This wedding isn’t just pretty, it’s a homage filled with heart. For every detail Jen Huang shared plays tribute to the Groom’s late father in a truly touching way. Honoring his spirited Beekeeper trade with subtle honeycomb details proves to to a unique and super sweet detail. From the handmade beeswax candles placed on hexagon shelves, to the honey ritual ceremony, it’s all abuzz with love in THE VAULT!
From The Bride… A rough explanation of it all is that we really wanted a way to incorporate Ray’s dad in the whole day, and we were looking for some theme to tie everything together. Andy (Ray’s dad) passed away in January of 2012, after battling cancer for 7 years. Andy was always very supportive of our relationship, and in the 4 years that we were all together, we grew very close. Andy was a beekeeper, so we were looking for something related to that. Obviously little bees or yellow and black striped everything sounds….unappealing. So, we went for the hexagon shape, and looked for ways to use it in the details.
The first hexagon we used was in our die-cut RSVP cards that guests sent back to us as postcards, which were really fun to receive! We also had the hexagon crest on our invitation, which we reused in our guest book frame the day of the wedding. We had die-cut menus, and table numbers that matched the shape of our RSVP card. Ray and I knew we wanted something really special to display the escort cards, since his mom worked for months making the candles by hand out of his dad’s leftover beeswax. So, we made and stained hexagonal shelves, which were perfect for the candles!
The cool thing about the shelves is we can take them apart and use them individually in our home or give them away as gifts. We also used a honey ritual in the ceremony as a sort of spin-off of a unity ceremony. We used some of Andy’s honey, and the spoon we used for the ritual was Andy’s mother’s silver. Also, Ray’s mom built the gorgeous redwood arch that we got married under!
From Jen Huang…Ray and Danika have chosen the life of the bee colony as a symbol of their marriage. A hive is a functioning community made up of interdependent organisms. Together, the colony makes the world to a better place, pollinating 80% of all flowering plants and bringing sweetness, softness and healing to species who harvest their products. The foraging bee will store honey for a generation she will never know. Ray and Danika have committed their careers to serving others. Not that it isn’t every five year old boys dream to drive an ambulance and put out fires, or every girls dream to put a bandaid on and heal the oweys of childhood, but few have the selflessness and perseverance to actualize the dream. Everything that is brought back to the colony, nectar, pollen, information, is shared.
In sharing their lives with each other Danika and Ray make each other better people. Through Ray, Danika reconnected with her love of nature, the earth, being on the land. Through Danika, Ray found the confidence and motivation to pursue higher education. Bees have specialized roles in the colony yet they unconditionally accept and, implicitly rely on each other. Ray and Danika are awed that two people coming from such different backgrounds found each other, yet, at the intersection of their love their true selves were revealed. Bees are sophisticated navigators, using the sun to triangulate their way to nectar and back home. Danika says “with a name like Ray how could I not feel his light?” He will never cease shining on her and together they are home.
To survive the seasons, within the hive, bees generate warmth in the winter and coolness in the summer, all the while in loving service to their creator. Like the bees Ray and Danika never question why they want to give their lives to each other. Ray simply takes delight in seeing her happy, making her things and bringing home to her his love, and intimacy. Danika finds ease and comfort in Ray’s presence; she wants to be the foraging bee with Ray, in the fields, sharing equally in their work and play. They are meant to help each other and harmonize. Mathematicians consider the hexagon to be the strongest and most efficient form possible. Hexagonal patterns are found in snowflakes, on the backs of turtles, in basalt columns, the marking on the giraffe, the structure of our DNA, the cloud around the north pole of Saturn, and now we see honeycomb as the symbol of Ray and Danika’s love. One pound of beeswax can create thirty three thousand cells holding twenty-two pounds of honey. Theirs is a strong and abundant love.
Beeswax, the material the hexagonal honeycomb is made of has remarkable longevity and resiliency. Beeswax was found in the tombs of pharaohs, still pliable. Danika and Ray have endured the test of time, the test of distance, of illness, of loss, and of their own differences. Their relationship is as strong and well designed as the mighty hexagon, as resilient and enduring as beeswax and as nurturing to their marriage and their community as the colony.