5 August 2007

a[nother] wedding story

I hadn’t attended a wedding in years until this year, but last weekend we went to our third wedding in six months. Of course at our age (creak creak) these tend to be Second Weddings but let’s not dwell on that.

The first wedding of the year was at the zoo in the Balinese elephant village, on that hot steamy January night when the 10-year drought broke, and while I’m certain the bride was cursing [I know her well] the tropical downpour that made her evening so memorable, the setting was absolutely perfect for a monsoonal ‘weather event'. The elephants stretched and luxuriated in their pond behind the couple as they recited their vows in the thatched shed-thingie, although no one could hear them through the roar of the rain. (No one could see much either thanks to the dodgy uncle with the video camera who stood right in front of the couple, elbowing the professional photographer out of the way and making the entire gathering – with the exception of the very thin-lipped Mother of the Bride – giggle). I forgot my camera, and thus the evening remained unblogged for those of you considering perusing my January archives. The thank you cards arrived a couple of months later bearing a photograph of the newly weds under clear plastic umbrellas, standing amongst dripping tropical foliage, so I’m glad to see they embraced the elements and went with the flow. So to speak.

Speaking of dodgy uncles at weddings and yes there is always one, let’s have a little competition, shall we? Tell me what the dodgy uncle did at your wedding, and I’ll tell what he did at MINE and we’ll pick a winner. Well I’ll pick a winner. My blog etc.

The second wedding of 2007, you all will recall. A dawn wedding on a beach two hours’ drive from here thankyouverymuch followed by an all-afternoon into-the-evening reception so that we returned home at dusk, our entire day shot um, spent happily celebrating the blissful joining of twin souls.

So. Last weekend. The third wedding. The bride (whom I didn’t know, but who has met Mr Soup and the wee croutons once before at a soccer game) was a Sicilian beauty, and the groom a fair Englishman (and a friend of my own fair Englishman husband). Ten before we were due to leave I was still standing in front of my wardrobe gesticulating hopelessly, wailing I can’t wear black to a daytime wedding! But this is Melbourne after all. I wore the black.

Being Italian, being Catholic-Italian, there was a bit of bling.


Mr Soup did the whole lapsed Catholic thing of automatically standing, genuflecting, crossing and responding in all the right places, while I silently gawked marvelled at the religious PARAPHENALIA everywhere. I come from heathen stock so the theatricality of it all simultaneously amuses and horrifies me. But the priest was personable and humorous without being over the top, and there were lovely readings from people like Kahlil Gabran which I suspect aren’t a regular part of the Catholic wedding service. Plus there was a string trio playing in the balcony who played beautiful classical pieces during those quiet bits in the ceremony where the priest is busy handing out crackers and passing around a golden chalice full of germs wine, but who then launched into a rendition of Makin’ Whoopee as the newly weds exited the church. Again, i suspect non-traditional. All in all the whole thing was lovely and as the bride looked like a Sicilian Frido Kahlo with her strong beautiful features and pile of jet black curls.

I am such a talented photographer.

The reception was held in one of the swankest restaurants I’ve ever been in, overlooking the river. The food was incredible.


Sadly, we knew only two other couples at this entire gathering, but the six of us had been put on separate tables where we knew no one. Why? To force us to meet new people? Sheesh. We waved forlornly at each other across the room and as soon as was possible shuffled around a bit and visited each other, so all was not lost. But I repeat, why do that? Everyone else seemed to be put with their friends. I think I’ll shut up now, I sound like a high school girl. (Please don’t separate us, Miss!)

Now I have to write something else because it was a lovely wedding really, and I don’t want to end this over-long post on a sour note. So I’ll genuflect one more time and hum Makin Whoopee.


hazeljoy said...

ha ha - concrete shoes!!

h&b said...

I love weddings !!
And I do indeed have a story.

My dodgy Great-Uncle has a lesbian for a daughter. There's not-quite-acceptance there, and he's an obnoxious drunk. I barely know him - why did I let mum invite him ?


My beautiful girlfriend with the shortish hair came over to talk to me and said Great-Uncle made an unflattering remark than basically came down to "is she a dyke?". She was either polite enough not to have heard, or he was unable to be understood. Whatever.

