I have had a number of friends questions the stories that I write, thinking them to be fiction. Let me assure you…life is stranger than any fiction that I could write. Most of the time I tame the story so it doesn’t appear too over the top, but this one is so out there it is hard for even me to believe.
Early summertime can be very busy and I was rushing from one wedding to another. The first was a simple wedding at a community center and the second at one of the most exclusive resorts to which I’ve ever been. The first wedding ran a little late and even though I thought I had given myself enough cushion I still was uncomfortable with the time between the two events.
As I pulled into the beautiful resort and parked my car, I rushed in through the lobby to be greeted by the wedding coordinator. “Take your time,” she said. The bride had not yet arrived on property. “What? The wedding is scheduled to begin in 30 minutes and the bride is not here,” I asked. No, she is on her way, I was told. Thirty minutes past and the start time of the ceremony as well and still no bride. The groom and his thirteen groomsmen were in the bar watching a ball game and throwing back more than a few hard drinks.
An hour passed and still no bride. I called her cell number and she was just leaving a nail salon and told me she was headed to the resort. I told her that her guests had been there for more than an hour and they were getting restless, to which she replied “They can wait on me. It is MY day.”
Twenty minutes passed and still no bride. Since the salon is only about ten minutes from the venue and she was still not there I called the salon and they told me she had already left and that she was headed to the jewelry store.
Another ten minutes passed and I was able to reach her via her cell phone and she told me she was pulling into the resort. The wedding planner rushed to the front door of the resort to assist the bride and saw that the bride had neither showered nor dressed for her wedding. As the bride walked through the resort she started to disrobe piece by piece and throw her clothing to the floor for the coordinator to pick up. Meanwhile, the groom, his groomsmen, and their respective fathers have been in the bar for two hours drinking.
When the coordinator finally sees that the bride is ready she tries to gather the bridal party like a mother hen gathers her chicks. Checking to make sure each one is there. Now, we know there are supposed to be thirteen bridesmaids and thirteen groomsmen, but we can only find twelve of each. Cell phones are called, hotel rooms are search, still not sign of the missing party.
The remaining bridal party lines up in the hallway while the groom and I take our position in front of the guests that remained (almost half tired of the wait and left.) As the groom stood to my left he leaned to the right and then to the left. The time at the bar had been enough that I felt I had to do a field sobriety test to see if the groom was mentally capable to make the commitment to marry.
The music started and the bridal party proceeded down the aisle in full style. All were dressed to be seen and sauntered in with that special groove that you can only imagine. Finally, after twelve pairs of groomsmen and bridesmaids proceed in the doors were closed to create a grand entrance for the bride. With a “thumbs up” from the coordinator I asked the guests to rise and the doors opened for the bride and her father to walk down the aisle. As the pair came down the aisle toward me I wondered if her father was feeble or suffered from something like Parkinson’s, because he shook so violently when he walked; even appearing to be help up by the bride as he escorted her down the aisle. After they stopped in front of me, I asked her father “Who brings this woman to be married to this man?” He looked at me as if he didn’t understand what I said, then slowly replied “Heeeer Mama and me.” He had been in the bar with the guys and was completely toasted. So much so, to the fact of another guest helped him to his seat.
There are so many more things about this wedding that I could mention like a guest dancing down the aisle, or, their risqué dance at the reception, but I won’t in good manners. I will tell you that the missing groomsman and bridesmaid were found. They were across the hall in the locked ladies restroom—you’ll have to use your imagination.
And it all happened down the aisle.