Sunday, September 24, 2006

The Wedding

Outside the town hall yesterday, a black-suited photographer with his camera trained on a large wedding party grouped together on the steps. Right, on the count of three I want you all to say 'Champagne!' Okay? 1--2--3
Champagne!!
Again? 1--2--3
Champagne!!
He takes pictures that freeze this moment in time.

The bride at the centre of the party really blushes. Only one little girl isn't smiling. Her eyes follow mine as I circle behind the photographer. She's feeling self-conscious about being made to participate in all of this rubbish.

Further on, there's an old cream limo with ribbons tied to the silver lady dancing on the grille. A chauffeur in a black cap waits with his back straight and gloved hands clasped behind his back. This is how to get married in style.

2 comments:

Janey... said...

Interesting that you posted this...

Last weekend I attended a friend's wedding...a wedding that occurs in full blown adult life...It's not her first wedding...and now her children are grown...My friend's daughter was the "maid of honor"...and they have a tremendously close mother-daughter relationship...I can't think of anyone else who could fill that role better than she...

Traditional weddings with posed pictures on the steps of the church seem important...important to "capture" that "blissful moment" although it's most likely to be filled with nothing but stress and fear that the bride will fall down the steps when her heel catches the hem of her gown's train...But still...desperately important is the picture...as if that joyful moment won't exist unless it's in an 8x10 for all to see...

So the wedding I attended...
The nuptials were exchanged in a gazebo overlooking a beautiful marina where her sailboat slip is...and the invitation insisted on "casual attire"...
The "reading"...not a psalm or some sort of menacing instruction from above(no disrespect intended, I am just not religious)...instead:
The lyrics of Thank You (Robert Plant is her Bruce Sprinsteen to me):

Thank You
(Page/Plant)

"If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you.
When mountains crumble to the sea, there will still be you and me.

Kind woman, I give you my all, Kind woman, nothing more.

Little drops of rain whisper of the pain, tears of loves lost in the days gone by.
My love is strong, with you there is no wrong,
together we shall go until we die. My, my, my.
An inspiration is what you are to me, inspiration, look... see.

And so today, my world it smiles, your hand in mine, we walk the miles,
Thanks to you it will be done, for you to me are the only one.
Happiness, no more be sad, happiness....I'm glad.
If the sun refused to shine, I would still be loving you.
When mountains crumble to the sea, there will still be you and me."

Isn't that nice...a reading I can remember...

What a comfortable surrounding she insisted upon...No one was concerned about formality and everyone was sincerely there to share in the joy....It was nice to see her biker friends show up in full leather regalia, proudly showing the proclamation of being a Vietnam Vet...and sharing equally in celebration next to her aunts who were dressed to the nines...

Yup...the pictures of this wedding won't be staged...what you see is what you'll get...Genuine...
Oh...and I don't recall any champagne, but there was a lot of beer...

Bruce Hodder said...

That sounds like a hell of a bash, Janey. And I like the idea of quoting Page and Plant. That's different...

When I saw the one in town it made me think of my Uncle Richard's wedding reception, which I attended as a child. I can still remember running around in the hall--presumably chasing or being chased by one of my brothers--and noticing only the legs and the feet of the adults sitting there. I was curious as to what it meant that they tapped their feet up and down to the rhythm of the music. A peculiarly adult habit, it seemed to me then. (I've always had these strange, alienated observations.)

I can also remember running around in the dark, hating the tie my parents made me wear, and something happening out there, someone getting hurt, though I don't know how or why. We were hanging out with some kids who must have been offspring of friends of my Uncle. Suffolk kids they were, and tough...I felt weak, actually more like a girl, in their company.

There was a picture of the wedding that survived, though most of the pictures from my past were destroyed. It's in black-&-white, which is bad enough, and my brothers and I are standing in front of a bar with boxes of crisps piled up behind us. The boxes have the price per crisp packet marked on in OLD MONEY, that's pre-1971...You can know you are an old fart intellectually, but boy does it threaten the delicate balance of your self-image when you see physical evidence of the fact!