Five Weddings, No Funerals

Weddings are such interesting affairs….

New friends

Sometimes you meet new friends. Sometimes you act silly with old ones.

Old friends

But, something always goes wrong, despite all manner of planning. And let’s be honest.  Don’t we all attend weddings hoping to see something go awry? Thinking in our evil little minds how cool it would be if the best man got drunk and said something wildly inappropriate in his toast!  And aren’t we just a wee bit disappointed with weddings that go exactly as planned?

At my brother’s first wedding, his friend who decided to play professional wedding photographer inserted the film backwards, thus there are no pictures of the event, which is just as well. It was such a hot day that two bridesmaids fainted at the altar. I was the only one left standing in my fuchsia frock, sweating like a pig.  I couldn’t wait to get out of that chapel until I realized that the adjoining reception hall was also not air-conditioned. A four layer wedding cake does not fare well in temperatures hovering around 103 degrees. The frosting melts and it slides.

My sister got married in a church in Virginia City Nevada.  Virginia City is known to old-timers  as the hangout of the Cartwrights, owners of the  Ponderosa, a cattle ranch just outside the town as depicted in the 1950s television show “Bonanza.”  Of course, as any Nevadan can tell you, there are no large cattle ranches outside of Virginia City, especially any which also border on Lake Tahoe!

If the Cartwrights actually owned that much of the north shore of Tahoe they would have been able to buy Switzerland.
The Ponderosa. If the Cartwrights actually owned that much of the north shore of Tahoe they would have been able to buy Switzerland.

My father was in charge of  transporting three things up to Virginia City: the bouquets, the bride, and the matron of honor (me).  My father was absent-minded  and therefore rarely entrusted with important tasks, however, my mother thought this to be an assignment even he could not bungle. Ha! He fooled her. He arrived at my mother’s house a little early with a bottle of chilled champagne he thought would relieve the stress of the upcoming event and we drank it. Guzzled would probably be more accurate.

It wasn’t until the organist began the Wedding March that I realized we’d forgotten something.  I had nothing to hold in my hands. I wiggled my fingers together a few minutes before it dawned on me – we’d left the bridal bouquets in Reno, a forty-five minute drive.

“Psssst! No flowers!” I whispered to the folks sitting at the rear of the church. Giggling they passed the “pssst” up to the front, alerting my mother to the catastrophe. She hastily pulled a few daisies from the arrangements at the altar and brought them back to us, all the while scowling at my father.  Did I mention my parents were divorced?

Me getting “done” for my daughter’s wedding.

Wedding disaster #3: My daughter decided to get married in Hawaii.  Also during a heat wave.  When it came time to get my hair done, I begged the stylist to pull my unmanageable mop up and off my neck. Because my hair is so fine, it took several thousand hairpins and three cans of ultra strength hair spray to get it into shape. During the wedding I could feel melting plastic rolling down the back of my neck. After the wedding I should have removed the pins and washed my hair but alas I flopped into bed drunk and exhausted.  I awoke the next morning with my head glued to the pillow case. Loose strands of hair had formed a sticky spider’s web across my nose, eyes and lips. Thankfully none of the many geckos running around our rental house fell unto my head during the night otherwise I would’ve looked like a lizard-headed Medusa.

At my son’s wedding, in tiny Hudson New York, it was a different sort of heat that gave us grief.  The day before the wedding,  the cellist, who’d come out from the west coast, was arrested and taken to the police station  (think Mayberry RFP) apparently because the sunglasses he wore matched the description of a pair worn by a local robbery suspect. Luckily the cellist had a day job back in Reno.  He was a fireman.

All in all my brother’s wedding in Reno went very smoothly.  Mother was a bad girl, of course, refusing to sit where she was supposed to. But everyone expects a bit of bad behavior from Mother.

6 thoughts on “Five Weddings, No Funerals

  1. Funny! I especially love the picture of you getting your hair done for your daughter’s wedding. Is that Deborah Harry in John Waters’ “Hairspray?” And yes, I agree that crazy/disastrous things almost always happen at weddings, especially the best-planned ones. That’s what makes them interesting!

  2. HA HA HA HA! Both sections are excellent.

    Makes me want to copy the first part to put on my wall.

    The second part is oh-so-amusing!

    Sorry I didn’t read this sooner. I have had my head down to the keyboard, trying to get the $@#$$ art book finished, and have not been reading my mail.

    Happy shopping.

  3. At my aunt’s Baptist (no drinking) wedding in the 40’s my dad put liquor Grandmother’s punch. A good time was had by all – but family lore has it that his mother-in-law never did forgive him. My uncle ( the groom) told me this story just in recent yrs.

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