I worked at the Marriage Factory three days this week. Monday and Wednesday are my regular days. But Tuesday was a special, once in a lifetime day: 1-11-11. All total this week, working three afternoons, I did 17 weddings. Eleven of them were from 1:00 to 4:20 on Tuesday. I thought 11 on 1-11-11 was a nice number.
Monday was all about the brides. The first wedding the couple were in their late 40's. The bride was interesting. She had on a leopard print top that almost made it to her waist, jeans that were skin tight, and high heeled boots. There is no nice way to say this, she was a tiny taut woman with humongous boobs. She almost made Dolly Parton look flat chested. And guess what, she looked great.
One bride wore a long white Grecian style dress with a sheer stole. They were so excited and happy. After the ring ceremony they kissed, and then realized the ceremony wasn't over yet. I thought that was sweet. If you can't kiss in the middle of your wedding, when can you?
Tuesday there were some very pretty outfits, and some awful ones. But first a couple of weddings with problems. The first one I was the problem. My 8 hour anti cough pill wasn't working and I had an awful coughing attack in the middle of the ceremony. I could hardly talk. I felt so bad doing that to the couple. But there was nothing I could do.
Another problem wedding was all about communication. Did the bride speak English? The groom and the witness kept talking for her, she would mutter something and look to them for help. I was not comfortable with the groom to begin with. He was nearly 30 years older than she was. I started the wedding and the bride is vacant looking. I didn't think she understood what is going on. I went to her first for the Do you take . . . question. Nothing. Then the witness and the groom said, "Say yes." I stopped the wedding right there. I explained I can not legally let someone marry who does not know what is going on. The groom and the witness started talking fast and furious: She is just nervous, she understands most English, she can . . .
I told them to stop talking and just hush. They were stunned. I told them they are doing all the talking. I had to be sure the bride knew why she was there. A little anger from the two of them. I explained women are brought over from other countries and don't know they are being married. We have to protect them the best we can. They calmed down and I took the bride into the Marriage Desk office. We both questioned the bride and finally decided she did understand enough English for me to do the ceremony. Why the bride didn't answer my questions, why she constantly looked to the other two for answers, I don't know.
Now to some clothes. There were some pretty white silk suits. There were some pretty dresses. One lovely dress stood out, as did the groom's suit. This was such a good looking couple. He was close to 7 feet tall, and yes he had played basketball for the military and played semipro ball. His suit was gray with a lighter gray wide stitched thread edging the coat. And his bride. Oh what a gorgeous young woman. Long white dress with a beaded empire waistline. She carried red roses. They read their own vows that were so tender and so funny. She said, "I know we agreed to have 3 children, but I think I'll give you a basketball team."
And the worst outfit of the week, drum roll please, the black suit with a mini skirt. The bride wore a white coat that covered her suit. All I could look at were her shoes. Sandals, 5 inch heels with "rhinestones" on the straps. And the straps continued up her legs in circles separated by two to three inches of more "rhinestones". This was almost blinding. Then she took her coat off. I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing. Black suit, the lapels were covered in square "rhinestones",the edges were covered in "rhinestones", she wore a "rhinestone" dog collar, and then the mini skirt. The skirt was 4 tiers and the tiers were covered in ostrich feathers. She just looked tacky. But looks are not everything. The groom's fourth grade daughter was the witness. The bride was so sweet to her, complimentary of the pictures the girl took. Outfits do not a mother make.
Wednesday. I know you all are getting tired of this. Just one short story. The wedding had lots of guests. Everyone was dressed to the teeth. They were fun, the couple was sweet, and we had a good time. As they were getting on the elevator to leave I heard them talking. All were surprised what a nice room we had, they were surprised that the ceremony was not just a quick legal thing. They loved the beauty of the words in the ceremony. And as the doors were closing on them I heard a woman say, "This was way nicer than I thought it would be. It was much better than when Tom and Susan got married in Vegas."