Monday I did several weddings. I was helping to train an intern who wants to be a marriage commissioner. She was going to watch me to see how we handle weddings.
The first license was interesting. The bride is 41 years old, the groom is 31 years old. Age doesn't matter, but she has already done a lot more living than him. This was his first marriage, and it was her fifth marriage. They told me they wanted the shortest ceremony I could do. I told them only three sentences are required by law to be married. Were they sure they wanted that cold of a ceremony. Oh yeah, that's what they wanted. "We are having a real wedding later." You know how well I take that statement. I told them they were breaking my heart. ( I hate doing the three sentence ceremony. It doesn't seem real. It also seems pretty tacky.) I did the ceremony as requested: Do you. . . ? Do you. . .? I now pronounce you . . . She jumped his bones and we had a tacky tongue down the throat kiss, and I eased them downstairs to do the paperwork.
The intern was lucky. She saw the extremes that come to the wedding room. We had the three sentence wedding and the next one was a full blown extravaganza. There were 30+ people in the room. The bride wore a knee length white strapless dress. It had a deep purple sash. She carried white roses with purple flowers mixed in. The groom wore black slacks, black vest with a deep purple shirt and purple boutonniere. Their toddler daughter had on a white dress with a deep purple sash. Do you see the theme here? Everyone at this wedding had on purple. Many had on corsages/boutonnieres. Even I had on a blouse that was a shade of purple. I had received the memo. We had a great look going on.
The couple had a best man and a maid of honor stand up with them. Few of the couples do that. I did the sweetest fluffiest ceremony I have. The bride cried, her parents cried, the maid of honor cried. It was a lovely ceremony.
I was worried about pictures after the ceremony. With so many people it takes a long time. The lobby was full and I needed to get the next couple. I needed the picture taking to be quick and everyone move out. I shouldn't have worried. One of the guests was armed with a digital Nikon and she was organized. She barked orders like a drill Sergeant: all the girls with the bride and groom; next all the boys; next all the children; next Mom and Dad; next . . . I asked Nikon girl if she would come in on Mondays and Wednesdays and help me.
This was a beautiful wedding. They had everything planned, they listened to my rules, they told me what they wanted, and the guests were great. It was fun, it was lovely, and it was so nice after the cold three sentence wedding. The intern was excited to see two such extremes. She didn't realize people came in wedding dresses with lots of guests. These two weddings taught way more than anything I could have told her.