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May 01, 2008

Here Comes The Bride

Here Comes the Bride

by Nancy

Submitted for your approval:  A wedding isn't memorable unless somebody misbehaves.

At least, that's my theory now that it's been thirty years since my own wedding, and I've attended so many nuptials that they all blur together in my mind until I sort out at which one did the best man have to duck out of line at the altar, dart out the side door and could then be heard upchucking into the bushes because of bachelor party excesses?

And which one was the wedding where one inebriated reception guest (female, who made an unfortunate choice in outfits that morning) climbed onto a table to sing I Will Survive along with the band?

Well, here's a wedding that--er--takes the cake:  Please click on this link, because the photo of the bride emerging from jail in her wedding gown is priceless. I'm only sorry the online version of the newspaper didn't include the photo of the groom with his black eye swollen shut.

Ain't liquor a terrific addition to any wedding reception?

If I attended your wedding, let me say right away that it was lovely. I cried a delicate tear during the vows and enjoyed the reception fare and even sneaked an extra piece of cake because it was so delicious. And the music was divine. There was never a more beautiful bride or a more handsome groom. The flowers were exquisite. I had such a nice time.

But the other 127 weddings I've attended over the years were . . . forgettable.

Really, now, don't you remember the tacky ones best? The silly mistakes? The offensive behavior of a boorish groomsman? The incredibly self meltdown of the MOB?

There are certain people who attend every wedding:

There's the overtly sexy woman who looks much more sophisticated than anyone else on the guest list.  Maybe she's newly divorced or somebody's ex-girlfriend, or the sexy cousin, but you know who I mean. Her dress often has a slit up the side. And she smokes.

There's also the groomsman who gets drunk and a.) trashes the mens room or b.) wrecks his car or c.) supervises the shaving cream spraying of the bridal bed.

There's the little girl in the adorable pink/yellow/lavender satin dress that is quickly smeared with jello or Kool Aid or cake frosting, and she ends up bawling by the end of the evening. She was briefly considered for the role of flower girl, but "you know how she gets sometimes."

The father of the bride who won't leave the bar.

The bridesmaid who really wasn't on the A-list, but somebody ele dropped out of the wedding party and she's the fill-in, and she knows it. She did not bother to diet to squeeze into the $565 satin dress with ruching the bride insisted she buy and will never wear again.

The uncle who wants to dance with all the bridesmaids.

I'm sure you know more of the guest list regulars.  Since we're approcahing wedding season, let's see how many we can identify before you even zip your dress.

We all want our weddings to be perfect.  It's only natural.  But perfect can be boring.  After a couple of decades, isn't it more fun to re-play the mistakes?  The drunks? The hissyfits? How many times can that awful Karen Carpenter song be played and the audience be expected to take it seriously?

C'mon.  Share your most memorable wedding moment. I bet it wasn't hearts and flowers.

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Comments

It might be when the soloist at my sister's wedding began to sing (as scheduled), but my grandfather (who was one of the wedding pastors - they had two) was overcome by the need to say a prayer, so he keeps praying louder to be heard of the soloist, who keeps singing louder to be heard over the impromptu prayer.

OR, it might be that my father pulled his back unload the champagne from the trunk of the car (for the wedding reception - cheaper than buying it from the hotel). So, as he's walking my sister down the aisle, he all hunched over to one side - can straighten his back at all.

Or it could be the wedding where we (the spectators) were placing bets on how long the marriage would last. (not long, it turns out).

That should read "heard OVER the soloist".. We need typo correction!

Two hot thought-flashes:

(1) Do people really still play "that awful Karen Carpenter Song" at their wedding since 1408 came out?

(2) Thank God the groom who karate-kicked his (jailbird) bride isn't MY dentist.

I think every wedding should have some mistake, because those are the most memorable. At my older sister's first wedding (when I was 15), the priest dropped the rings before their blessing and my 7 yo cousin (who was a junior bridesmaid) cried so much I had to hold her and my sister's bouquet.

My other sister's 2nd marriage ceremony was supposed to be outside, but it rained. So the ceremony was held in a small room and I didn't get to see it because there wasn't enough room for even the family. Thank heavens the sun came out for the reception!

