The Other Wedding
Ma has brought to my attention that I promised to write about two weddings, and only wrote about one. Here's the other one.
This is a wedding of a girl I knew first from our college Marching Band (which is where she met her beloved, though she'll try her best to muddy that point as we all soon decided we were too cool for said Marching Band). She was a props person, and her beloved played the flute (I played the electric guitar). When I lived in the Lutheran community house my senior year (don't ask -- it was cheap rent) she, a Lutheran, would frequently come over for prayer and for the Women's Bible Study group run by the Lutherans, which I eventually joined. Her beloved, being another woman, was also invited to Study Group, and would frequently stop by as a guest participant.
One evening, the beloved arrived first, and let us know that she was going to propose to my friend that night. Our eyes widened in amazement, because my friend had told us that very day that *SHE* was planning to propose, because the engagement rings had come early in the mail and it was going to be a surprise. The topic of the study group that night, coincidentally, was marriage.
So they got engaged, and they got shacked up, and they were happy. And in due course, in Washington DC, there was a wedding. This was no big budget affair mind you. We're all 23 years old, so our careers are not exactly conducive to putting on a big production at this point. Plus, the happy couple had adopted three cats rescued from Hurricane Katrina, and one of the cats had fallen off the balcony a month before and had to have its leg amputated (don't worry, it's fine now, perfectly healthy) but this also put a big dent in the wedding savings.
Regardless, it was lovely. It was held in a Lutheran church a little bit outside downtown DC, with a standard-unassuming-70s-institutional structure, just like my old synagogue, on the outside, and then a very impressive stone gingerbread-house-looking sanctuary on the inside.
As my friend was in the Slavic Chorus with me senior year, and her beloved was in the Glee Club, both groups were featured prominently in the service. The Glee Club's music, being more appropriate to a Christian wedding ceremony, was featured throughout. Ours was featured during the recessional - we sang wedding songs as, well, as everyone recessed.
The ceremony was very Christian and also very progressive. (My friend is Canadian, and the brides had flown to Canada to get their marriage license the week before, and they changed their mutual names to a last name that is a combination of both their last names). In what I guess was the traditional part, the ceremony spelled out explicitly what in a lot of weddings is not addressed directly - WHY YOU ARE HERE. It said something to the effect of, we're calling on you, congregation, to witness this union, and to help them when they need help, and to support them when they need support, and God will help you help them. And it was basically a legal statement - the whole congregation responded something to the effect of, "we agree to do this." I of course, snuffled and teared up the whole time.
They held the party in the Church basement, with a reception catered by whole foods. Instead of wedding cake, they had a friend who was very good at making brownies make brownies for 150. They had a DJ play music and everybody danced. It turned out that, given the youth of the crowd (my friend works as a nanny and several of her charges were there), the biggest song hit of the night was THE HOKEY POKEY. Kids, 23 year olds, parents and grandparents all stood in a big circle and did the hokey pokey together. My friend did the hokey pokey in her wedding dress, with somebody or other's child, sitting on her hip. It was so cute you could basically die.
They had another reception that night (after the grandparents and children had been shooed off) on somebody's back lawn on the Maryland border. I got there in a car with seven people, a car meant for five. We spent a long time going around round abouts too many times by accident, and shrieking in fear and amusement each time we went around AGAIN.
And -- oh my goodness -- a LAWN! I remember those! Back when I lived somewhere there were houses, people had lawns, and it wasn't SCARY to sit on the ground, you could do it without any fear of what you were sitting on. It was a beautiful summer night, and the lawn blazed with tiki torches, and we ate leftover brownies and drank beers on the lawn (except the designated drivers of course) until we were too sleepy to do it anymore, and then we went home.
And the brides packed up, and now they are in Spain walking the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage trail for their honeymoon, pious pilgrims. Of course, that'd be the end of the story, but they stopped at an internet cafe a few days ago so I know they are doing JUST GREAT.