I performed my first marry and bury on Friday – well, the marry part of it, that is. Our good friends Kara and Eryl got married at San Francisco City Hall, and with 12 of us in attendance, it was a magical evening of actual intimate wedding conversation. We took a limo from their condo to the heart of the city, snapped a few photos in and around the picturesque locale, and then snuck onto the hallowed 4th floor, where by the power vested within me, I got to pronounce them husband and wife.
What an honor.
Perhaps Vegas has already thought of this, but cameras should actually be installed on the lapels of officiants everywhere in order to capture ultimate perfection.
I saw how his antsy nervousness simply yearned to be given permission to kiss his bride.
I saw how her eyes sparkled and glowed and twinkled, growing wide with anticipation as the minutes passed.
I saw how the faces of the nine other friends and family gathered around them each held different expressions: joy, pride, excitement and knowledge of the goodness that’s to come.
I saw how the photographer noticed each moment and each angle too, seamlessly moving from side to side, up and down, making art.
I saw the other onlookers, who although in the middle of walking elsewhere, stopped and paused. Perhaps they too remembered their wedding day. Perhaps they saw the beauty of those simple moments between my two friends.
But there’s just something about a wedding. There’s something about love being professed and about choosing the other person, whether before a crowd of just a few or of your 300 closest friends. There’s something magical that makes me want to bottle up the moment, and squeeze my husband’s hand just a little bit tighter – Yes, you are mine. Yes, I’d do it all over, again and again and again.
Ten years ago or so, I was visiting family and friends in Oregon, where I grew up. One of my best friends from high school, Aaron, called me up one afternoon and asked me what I was doing that evening.
“Um, going to Taco Bell?” [I mean, it was our favorite after-game destination when we were in high school. Chips and cheese, please.]
He soon answered his question for me: we were heading to Miss America’s wedding.
I suppose I could have aimed higher in my answer.
Soon we were on our way to the ferry crossing, taking a barge from Keizer to McMinnville, and then following directions to the local historic airplane hanger.
I mean, where else would Miss America have her wedding reception?
We had no sooner handed our somehow secretly-obtained passes to the security guards, than we were inside, watching the woman throw her bouquet from cockpit of the airplane while we sampled on divine reception food. We smiled gregariously for the wedding magazines and television stations, but dodged the bride and groom on the dance floor.
I mean, we had just crashed Miss America’s wedding – what were we supposed to do? What if they figured out that neither party had invited us and sent the security guards on us?
“Oh, honey, who’s that pair over there dancing? Friends from high school?”
“I thought they were your friends, love. Wait a minute… Officer!”
I wasn’t ready for a criminal record at that point in my life.
But really, who wants to live caught up in the what if’s?
And so we kept dancing our little hearts out, because there’s just something about a wedding.
[Go, choose love. Choose vulnerability. Choose life. Choose to let yourself love and be loved in return.]0