My niece's 2nd marriage was held by a beautiful club's swimming pool in Huntsville AL. Since he had gone to her first wedding, her youngest brother decided to go to his senior prom in Knoxville that weekend instead of the wedding. My niece and her other brothers had a blown up picture of him on a chair in the front row for the wedding and subsequently in all the pictures. We all had a really fun time passing the picture around and posing beside it.

There are others, but this one I smile abotu every time I attend Mass--which I actually did this past Sunday.

During a Mass, instead of saying "Lord hear our prayer," the people said "We pray to the Lord." Over and over. My wife blurted out to me, "They're doing it wrong!"

You forgot the two year old who decides mid-vow to suddenly squirm out of his mothers arms and consider the aisles of the church training ground for the 100 yard dash. Back and forth, forth and back (to use an expression), all the while bellowing "LA-LA-LA-BA-DA-LABA-CABA" at the top of his lungs. (I briefly considered stopping the ceremony to teach the kid 'Doobie-Doobie Doo', but didn't.)

I focused VERY intently on that little spot between The Boss's eyes, because I knew if I turned my head and looked at Little Speed Racer, I was going to collapse in hysterical laughter....

I love these stories!

Hard to imagine going back to your dentist after reading about him in the paper like this, huh?

Ross PD had to request assistance from the surrounding PDs, so some of our Shaler officers got to over and assist.

I hear the lovely bride is now supporting her husband and the whole thing was just a big misunderstanding. Uh-huh. Sure.

My husband tries his best to make weddings memorable, since he's usually bored to tears. At a nephew's wedding he led "The Locomotion" through the kitchen at the restaurant where the reception was held. At a niece's wedding, he took the disposable camera at our table and took photos of the waitresses and just about everything that no one else would take a picture of. And for some reason he was surprised when a few weeks later my sister in law said, "I loved your pictures, Jerry." He couldn't figure out how she guessed which ones he took!

It's also bad news to take both him and my younger son to funeral homes...

My college roommate's wedding was in an unairconditioned church in Maine in the middle of a hot spell. As one of the bridesmaid's I stood up there for upwards of an hour in my high-necked dress trying not to pass out from heat and boredom. Until, that is, Jenny's four year old nephew (the ring bearer) standing by his mother announced in a firm and LOUD voice -- "I gots doody." High point of the ceremony right there.

The boy was promptly whisked away to the bathroom.

There was the time my friend's mom, very excited about finally attending a Jewish wedding, was so eager for the glass breaking and getting to yell "Mazel Tov" that she was one beat ahead of everyone else and hollered out, at teh top of her lungs, "Molotov!"

Well, my own wedding had its 'moments'...or rather the reception did. First the minister's blessing over dinner was pre-empted by the dulcet(recorded of course) tones of Barbra Streisand singing "Second Hand Rose".(someone left the door to the lounge area open). Then my aunt, rest her soul, got a bit snockered and asked us (in front of the above clergy-person) whether I was 'the the pill' and if so, why were we hanging around the hall (her actual words were 'then go have a good screw'). Such an auspicious beginning. :o)

I've been to a wedding where the priest forgot the groom's name and tried to slyly look at the cover of the program to refresh his memory -- uh, Padre, you are the center of attention right now, and EVERYONE noticed the awkward pause while you resorted to your cheat sheet!

There was also the wedding where the bride's barbed-wire tattoo showed plainly in her strapless Vera Wang (but she seemed to be enjoying that fact, so the rest of us did, too).

I also fondly recall the funeral where the daughter began her eulogy by addressing the casket: "Mom, you could be bitchy, and you could be mean..."

when my uncle got married (he's only 7 years older than me), his new wife chose velvet for the gowns because they got married on Dec 29. The ring bearer was a 5 year old nephew and his mother was the matron of honor. He stood next to mommy the entire ceramony rubbing his hand, in circles, on her behind. I guess the velvet felt nice.

At a friend's wedding, the best man wrote on the grooms shoes. When they knelt at the alter, and in the unretouched proofs, you can read "Help Me" on his soles.

