The weather cooperated, the beautiful ceremony went off without a hitch, the toasts are over, and the guests ate, drank, and danced with abandon. By any measure, the Hill Country Nuptials were a roaring success.
Now we wish Richard and Julianne much joy and happiness on their life together, which starts today with a honeymoon in Italy. As for the rest of us, it’s back to the real world.
The father of the groom (or, as I like to think of myself, the FOG) doesn’t have a significant role in the ceremony, and on the wedding day doesn’t have any traditional obligations or assignments. So, I’m trying to be useful and help out where I can — such as by loading up the car with stuff to take out to the wedding venue, fetching the high chairs for the youngest wedding guests, and ironing my shirt and the shirt of the best man. I’ve also got the matching ties of the groomsmen ready to go.
Ironing also helps to calm the nerves as the big moment approaches.
We’ve got a wedding in the family coming up later this year. Although the blessed event itself is still months in the future, the time for carefully analyzing and evaluating what dresses should be worn to the wedding and the rehearsal dinner apparently is . . . now!
I had no idea that quite so many websites featured dresses for the family members who are attending weddings. Dresses of every imaginable length, cut, and hemline. Dresses with jackets and without. Dresses that feature something mysteriously called a “bodice.” Sleeveless dresses, dresses with poofy shoulders, and dresses with curious slashes, like they’ve been attacked by Freddy Krueger. Dresses in every conceivable color of the rainbow, from azure to lilac, from saffron to magenta, from sea foam to garnet, with every subtle gradation and shade in between.
Never has fashion been the subject of such passion.
For the husband, there is no avoiding it. When I get home I’m going to be asked to choose between dress styles with subtle differences discernible only to Parisian designers. I’m going to be asked whether I prefer the periwinkle or the lavender, the teal or the aquamarine. And, because every dress website that Kish has accessed has deposited a girl scout squadron’s worth of cookies on our home computer, every pop up ad on every sports website that I check these days features solemn women modeling dresses.
After some weeks of this, I suddenly became concerned. “Honey, should I be worried about what I’m going to wear to the wedding?” I asked. Kish laughed heartily. “Don’t worry about it,” she said. “No one pays attention to what a man is wearing.”
Too bad, because I was thinking of something in cornflower.
On April 3, 1982, 34 years ago, Kish and I got married in Vermilion, Ohio. It was her father’s birthday, and the weather then was just like the weather is today. It had been nice and sunny a day or two earlier, but the clouds rolled in and the wind blew and on our wedding day it was brutally cold with snow squalls.
It’s about 6:30 a.m. as I write this. By that time 34 years ago, I had been up for at least an hour already, after tossing and turning for most of the night. I was filled with adrenalin, excited and nervous. I knew I was making the right decision, but I was worried about screwing something up during the ceremony or the reception afterward. So I got up and, in those pre-internet days, sat in my room and tried to read a book and then walked the halls for a while to deal with the burst of jittery energy.
Fortunately, Kish and I had decided to keep the wedding ceremony itself short. We had stripped out pretty much everything but the bare minimum required of a service in her family church. To this day, dozens of weddings later, our own wedding is the shortest wedding ceremony I’ve ever attended. I needed to walk out to my position in front of the altar without tripping, hold Kish’s hand after she and her Dad had walked down the aisle, say I do a few minutes later, put the ring on without dropping it, and then walk out with my lovely bride. I thought I could handle it, and later that day I did. Seeing Kish looking beautiful in her wedding gown helped a lot.
The whole ceremony took about 15 minutes, but they were momentous minutes indeed. More than three decades later, the memories are still vivid, and the decision remains the best decision I ever made. Happy anniversary, Skipper!
The top of a mountain in Phoenix is a wonderful setting for a wedding, especially when a fire and a sunset are part of the mix. And a family wedding is something to be relished, whatever the setting. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to reconnect with far-flung nieces and nephews, in-laws, and family members to be at such a happy occasion.
Today Kish and I celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary. On April 3, 1982, we walked down the aisle in Vermilion, Ohio and said our vows.
A lot has happened since that unseasonably cold day in the early years of the Reagan Administration. We’ve had two fine sons and proudly watched them grow through the toddler years, school, and college to adulthood. We’ve changed jobs, moved from Washington, D.C. to Columbus, and bought and sold houses. We’ve struggled with the loss of family members and loved ones. In some ways that wedding day seems long ago and in some ways it seems like yesterday, but one thing is clear: I’ve been incredibly lucky to share each moment with the most wonderful person in the world.
Kish picked the song Blue Skies to be the song we danced to at our wedding reception. As is the case with pretty much everything she decides, it was an apt selection. As I look back today at 32 happy years with my soulmate, one verse in particular stands out:
Never saw the sun shining so bright
Never saw things going so right
Noticing the days hurrying by
When you’re in love, my how they fly
Today is November 12, 2013. Or, in calendar/shorthand-speak, it’s 11/12/13.
It’s a numerologist’s dream, of course, but lots of ordinary people also think the numerical sequence is pretty cool. After all, it’s one of only 12 sequential calendar dates this century. As a result, today was a surprisingly popular day for weddings. No one is sure exactly why some brides want to get married on sequential dates. (And we know it’s brides making the decision, don’t we, because what guy is going to pick the day for his wedding?) Do brides think the date is lucky? Do they think it is unique? Or, do desperate but farsighted brides hope that their hapless husbands-to-be might actually remember their freaking anniversary if the guys just have to remember 11/12/13?
Any happy couples that missed 11/12/13 will have their shot at sequentialism next year, on December 13, 2014 — or 12/13/14. After that, they’ll have to wait for almost 90 years, until 1/2/03, to tie the knot.