And I'm not talking about the story about this poor kid who took a brief nap in the hallway of the hotel after running with the big dogs for 10 hours or so. The kid put up a valiant effort. Hopefully, he'll now be better equipped to run a better game next time he's around professionals.
Nope, I'm gonna talk about some things that my daughter and my new son-in-law did (disclaimer- I had little input and knew even less about what was going into the event) in planning their wedding that made this old salt very proud, renewed my faith in the future of the human race, and gave two sets of parents cause to believe that they did a pretty good job of raising their children.
And what more could a parent ask for on a day like this?
The Bride and Groom established early on in their ceremony a wonderful theme for the entire affair. That the basis of their relationship was first and foremost built around friendship. To each other and more importantly, how friendship and the support of friends and family had made them who they were that wedding day.
The opening remarks (written by the bride and groom) by the minister emphasized the appreciation of the couple for all (about 110 people) who had travelled from so far (15 states at last tally) to attend this gala as no greater demonstration of the love they had received from so many in their still short lives. Nothing about "what great people" or "what a great couple" they were gonna be, but, instead, their words illuminated "what a great life" everyone in attendance had "provided for them" leading up to their blessed day. And the praise from the couple did not stop with simply those in attendance. The minister made a point of recognizing all of those who could not attend, especially those family and friends, who were no longer with us, and what a lasting influence those people would always hold in the couple's souls. (Highlighted by a heartwrenching pictorial display in the lobby of the reception hall of all of those who's earthly influences had moved beyond).
And then, in a brief moment before exchanging their own vows, I was witness to and was part of an experience that I had never seen before in the 40 plus weddings I have attended in my life.
The minister asked all four parents to stand up and the bride and groom turned and faced us. He then read off a sometimes humorous and completely touching litany of experiences and love that had shaped the couple in their lives. They thanked (profusely) all four of us for all we had done as parents. And vowed to continue what they had learned from us in their own lives together.
It damn near popped a crocodile from this til then rock solid Father of The Bride.
But more importantly, their wedding theme provided an incredible atmosphere for the rest of the evening. An evening/night/next morning that can best be described as "Truly Bon Vivant". Everyone was family, I sensed no traditional "their side/our side" behavior of until now unfamiliar families that is prevalent at so many other weddings. There were some moments during the reception (hey, what's a wedding reception without evicting /"86'ing" someone, or a few raised eyebrows over three brothers named Hanson wearing exact replica Slapshot Charlestown Chiefs jerseys), but one thing I noticed throughout the night was the constant intermingling and enjoyment that both crowds enjoyed with each other.
So much so, that the highlight of the entire week, weekend, night for me was the final song of the reception (including all of the bawdy and decadent "post-reception" activities).
As "Piano Man" rang out from the speakers while the couple did a stirring Lindy on the dance floor, the entire crowd was circled around them and drowned out Billy Joel's vocalizations. And I found myself with not only one armed draped around two of my best childhood friend's shoulders (we grew up a short bike ride from Billy Joel's neighborhood) but had the other arm draped around a guy from the groom's side who sang louder than me....and I had a sense that we all truly believed what we were singing to the dancing couple......
....."for we're all in the mood for a melody, and you got us feeling alright".
Which, is what weddings are supposed to be about, I think....and while I'm thinking, is also kinda how that guy on the hallway floor was feeling later on when he selected that corner of the world to take a nap.
And God Bless Him for feeling that way.
Cuz he had friends to trust and to watch over him.
Who can get through life without that?