I saw an item in my newsfeed today. It was one of those totally idiotic headlines: “Sister Wears Dinosaur Suit to Wedding.” This was apparently because she was told she could wear whatever she wanted. Daft I know, and whatever was she thinking? And never mind upstaging the bride! You just can’t plan for this kind of stuff.
I’ve been to many weddings, and in many capacities. From the bride, to a bridesmaid… a friend, to a relative… even once as a member of the officiating party. And most times, they’ve been relatively large and fancy affairs, that have cost the long-suffering parents a whack of money, and the bridal couple sleepless nights in the planning.
Almost without exception, they have suffered a catalogue of mishaps and minor calamities that you simply cannot plan for… although in most cases these went largely unnoticed.
But there is one in particular event that sticks in my mind.
It was a small, low-key garden wedding in a lovely setting… a friend’s garden. The area for the ceremony had been beautifully prepared, flowers everywhere, a garlanded arbor and an eclectic arrangement of chairs for the guests.
The friend just happened to have three dogs, one a rather large Bouvier de Flandres. There was a question around what to do with the dogs during the ceremony and the hostess decided to give them something to calm them down. I suppose, since one was rather a large dog, she upped the dose a bit to ensure his incapacity at the critical moment.
What she didn’t bank on was the resilience of the dog and his loyal little followers. It resulted in an oblivious bride being walked down the flower-strewn aisle, followed by three staggering, almost comatose dogs, much to the amusement of the assembled guests.
However, this dog had clearly decided this was his day… never mind any wedding that might be taking place. The poor mutt was probably confused and distressed at all the irregular activity, especially when the children decided to swim and he was shut in the bedroom overlooking the pool, ostensibly to give them peace.
He was a determined animal though, and this day he was determined to join in the swimming. Since there was no way he was getting there through the door, he took the next best option and leapt through the picture window, shattering it into a million pieces. Still, he made it into the pool and happily joined in the splashing, oblivious to the havoc he’d just wrecked on his owner’s home.
Despite these setbacks, the guests were enjoying the relaxed wedding breakfast, serenaded through the afternoon and into the balmy evening when a sudden a gust of wind took them by surprise. It blew the tablecloth on the single, huge table up and over the buckets of lit candles, setting the whole affair alight. Rather than throwing one of the plentiful ice buckets over the now flaming table, a heroic guest damped the whole lot down with his bare hands. Needless to say, he found the ice buckets useful afterward.
By now, the venue was looking a little worse for wear, and the hosts must have been wondering what more destruction could be inflicted on their lovely home.
But it was a happy event, despite all the calamity, and the guests were enjoying their evening under the stars. Albeit by now on the other side of the table. At this point, the bride’s long-lost brother decided to take his leave. He was to drive the matrimonial couple’s BMW home, although he’d never driven one before.
Undeterred, and after saying his goodbyes, he climbed into the car, switched the engine on and put the car into reverse, or so he thought. Putting his foot on the accelerator, the car leapt forward and crashed straight through the sliding glass doors of the lounge, where the children were watching cartoons.
It must have seemed that the cartoon had come to life when the car came to an abrupt halt, half inside the room, and the rather hapless brother emerged looking somewhat confused.
So, while no guests arrived in dinosaur suits, and the wedding was a happy and joyous affair, it was an event that took on a life all its own. And, despite all the best-laid plans, it has become memorable for more than just a betrothal.