|The geechee courier|
The brief non-denominational ceremony, using Hawaiian and Jewish traditions and a reading from a Carl Sandburg poem, was performed by the Rev. John Souter as the sun set majestically behind the island of Lanai across the bay. Except for a couple sleeping on the edge of the beach; a small round table with a white tablecloth and an ice bucket; a camera tripod; and the wedding party, the cove was empty. Public entry was through a narrow walkway. Foliage-walled houses surrounded the cove.
The couple wore custom-made Hawaiian leis. During the ceremony, they gave leis to members of the wedding party -- Laurie's parents, Amy and Larry; her sister and brother- in- law, Sandy and Donn Matori; her niece and nephew, Mika (5) and Lane (7); Craig's father, Jack; and Craig's sister, Leslie, and her boy friend, Chet Jaynes.
In memory of Craig's mother, Paula, who died in July, the couple waded into the surf and scattered the flowers of her lei into the ocean.
The Families: Jack, Laurie, Craig, Leslie, Chet, Amy, Larry, Mika, Laurie, Lane, Craig, Sandy and Donn
After Craig and Laurie exchanged rings and "I do-s," the Hebrew blessing was said for the sipping of the wine. Craig then put on his sandals, found a big rock and crushed the glass encased in a silk bag given to him by his aunt and uncle, Mr. and Mrs. Irving Sonenshine. The traditional smashing of the glass is a reminder of the destruction of the biblical Second Jewish Temple.
With Laurie Uesugi (U-eh-su-gee) now Laurie Uesugi Breibart (Bree-bart), the couple hammed it up for the cameras.
...And so did others.
Rev. Souter shoots Craig and Laurie (above left). Mika, Amy and Lane in the sights of Larry and Sandy (above).
After the wedding, the party moved down the road for dinner at the spacious and elegant Seawatch Restaurant overlooking the golf course at the Wailea Country Club. A Panama-hat bedecked guitar player from New Zealand was unable to play the Hawaiian wedding song which Larry requested, but dinner was delicious. Saturday, it was aloha to Maui and onward to Oahu for Sunday's wedding reception.
The reception was held at the Uesugi family estate in central Oahu, near the Schofield Barracks of "From Here to Eternity" fame and about 30 miles from Honolulu. Four homes line up from the road toward the hillside -- all occupied by clan members -- and fronting the Uesugi Driveway.
The guests at the reception were nearly all family members and most of them on the Uesugi side of the family. There were family touches everywhere. Walter Jinbo, Larry's brother-in-law, designed and assembled the massive flower arrangement for the buffet table, laden with Hawaiian food, including lau lau -- taro root leaves wrapped around pork. Walter's wife, Ellen, started a lot of tears flowing when she sung "Sunrise Sunset" from "Fiddler on the Roof" to Laurie and Craig. Unlike the New Zealand guitar player, Ellen knows the Hawaiian wedding song and sang it with Laurie's cousin, Keri Coloma. The four members of the "Pacific Light" who provided the music were high school students of another cousin, Jennifer Okuma. And Uncle Stan Uesugi led a good luck, three banzai salutes to the bridal couple.
The reception tent and Walter's arrangement
The highlight of the day under deep blue skies was the cutting of the wedding cake -- which ended with the newly weds in their first literal "in-your-face" encounter.
(Photography by Jack and Leslie Breibart
and Chet Jaynes.. Words by Jack Breibart.
Errors will be corrected)