Weddings Come In Many Shapes and Sizes
Oh so many weddings.....
I suppose it was bound to happen. The older I get, the more weddings I've attended, and each one has had its own distinct flavor. My first plan when I saw the hubmob subject for this week was to write about my own wedding. This, I decided, was not the best idea. First because if my wife happened to stumble across this hub, she'd divorce me in a second (wedding pictures featuring her, which most of ours do, should not be online, in her opinion.)
So out of an interest of staying married, I abandoned that idea, and instead decided to focus on some of the more memorable weddings I've attended.
The Medieval Wedding
Aside from my own, which was special just because my wife and I were the featured attraction, the most interesting wedding I've attended would have to be my cousin John's wedding.
It was a hot summer day back in 1999, as I recall, when John and his bride had an outdoor wedding. There were two things that made this wedding stand out. First, the wedding had a medieval theme, and all guests were asked to arrive in costume. Well, with a last name like Henry, I could think of no better costume than to go as Henry VIII of England. I even grew a beard, trimmed the way I thought Henry would have worn it. You can see the picture of me above.
My mother is a seamstress, and she decided to make costumes for other family members who were not so quick to run right out and rent one, like me. Here's a few pictures of her handiwork.
The other interesting thing about that wedding is that my cousin's bride, Dawna, was a wiccan, so the actual ceremony had a certain druid feel to it. All-in-all, this was the most interesting wedding I've ever attended.
The Most Fun Wedding
Tragically, I haven't been able to find any pictures yet, but one day after my 19th birthday, my cousin Leslie got married. I don't recall her husband's name, and I must confess that at some point they moved down to Florida, and I kind of lost touch with them.
What made Leslie's wedding so much fun was not so much the people who did show up, but the fact that so many expected guests did not show up. While this must have stunk a lot for Leslie, it created a certain opportunity for a few of us.
It seems that, based upon those who had RSVPd they would be coming, my Uncle Don set out a bottle of white wine and a bottle of red wine on each table. I don't recall exactly how many tables ended up being empty, but let's just say that me, Leslie and another cousin decided not to let all that wine go to waste!
This would mark the first time that my parents had seen me totally, thoroughly intoxicated (unless you count the time when I was 2 years old, and I went around the kitchen table at my Uncle Bill and Aunt Lucy's house getting sips of beer from each of the men at the table.....after making the rounds a few times, as my father says, I could barely stand!)
So Leslie, I'm sorry for bringing up a sore point, but I just want you to know that it was their loss and our gain, because the wine was awesome! Uncle Don always had great taste!
Another Wiccan Wedding
You guys are going to start thinking half my family and friends are wiccans, but it's not true! But I do have a close friend from college, named Tory who also married a wiccan woman, by name of Kimmie. They had their wedding beside a lake in a suburb of Boston some years ago. I'm sure they planned the date - Memorial Day Weekend - some time before the ceremony, figuring it was the unofficial start of summer, so the weather would have to be good, right?
I think that Saturday in May went down on record as the coldest Saturday of a Memorial Day Weekend on record. The wind off the lake was howling so loudly that I could barely hear a word the priestess who performed the ceremony had to say. All I could remember was that she was having a heck of a time trying to get some candles to stay lit.
Fortunately, the wedding ceremony itself was brief, and then we joined other guests for a potluck reception at one of Tory's friends' comic book store. Can't say as I have ever attended a reception at a comic book store before or since, but it sure was fun!
The Weddings I Wasn't Invited To Attend
Believe it or not, neither me, nor my brother, nor even my parents were invited to the weddings of my two sisters. My sister Lisa and her husband Ben decided to get married after being together for several years because they were expecting a child. So they planned their wedding, performed by a justice of the peace, to coincide with a previously planned vacation to New Orleans. As I recall, the happy couple were casually dressed, wearing blue jeans and white t-shirts, with shoelaces in their sneakers that did not match.
I have no description to offer for my sister Kari's wedding because we found out that she had gotten married after the fact (at least Lisa had the presence of mind to let us know that they were getting married before it happened, but that they didn't want to make a big fuss.)
The Wedding I Couldn't Miss
After missing the weddings of my two sisters, the only one I had any hope of seeing get married was my brother. Dan and I have many things in common, not the least of which is that we both took forever finding the right woman for us. So there was a while that I was unsure whether Dan would ever tie the knot, so to speak.
This past summer, after completing his bachelor's degree in Music Education, and getting a killer job as a music teacher, (yes, it's true, some school departments actually pay their teachers well) Dan and his long-time girlfriend became husband and wife.
The problem was that I had some automotive issues at the time they were getting married, and if my mom had not been able to come up to Maine from western Massachusetts, pick me up and bring me back to Massachusetts, I would have missed that one too. It was a long day, with a lot of driving, but brother, I'm glad I made it! And kudos to mom too for making it all happen.
OK, I just can't resist......
It would be impossible for me to write a hub about weddings without telling about my own. So I've chosen a picture that does not include my wife, and trust that she'll forgive me for this.
We had just bought our first home when we got married. Consequently, we were severely broke. As a result, many things that we might have wanted to do had to be taken out of the budget.
Fortunately, I have some extraordinarily talented friends and family who contributed their time and talents to make the affair extremely nice, even if it was extremely cheap.
For example, my friend J.D. was operating a mobile DJ service at the time, and his gift to us was providing the entertainment for the reception. As expected, J.D. did an awesome job, and it didn't cost us a dime.
Then there was my friend Ed, who had been the staff shutterbug on my college newspaper at St. Joseph's College in Maine back in the 1980s. He shot all the pictures that day, then turned over the film to us to develop. We brought the film to Wal-Mart, and by virtue of the fact that the film was developed a day later than they had promised, all the prints were free!
I would be remiss if I did not give credit to my friends Cindy and Ray. I've known Cindy, too, since college, and got to know Ray after they got married (another interesting wedding....they catered it themselves, and had Chinese food!) Ray offered to cater the reception at cost, and by virtue of his connections, we were able to feed about 100 guests for less than $500. Plus, Ray was working at a linen factory, and brought all the table dressings, which made it an extremely elegant affair.
We had the reception in the church hall at St. Mary's Church in Orange, Massachusetts, and thanks to Father Brian, who officiated, he let us have the hall for free!
If you check out the picture of my friend Brian escorting my mom in at the start of the wedding, you'll note mom is wearing a rather tropical outfit. That's because since we could not afford to go to Hawaii, we brought Hawaii there, and asked everyone to come wearing appropriately themed clothing.
Finally, my Aunt Cathe is a very talented cake baker (I don't know if that's the right title, but you know what I mean). Cathe made a cake in the shape of a volcano, that even had dry ice at the "summit" that made it steam as if it was about to erupt.
People who attended the wedding said they never had so much fun as they did at my wedding, and I'm inclined to take them at their word. But none of it would have been possible if my wife had not had the good sense to say yes when I asked her to marry me, and for the efforts of lots of talented people I've just mentioned.
To Wrap It Up....(no pun intended....)
As you can see, from the candid descriptions here, weddings do, indeed, come in all shapes and sizes. Each and every one of the weddings I've chosen to write about was special because the people who were getting married were so very special to me. Now I'm waiting, in anxious anticipation, for the next generation of weddings. Who knows what they'll come up with?