Joyous amalgamation

How many weddings has a guy my age attended? Lots and lots and lots. Family, friends, colleagues, and their children and other connections over three generations and more. I remember being forced into dressy clothes and trotted off to be bored at lots of formal, straight-laced affairs in the ’50s and early ’60s. I retain at least vague memories of somewhat more colorful gatherings of the late ’60s and early ’70s, including several where the bride and groom actually wore shoes. (One I livened up with a bloody nose at the reception that required me to be removed from the premises. Who knew a G&T or two would have that effect?) And over the last few decades there have been lots of overproduced extravaganzas I chalked up to the weirdly unmodern diktats of the wedding industrial complex. Lately, it’s been some relatively simple but elegant events involving remarkably self-possessed young couples settled and mature enough to know what they wanted and to do it in style.

We just got back from a weekend in St. Augustine, Florida, where R, our much-loved eldest niece, tied the knot with the excellent Other R. They knew what they wanted and they did it in style. First, they gave sweet B a featured role as a flower girl, thereby pretty well assuring perfection throughout.

Second, they arranged for perfect weather at a beautiful venue. Third,
groom R’s mom makes easily the best key lime pies anywhere. Fourth, the families from both sides bonded, and really enjoyed each other.

Then the main event: excellent music, a cool minister, a few special words—brief special words—by said minster, members of the bridal party, and the nuptial pair themselves, that hit the nail on the head. On to good wine, carefully chosen food, jolly conversation around the tables, more good wine, and, along with further good wine, lots of enthusiastic dancing. (Why don’t people do the Jerk anymore? Why do they laugh at people who do? It’s a mystery.)

Great weekend. Great wedding. And it’ll be a great marriage, too.

When we got married, one of us was simultaneously in a frenzy trying to finish a thesis at the end of a distinguished college career. The bride’s mother couldn’t understand how her daughter could be so relatively uninterested in wedding details.

Mom, annoyed and frantic: “This is the most important day of your life.”

Daughter, frantic and incredulous: “I certainly hope not.”

I just went out for a run.

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