Wedding Highlights

This weekend my dear friends Katie and Laura got married at a campground as a man played a classic Stephin Merritt love song on the acoustic guitar.

I had helped Laura edit their wedding vows, and sat in a kind of quiet awe when she told me that sometimes she and Katie can’t get to sleep at night because they’re making each other laugh so hard, laying together in bed. She said she has to beg Katie to quit making her laugh because she has to get up early for work.

I guess that’s the kind of problem to have with one’s partner in life. (Note to self: Shoot for that.)

Wedding Highlights

1. Laura-bride’s father, when offered a pen to sign the couple’s wedding promise during the ceremony, shakes his head and will not take the pen I offer. Instead he moves to the side of where everyone is signing a promise to honor and support the marriage and takes a deep breath. Then he walks around behind me and stands in front of the table, silently reading the brides’ wedding promise.

I watch him nod his head. He picks up a pen and signs with one word:

Dad

2. Katie-bride’s father, who had said he was coming in for the ceremony only and leaving immediately afterward, stays on into the night, a beaming father of the bride seated like a tribal king on a Coleman camp chair, rising to cut a rug with his beautiful daughter on the bare earth under a tarp. It is at this moment as the bluegrass music plays that I realize that not only are things going to go better at this wedding than anyone ever expected, they are going to verge on the miraculous.

3. During the ceremony, Katie-bride is almost hysterical with joy, as if she cannot believe she actually gets to be the one that marries Laura. Her face is pink, her eyes are teary and shining with excitement, and she looks as if at any moment she will be propelled upwards from the earth by pink love-jets, do a few loop-de-loops in the air, and leave a pink vapor trail that smells like roses before drifting back to the ground. When asked to make her final wedding vow of loving Laura forever, she can’t speak, breaks down and has to have a hug from her maid of honor and her future wife before, with sudden calm, she can speak the words.

4. During the wedding toast, an old friend from college tells Laura-bride that Laura came out to her 11 years ago to the day. She still has the letter and reads from it, telling of Laura’s fear and uncertainty then. Then she tells Laura that today she has conquered her fear and with her wife by her side, together they are so strong. Laura-bride, who is not a weeper, breaks down in tears embracing her friend.

This was not a gay wedding.

This was a wedding.

10 responses to “Wedding Highlights

  1. Here’s to lovely weddings and happy marriages! (My wife and I recently celebrated our twelve-year anniversary.)

    Hope you’re feeling better…healthy and happy. :-)

  2. Thanks, Wil, and congrats on 12 years. (Wow.) Been trying to comment on your blog for a few days now — MT login seems to be being weird…

    I am certainly feeling happy. :0) Healthy hopefully coming right up.

  3. Hmm…you can’t comment? That ain’t right. I’m going to send you an email — hopefully we can figure out what’s going wrong.

  4. Thanks for posting this. I was wondering how I was going to put all that happy into words, but luckily, you did a much better job than I could have.

  5. I don’t think I did a much better job than you could have. And I don’t think I got anywhere NEAR all that happy of such an amazing event. I got some of it, though.

    I couldn’t get to sleep until 2 a.m. that morning because the day had been so emotional.

    Man, my friends are really setting the bar pretty high when it comes to weddings.

  6. Hey, wow, two wedding gorgeous posts. Your writing is fabulous. Seriously, I know these two women peripherally, but now I feel like I was truly there. Excellent job.

    Gotta love weddings. Mine was so awesome, I’m considering getting a divorce just so I can have another.

  7. A sweet and wonderful description, Jennifer, of such a blessed event. Ours was wonderful too, but needed someone cool like you to write about it! :)

  8. Zen, I would write about you and Helen anytime.

    SWE, I have decided that if Laura and Katie ever end their relationship I am striking like a viper and marrying Laura myself.

  9. How beautiful…makes me feel like I was there. Thanks for such a lovely story. My husband and I still thank our lucky stars that we found each other!

  10. Laura and I just read this entry for the first time tonight. Thank you for reminding us of how lucky we are. Oddly, the wedding seems soo long ago. Your writing put us back in time.
    Love ya, Jen! Katie

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