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Published: December 5th 2010
If ever I dreamed of being a princess, that dream came true on November 20, 2011. It was a fairytale event when I married Robert David Williamson.
The day began at 0400 when we were roused from bed for our early morning hair and makeup appointment. Looking, but not feeling wide eyed and beautiful at 0600 we were whisked off to my ban (house) where we were greeted by village guests, then ushered upstairs where nine monks awaited, reciting pali chants to bless the union. We offered food and money to the monks before going downstairs for the white thread ceremony, called phiti bai sri su kwan. Each guest tied a string around our wrist as they gave us good wishes. The coiled string was placed on our heads and water poured on our hands using a conch shell. This was the rad nam sang or water blessing. If this marriage doesn't last, it is not for the lack of blessings!
At the completion of the ceremonies we were taken by elephant and paraded through the village, accompanied by a local band using traditional Thai instruments and dancing revelers. It was a Dr Suess kind of parade! Dazed and
exhausted from eight hours of surreal, sensory overload, we somehow made our way to a quiet retreat for a short nap....
1600 and it starts all over. Back to the salon for makeup and hair, change of clothing and off to the night reception with a different guest list. There was no way to know how many people gathered for the morning affair as some of those invited never showed and those uninvited did. We expected 160 for the evening function but was informed by the hotel that they fed 168. We did not dispute the number ... I can remember several times during my two years of service being one of those uninvited guests!
The evening was as memorable as the morning but lasted half the time. Entertainment consisted of traditional Thai dance and song performed by some of the students I've come to know at the local school. We must remember that in Thailand an affair is not an affair unless karaoke is involved, so we had the usual rush of Thais who love to sing and those Peace Corps extroverts who will do anything for attention.
Bob and I had only a short time
to look at pictures and comprehend what fully took place. It may be years before all the events surface in our minds and counseling might be in order to help us through the process. At least we think we're legally married and if not, oh well, what a hell of a ride it was!
PS...I almost forgot to mention the cake! The 8 cakes that made up the wedding cake, took 5 hours to bake in a toaster oven at a Peace Corps volunteer site. Nancymarie, the PCV carried them in boxes on a 9 hour bus ride two days before the wedding. My brother Rick, arrived a day before the wedding and between them, under an impossible time restraint and adverse working conditions, created this masterpiece. Oh yes, it actually tasted good!
We thought we'd share some fun pre wedding photos...hope you enjoy and don't find them too boring.
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Hi Lynda and Bob, Thought I would add one more blessing to the mix, but after reading your page, I don't think you'll need it. What a wonderful wedding! I am so impressed with what you've done with your time in the peace corp. and also that you've found the perfect man to fit your life style. You will carry these memories with you forever! We miss you and can't wait to see you when you get home. We'll have to have another party, but it will have to start much later in the evening so you'll remember it. Love Evelyn
Lynda I am so happy for you both. You looked fabulous both of you! I hope you have wonderful and happy life together... See you soon Kisses Martine
What a Unique Wedding
Thank you so very much for sharing in the forms of your usual stylish writing and pics for your special day. Wow, how unique can you get. It really would have been something to attend and so glad you got to have at least some family there. Only one thing to dispute...the comment about the marriage lasting....don't think I've ever seen two people more in love and joy than what I did in these pics. Can't wait to soak up some of that loving energy when you get back stateside and have your reception. I am sure it was such a joy for all the people involved in the planning of your celebration to give back some of what I am sure you have given them. Plain old unconditional love. Love you two and hope to see you both soon, Linda
Thought of you today!
Lynda: I was thinking about you today, wondering what you were up to these days. Computers are amazing! I not only discovered that you had joined the Peace Corp (which didn't surprise me), and went to Thailand, but that you also had gotten married in Thailand less than a week ago. (Must have been telepathy that led me to look you up today). I really do want to wish you the best of everything. You look so happy in those pictures and your wedding looks like it exceeded any wedding you could have predicted for yourself in your mind. The whole affair looks like a total culmination of your life and the freedom in which you have always chosen to live. I want to wish you and Bob every happiness. No one can ever say that you haven't lived your life to the fullest. Again, congratulations and best of luck. I really am very happy for you. Marcy