This weekend I attended the wedding of the century. It was the most touching, heart warming, awkward and tense ceremony full of unintentional comedy in the history of ever. If there are any doubts as to my version of the events, I have about 500 witnesses to back me up.
The wedding included my friend Brent, a man that probably has more integrity than Tom Landry. He was marrying a woman named Heather, who was a widow and mother to a 19-year-old son. This would be Brent’s first trip down the aisle, yet he went down the aisle more than once during the ceremony. More on that later.
Brent and Heather met at a retirement living center. Brent is a pastor at the retirement living center and Heather is also employed there, I think she’s a part of resident life activity, but I’m not sure.
Sometime before the day of the wedding, one of the men that resides at the center thought it was necessary to explain human anatomy and sexuality with Brent, complete with text books.
The wedding was scheduled to begin at 2:00 PM on Saturday, but we were told that it might start later because residents of two retirement homes were being bussed in. It was quite touching to see two charter buses full of seniors ride the vehicle lift one by one, walkers and canes and all, to the ground and make their way into the church. I heard one person mention that if they didn’t know better, just by the make up of the crowd, one would think a funeral was taking place. The wedding started about 2:25 PM.
An old man, I’d say probably around 85-years-old, was using his iPhone to take pictures during most of the ceremony. There were a few times you could tell he was getting frustrated with the device because he was in video recorder mode instead of camera mode; but it was kind of cute and out of place to see such an individual work that piece of technology.
For some reason, the wedding took place at a black Baptist church. I think it was because it was fairly close to the two retirement units, and I think because it was held at this church, that the minister at the church had to participate in the ceremony. So the ceremony included an almost 80-year-old black Baptist preacher and a middle age female Presbyterian pastor. How did I know the black Baptist preacher is almost 80-years-old? Well, more on that later. What’s interesting about these two preachers and the age of most of the attendants, is that when they were young I doubt you would ever see a wedding so ethnically diverse with a black Baptist preacher and a female Presbyterian preacher.
In case you were wondering, the bride did not wear white, but a nice beige dress and her son was the ‘man of honor’. If I haven’t mentioned it, Brent was respectful enough to her son to ask his permission, that’s the classy kind of guy Brent is. Oh, and when she walked down the aisle, she totally owned that aisle.
“How Beautiful” was played, which was played at our wedding, which caused the very hormonal and pregnant WifeGeeding to burst into tears.
The female Presbyterian preacher starts to explain why the wedding was being held at this church. I’m thinking, yes, finally, an explanation, but her explanation never really told why the wedding was being held at this black Baptist church. It felt like watching a season ending finale of LOST – emotionally touching, but no closure.
The black Baptist pastor starts speaking and welcomes us to his church, telling us in the history of the church, where he’s been pastor for over 40 years I believe, he’s never seen such a touching and unique seen.
He then goes on to tell us that this is such a great birthday present for his 80th birthday . . . which he then tells us is January 26.
He then goes on to tell us how the city wanted to name the road outside of the church after him, but he declined because he knows that the road was already named after one of his church members’ father who actually built the road. He then tells us that he requested a post office be named after him instead, and that happened this past March. I later verified this.
He then goes on to tell us how this moment reminds him of a song his wife was playing earlier that day.
He then points to his 80-year-old wife sitting at the back of the church.
He then asks her to come down to the piano and start playing the song she was playing this morning because he wants to sing a song for the couple. In case you are wondering, NONE of this was planned or discussed or even brought up during the rehearsal the night before.
He then starts to sing a hymn which isn’t the song his wife is playing, and then starts to sing two other hymns as his wife plays the same song.
Finally we get back to the couple. He asks the couple to turn around so the audience can all say “AMEN”.
As the black Baptist preacher continues to speak, the bride looks at the female Presbyterian ministers and mouths “Help me.” She then interrupts the black Baptist preacher and says something to the effect that the bride is ready to change her last name.
The black Baptist preacher then forgets to ask the couple to exchange rings. And when it came time to exchange vows, only the bride got the chance to say her’s as he forgot to have him say his. You know, this could be a good thing for Brent, because if they ever get in an argument he can always say he never vowed to do such and such.
During the vows, the black Baptist preacher used the phrases “when you get fresh with her” and “when you salute your bride.”
Finally, the couple get to kiss, and the black Baptist preacher is so happy he goes off script again telling the couple he wants them to rejoice in this moment and practice walking down the aisle. That’s right, he tells them to walk down the aisle and then come back to the alter. Being the great persons they are, they both oblige.
OK, this post is getting long enough as is, so let me just get to the reception. The plan was to have a lot of cup cakes available for all the seniors to eat, since they were going to leave early, you know, because they are old and all and that’s what they do. But somehow the church staff goofs, and cuts up ALL of the wedding cake and the groom’s cake and tell us to start eating. The bride and groom not only got to see their cake, the photography never got a picture of it.
Of all the 9/11 pictures I saw yesterday, this one was most moving to me. Here are some similar ones.