And Dear Hubby's personal favorite, our daughter was about 8. At my brother-in-law's first wedding reception, she decided she wanted to dance with her boyfriend. Well, she walked through the crowd and picked out a little boy and said, "You are now my boyfriend. You will dance with me." We have a picture of the poor kid just standing there with a stunned look on his face while my daughter jitterbugged around him.

There is also the guest no one quite knows. Usually a man, and usually without a date. Everyone is polite and friendly to him, but he is a bit off, and then everyone whispers, at their table, to try and determine exactly how he fits in to the day. By the end of the reception, there are 18 different versions of who he is.

My friend Jill had an outdoor wedding in May, which should have been okay, but it was FREEZING. They did this butterfly thing, where each guest was given some ribbon-festooned capsule and at a certain moment we all released the butterflies but they were all dead (frozen) and then the reception (outdoors) was so cold we were all fighting over the heat lamps, huddling together for bodily warmth, and finally, the catering staff handed out tablecloths and napkins for us to wear over our skimpy dress-up dresses. My car was nearby, so I also got to wear a gray sweatshirt I carry in the trunk.

The marriage lasted longer than the butterflies, by several years.

The minister intoned, "I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride."
My aunt turned to my uncle who put his arms around her. He acted as if he was going to kiss her, but instead slapped her on the butt. Speaking in a loud North Yorkshire accent, "Ya dun gooood!" Everyone who attended that wedding over 30 years ago still remembers that moment.

My most embarrassing moment came at my brother's wedding. There I was dancing away when I fell flat on my rear and I hadn't even had a drop of alcohol to take the pain away.

My niece is getting married in three weeks and her reception will be in my parents and my yards. My brother and his wife invited over 600 people. I don't know how many will actually attend, but the potential for all of those incidents named previously is there. Or maybe something new?

Nancy, I saw a picture of that black-eyed groom and had to laugh. I was the maid of honor for my best friend, and when her groom showed up for the wedding that's exactly what he looked like!

Apparently he went to the bar after the rehearsal dinner and got into a brawl ("not his fault" of course...). He had to wear more makeup than she did for pictures and the ceremony!

Geez, you guys are making me twitch big time, what with the Royal Wedding (daughter Katie to her Prince Charming) only three months away!
I can't think of one bad wedding experience - most likely have banished all such negative thoughts as a means of mental self-preservation. Though we did have an interesting moment at a family wedding in a small town just outside of Pittsburgh last September. At the reception, we saw two endless tables being set in one corner of the room, and figuring they were hors d'oeuvres, my husband and I wandered over. And what to our wondering eyes should appear but...cookies!!!!!! Table after table after table of the most amazing homemade cookies I'd ever seen! Nance, I know you know all about this, but I gotta tell ya, it was new to us. And so much better than spring rolls and crab dip.

Mariah

There's always a kid who makes some embarrassing blunder, but isn't it great to remind him of the "doody"-like remarks when he's 21?

Ah, family.

My uncle's nephew is now 35 and has 4 kids of his own. They delight in teasing their dad about rubbing Grandma's butt. Pictures just don't lie.

Mariah, the cookies are the only reason most people in the Pittsburgh area go to weddings! Well, that and the free booze.

I was married by a priest who banned Karen Carpenter's "We've only just begun" at all weddings. It creeped me out that she was singing to her brother.

There was the wedding where the priest asked if anyone objected and we all (200 of us guests) looked around, waiting for someone to say something. Both the bridge and groom were having affairs with members of the wedding party, EVERYONE knew, and we were all just daring someone to object. (No one did, and the divorce came a mere 4 months later.)

THAT was uncomfortable.

I thought the cookie table was an American tradition until 5 years ago when my mother and I did the cookies for my cousin's reception in Lancaster, PA. (My cousin is from the Pittsburgh area originally.) They'd never heard of the cookie table in Eastern PA. I did the cookie tables at both my nephew's weddings in Springfield, MO and Eureka, MO respectively and of course the staff and guests didn't even know what do with them. I made the traditional amount of 6 cookies per guest, but who knew people in Missouri didn't know what to do about cookies. Now I have to make all the cookies for my niece's wedding. I know people around here know what to do.