He left and she said "who was that ?"

And I said..

" I dunno. I think he's one of AB's relatives.."

tut-tut said...

Well, just to be coincidental, last evening L and the rest of her quartet played at an outdoor wedding at 7 pm, overlooking the river WITHOUT any overhead protection from the setting sun in 85F heat. AND the theme was black and white, with poor bridesmaids sweltering away in black. Luckily, it was only a half hour for the musicians before the ceremony was complete and they scampered away (as best L sould, with a cello on her back . . .)

Poppy & Mei said...

There were several one liners in this post that made me smirk in a "been there, done that" kinda way.
Don't have any dodgy uncle stories although I LOVE a full on churchy Italian wedding. The bling is always over the top & the food is always the best. Don't get many of those 'round here but you haven't lived 'til you've done the Japanese wedding...

blackbird said...

I do like weddings - but I don't like that separate table business, thank god that didn't happen at the last one we went to.

I'd like more photos!

What did you end up wearing?

blackbird said...

Found more photos.

Stoopid me.

Joke said...

Pretty much all Mediterranean-flavored Catholic weddings tend to be a different breed of cat from the more Anglo/Irish Catholic variants.

Invariably the food is better, although when you have two different sides of the Med represented, things can get a bit interesting.

Also, the more traditional yells-bells-smells the wedding, the more memorable the reception.

-J., Papist

Joke said...

PS Loved the flatware. My beloved would rather carve her out own throat with a three paperclips and a rubber band than have such flatware, but I loved it.

Emma said...

Do they really think they are doing us a favour, making us sit with people we've never met, and will likely never see again? I especially hate busy bodies who think that you won't want to sit next to your own husband. Please, think of us shy people and give us just one person to talk to!!

shula said...

Being in churches give me nosebleeds.

Though I myself, was christened a papist.

tamara said...

He he! Love me a good wedding, my family are Russian, and the weddings that go for only one day are known as 'the short version'.

No dodgy uncle stories, but a very very dodgy mother outlaw one:
Dh's mum, totally sozzed at our wedding, requested a slot in the speeches. She then waxed lyrical about how lovely it was to see her three boys in the one place again (they are a very international family, most live on different continents to us) ... and she went on about them, their childhoods and their talents... not a word about this being the wedding of her youngest... slurring and swaying the whole time, until someone woke up the MC who cut her off with a well timed "Noice words from the luvverly mother of the groom"

...and said MIL proceeded to repeat the stunt, but more squiffy and LOTS more offensive 2 years later, at son #2's wedding. I quote, "He got caught with girls in his room at boarding school, and a bag of pills too, but at least we knew he wasn't GAY!" ...cue gasps and frantic looks from all and sundry at the openly gay best man... and then she read a poem of her own penning, about a cruise she'd undertaken. And it rhymed.

I won't even start on my parents' ill-fated nuptials that featured elderly ladies being stretchered out of the reception after mixing shandies with the home-made vodka that had been bottled in lemonade bottles and placed on each table.

As you can tell, weddings are something of a forte in our family.

meggie said...

No Great Uncle stories either. But a hilarious one where GOM was asked to be best man. It was Catholic, of the mainly Irish variety- the Groom was in fact an Irishman. GOM didnt have a clue & rose & sank at all the wrong places. The wedded couple were fighting-physically- on the way out of the church!

sueeeus said...

Back in the pre-reformation days, my family went to a groovy university church (Catholic) in which there was a fabulous music section with guitars, a violin, a flute, and a concert bass. Kahlil Gibran quotes from The Prophet were not unheard of. But then again, we were the fringe congregation.

LOVE that flatware, and am coveting as we speak.

Stomper Girl said...

*sadly* I haven't got a dodgy uncle at my wedding story. I haven't even got a wedding....

Kate said...

I know that stained glass! I grew up at that church, and they kinda specialise in weddings (and funerals) for LAPSED catholics who don't want to disappoint the parents.

My brother & his wife left the church to the strains of Louis Armstrong, & George Michael got a run too, I don't think the priest is at all shockable. Frequently bemused though.