The above picture, made this last Saturday evening in Raleigh NC is why.
I attended the wedding of my friends Siobhan and Mario, pictured above, Saturday. For some reason, I was not at all excited at the outset of the day about attending a wedding. But, by the end of the day I was in; hook, line and sinker.
Siobhan and Mario exchanged their vows in a short, but sweet ceremony at the non-denominational church just off of Moore Square in the late morning, then met their family and friends at Second Empire for a luncheon. They had said many things about Second Empire, the only restaurant on Earth that would satisfy their foodie jones for a wedding reception. I did not believe them, and boy, was I wrong. From the second we arrived, the staff and chef saw to every detail of the comfort of everyone in the restaurant. Our waiter personally saw to it that I had a Widmer Heffeweizen in my hand at all times, and the chef saw to it that no one could doubt Siobhan and Mario’s words, that Second Empire was the best for a wedding, even for the foodie snob contingent (of which I am a proud member).
As lovely as the official wedding and reception was, the best part was the rest of the evening, when a majority of the wedding guests retired to Siobhan and Mario’s wonderful house just North of downtown. Many of us stopped on the way for a twelve pack of beer to bring, Mario had brewed his own beer for the occasion, and some of his family and friends ran by the Costco down the street for hot dogs and hamburgers to grill.
For hours, everyone got a chance to talk, meet everyone in their extended families, boast, celebrate, watch college football on TV; all those timeless past times shared by good friends and family.
Late in the evening, one of Siobhan’s good friends, with a drink or two too many, decided Siobhan and Mario must have a first wedding dance. This was not part of the official reception, something the wedding couple had not thought part of the day. But, it was clear the beautiful bride, realizing this was her fairy-tale day, would not mind a first dance as a newlywed. The couple’s favorite song was found on CD, “Lay, Lady Lay” by Bob Dylan, and the above scene transpired.
The next five minutes were magical. People milled about, watching this intimate scene in the couple’s living room, I and others made pictures, and one gentleman, seen in the picture, thought the college football game on television was much more important. Siobhan danced in her wedding gown, remarking she did not ever want to take it off, she was afraid it would make the day end. Mario, in a tuxedo most of the day, had stripped the uncomfortable shirt and bowtie off, and was down to his Hanes t-shirt. Wedding presents and envelopes were stacked on the table behind them.
And the whole five minutes Siobhan and Mario were lost in each other, I truly think they forgot anyone else was in their home. They just talked and smiled at each other, and exchanged kisses. All in a 10 x 20 living room filled with at least 30 other people.
This reminded me why you get married. You do because you are absolutely head over heels in love with someone, and Siobhan and Mario made that grade. I could feel the love they had for each other, and sort of fell in love with them. Not in a pervy way, just so impresed with the bond they had created, the idea of “them.”
In my religion and denomination, the preacher, after asking the bride and groom to make promises to each other with an “I do,” then turns to the congregation and asks if we, their family and friends, will do everything in our power to strengthen their relationship, to support them in bad times, and to celebrate them in good, and then asks the congregation if they beleive to say, “I will.”
I will Siobhan and Mario, I will.