My best friend's son got married this past weekend and we were among the lucky invitees. Why lucky? Well, not just because I remember when this young man (now 22) was born or that his mother and I share a special connection so I wanted to be part of this special day, but more importantly, the event included all of the moments I cherish about a wedding while avoiding the phony excesses that seem to permeate the wedding industry in recent years.
The couple exchanged vows in a picturesque chapel, the service included music that spoke to the 100 or so guests in an intimate way because it reflected the personalities of the bride and groom, the wedding party was formally dressed but their apparel spoke to the overall theme of the wedding rather than trying to impress, and the flowers were daisies, evoking special memories for the bride and her family. The entire ceremony took only a few minutes but created a lifelong image for those in attendance.
The reception was a relaxed, happy affair with simple, delicious food, served buffet style, just enough champagne and drink to toast the occasion, recorded music for dancing; all evoking several hours of celebration, laughter and memory creation for all. The tables were personally decorated by the families of the bridal couple and the favors for the guests were packets of daisy seeds to plant and remember the day by. Most importantly, everything we experienced and enjoyed was memorable because it spoke to me, especially, of these two caring families who gathered to mark the occasion by giving of themselves to its end.
I saw no ostentatious extravagance, and I loved that. I was reminded of my own children's weddings, which were also gay, personal and unforgettable - as was mine way back when - and I found myself wondering why there are so many who feel they have to mortgage their lives to put on a phony show on a day when all that matters is sincerely pledging your lives to one another at the altar, and celebrating that exchange with family and friends in a fun, relaxed way. Why do couples feel the need for dresses that cost as much as my first house, floral masterpieces that cover every open space, lavish parties that create indebtedness for years to come, and which include overly expensive favors for the guests and food and beverages fancy enough for royalty? I've attended such gatherings, but, to be honest, I don't remember the details. They just spoke to me of overkill and indulgence for no reason.
So I toast to Kyle and Bev, the honored and most loved couple of last Saturday's happy tidings. They did it beautifully, they did it right, and they gave us all lasting reminders of their unique and most special of days.