This is my favorite sentence in that wonderful, Onion-esque article:

"Police said both Dr. and Mrs. Wielechowski punched and wrestled with the rescuers, who were left with injuries that included cuts, a tooth knocked out and a possibly broken thumb."

Good thing a dentist was near.

My favorite wedding story is when the bridesmaid and her mouth-breathing boyfriend decided they liked the ficuses lining the entrance to the reception hall and started loading them in their pick-up truck when the dance started. I can't remember who got married, but I remember hotel security busting them.

Sarah has a story about the wedding of some classmate of ours. As much as I've gotten is that the groom misbehaved in a manner making it surprising that the marriage would last. This wasn't a friend of mine, so I don't know whether or how long it did last, and I don't even remember the details about the misbehavior.

How's that for a good post? Love the dead butterflies, though. Dear Abby had an item about doves just this week.

Most memorable by far: My best friend's wedding, when she used the phrase "hell, yeah!" rather than "I do."
Same wedding, when the best man (slightly drunk) called the couple materialistic and wished them a lifetime of figuring out what was REALLY important in life...eventually. And I had to follow that speech!
The couple are still happily married; the best man is still an ass.

My best friend has the best story from her own wedding.

I didn't know them then, but the story goes as follows:

The friends of the groom, all good RC boys and therefor still drunk from the night before, were starting to snicker in the pews over the formal wedding vows. The bride, already stressed out because she's Jewish and hadn't been drinking enough yet (those are unrelated facts, but both are explanatory) saw that her groom was on the verge of bursting into laughter. Just as they were starting their beautiful vows, the same vows that had been used for centuries, she leaned in and whispered to him: "Don't screw this up, fuckface."

Yet another tender moment in wedding history.

At my brother-in-law's second wedding reception, Dear Hubby (as best man...god what was he thinking) stood to give the toast and said, "Finally, my brother joins the ranks of the rest of the family...more than one marriage." My MIL didn't speak to him for the rest of the night. Wedding count:

Dear Hubby 2
Sis-in-law 4
MIL 2
BIL 2

OK - I'm from Oklahoma, we have short weddings in the sancturay and a reception in the fellowship hall. There are 2 cakes, one with white frosting and one smaller chocolate one. Punch is sometimes in one of those fancy fountains. Music is often a CD playing a favorite Garth Brooks song. (He lives near Tulsa.)

I've only been to two weddings NOT like this. Both were Catholic and one of the bride's was from Chicago, and another from New York City. The excess of "those" weddings is still talked aboutin a whisper amongst the family at gatherings.

So, what is the Cookie Tradition at receptions in PA?

Yeah, I bake many...MANY cookies for Christmas, but I have never heard of a cookie table at a wedding. Sounds great!

I think I saw this wedding on an episode of COPS.

So they were married a month ago out of the country and had this local version to "renew their vows"--do we look this stupid?

If you elope, you don't get presents, people.

A friend hired the world's worst DJ. You knew it was going to be a long night when he introduced the bride and groom as Mr. & Mrs. Evans - using the Bride's maiden name. Later, I happened to be talking to my friend when the DJ announced the first dance and he started playing "High Hopes"! The look of horror on her face was unforgettable. She looked at her new husband and told him to take care of it, because she was ready to do violence if she went over there.

So whenever I hear that song, I think of that wedding.

These stories are great!
My sister-in-law had to have a high mass for their wedding, in un air conditioned church in St. Louis in August. Younger brother was a groomsman and passed out during the ceremony.
My cousin, who was 'too important' to be bothered with my rehearsal dinner, didn't try his tux on when he picked it up. the pants were 6 inches too short! I made sure the photographer got that in every picture. Mr. Suave looked like a real dork!

At my friends Christine and Tim's wedding the pastor kept calling Tim 'Ted', no matter how many times he was corrected, he kept returning to calling him Ted. At one point he said 'Well, you look like a Ted to me".
At the same wedding there was a woman guest in a silver lame dress that looked hookerish, the photographer was taking a picture of a whole group of people taking a picture of the bride and groom, when the photo was developed - there was Ms Silver Lame crouched down taking a photo with her legs wide open. That pic didn't go in the wedding album.

