Snapshots of a Wedding

Dancing, fireworks, and (of course) Journey.

Several months ago, I described my upcoming social calendar as “Wedding Season.” Now, after having participated in my only sister Liz’s wedding three weeks ago, I hereby declare Wedding Season to be finished. The day itself was beautiful, a lot of fun, and over in a blink.

Some scattershot memories from the big day for my family:

  • Liz works for Image Engineering, a company specializing in lighting and pyrotechnic effects for sporting events, concerts, and such. Her employers set off a brief fireworks display in the parking lot of the chapel after the ceremony. I would love to tell you how it looked, but the photographer insisted that the wedding party pose in front of the pyrotechnics, with our backs to the fireworks. I bet they were impressive, judging by the sound and by the pair of bridesmaids who dug into my shoulders for dear life.
  • My sister and my father, who are more similar than they’d ever care to admit, shared a very sweet slow dance to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s “Teach Your Children.” It was a fitting choice, since Dad began his second career as an art teacher by learning on the job at our elementary school. Adding his own personal touch, the old man donned a black Stetson hat as the song began. When it was all over, he walked back to the table and huffed, “I didn’t remember that song being so long.”
  • Though I probably took a big risk by not preparing remarks for my “man of honor” toast, I kept things short and it went off without a hitch. I shared an anecdote about the young boys that used to call our house to talk to Liz when she began dating. Whenever I answered the phone, I could detect a hint of fear in their voices. They were awkward teens, and I was … a slightly older awkward teen, but with a much deeper voice. Eventually my sister just started dating guys who were bigger than me. Fortunately, though her new husband Mark is a former high school wrestler who outweighs me by more than a hundred pounds, he’s a gentle giant.
  • It seemed that no one had more fun than my great-uncle Dan. He was married to my Grandma Boots‘s sister Bee for more than 50 years; Boots and Bee passed away within days of one another back in 2006. Now in his 80s and sporting surgically repaired knees, Uncle Dan mixed in a little drinking and a little dancing, made imaginary plans to travel to Florida with his nieces and nephews, and even shuffled out to the dance floor for the garter toss when the DJ called for all of the single men. I hope I have even half of his energy when I’m that age.
  • For those of you who are planning your own weddings, or even if you just hope to be married in the future, I’ll leave you with one piece of advice: When putting together a playlist for the reception, you must, must, MUST include Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Save it for the end of the night and give the guests who have taken full advantage of the open bar the opportunity to belt it out. You will not be disappointed.
Article © 2009 by Kevin Brotzman