Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Twoonie bars & drunk uncles

As I swerved through traffic on Sunday morning, I hurled profanities out my open window in the general direction of the suburbanites grooming their fertilizer-fueled lawns.

With only 10 minutes left before the ceremony was set to start, I was lost and stuck in the city. I still had a 20 minute drive ahead of me into the country.

With my heeled foot heavy on the gas pedal, and dust billowing behind me, I smiled briefly. It's a good thing I grew up in the kind of place where being able speed on a gravel road wasn't just a necessity, it was a rite of passage.

I arrived at the church just in time. And by just in time, I mean about 20 minutes late.

"The bridal party just arrived," the ushered informed me. I breathed a sigh of relief and collasped into a wooden pew at the back with my brother's friends, where Teri's baby stared in rapt fascination at my bright red dress.

After the ceremony, we funneled out of the church into the hot sun, set out a blanket, and collapsed in the shade.

My brother was the best man. This is a picture of Andrew and I, actually looking like we might be related, for once.

Despite my love of attending weddings, I don't think I've honestly thought about my own wedding since I was 6.

I've known and been friends with a lot of girls who eagerly flip through bridal magazines, oohing and aahing over white gossamer gowns and floral arrangements, rings and colour combinations.

I just don't get it. (My favourite part of this picture: my conspicuous absence from it. At Chantel's wedding, her bouquet broke apart in the air. I caught one flower from the arrangement, which I figured entitled me to at least one good date.)

If I ever get married it will be for the following two reasons: to get gifts, and to have an excuse to go on an extended and justified vacation (commonly referred to as the honeymoon).

In order to make the benefits of gifts outweigh the cost of the wedding, I've created a master plan. I'll invite everyone I knew and hold the ceremony on the beach. If it rains, I'll stand out in the rain. After all, if my dress gets ruined, it won't matter, because it won't be a $1000 taffeta affair. It will likely be something a) not white and b) worth less than $100.

Afterwards the reception will be at the Cold Lake Legion. All the local veterans who hang out there will be more than welcome to attend, to ensure that their stools at the bar downstairs stay warm. Food has not yet be determined, but it will likely involve peanuts that you can shell right onto the floor. And if the legion's booked, then I'll see if I can rent the Roundel. After all, nothing says classy like stripper poles on your wedding day.

I guess I've just always thought that if you love someone, you don't need a piece of paper to prove it.

And although I love the idea of being able to celebrate sheer adoration for another person in front of friends and family, I don't want to do that through an iced carrot cake, the token drunk uncle, bad bridesmaid dresses and pre-written vows.

I want to do it and celebrate it through my daily actions.

(Edit: I almost forgot! The best part of the wedding is when the brother of the bride said grace. "Thank you god, for this love feast," he said, much to our amusement. "So," ventured one of my brother's friend's, looking at her bottle of Snapple, "if this is a love feast, does that make this love juice?")


  1. although the carrot cake might be nice...

    The bride looks amazing! I love her retro dress!

    I'm totally having a potluck wedding and I'm going to make up all sorts of rituals and stuff that I can do, since I don't agree with the history of most of the rituals we have now (father giving ownership of the daughter to the husband, white dress to ensure that she is still fresh for her new man,etc, etc -all that great patriarcial bullshit)

    The idea that people spend their life savings on one big party is ridic. albeit I still want to crash a few this summer too! Although the only wedding I was invited to the couple got de-gaged. ouch.

  2. oh yah, I also thought of a good nickname for your drunk unlces: DRUNCLES!

  3. haha. That's awesome. Since we're on the topic of weddings, the one that I was at this weekend was actually super cheap but well done. Her dress was a gift (vintage) so it was free, they catered it themselves and all the guests were "assigned" to a picnic basket, they hired a student jazz trio and made all their own bouquets and flower arrangements. As far as weddings go, it was a really nice wedding.

  4. Anonymous5:33 PM

    "Love feast" derives from the German "Liebesmahlzeit" which I think originated with the Moravian Church (Bruderheim was a Moravian settlement. Is that where the wedding was?) These days the term seems to mean after-church snacks and coffe, or pot-luck.

    Lovely wedding by the looks of your photos.

  5. Ah! That totally explains the love feast comment! (The bride's brother is quite the world traveller from my understanding.)

    However, given the fact that nobody at the wedding knew the origins, I'm not sure that makes it okay.

  6. Anonymous7:56 PM

    On second glance, looks like a German Lutheran church. The inscription above the entrance to the Sanctuary is from Psalm 26, translated as "Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth".

    It looks for all the world like the one in Heimthal by Leduc. Never been inside.

  7. I don't konw where Heimthal is, but if it's near Leduc then this might in fact be the very same church you're thinking of.

  8. That dress of yours was nice.

  9. "Marriage is a wonderful institution, but who wants to live in an institution?!?"

    The whole point of a wedding is not to obtain a piece of paper from the government -- it is to declare in front of God and everybody that the two people in question have made a life-long commitment to each other.

    But, just as importantly, it's a chance to literally invite everyone you know to the biggest party you will ever throw! What could possibly be wrong with that?

    As this wedding demonstrated, it is all about what YOU want that day -- not what anyone thinks you should have. Our wedding featured a bluegrass band, a blues band, 3 kegs of microbrew, top shelf liquor, tie-dyed bartenders, dogs in tuxedos, venison chili and wedding cupcakes. One of the best parties we have ever thrown (and there have been some doozies).

    I wholeheartedly agree that lame weddings suck ass, but marriage is a wonderful thing -- with or without the piece of paper.

  10. Rev- First of all, you don't know how pleased I am to see that you're still out there! (I was beginning to worry. . .or at least was beginning to consider sending you an e-mail.)

    Secondly, I kind of wish I had been at your wedding. Dogs in bowties are always a huge selling feature.

    And finally, I'm delighted to hear from someone who endorses marriage. You're a dying breed. It's refreshing.

  11. Yeah, I had a month long web-outage due to a recent move from the smoggy lowlands into the alpine mountains. We're probably still breathing dangerous amounts of ozone up here in the mountains, but at least it smells like pine. The cable guy stood me up two weekends in a row which caused some serious web withdrawal.

    Thankfully, a friend let me borrow his banjo during the down time and I've been picking away the weeks. Taught myself how to play the "Wildwood Flower", "You Are My Sunshine" and "I Saw the Light". I figure that every Mountain Man needs himself a good banjo. Now I just need to get a few pairs of overalls and I'll feel right at home.

    On top of all that, I was driving between here and Beverly Hills for a series of job interviews, but that's a long and complicated story in and of itself.

    Yes, indeed, I am still alive -- pickin' and kickin' from high atop the San Bernardino mountains...

  12. That really is a beautiful, beautiful wedding dress. I have no marriage desire either, but like 'the lady', a potluck has always been my game plan, should I have a wedding.

  13. I have to admit I was quite taken by the wedding dress, myself. It's probably the nicest one I've ever seen. I was coveting it.