I wrote about my own (long-ago) wedding last Thursday. When I did, many of my author friends chimed in with their own stories of nuptials gone right or very, very wrong. Here are a few more wedding tales for your enjoyment!
Amara Royce’s Trusting Husband and Exhausted Bagpiper:
I was thirty minutes late to my wedding. My husband was the only one still sure I was coming.
This was before everyone had cell phones! So there was no way for me to contact anyone at the church to let them know that me and my parents and bridesmaids were delayed.
As part of our ceremony package, we’d opted to have a bagpiper playing outside the church as the guests arrived. By all accounts, she was great…and must not have had any breath left by the time I arrived!
I never got to hear her play a single note. The moment the limo arrived at the church, I hurried up the steps, was ushered into a side room where the bridal party’s flowers were, and promptly burst into hysterical tears.
I am never late for anything. Ever. And I still haven’t lived it down!
[NOTE from Olivia: Did you know that Amara has a new historical romance available for your enjoyment? No? Well, GET ON IT, PEOPLE.]
Jane Lee Blair’s Emergency Run to the Dollar Store and Unwelcome Honeymoon Visitor:
So we had a very religious ceremony, as you might expect when a seminary student gets married. But with the exception of a Sufjan Stevens song that I came down the aisle to (I picked it because it was very calming), we used hymns that weren’t in the standard wedding book. That Sufjan song later got used in a Red Bull commercial and then in a depressing album the Roots did.
Later, one of Roy’s seminary professors told him, “Your wedding had very unusual music.” But it was all perfectly normal church music. (Titles for those who are interested: “In the Cross,” “Jesus my Blood and Righteousness,” and “More Love to Thee, O Christ.”)
Since we were having an interracial wedding, we had a lot of fun with colors. Roy wore a black tuxedo, but the rest of the groomsman wore white. We had a very blond, pale friend as a groomsman, and he looked like a ghost or an angel. I wanted really vibrant grass green bridesmaids’ dresses, but I couldn’t find them in 2007. So the bridesmaids wore black dresses of their choosing, and I supplied them all with green sashes that were the color I wanted. I wore green J. Crew ballet flats for my shoes.
Roy cried so much while I was walking down the aisle and during the first little part of it, I had to give him the special handkerchief I was carrying around my flowers to be both the old and the blue things. When it was time for his brother to pull out the ring for Roy to give me, he pulled out not just the ring box, but the white cardboard box the ring box came in.
We had a very large wedding, I guess—we filled up a whole church. But it was really low budget, so our reception was just cake and ice cream and I think water and sweet tea. I did most of the planning myself, and I’d forgotten to get serving utensils for the cake and ice cream. My friends, who were the servers, ran to the dollar store and got some. I still have that plain plastic ice cream scoop.
Oh! The best part: We decided to wait until the morning to go to our honeymoon, so we stayed in our new seminary housing apartment for the night. But it turned out my dad was planning on bringing our wedding gifts there. He was NOT someone we wanted to see on our wedding night, so we 1) went to Wendy’s, 2) made out in a park, and 3) prayed in the seminary parking lot until we were sure the coast was clear.
[NOTE from Olivia: Do you follow @JaneLeeBlair on Twitter? No? Well, GET ON IT, PEOPLE.]
Philippa Lodge’s Continental Ceremony:
I got married in France.
“Oo-la-la!” you say. My husband was having trouble getting his visa and couldn’t get it before the originally planned wedding date. That was a joy, I tell you.
Interesting thing: France still posts “banns” even though it’s a secular society, so there’s a fairly long waiting period after you apply for the license. It took us two extra appointments for the records department to get my name and my parents’ names spelled almost right. My dad’s middle name is not actually “Georges,” but close enough.
France is a secular society….nominally. You hear sometimes about French people freaking out because some Muslim girls went to school with head scarves on. But they don’t even seem to notice that most of the days they have off of school (and government services are closed) are religious ones. All Saints’ Day? No school. The Assumption? The Ascension? What are those, even? I was raised Protestant.
Another thing that DOES show secularity: all weddings are performed in the city hall by a government official. If you want a religious wedding, you do it after the official wedding. Like, you have a mayoral wedding, a church/mosque/tantric wedding, then everyone chases you in their cars, honking their horns to the reception.
By the time I was getting married, I didn’t consider myself of any religion and my husband never had been, so we only had the city hall wedding. Typically, couples show up at their appointed time with just a few family members and friends—whoever’s going to be the witness and your parents, right? So we showed up with, I dunno, 80 or 100 people. Including my mom, who speaks exactly ZERO French, but who was my witness. (To this day, she doesn’t know it was all an elaborate ruse and she signed away her kidneys.)
Now, I don’t remember a whole lot of the details, because I am 100% introvert and by the time I hadn’t slept well the night before, I had my hair done (and it was awesome!), we picked up the flowers, and we got dressed up and drove over there, I was already basically done with people and running on fumes. But at some point, the greasy, little deputy mayor looked around and we looked white enough, and here was a crowd, so he decided to put on a show.
I’m not sure exactly what he said, but he gave a speech about marriage being established for having children and, I dunno, what’s French for cleaving to one another? He never said God or called on the Saints, but I think we pretty much had surprise religion.
We’re still together after seventeen years, and my mom still has her organs, so it must have worked.
[NOTE from Olivia: Did you know that Philippa has a new historical romance available for your enjoyment? No? Well, GET ON IT, PEOPLE.]
More stories to come in the days ahead!