A Most Unusual Wedding

By Margie Bailey Rose


Why would anyone plan a June wedding outdoors in drizzly Seattle?  It had to be outdoors I was told, because everyone the couple had ever met begged to come, and it had to be on Friday the Thirteenth.  Oh, of course, the Goth thing.  I suggested that Halloween would be equally appropriate, but it would likely rain on that day as well.  Besides, Halloween was too soon– this affair would take extensive planning.


Number six has always been herself, bearing no resemblance to her sisters in person or personality.  She chose what she would wear as soon as she was old enough to crawl to her dresser.  We were used to her bizarre outfits at home, but many a battle was fought over what she would wear in public.  More than once I stayed home with her in her outrageous getups while the remainder of the family enjoyed an outing. 


Kindergarten was especially hard on #6, and me, as I insisted she be presentable every day.  I remember a particular morning she decided to wear one skirt around her neck and another around her waist.  My other children went off to the school bus while #6 pouted on the bed.  An hour later she came out of her room with a blouse and skirt in the proper order and her lower lip near the floor.  Without a word we went to the car, and I drove her to school.  I believe that may have been the day she vowed to dress as she liked– no matter what–when she grew up.  And she does.


Her sisters and I fully expected #6 to wear black for her wedding, but to our surprise she chose a traditional white silk gown with a long train.  (The whole nine yards– so to speak.)  The bridesmaids and groomsmen all wore black.  When #6 was a bridesmaid at #5's wedding we searched for a dress to cover her tattoos– skirt to the floor and gloves to her shoulders; for her own wedding she had a new tattoo done on her chest that continued the scroll design of the sequins and pearls of her dress bodice.  Lovely.  The entire wedding party, and most of the guests, wore skin billboards of colorful art.


June thirteenth dawned gray and cloudy.  It rained lightly most of the morning, and I was glad at least some of the seating was under tents.  Number six, however, continued to insist that we were not to worry; it would not rain.  Several guests mentioned that she had a pact with the devil and it wouldn't dare rain.  I have very little faith in the devil, but as the bride came out of the house on her older brother's arm the sun came out in full, and the steam rose from the grass and flowers.  It was a beautiful day.


The wedding march had to wait a few minutes while the groom's grandmother and I ripped out the hems in the groom's tuxedo sleeves with safety pins.  He had been fitted for the jacket, but the tailor apparently thought he was a dwarf rather than a midget.  The sleeves came halfway to his elbows and looked ridiculous.  We folded up the ripped-out cuffs, and I reached up the sleeves to guide his hands through the folds.  Even though I have known the groom for three years I was startled to feel how small his hands were in mine.  I gave him a kiss on the cheek and whispered in his ear that I was so glad he was marrying my daughter.


The very large flower girl wore a sheer white gown and feather wings.  We all gasped, and instinctively veered away, when she lost her footing while skipping down the cement-block steps barefoot.  I didn't want her to be injured, but I certainly did not want her in my lap either.  She straightened up and flew right, and the wedding continued.  The bride was gorgeous and the groom was handsome.


Indiana Jones (or maybe a lion tamer) dressed in pith helmet and jodhpurs, officiated with a tribal ceremony of some kind.  I could not hear his soft voice but it looked legal, so we cheered as the bride picked up the groom and danced him around.  (It might be nice to have a husband you can easily carry.)


The posed photo session was a little awkward as our relatives are giants and the groom's family aren't.  We found a slope where they could line up on the high ground with us down the hill.  The photos look great. 


With pictures out of the way it was off to the bouquet toss and cake cutting.  The bride tried to order a red wedding cake with black roses, but the baker convinced her that too much red coloring makes frosting bitter, and the same with black, so she settled for white frosting with red roses.  One thing traditional, you might think.  Wrong!  We looked for separate bride and groom figures for the cake top so the bride could be taller, but no one had them.  The very artistic groom carved bride and groom skeleton figures in bridal attire with, of course you guessed it, a taller bride.


As the evening wore on and the guests partied as only bikers, tattoo artists, body piercers, strippers, and every other representative of alternative life-styles can, the straighter family members drifted on home. 


Yes.  It was a wedding to remember.