Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine’s Day at the Marriage Factory

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day.  We only had 10 appointments, compared to 30 in other years.  Staff knew we could have walk-ins, but no idea how many   How many volunteers would be needed to work that day?  I came all day and two women came for an hour each.  Staff did non English ceremonies.   We worked at a steady pace, nothing frantic until the 3:00 rush.  White dresses were everywhere.  And it was only me for the English.  From 4:00 to 4:30 I did three ceremonies, and then I had to leave.  Staff still had at least 6 weddings to do.  We had a total of 41 ceremonies for the day. 

Memories of the day are of white dresses, red dresses, tuxes, and flowers everywhere.  Staff decorated the counters, marriage rooms, and the lobbies with roses, other flowers, and hearts.  They raise money through the year to buy the flowers.  Thank you to the staff. 

Every year we have a problem with people stealing the roses and other flowers.  Last year they took flowers off  the clerks’ counters, as the clerks were telling them not to. After the first theft yesterday, I jokingly told the deputy he was to frisk people as they came off the elevator.  He offered me his Taser to protect the roses.  He did make up signs Please don’t take the flowers.  Thank you and hung them around the building.  We didn’t lose many after that. 

This was the day for romance, the building was full of love.  Many of the brides were in gorgeous wedding dresses.  The wedding dresses had sequins, seed pearls, boned corsets, embroidery on the skirts, lace cut outs.  Every style you can think of came through the doors.  We had long white chiffon dresses.  There were short lace dresses with cap sleeves. One lace dress had a tight bodice and a circle mini skirt that stood out with a crinoline under it.  The bride was long legged and definitely could wear this look. We had white satin dresses that were skin tight and way too short.  And white satin dresses that were ruched and fit nicely.  We had boobs falling out of a V necked dress.  Many brides were in jeans and fancy shirts.   And the grooms you ask?  We had jeans and tee shirts, black suits, tuxes, dress pants with white shirts and ties that matched the brides’ dresses.  One couple wore matching tennis shoes.  And the shoes, you know I love shoes.  Even the men had great shoes.  Cowboy boots, high heel boots, high heels, platform heels, sparkly buckles, sequined heels, it was a feast of shoes.

The witnesses wore reds, pinks, and purple.  Many wore hats with feathers or flowers, and some wore fascinators. One guest had an interesting accessory, a pint bottle of liquor in his hip pocket. 
Always we have standout couples:

One couple had two children .  The baby boy was in a little black suit.  The  3 year old daughter wore a bright red satin dress, red sparkly hair clip, and red sparkly shoes.  The bride wore a long white wedding dress with seed pearls.  The groom wore a red shirt, black tie, and black slacks.  The little girl did not want to be left out of the ceremony. To prevent a temper tantrum, I had her sit at the feet of the couple with the red dress billowed out against the white dress.   What a lovely picture that was.  When the couple joined hands to say their vows, the little girl got up and put her hand on their joined hands.  Not a dry eye in the room.

My favorite couple was in their 40’s.  The groom was all in black with a red rose in his shirt pocket.  The bride wore a dark dress with a white lace coat sweater with ruffled edges.  She carried pink roses and she wore a turban.  I could see a thin fuzz of hair at the edge of the turban.  The turban was not a fashion statement.  The ceremony was intense and the bride was crying.  Everyone in the room cheered when I pronounced them married, and then they all cried.  I later talked to the witness and asked if the bride was sick.  She said, “She was, but not now.”   And that made me really happy.

No comments: