Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Sunday, Part II: things start to get exciting

Tradition? Bah humbug!
If I were picking a word to describe Lucy and Chet’s wedding, it would be non-traditional. Besides her not wearing a white dress, I could make a very long list of traditions that they broke. I think that’s okay, though. Breaking traditions is very Lucy. The entire production was very Lucy.

And that’s how the bride, her bridesmaids and the groom all got ready in the same room.

That’s also how we found out about Wedding Disaster #1.

Disaster Strikes, Take 1
The pre-wedding brunch is at 3:00 pm. It is 2:00 pm. Chet is in no rush to get ready. “Shower,” we tell him. “Get ready,” we tell him. “You’re going to be late,” we tell him. Finally, around 2:15 pm, he tires of listening to five squabbling hens and he gathers up his clothes.

All but his pants.

Chet forgot his pants at home. Three hours away.

And, in this particular region of northern Michigan, there is only one place you can go to buy pants on short notice: K-Mart.

My best friend married a guy wearing pants he bought at K-Mart. And, to her credit, she couldn’t seem to care less about the pants situation. There was no stress. Even when he dashed out of the hotel to buy new ones. Even when he came back and they didn’t quite match his suit coat. She faced the incident with a shrug and a smile.

And I started to realize how ready she was for this wedding.

The pre-wedding brunch started off with the typical mingling and chitchat. It wasn’t long until we all retreated to our seats – I sat with my parents and some of Lucy’s out-of-state friends as there was no head table – and I was being called up to give my toast.

At my insistence, the best man went first. Expectations were not high for him, seeing as English is not his first language and he had significantly less time (maybe a half-hour?) than I did to prepare what he would say.

What he did say was simple, sweet and heartfelt.

Then the microphone was in my hands.

I don’t know where I muster it from, being as shy as I am, but in crucial situations when I’m speaking about something or someone I really love, public speaking comes easily. It happened at my senior year soccer banquet, it happened at my grandma’s funeral and it happened again at the brunch.

I went with the Harper’s Index idea. List style, of funny and quirky things about my friendship with Lucy, about her relationship with Chet, about my relationship with Chet. I ended the index with the number of people at the brunch, encouraging them to lift their glasses in honor of the bride and the groom.

It worked well. The style I used was just different enough to make people really listen; guests complimented me throughout the day, but I suspect that they appreciated the fact that I didn’t bludgeon them with the typical “I really love you guys! We’ve been through some tough times together…” toast more than anything.

Regardless, though, I was pleased.

Disaster Strikes, Take 2
My table was served brunch first. I thought nothing of it.

Until, over an hour later, the last tables still hadn’t been served.

I’m still not sure what the problem was, but whatever its source, it pushed the wedding back a full hour.

Again, Lucy and Chet both handled the setback graciously. I guarantee you that I would have been crying. They each basked in the other’s presence.

An onlooker might’ve even mistaken their focus to be solely on their love, not the production that was the proclamation of it.


Amy said...

how wonderful to have a wedding that's about the MARRIAGE and not the ceremony. How nice to hear about a couple that's enjoying each other and the day instead of the silly little details (like pants for a groom!!) Nothing in life ever goes by the book, it's good to be able to take it all in stride and keep on keepin' on.

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