Maybe it was all the hoopla over the royal wedding and the fact that I was trying to come up with a column that turned my thoughts to an envelope I received in the mail a few years back. It contained a typewritten note – when was the last time you saw a typewritten note – suggesting I write a column on weddings. He went on to relate a story of an old chum who was locked in his bedroom on the day of his wedding some sixty years earlier. It was probably the storyteller who did the key-turning but the confession was only slightly visible between the lines. I could almost hear the chuckles of the author as I read of the young groom jimmying a window open and crawling out onto the roof for his timely escape, arriving at his wedding a little dusty but none the worse for wear. The writer went on to say that everyone has a funny tale about weddings. Weddings were solemn and formal occasions at one time, and anything disruptive would be unforgettable.
Now, with theme parties and the casual approach to vows, one would be hard pressed to know if something was planned or not. Sorry, I digress. This man had a point. It’s what happens unexpectedly that stays with us for years. Really, these are the stories we remember. The crazy things.
I’m thinking back on weddings I’ve attended when hubby passes through the room. I jump at the opportunity to get his input. You’ve been to lots of weddings in your lifetime, I say. What can you remember about them? He paused for a nanosecond before answering, Most of them were a mistake. Okay then, I’ll rely on my own memories.
The little things that go wrong are part of the memory. The part we laugh about later. A funeral took place in the church a few hours before their ceremony and half way through the I-do’s, a murmur went through the congregation. A Rest in Peace ribbon is draped across one of the floral arrangements. Inadvertent or not, it made the speeches after dinner. And no doubt became a forever funny memory.
The bride and groom were in a panic.Theirs was an outdoor wedding. Now it’s raining. Now it’s not. Should they notify the guests to head to the park for the ceremony or go to the alternate indoor location. Their decision resulted in a memorable image of the intimate clustering of friends and relatives under a bevy of colourful umbrellas as they exchanged vows in the misty rain. Romantic, right? Especially when the groom plucked a small willow leaf from his bride’s cheek during their exchange. You see, that’s what wedding memories are all about. The unexpected.
Let’s face it, no matter how meticulously one plans, there’s always a surprise or two. One bride recalled shock at the sight of her groom waiting at the altar. His full head of hair was cut so short that his head looked shaved. What’s the big deal with a shaved head, you say? Well, this was back in the sixties, so it was most likely a bachelor party gone bad.
Our wedding was perfect, of course. That’s the way I remember it. But there is one memory that everyone finds irritatingly hilarious. A night or two before our nuptials, I invited several out-of-town guests for a home-cooked ham dinner. Of course, I was busy socializing and checking on everything….well, everything but the oven. It was time to serve dinner but the ham wasn’t cooked. I swear I turned the oven on. I’m certain of it. That’s the story I’ve stuck with to this day. Oh well, we all needed a good laugh. And laughter breaks the tension. It didn’t, but just saying, it usually does.