A wedding like any other
Apparently, a week or so before his wedding, a friend of mine got fed up with all the decisions he had to make about this and that, about who would take care of the music at the ceremony, what would happen at the reception, and when — we have to know when! — dinner would be served, toasts offered, the cake cut and the first dance begun.
And so he complained, just a little bit, from what I hear, about how he wanted it to unfold organically, to come together on its own. Cooler heads prevailed, however, and he was gently reminded that there is nothing natural, or organic, about a big wedding. It’s an event— a happy one, to be sure— but one that requires precision and planning, lest some vital detail be forgotten, or some important guest be slighted or unnecessarily inconvenienced.
The minister knew how these things go. When the happy couple finally walked down the aisle, she encouraged them to pause for a moment, before the ceremony began, to take a look around and see what they had done.
“All the planning and stress is over,” she said. “ Today is your day to enjoy it.”
And enjoy it they did. My friend was an English major back in the day, and the ceremony was filled with extended readings— some in Middle English— from First Samuel and First Corinthians, Plato, Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde and William Meredith, as well as traditional and popular music from when the two of them were young. The ring bearer was 4 years old, and she performed her duties admirably. The vows were sweet and heartfelt, and the sermon was mercifully short, especially after
Every wedding has some drama and some shortlived misery, and then it all works out. This one was no different.
all that reading.
As we walked two short blocks from the ceremony to the reception, my wife asked how long they’d been together. “I dunno,” I said. “Maybe 10 years. I know it’s been a while.”
I tell this story because every wedding has some drama and some short-lived misery, and then everything works out, at least for the most part, and everybody’s so happy on the couple’s big day. And every wedding goes on, a bit too long, about man and wife, starting a new life, together forever, till death do us part (or we find someone better).
This one was no different, except for one thing: There was no she. Only he and he. Not man and wife, but man and man, committing to each other for life. For this was a gay wedding, the first I’ve attended, inWashington, D.C.
I know some may disagree, as Maryland considers the question of same-sex marriage, but I can’t see how this is a threat to you or me, my marriage or my family. It’s just another couple declaring their love publicly, in front of friends and family and the community. Just another couple — part of our wondrous humanity— standing up and joining the rest of us in holy matrimony.