The majority of weddings taking place in Western PA and Eastern Ohio feature the 'cookie table'. If you don't have one at your wedding the guests start to grumble and wonder what's wrong with the couple. Tray after tray of dozens of varieties of cookies are put out in a lovely display that lasts about one minute. As soon as the guests see the table is set up the vultures (oops! I mean guests) begin to circle.

I looked in the Post-Gazette on line archives for an article I remember explaining this tradition, but it must have appeared prior to 1998.

A synopsis of what I remember: Tradition started with Italian wedding receptions in and around Pittsburgh (large Italian population). The tradition slowly spread throughout the region as guests from other traditions liked what they saw (and ate). I live 40 miles from Pittsburgh and it didn't come to receptions here until the 1970's when receptions changed from cake and punch affairs to buffet or sit down dinners. The article also mentioned the tradition appears in Detroit. Also this tradition doesn't cover all of PA, just the western half and eastern Ohio. Maybe somewhere on the web is a better explanation.

The cookie table is sometimes set up before the reception starts, but it's important to cover up the cookies----say, with a long piece of white chiffon netting--to prevent the guests from chowing down immediately. (Or, as in some cases, stealing the cookies and stowing large quantities in take-out containers brought for exactly that purpose!) The cookie table is revealed generally after the dancing starts--usually after the cake is cut, but nowadays the cake sometimes isn't cut until the bride & groom are ready to leave, which is nuts, but if that's the case, the cookie table is "opened" after dinner.

Cookies are baked by the female relatives of the bride. Unless the bride is an out-of-towner, in which case the groom's family steps in. It's VERY BAD FORM to have store-bought cookies on the cookie table. And, by the way, the cookies should be small. Not gargauan chocolate chip cookies, but dainty ones--often Italian in flavor and variety.

We're already baking and freezing cookies for my sister's wedding in June. This may be an Italian tradition, but sweet-loving Prebyterians can get into the game in a big way.

Cookie table

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A cookie table is a wedding tradition said to originate in Youngstown, Ohio where in place of or in addition to a wedding cake, a large table with different cookies is presented to guests at the wedding reception. Cookies are generally prepared by family members in advance of the reception.

Research has shown that the cookie table appears to have stronger ethnic or religious ties, although in some regions of the United States it is becoming more of a regional practice, primarily East Coast and industrial centers. Cookie tables are included in primarily Italian or Catholic wedding receptions. Other groups that also have cookie tables or cookie platters are the Greeks, Slovaks, Serbian Orthodox, Austrian/Hungarian, and Scandinavians. The inclusion of a cookie table is more widely known where those of Italian ancestry settled, and also in some cases, of the other groups mentioned above. Where a settlement did not consist of sizable numbers of Italian or Eastern European groups, the number of those who were familiar with cookie tables decreased. Cookie tables were better known in the east than in the mid-west, south, southwest or west.

I don't know why it's my family's weddings I remember best...maybe we're just weird. But one of my nephews had his reception at a country club next to a practice putting green. Several men found putters and proceeded to putt away...until they were shooed off by the club manager. Then someone else dropped and broke a champagne glass right beside the bride (who was wearing open-toe shoes). Luckily no bits of glass or liquid hit the bride.

BTW, I've never heard of the long table of cookies at weddings either. However, I'm VERY familiar with huge stashes of booze.

