It was the kind of wedding that wasn’t short but came without a wasted word. It was the kind of wedding where the bride and groom stood behind the officiant, whispering and giggling to each other whenever it occurred to them. It was the kind of wedding where the assembled made promises before any were asked of the couple. It was the kind of wedding where watching couples held hands and kissed–and smiled at each other over their marriages rather than their weddings. It was the kind of wedding where the wasp flying around became a memory shared between weddings rather than a mere pest.
It was the kind of wedding with readings like this:
When, in disgrace with fortune and men’s eyes,
I all alone beweep my outcast state
And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries
And look upon myself and curse my fate,
Wishing me like to one more rich in hope,
Featured like him, like him with friends possess’d,
Desiring this man’s art and that man’s scope,
With what I most enjoy contented least;
Yet in these thoughts myself almost despising,
Haply I think on thee, and then my state,
Like to the lark at break of day arising
From sullen earth, sings hymns at heaven’s gate;
For thy sweet love remember’d such wealth brings
That then I scorn to change my state with kings.
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
It was the kind of wedding where the bride and the groom promised to plant their roots in each other’s soil and grow into both the wind and the sun. It was the kind of wedding where the groom interrupted the officiant, being too impatient (and silly) to wait for the proper time to say, “I do.”
It was the kind of wedding where the bride and groom didn’t need to stand together to receive their guests, where guests who only knew one party introduced themselves to the other. It was the kind of wedding where, when asked how I knew the bride, only then realized that it was because she and I had spent some part of one weekend a year together for almost the last ten years, and that she is incredibly important to me for someone I hardly ever speak to.
It was the kind of wedding where the compliments on the kilt came, not from the people who were indulging in being mildly scandalized by it, but from the woman with the primary-colored hair and the guy who paired a dapper suit with big hoop earrings and the guy whose accent put him somewhere close to Scotland–and the catering manager, who stopped to give us pronunciation lessons. It was the kind of wedding where the hipster look-alike was almost certainly not being ironic.
It was the kind of wedding where guests were seated by their reading preferences. It was the kind of wedding where someone at the dinner table says, “I’m ashamed to have a vagina because Stephenie Meyer has one too.” It was the kind of wedding where two open seats at your table result in the DJs inviting themselves to dinner and fitting right in, despite being a decade younger than everyone else there.
It was the kind of wedding where the Belgian-style ales were served in pint glasses. It was the kind of wedding where the catering staff made note of the brand of sparkling wine because it was both decadently delicious and cheap. It was the kind of wedding where drinks were poured by award-winning mixologists because they happen to be chummy with the bride and groom. It was the kind of wedding where you tot up everything you’ve had to drink, blink a few times, and still put your hand out when they say, “I’ve got an extra Aftermath. Who wants it?”
It was the kind of wedding where dancing skills are appreciated but not required. It was the kind of wedding where the tan kids were the ones lacking rhythm. It was the kind of wedding where a four- or five-year-old could steal the show, not by being a great dancer, but by being a showy, confident one. It was the kind of wedding where the DJs couldn’t stop dancing themselves, and the one with the fauxhawk (film major with a bright future ahead of him unless I miss my guess) gave it all he had, which was not insignificant. It was the kind of wedding where the bride’s now former PI got out there and shook her mad scientist hair just a little more mad.
It was the kind of wedding that could go on until all hours of the morning. It was the kind of wedding where people either left around their normal bedtimes or were prepared to stay forever. It was, in short, the right kind of wedding.
Many congratulations to my friend Tracy and her lovely husband John.