Monday was a slow day for weddings. Again I sat until after 3:00 before anyone came in to get married. The first couple were dressed in jeans and sweat shirts with shiny new rings on. They had been married in their church the day before. They told me all about the service and what they wore. Now they wanted to legalize it. I asked them why they hadn't bought a license before that service and had the minister sign it. They really couldn't give me a good reason.
Couple two were from Afghanistan. Their witness, R, struck me as some sort of professional: matchmaker, helper to get one of them through immigration, something bossy. Every time I spoke to the couple R answered. I kept pushing them for answers (to see if they spoke English) and he would answer. Finally I told them I couldn't marry them because I didn't think they could understand me. R got indignant and said of course they speak English. I said well why don't you let them talk? He backed off and they did speak English. And I did the ceremony.
Couple three were the perfect example of people who do not listen to the clerks. It is carefully explained to every customer, if you change your name at the bottom of the license it takes a court order to go back to the original name. After the ceremony the bride decided she wanted to keep her name. Tough luck, it is a done deal. She now has to go to court and pay big bucks because she and the groom did not listen to the clerk.
Wednesday I had 4 1/2 weddings. You know what that means. One couple faked out the clerk and me on the groom's ability to speak English. Clerk N said she asked them if they spoke English, no problem. Well, I found out in the middle of the ceremony he didn't speak English or understand English. The bride and the guests were cuing him in when to say I do. The vows tripped him up. I stopped the wedding and got a Clerk who speaks Spanish to do the ceremony. Yes, I was ticked off. Why lie about that?
I had two couples that made up for all the dumbness, rudeness, tackiness of the last 6 months. Couple 1 was from Nepal. She was in an elegant red sari. It had beautiful gold work through it. There was a gold design like a small dragon fly all over the sari, The wings were a brilliant emerald green. Now the bride should not have struck me as beautiful woman. Yes, her hair was long and beautiful. But her face had acne scars. She was a little plump. But when this young woman smiled at her groom she glowed. She lit up the room with beauty. Love makes a woman gorgeous.
And then we had the traditional wedding party, sort of. I saw the little girl in the lobby. She had on a high waisted to the floor white organza dress, little white ruffled socks, and white Mary Janes. Then I saw another little girl in a similar outfit in a pale blue. I see a white wedding dress and a bouquet. I was hoping this is an English speaking couple. I want to do this wedding. It is mine! The groom was in a black suit, his hair was pulled back in a pony tail and the sides of his head were shaved. He was a huggable cutie pie doll.
And then the bride in her mermaid wedding dress. I know this dress cost a fortune. It fit her like a glove. It was expensive looking, almost coutoure. Did she borrow it? Was it her mother's? This dress should have been in church, at a fancy country club. But it was at the Alameda County Wedding Room. The strapless dress was heavy heavy creamy satin. The dress was covered with seed pearls and blackish silvery beads: The front and the back of the dress, down to the cathedral train were covered with pearls and the beading. And this young woman was woman enough to wear this dress.
The bride and groom were each around 30 years old. And I found out both little girls were their children. So traditional, yet not.