On rivers. And tents. And ministers who drink beer.

Well, at this hour eleven years ago I was standing at an alter with the love of my life next to me. Everything looked beautiful. All of our nearest and dearest were there to celebrate the joining of our lives. But, boy oh boy, did they ever get a show. All I wanted to do was promise to love, honor, and cherish him until death parted us. Well, I would just have to wait… and wait… and wait… while these lovely observations were offered:

John and Dennis are like two rivers flowing together.

So tonight, I ask John and Dennis to pray for five mangey minutes.

There is a river… in Florissant…

God, you came down to Earth and pitched a tent.

These things were uttered by the minister during the ceremony.  I was horrified. Seriously, how do you ask the minister in the middle of your own wedding ceremony to please just shut up and allow you to recite your vows?  It’s like being a deer in the headlights. You see the truck barreling down at you, but you are completely helpless to stop it. I could physically hear the confusion of our guests behind me. All I could think was, Oh my god, they are going to think that we wanted it to be this way! As joyful as I was to become John’s wife, all I could think of as I stood at that alter was What? and Huh? and Why is he saying that??? My maid of honor, Betsy, kept looking at me like, Where did you get this guy? (The answer to that is a long story, too.)

I still have not watched the wedding video. When the minister asked me at our reception if I thought anybody would be offended if he had a beer to drink, I told him to help himself. I, for one, had no problem with it whatsoever as I suspected him of being a little tipsy before the wedding even began. (I’m joking). Oh, and he brought a date. Who was about two feet taller than him. And they got their groove thang on on the dance floor. I kid you not.

Now, when the topic of my wedding day comes up (which isn’t often…anymore…thank goodness), our friends assure me that our wedding was fine, it was nice, but mostly it was entertaining. This is not exactly what every bride hopes for when she plans a wedding, but she does want something memorable, and indeed, our wedding was most certainly memorable. And here’s the thing–despite all my careful planning, and all the confusion of that long, l-o-n-g, ceremony, and my freaking out that it was not going as planned… I think that our wedding ceremony was perfect for us. I am fully aware that John and I are both a little quirky. I think that’s what attracts us to each other. John has lots of quirks, but that’s a post for another day. And our ceremony reflects that. Perfectly nice, all the right sentiments, but just a little–quirky.

Nevertheless, it was perfect for us because nothing says, “we’re in this together” quite like turning to each other after being pronounced husband and wife and reading What just happened? on each others’ face. Actually, no, when John leaned in to kiss me all I saw was love and happiness. That’s what makes John so great. He just rolls with it, whatever it happens to be. Which, on that day, was comforting because in that moment all I could think was: the hell? Which, again, has reflected our lives together up to this point. Things have gone pretty much as planned, but occasionally bizzarro things happen.

Here is the other reason why I think our wedding was perfect for us: it has to do with our friends. Everybody likes to attend a nice romantic wedding and a fun reception. But I think in our culture we kind of leave it up to the couples to figure out how to be married. I don’t mean to say that we don’t care about other couple’s marital happiness, but we don’t want to meddle. Our friends have such good memories of our wedding, that I have often felt that it has just carried over toward us as a couple. Of course our wedding connected John and I to each other, but I also feel that it added a deeper connection between us and our friends who were there to experience (enjoy?) it with us. People have such nice memories of our day, and they are always so happy to talk about it, and that makes me very, very happy. I’ve just always felt like John and I are blessed with a lot of good friends who really care about us, and for that I am extremely thankful.

Now, I realize that it may be weird to write an anniversary post in praise of one’s friends and not one’s spouse. I have already explained, I am quirky, people.

Besides, what can I say about the man who… whooo umm… who would gladly wed a woman named “Dennis” and be happy about it? One Quirky Guy. And I’m One lucky girl.


5 thoughts on “On rivers. And tents. And ministers who drink beer.

  1. Like I said…we still laugh about it to this day. But, you’re right, it was the perfect wedding for you on John. Congrats on 11 years!

  2. Happy Anniversary, Denise “Dennis” and John! (And, Happy Birthday to John!) As one of your wedding guests, I have to say it was definitely one of the most… uh, memorable… but beautiful because two people that I love were united. I have to say, that’s the first (and only) time I’ve ever cried at a wedding because I was laughing so hard. Take that as you will… 🙂

    Love you guys!


  3. Mark reminded me of another thing. Remember when he said that “Denise and John are going to get into fights and you (meaning the congregation) should just stay out of their business” True, but still hilarious.

  4. Aww, thanks guys!

    Vicki – I remember you telling me how you and Brenda could not look at each other and you could feel yourselves shaking from trying not to laugh. That IS funny… I can totally picture it. It kind of reminds me of that time you, me, Chris and John were in that cab at in Chicago up at Grant’s Park and we were trying not to laugh at that cabbie repeating the same thing over and over in his radio. Do you remember that?

    Jaime – Oh my gosh! I had totally forgotten about that part, but I remember it now. I can’t imagine what the congregation thought we told him about our friends. Oh my. Maybe it is time to break out that video…

    Thanks for walking down memory lane with me, ladies.

  5. Pingback: The proposal. « One lucky girl

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