My first wedding in 1979 was definitely a hippie-ish affair. The reception was way down yonder in a field in the lower forty so we hauled in portapotties for the guests. (This was a pig roast--the poor pig had spent the night in our bathtub the evening before the wedding.) And I'd handed out green Rubbermaid tubs filled with sacks of potatoes to special friends earlier in the week, to be returned at the reception miraculously made into potato salad. One of the black moments was spotting my new father-in-law peeing in the bushes just off the path from the guests. And I go could go on and on:)

I've only been to two weddings as an adult thus far, and they both pretty much went off without any fun/memorable glitches beyond pictures taking longer than they were supposed to. And I don't remember the ones I went to when I was younger well enough to relate any good stories. But I did have a coworker attend a wedding over the weekend that breaks my heart and pisses me off at the same time. My newspaper publishes five days a week, so not everyone has to work on Saturdays — we take turns. I was supposed to have last Saturday off, but the reporter who was had his cousin's wedding that he knew not many family members would be attending, so I volunteered to work so he could go. The REASON not many family on the bride's side wouldn't be attending? They're Catholic and she wasn't getting married in a Catholic church. My coworker came back this week and told us he and his parents — whom he finally badgered into going — were the ONLY family there on the bride's side. Her PARENTS!!!!! grandmother, aunts, uncles and other family did not attend because of where/who was conducting the ceremony. He said she was crying through a healthy part of the ceremony. I'm sure the poor girl had still held out hope right up until they opened the doors and she walked down the aisle that her family AND AT THE VERY LEAST HER FREAKING PARENTS would be there after all. As a fellow Catholic, I am ashamed on their behalf. And I'm enraged on hers. That is absolutely unacceptable to me. My mother would be livid if I told her I wasn't getting married in a Catholic ceremony, and she would take every opportunity to let me know about it. But she would be there, and she would be smiling and happy for me on my big day. AND SHE WOULD BE THERE. I can't even imagine having my parents choose to not attend my wedding. I can't think of a single scenario, shy of death, that they would not be. Sorry about the rant, but I was so disgusted by this situation, and then Nancy had her blog about things going wrong at weddings, and I couldn't help myself. I don't know anyone in the family except my fellow reporter, and I'm sure it's none of my business, but I would certainly not hesitate to let them know what I thought of them given the opportunity. Ok, I'm done now. Sorry. Happy wedding season everyone :)

Ha! I lied. I do have a good one. At my friend Jessica's wedding this fall, the best man started off his toast telling the story about the night she and Dustin met, even going so far as to mention she had gone home with him that night ... I knew where he was going with it, the entire wedding party knew, and we were all sitting there staring at him, silently willing him to shut up, Jessica was hissing at him to shut up, and Dustin was pinching the shit out of him under the table to get him to shut up, but he just kept going. Didn't catch the look on her parents' and brothers' faces, but Jessica's was priceless.

the morning of my wedding, my husband's father took him out to breakfast at Shoney's. FIL told hubby that he didn't have to marry me if he didn't want to. He (FIL) had his car right outside. They could just get in it and leave! Gee...nothing like that to bolster the bride's confidence!

At a friend's out of town wedding where children were specifically invited (there were many on both sides), my then almost 4 year old stood in the pew to watch the proceedings. When the minister announced "Mark, you may now kiss your bride", my son, in a VERY loud voice proclaimed, "A kiss? Oh yuck." I don't know what got more laughs....the kid being grossed out, or the fact that the bride and groom, taken by surprise in a moment of tender passion, ending up spitting on each other.

Katherine C, take it from me. You keep looking at that door and holding out hope that they will show up...even if they were shamed by your mentally retarded sister to RSVP regrets, which they were planning not to even do, and even if you know above all else that their presence would make the proceedings worse for everyone. Well, fuck them. It was their loss. Your co-worker should think that.

ACyndi, If only my girlfriend's stepdad had done that for her...

The night before the wedding (well after the rehersal dinner), she ran by future ex-husbands apartment. Of course she had a key, and when she walked in she found his exwife sitting on the sofa, adjusting clothing. He came down the steps with a towel wrapped around his middle after just having gotten out of the shower. Somehow he explained it away. Two hours before the ceremony, he shows up with a lawyer and says, "I can't get married unless you sign this prenup." After sitting in stunned silence for abut 10 minutes, she signed it. It took her that long to decide that it would be too embarrassing for her to cancel at such a late date. Had her father been alive he would have never let her go through with it. The marriage lasted about 5 years with a spectacular divorce proceeding where I got a subpoena to testify for HIM. (BTW, she got the prenup overturned)

I told her I would have gotten dressed and stood in front of the church and told everyone exactly what he had done, take the gifts back, and there would be one hell of a party...then gone home & cried.

