to put together a collection of whiskey to rival any respectable bar. Between the Macallan 12, the Balvenie 10, the Caol Ila 12 (there was originally also a bottle of Caol Ila 18 that Mira squirreled away before the wedding), the Bowmore and much much more, there was no doubt that the bar was going to be a talking point to challenge how beautiful the bride looked.
As I was packing up the whiskey, Idan and a couple of his friends arrived to await Mira’s grand entrance. The plan was to take a bunch of official wedding photos at the house, then drive over to Sal’it (where Idan’s family lives and where the wedding was being held) and take a few more before the actually ceremony and party.
Seeing my baby sister in a wedding dress is a surreal experience. (At this point I’ve tried writing what that felt like a few times over, never quite capturing the range of emotions. Subsequently, I’m not going to bother and I’m going to skip ahead to the next moment in time.)
Next up, photographs. The official wedding photographer did what he was hired to do, ie pose the happy couple in an array of traditional settings. Mira sitting elegantly on a bench against a backdrop of avocado trees as Idan looks at her lovingly. Or, Mira looking demurely at camera as Idan looks at her lovingly. Or just Mira and Idan looking at each other lovingly. You’ve seen these pictures a million times over. In the meanwhile I’m snapping away a slightly different set. They include friends helping Mira get the bug out of the folds of her dress, or Mira clambering over piles of fallen leaves, her shoes sinking beneath the soft mush, before shooting the much more angelic shot the photographer had in mind. Naturally, the photographer hated me for stepping on his toes, and was forever asking me to stop taking pictures. Oh well.
After the photos, Mira, Idan and I piled in the wedding car to go to Sal’it to take even more photos. I was the designated driver, although we weren’t allowed to leave until the photographer had videotaped Idan helping Mira into the car (whilst looking on lovingly) and then shooting the car driving away into the proverbial sunset. I’m sure it will look very nice once it’s all edited together, although my strongest memory of that moment is the fact that I hit the gas pedal too quickly and the passenger seat scooted back and nearly crushed Mira in the back seat. It’s the reality of these moments that make them so much more meaningful.
Driving to Sal’it I was struck by just what precious cargo I was in charge of. Again, I can’t quite describe the thoughts going through my head as I was driving Mira and Idan to their wedding, but they were plentiful, emotional, and private.
We reached Sal’it as the sun was about to set, giving us just enough time to go to Mira and Idan’s new house, which is still under construction. Resigned to having me around, the photographer actually allowed me to use his precious video camera to shoot a couple of shots of him photographing the happy couple. I felt extremely honored to be allowed to help and did as I was told.
And then the sun set and we had an hour or so before guests were to arrive. Enough time to go back to Idan’s parents’ house and get showered and change, which is what we did before heading over to the wedding.