The kids and I went to a wedding today, September 11, 2005. It was probably the most non-traditional wedding I ever went to. And it suited the personalities of the betrothed couple to a tee.
It was a beautiful day. The ceremony took place in the park behind the bride’s childhood home. I have many fond memories of that park. The bride, my cousin Cristin, wore a knee-length, long sleeved dress of a regal royal purple (it was so purple that Jack argued it was blue) with ornate, sparkly gold embroidery. The groom, Danyel, wore a black kilt and motorcycle boots. They both looked utterly comfortable. Their daughter, three-year-old Hannah, a diminutive, curly-headed waif with the readiest smile you ever saw, wore a pretty white frock and flowers in her hair, and the groom’s son, Jory, a nice-looking young man, stood proudly next to his dad in jeans and a white shirt.
As we assembled near the river, we could hear lovely, haunting singing coming from across it. I never did find out where it was coming from, but it set a wonderful atmosphere. The ceremony itself was informal and relaxed. It started late, and as the bagpiper piped them up the path from the house to a spot under a tree facing the river, the family stopped for pictures, and Cristin apologized for the late start. She told us that she had forgotten her vows and had had to go home to get them. It was almost conversational as they invited us to move our lawn chairs in closer. Danyel’s sister read a lovely poem (Cris, I would also like a copy of that), and the two exchanged vows. Danyel said his in French, his first language, and the language in which they speak to their children, and Cristin said hers in English. They spoke about their united family, and each time Hannah heard her name, she gave a dramatic and spontaneous curtsy. She definitley stole the show.
After the ceremony, the piper brought the family back to the house, and all the guests picked up their chairs and walked along behind them. It was wonderfully informal and perfect for this family. There was nothing remotely excessive about it. We enjoyed a lovely brunch, courtesy of the mothers of the happy couple, outside under cloudless sky. They could not have asked for better weather. We all figure Betty had something to do with it.
Cognizant of the date today, I was thinking how apt a new marriage was to re-write its significance. This established family publicly declared their commtiment to each other today. As I was enjoying myself, I kept thinking of all the people in the world who remember this day for its awful events; people who lost their partners, their co-parents that day. Those people should know that they are remembered and thought about. We can thank Cristin and Danyel for giving us something else to remember this date by. Life does go on, and events like today’s are defiant proof of our endurance.