October 28 dawned cool and clear. We had been anticipating this wedding for months. The bride and groom were so secretive about the details that I hesitated buying my dress till the last minute. I am so glad that I did.
It seems that the children (tongue in cheek here), had decided to have a Halloween Wedding in Black and White. The rehearsal party on the 27th was thrown open to all invited guests and turned into a Halloween Costume party. All of the women in our family came dressed as witches. Some would say it wasn’t a far stretch. The groom (our son Wallace), was dressed as Frankenstein’s Monster and the bride (Sara Shiver), as Bride of the Monster. There was Adam and Eve, the Village People, Mitt and Ann Romney, and the Father of the bride dressed in overalls and a plaid shirt with a shotgun open with shells in plain sight lying on a table before him. A lovely Egyptian queen held court before aliens from outer space. Food was generously served and an open bar insured no one went home thirsty (hey, I left sober, had only diet soda, honest).
So the wedding day was frantic with hair styling and makeup partying for the ladies of the wedding party. The gentlemen were being dressed in their tuxes and getting the pre-wedding jitters under control.
Finally, at 5:30 I was allowed to dress, careful not to mess makeup or hair. Since it was a black and white wedding, old black and white movies from the ’20s played on the back wall of the reception room and the wedding cake mimicking an old Harold Lloyd movie, I had chosen a long black dress with a white seeded pearl and rhinestone jacket. Talk about bling!
The wedding itself was lovely and the music was original. Somewhere in the proceedings it was announced that the happy couple were having a Quaker wedding. Hats off to all the guests who refrained from asking out loud in front of God and the chosen assembly which one of them was the Quaker. The Groom’s family looked at each other with looks like “say what???” and the Bride’s family had much the same expression. Taken aback. I have heard it all my life. Now I know what it means.
After the wedding, as we stood in the receiving line, the question was on everyone’s lips and occasionally fell right off into the conversation. One gentleman on the bride’s side said (and he really acted as if he wanted details of this thing ), “So, you’re Quakers then?” I looked him in the eye and told him that I was a hybrid Catholic/Baptist, the father of the groom was a hybrid Methodist/Mormon (mutts we are), and was not really sure where the Quakers came into it. We agreed it had been a lovely ceremony, what with every guest signing the marriage contract, in the Quaker tradition (something of which I had never heard).
Later, while having the first dance with my son (as Sunrise Sunset played in the background), I asked him about the Quaker ceremony. He laughed and told me that they had wanted something different from the norm, hence the black and white wedding, the old movies on the back wall and the lovely Quaker traditional service. Thanks to the minister and our own John Davis of Chesterfield, it all came off without a hitch. Here’s to the bride and groom, Mr. and Mrs. Wallace and Sara McBride, here here!
— Sandi McBride is a resident of Jefferson, who blogs regularly and enjoys her garden and her furry and feathered friends. She is a wife and mother of two sons.