I did a wedding this weekend. No, no, I didn’t perform the ceremony, but I helped coordinate the rehearsal and all of the bazillion things that a bride and groom must do to become married. You know…the wedding party, flowers, music, gowns, candles, etc. All of the details that make most folks crazy when they’ve already fallen crazy in love. And I’m the crazy lady who helps their day of love fall into place. It’s just craziness!
It is exhausting work, but then I love weddings…and making simple things hard: which is exactly what a big wedding does. All that is really required are five people, (bride, groom, two witnesses, and an officiant) about ten minutes of their time, and a piece of paper from the county court house. But we take ten minutes at the cost of oh, maybe $40, and turn it into an affair of thousands of dollars, countless hours of planning, executing, and paying. And….you get to have some ole church lady like me queueing folks up like they are in a parade wearing stuff that will hang in a closet, never to be seen again until your kids play dress-up or need a hideous outfit for Halloween. Well, hideous might be a bit harsh. But you know what I mean. Bridesmaid dresses do kinda push that ‘hideous’ envelope. My goddaughter has been in about twelve weddings. Her plan, when she marries, is simple: all of the gals whose weddings she was in must attend her bridal luncheon wearing the bridesmaid dresses she had to wear for their big day. Fair enough.
Weddings are big business. So are funerals. Umm…why those two thoughts came out together is a bit random. But true. I kinda like the wedding gig a bit better. There’s a party atmosphere…and dj’s, dancing, and it is usually prettier. Do you remember when wedding guests use to pile in their vehicles, follow the decorated car of the ‘Just Marrieds’ and drive around town honking their horns? I loved it!! And that is similar to a funeral….we follow that hearse with the blaring of the escort sirens. Just no sign or tin cans on the back of the hearse. Hey…when I die, I want that!! Yeah!! Put a sign on the back of the hearse that says, “Just Buried (Almost!)” and tie some of those cans and streamers, and let everybody just honk their horns and wave! That’s the way to go! Guess I am still wanting to make noise as long as I can. Kinda sorta.
I am sure that some of you reading this may say that I am morbid. Naw…just not quite right. I just seem to draw parallels between things that most folks just wouldn’t see. But think about it…weddings and funerals are both sacraments of the church. They are laced in emotion. One event usually takes place when you are young, the other when you are older. While there are certain protocols for both, both events are quite personal. (Yeah, that funeral deal is definitely pretty personal). Each involve certificates which are filed with the state. Folks gather, and mutter, “Seems like we only see folks at weddings and funerals.” You usually dress up for the two, and are glad when they’re over. Often, they both occur in a church, with a preacher presiding, Bible in hand. In the presence of flowers, tears may flow and music will fill the air. Folks in attendance are reminded of the reason that all have gathered, and how that trip towards the altar will be life changing.
Oh…and there will probably be a church lady like me organizing the funeral dinner or the wedding party, keeping things moving. Well, until it is my turn to move no longer.
When that day comes, you can order flowers and serve all the cake you want, but please: don’t bury me in one of those bridesmaid dresses.