Katherine, Josh is right. Fuck 'em. They sure will miss those grandkidlets, though.

Pre-nup signed under pressure... I heard those might get tossed in court... undue pressure or something.

What a horrible situation for your friend, though.

I did have an ex-boyfriend try to talk me out of marrying husband #1. Should've listened!

Why am I trying to write fiction today? These stories are so much better!

I'm Catholic, and when I got married the second time to my raised-Jewish husband, I got married at my sister's house by a judge. My mother and very religious sister were very supportive, although my mother put a large statue of the Blessed Mother on top of the hutch facing our way, to oversee the proceedings. I guess I'm lucky in my family.

I don't remember any good wedding stories, except for my one sister's. She got married in June and my cousin was a bridesmaid, and was about 10 months pregnant. She swayed for a while by the altar, until someone finally took her out the side door before she totally passed out.

I knew about the cookie thing at Italian weddings, and I LOVE Italian cookies, but we don't do it for other weddings in this part of PA, or in Central NY where I'm from. I definitely think we should take up this tradition - I'm a huge cookie fan. I totally enjoyed my nephew's wedding to a sweet Italian girl a few years ago - she and her mother and aunts and cousins baked cookies for months for the wedding.

Nothing like a wedding or a funeral to bring out the best--or worst--in people. I have laughed til my sides hurt, reading these stories.

I've been to a lot of weddings, since I'm from a very large Catholic family (Katherine C., I don't know how you've avoided them!), and seen some doozies, including two of my own mother's weddings. Not everyone can say that. My second wedding was in Las Vegas, and we had a blast. My aunt who lives in AZ came to stand up for us, and then she took us to lunch at Circus Circus. How cool can you get? Since both of us had been married before we had a big party once we got back home, instead of a reception: no presents, thank you, just your presence.

Not too long ago I was at a hideously overscripted wedding for two 19-year olds. The control freak mom stage-managed every single aspect of the event, which included HER singing during party of the ceremony. I wish someone had let her hear a recording of herself beforehand. It was awful. The groom is in the Navy, and they still don't live together, 17 months later. I still wonder what the big hurry was.

My stepsis got married to the love of her life a couple of years ago, in a sweet ceremony at an outdoor gazebo (lovingly decorated by moi). It was a picture-perfect wedding, until we noticed that my rotten 10-year old nephew was climbing around and dangling from a tree, not 10 yards behind the couple and their minister. My sister-in-law did nothing about it, which is of course why the kid is so rotten.

Does anyone else see a correlation between the size of the production and the length of the marriage? Case in point, Star Jones, whose wedding cost more than $1,000,000 a few years ago, and who is now splitting from whathisname.

Being from eastern PA, I can honestly say that I had never heard of the cookie tradition at weddings until Nancy mentioned it.

Mariah...did I ever mention that I am a vocalist? :)

As for my best wedding memory..for when my best friend got married. Originally, I was to be the maid of honor, but her sister had a hissy so I stepped back. Then I had surgery two weeks prior, for a good reason...two of the groomsmen went joyriding during the bachelor party the week prior...and the sister of the groom thought the 'danger...no swimming/trespassing' signs at the quarry didn't pertain to her.

My stitches were removed the week prior, one groomsman had a full leg cast with multiple pins, the other had his arm fully casted with a black eye, and the sister of the groom was in a philadelphia collar for two cracked vertibrae.

When the best man did his toast, he made note that he hope that their lives together would be healthier than the wedding party...and then introduced them using the brides maiden name. LOL!!!

Being from the eastern PA/Lancaster area, I had never heard of the cookie tradition until Nancy mentioned it. So, it must be a western PA thingy.

Mariah...you know that I am a vocalist, don't you? :)

As for a wedding story?

Two weeks before the wedding (I was a brides maid after stepping back from the maid of honor role in order to promote family peace), I had surgery. One week prior, two of the groomsmen decided to go joy riding in the ones porche...during the bachelor party...and crashed after playing bumper cars. Around the same time, the sister of the groom felt that the 'danger...no trespassing/swimming' signs at the quarry didn't pertain to her...and fractured some vertebrae.

