Man waits at alter. Bride walks down with father while "Here Comes the Bride" plays on the organ. Mother balls her eyes out. Pronounced Husband and Wife. Smoochy Smooch. Reception. Bodda Bing! That's the typical American wedding we've all grown up seeing on TV and have possibly attended and expect.
Apparently none of my friends got that memo.
I've been to six weddings in my life, (one as recently as a few weeks ago) and only ONE of them has followed anything resembling this formula. That's right...in keeping with the running theme in my life, they've all been a little crazy!
The first wedding I ever went to was up in Alaska. The Groom's family (my "in" to the wedding) happen to be very "Alaskan" so the wedding was far out from the city, at a remote yet beautiful location. Scrap the church, not needed.
I suppose the wedding was fairly normal, but come reception time, I wasn't quite sure what to eat (or not to eat). In keeping with the "Alaska" theme, the main cuisine was Bear (Yes BEAR...poor little guys), Moose, and Carribou. What ever happened to good ol' chicken???
Where'd the bride and groom go for their honeymoon? You guessed it...Halibut Cove.
Then there was the wedding I went to a couple of years ago in Kansas City...an Indian Wedding. Calling this event a "production" would be an understatement. The festivities go on for days, and the actual wedding ceremony resembles a broadway play. There's singing, dancing, instruments, acting, flowers everywhere, props...and yes I'm talking about the wedding, not the reception.
To further complicate matters, the Football Arizona Cardinals were in town that week to play the Kansas City Chiefs and were staying at the same hotel as the wedding. Why was this complicated? It just so happened Embassy Sweets double booked the ball room for the reception as well as some Football meeting for the Cardinals.
If you thought wedding planners and brides Mom's were normally stressed out, you should have seen them after this revelation. When they found out, there was no way anyone would be able to stand up to the wrath that is "Stressed out Mother of the Bride" and not let us have the room.
In fact, I bumped into the head coach of the Cardinals when I was in the elevator with my Mom. The conversation went like this:
Me: "Hey aren't you Denny Green?"
Coach Green: "Yea Man! WHat's your name? Nice to meet you!"
Me: "Hey Mom! This is Denny Green, head coach of the Minnisota Vikings!"
Coach Green: "uh.......actually it's the Arizona Cardinals now"
Me: "Uhh....yeah...that's what I......meant? (now realizing that he was previously FIRED from the Vikings and waiting for what seemed like ages for the damn elevator door to open)"
The next wedding was in New York. This was my first visit, and I witnessed some crazy Mob stuff, along with a speed trip through the sites of NYC.
The funny thing about this wedding was the groom's family was Japanese, and the brides family was Indian.
Consequently, the bride's family wanted the whole, lavish, Indian production of "The Wedding" directed by the all too familiar Mother of the bride. The groom's family wanted a traditional Samurai wedding.
Personally, I was rooting for the Samurai wedding. How cool would that be?
Instead, they comprimised and had a semi-traditional wedding with absolutely NO religious symbols.
At the reception, there was lots of dancing, and anybody who knows me, knows I've been known to bust a move or two here and there. What I didn't know was that my MOM does too!
That's right, my MOM was dancing up a storm! Apparently it's in my genes.
Fast forward a couple of years which brings us to last month, where I attended two weddings.
The first one, I went to valet cars for a friend, but basically got to enjoy the wedding as if I were a guest (AND I got paid...not to shabby!). What was so special about this wedding?
This was the first (and likely ONLY) Scientology wedding I'd ever been too. I went, half-expecting Tom Cruise to be the minister...unfortunately he wasn't available.
The wedding was at an estate in North East San Diego County, and the owners are devout scientologists. Infact, the giant guest house is now converted into a library of scientology history and contains a lot of original works of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology.
Suffice to say, some of the ceremony was a tad unconventional, but after the weddings I've been too, I suppose unconventional IS normal.
And now we get to the most recent. A few weeks ago I went back up to San Luis Obispo, the city of my Alma Matter Cal Poly, for my buddy's wedding. This friend is unlike any other I have. To put it simply, he's a Cowboy.
The wedding invitation had a picture of Nate (the groom), on a horse with Nikki (the bride) and said, "Nate and Nikki r' gettin' Hitched!"
The wedding was at a ranch in Cayucus. The bride arrived in a horse-drawn carriage, and the groom and all the groomsman awaited, proudly donning their Comboy hats, Cowboy Boots, and of course, tuxedos.
I meanwhile kept popping up out of my seat to try and see over all the cowboy hats in the audience!
At the reception, there was a bluegrass band to kick off the festivities, beer was seved in cowboy boot mugs, and there were peanuts and "Cowboy Cookies" at every table.
And WHERE was this reception held??? You guessed it...a Barn! Now it was a very "done up" barn, remodeled for things like wedding receptions, but from the outside, it looked just like an old Blue Barn.
Me, being one who doesn't discriminate against different dancing styles, got my line-dancin, booty shakin, groove on! I particpated in such classics as the boot-scoot-n-boogy, the two step, and my personal favorite, the Tush-push!
Luckily the DJ decided to play a little "Billie Jean," which just happens to be my specialty.
So there you have it. Whenever the day comes that I get married, I guess I'm gonna have to do something totally off the wall in staying with this theme! Maybe a wedding on the Moon? (and don't anyone steal my idea!).