This isn’t a shotgun wedding. It wasn’t a whirlwind romance. No, they had nearly five years of dating and another year of friendship. But in those last two weeks, a cyclone descended.
Toward the middle of July, my oldest son showed up during the middle of the day. He needed to borrow the Internet, he said.
Next thing I know, he’s standing in front of my desk holding a tell-tale jeweler’s box. He’d just paid cash for this beautiful wedding ring.
“When are you going to propose?” A shrug was his answer.
I showered him with romantic ideas. I would later learn that he come up with a fantastic one of his own. Was there ever a doubt?
A few weeks went by. I said nothing. Pretended I knew nothing whenever I was around his lovely girlfriend. It would have given a lesser woman an ulcer.
At the beginning of the month, we’re playing games with our out-of-town guests. A text from Sara. “It finally happened!”
A picture of the ring came with the next text. What did we do back in the day before we could show off our engagement ring to the world with a snap and click?
Our bevy of congratulatory texts went back to her and my son. The Facebook status was updated the next day.
Two days later, I get a text from my husband. “The wedding is Friday at the courthouse.”
Friday. As in two DAYS from now?
Whoops. Next Friday. Oh, as in nine days. That’s so much better.
Before I can barely start the next day, my future daughter calls.
“Can we get married at your house next Saturday?”
What happened to Friday? But I have to admit, our living room or backyard will be a nicer setting than a courtroom.
A bunch of pictures of dresses come zipping across the digital phone waves (if that’s a thing) and light up the screen of my smart phone.
This is really happening. My oldest son is going to get married in a few days.
We want to help. We drive to my son’s apartment (soon to be the residence of newlyweds) and talk about what they want: for the ceremony and afterward, and in moving her stuff to his place.
I’m in charge of purchasing two dozen white roses. She’s going to make her own bouquet. The photo she sends is gorgeous.
The night before the wedding, she shows up with her sisters. My other future daughter comes with baby’s breath ( “I could have bought that, too”) and ice cream.
What the video said would take an hour to make FOUR of, takes an hour and ten minutes to construct a single arrangement. But it’s lovely.
And it’s late. And I can’t sleep.
I get up early. Sweep the house again (did it two days earlier). Wipe off the kitchen counter. Twice.
My husband is outside setting up chairs. He already hosed down the patio and moved everything out of sight. Our half-brown yard looks as good as it can get.
My youngest son’s fiance is the first to show up. More than two hours before the wedding.
Even though we joked about him being late, the groom shows up 30 minutes later. With a shirt and slacks that are just-out-of-the-package wrinkled. Good, a task to concentrate on.
A few minutes later, my youngest son and the minister arrive. It’s still more than an hour until the wedding and I have a house full of people. I’m still running around in shorts without any makeup on.
So, I let the dryer steam the shirt and I go get ready.
A text. The bride is running late.
So the groom gets grilled. Does he have everything? Like what. Ring? Check. License?
Yeah, you know that thing the minister and witnesses are supposed to sign to make this marriage legal.
Whoops. It’s on the counter at his apartment – about twenty minutes away. It’s fifteen minutes to “go time.”
The bride is alerted and she agrees to turn around and go pick it up. (When this story is told in the future, everyone will understand it was the groom’s fault the wedding didn’t start on time.)
Needless to say, while a whirlwind juggled everything in the ten days prior to the wedding, the wedding started nearly 40 minutes late.
The bride’s family arrived before the bride.
The bride needed to change into her dress when she did arrive. Her sisters and mother wanted to inspect it. The other guests waited in the backyard.
As far as whirlwind timing, the wedding ceremony itself lasted about five minutes. Pictures took another ten to fifteen minutes. And a gust sent everyone off to the after-wedding luncheon.
Many women want a big fancy wedding ceremony with all the trappings. Some people just want to be married.
Whirlwind or traditional – you’re married just the same.
What type of wedding did you have? Any regrets? Like maybe you wished you saved those thousands of dollars for a down payment on a house?