This all happened several years ago.
My youngest son, Grandon, was working in Houston, where he met his wife-to-be, Cheryl. They both worked for the same company. To my astonishment, I was honored that they wanted me to perform the wedding ceremony. I am not qualified to officially marry anyone. Well these kids were determined, and I suppose a wedding ceremony ought to be what the marrying couple want it to be.
His bride was from a small town in Indiana. Their solution was; they got married by a Justice of the Peace in Houston, to make their marriage legal. They then came to the bride's hometown in Indiana, rented a small church, wrote the script for the wedding, which I must say was a beautiful dedication to one another, and I, with his mother at my side performed the ceremony, which they considered their true wedding. They had a good-sized audience of friends and relatives, and quite a group from Houston.
To make the story complete, I should tell you about the kicker in this whole affair. That was that the guests were told it was to be a fairy tale wedding, and they were instructed to come in a proper fairy land costume. It was interesting from my position facing the audience to witness all the creatures from various fairy tales sitting in attendance. The guests had obviously gone to great lengths to please the wedding couple with their costumes. One variation from the fairy tales came from the fact that he had always called his oldest sister Kong. Who knows why? There was someone there in a complete gorilla costume. I didn't know who it was until the ape lifted off the head and I saw it was our daughter Kong! (Kathy).
There was not one soul there who was not costumed. The bride of course was dressed as Snow White. The groom, who is one of those people who can do most anything, had made himself a suit where he appeared as a frog, standing upright, with his face looking out from the frog's open mouth. It was really quite effective. To be appropriate, my wife and I were dressed as the King and Queen of Hearts. I was complete with sword, scepter, and crown. My wife, an excellent seamstress, made our outfits. I have kept my king outfit, just in case I ever take over a country somewhere. After the ceremony they had a white carriage in front of the church, pulled by a team of white horses, and they rode off into the sunset to re-costume themselves for a reception at the local Country Club. The groom then appeared at the reception dressed as the handsome young prince, who was now freed from his frog identity having been kissed by Snow White, the fairy princess.
It may sound a bit playful to some of you, for such a serious affair to appear to be taken so lightly. I think that if you had been there and heard the complete ceremony and the pledges involved, you would see that along with the imaginations of the wedding couple, it was a very serious affair. Besides, don't all weddings, by their very nature, all have a certain fairy tale aura about them? The symbolism of a fairy tale wedding seemed to work well, as they are still enjoying their wedded bliss with three children at last count. I felt honored beyond belief, that they wanted me to perform their wedding ceremony. It was a wonderful fairy tale day that has found a bit of reality in their lives.
A few years ago our chorus was singing a song titled "Frog kissing." The chorus borrowed his frog outfit and my king get-up, for a skit that accompanied that song in our annual show.
Richard Westlund is a Collins resident. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org