So, at the wedding, I was recoving from surgery (no pain meds), one groomsman had a full leg cast with big pins sticking out, the other groomsman had an arm cast and black eye, and the sister of the groom was in a philadelphia collar.

During the toast, the best man hoped that their marriage would be healthier than the wedding party. And then proceeded to introduce them by the brides maiden name!!! LOL!! We still harass him about that...

Dear Hubby & I knew each other 3 days short of 3 months when we got married. On Monday he said, "You just don't want to get married." On Tuesday I called my pastor, set it up for Thursday morning, and told everyone to take a day off. On Thursday we were married. When I told my dad we were getting married, his response was twofold. 1)Are you pregnant? 2)Are you sure you don't want to live together first?

***Hijack****

Sportsmanship at its best.

http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/24392612/

***back to regular programming***

Karen, I've managed to avoid a huge number of weddings because I'm the oldest of my cousins on both sides. I'm sure in a few years I'll have more than my fair share, although my Dad's side isn't Catholic. Of course, there is a split on my Mom's side (VERY long story that I won't go into because it will ruin my day by getting me angry all over again) and sadly, I wouldn't recognize several of my cousins if they were standing directly in front of me. They've received invitations to all of our confirmations, graduations (both high school and college) with no response, and I tried to initiate contact with one of my aunts last summer, but never heard back then either. They're just not interested. Which almost makes me more sad than angry. But, as I said, that's a different story for a different day. Josh and Cyndi, I absolutely agree, as does my coworker, and I'm really glad I changed my weekend plans so at least he could go to show her that not everyone she is related to is a total jackhole.

Pam - THANK YOU!

That article made me cry - no kidding. Maybe we could get those young women to go to Washington DC and teach our elected officials a thing or two.

The week of our wedding one of the little old ladies in the chirch died and the only time available for her funeral was an hour and a half before our wedding. When my college roomates showed up for the wedding a little early they didn't know if they were at the wrong place or if someone had a really bad sense of humor when they saw the hearse out in front of the church! It was also a little strange walking by the room where they were having the post funeral reception in all our wedding finery on the way to the ceremony... but as all weddings it just makes for a good story!

I had a live, 85 lb pig hidden out... and then delivered to us, at the hotel, lowered onto our honeymoon suite balcony. The guard helped the groomsmen.

You have not lived until you've had to drag a pig down the long hallway, past the concierge, downstairs, past the other concierge and turn him over to the security. While having to wear your wedding clothes, because when you brilliantly switched cars to avoid all of the pranks by the groomsmen, you forgot your luggage for the night.

Turns out? Most Sheratons have jail cells.

Luckily, they opted to put the pig in there, instead of Carl.

Pam, only other women would do something like this for a member of an opposing team. Let's hear it for estrogen!

at my sister's wedding my bil's grandfather performed the ceremony and felt no one was there to see him but to see the bride and groom so he did weddings with his back to the congregation and all of us standing up there on the not too deep stage area facing everyone. So far no problem. Except did I mention the stage area wasn't too deep and my sister's train was long. So long that when I went to straighten it out I managed to back into, and knock off the pedestal, the unity candle. My sister didn't talk to me for six months.

I come from the land of cake and punch receptions where it's fairly common to have wedding and reception completed in an hour and a half. Guess a friend of mine forgot that. They didn't do any pictures before the ceremony and took a boatload after the ceremony. So many in fact that by the time the wedding party moved into the fellowship hall most of the guests had left, leaving the wedding party with gallons of punch, a three layer cake, and 100 mini apple pies, cuz the groom didn't like cake.

Back when I was in school, the sister of a friend (who was Italian) married a Greek boy. There were literally two weddings in one weekend. Two ceremonies, two receptions, two sets of dresses for EVERYONE, bride and bridesmaids alike... What could be more fun than a two-day Italian-Greek wedding? Now that was one (or two) I WISH I had been invited to!

An old friend describes her Uniontowwn wedding to a miner......the usual local wedding.....a brawl but only 7 arrests!

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