Weddings can be wild rides

Summer is the season of weddings. My eldest granddaughter is getting married this weekend in Minnesota. Unfortunately, I will not be able to afford the trip and an appropriate wedding gift, so I’ve opted for a nice gift. But all this got me to thinking about weddings I have attended. My daughter’s was one of the most memorable.

The wedding and reception were held up in her father’s neck of the woods, about an hour’s drive away. The morning of the wedding my son, who was in the wedding party, brought his tux to my house and asked me to take it to the church. No problem. I can do that little task. My daughter has stayed the night at my house and left to get her hair done. While she was gone, I loaded the video camera, tripods, digital camera, and the Unity candles in the trunk of my car.

I took her to her make-up appointment, which was on the way to the church. As I was driving, I hear her mutter, “God’s saying, ‘so whaddya want from me?” And naturally I said, “Huh?” She explains her favorite kind of day is a rainy one. She loves a gentle soaking rain, and it’s raining on her wedding day. But, she doesn’t want it to ruin her hair, so God’s saying, “Whaddya want from me? I give ya your favorite kind of day and now you complain?”

After her make-up we headed for the church. We were running about 10 minutes late, but no big deal. When we got to the church my son came up to me and asked for his tux. Damn! I forgot his tux. It’s an hour’s drive away, one way, in the rain. So I told my husband, my daughter’s step-father, to QUICK, drive home, get the tux and race back to the church; not thinking that there was an hour and 40 minutes till the wedding. It’s a two-hour drive home and back, not even counting the time it would take to go in the house and get the tux. He took off in the rain, not thinking about the time either.

In the meantime, my daughter asked where the Unity candles are. They’re in the trunk of the car with Bob. Where are the cameras? In the trunk. By this time she was pretty upset with me.

No worries. I called Bob to have him bring the cameras, etc. back. Oh. My cell phone is in the car, with Bob. Bob’s got his cell phone with him, but he had told me earlier it was going dead. I borrowed a phone from someone, and called Bob’s phone. No answer. I called my cell phone in the off chance he would answer it. No answer. My daughter was furious with me!

About a half-hour before the wedding was supposed to begin, Bob showed up. “Do you have the tux?” I asked, still not thinking straight. No, he hadn’t made it halfway home before he realized he would never make it before the wedding. And he had stopped and looked in the trunk because he heard the phones and wondered why I kept calling him. So, he turned around and came back. OMG, what was my son going to wear for the wedding!

Bob was wearing a tux, as step-father to the bride. So Bob took his tux off and gave it to my son, Matt. Matt has a 31-inch waist. Bob’s was a 36-inch. Ten minutes before the wedding, Matt’s wife was safety pinning the tux pants to his shirt so they didn’t fall off. The jacket is too wide, the pants too short, but he was pinned together the best they could. In the meantime, Bob had squeezed himself into Matt’s filthy dirty size 31 jeans and his size small, soaking wet, wrinkled shirt (from decorating the get-away car in the rain.) He was bulging at the buttons and tripping over the pant legs, but he was in attendance, against his better judgment.

Was that the worst of it? Oh no.

I had set up the video cameras to tape the wedding. Five minutes before the wedding started the best man came up to me and asked if I had the rings. They were in the bride’s dressing room and I said I’d go get them. At the same time, the church coordinator came up to me and said, “Father doesn’t like where the one camera is placed. It will have to be moved.” So I went back into the church, with guests already being seated, and moved the camera, where as it turns out, it filmed nothing because I didn’t have time to spot it.

They called for the mother-of-the-bride to be seated, but they haven’t yet seated the step-mother or step-father, and after I was seated, the ushers wouldn’t seat them. So they slipped down the side aisle and seated themselves. We heard later that someone on the groom’s side of the church whispered, “Look at that guy in those grubby jeans! At a wedding!”

As I sat there, waiting for the bride, I was thinking, did the best man get the rings? He MUST have asked someone else to get them … right? I kept trying to catch his eye, but he wasn’t looking my way. Finally the bridal party got to the alter for their vows and the best man looked at me. I pointed to my wedding band and he shook his head, ever so slightly, no. So I calmly got up, walked out the side aisle, calmly walked to the back of the church, through the double doors, hit the foyer and ran to the bride’s room, dumped out the bag where the rings were, found them, ran back across the foyer, and calmly walked down the side aisle to my seat, just as the priest said, “May I have the rings.”

The best man, calm as you please, turned, walked down the steps, across the front of the church to me, held out his hands, where I placed the rings, just like we’d planned it. He walked back to the priest, handed him the rings, and as the blessing of the rings started, the priest dropped them on the floor.

The important thing is they got married, right? By the way, it didn’t last.

Robyn Near is a Ripley resident. Send comments to