As you may have noted by my copious usage of Southwest.com and Travelocity, as well as Target's Online Gift Registry, the Husband and I have been attending a number of weddings over the past couple of years. Ah, Internet, how helpful you were to me when I was planning my own nuptials! And now, I can use your capabilities to share with others the proverbial Good, Bad, and Ugly that I've observed during all of these joyful unions!
So here's the deal, everyone who is not the Internet. I've seen a lot of things happen at weddings (including at my own... you know who you are). Some of these things are simply too outrageous, too tasteless, or too hilarious to not share with you through the wonders of technology. This series of posts was precipitated by an experience at the wedding in Panama City earlier this month, a tale that I will save for the very last, because frankly, nothing can top it. Seriously, you might want to just swear off reading forever after reading THAT story. In a good way, I mean. I hope.
But there are many stories to be told first -- and lessons to be learned!
I've decided to kick this old school, with a Top Ten list.
(Garth's Mom would be on my list, too. But I'm jumping ahead of myself... to Wedding Mishap #7)
LET THE COUNTDOWN BEGIN!!!
NUMBER 10: Creeptastic Photographers
A few years ago, the Husband (then the Fiance) and I attended the wedding of some dear friends from college. They had chosen to hold the ceremony and reception in this beautiful, historic performance hall in coastal Florida. The seating was all nicely arranged on the main floor, and every unique touch seemed just perfect, from the curtained stage to the slender balcony that wrapped around the back of the room. The Husband and I settled into our seats and waited eagerly as the ceremony began.
One of the nice things about a wedding is that everyone dresses up in their best for the occasion. Guys wear suits, gals wear dresses, and there are flowers, cufflinks, and laborious hair-dos in every direction. As the seating of the mothers started down the aisle, I leaned my head on the Husband's shoulder and looked around happily. Then I saw him.
Well, it might not have been the ACTUAL old man from Home Alone, but he seriously looked like him, except not secretly warm-hearted and full of Christmas spirit. The man I saw just looked full of spirits. Cheap ones.
The man I saw did not, it may be said, fit in at all with the well-heeled and coiffed assembly. He had long, stringy hair, a scraggly beard, and a brown suit that was unremarkable except for its profusion of wrinkles and seeming lack of laundering. In short, he looked like a homeless man with a very piercing stare. And he was watching - nay, gawping - from the beautiful, narrow balcony, as the wedding proceeded below him. I suddenly found my pleasant pre-ceremony emotions interrupted by anger at this wedding-crashing bum who could potentially pitch forward over the balcony railing at any moment. I had to DO something!
I know what you might be thinking. "Inky! For shame! That poor man was probably hungry, or lonely, or in need of some restoration of faith in the human spirit! Don't judge!" And you would be right. Except you wouldn't.
I was getting hopping mad as the bridesmaids came down the aisle, all gussied up and beaming for their beloved friend. "How DARE this guy intrude on this beautiful day?" I thought. But then the Husband pointed out to me that the man lurking on the balcony was holding a camera. He wasn't intruding on the wedding - he was documenting it. The homeless Old Man Marley was the wedding photographer.
For a moment I sat back in my seat, stunned by this revelation. But the bride was approaching, so I got to my feet with everybody else. I craned my head back to find the intense creeptographer, who was probably snapping pictures of the tops of heads and wondering where he left his Thunder Beach cigarette lighter... but he was gone. GONE!
"Look!" I hissed as I tugged on the Husband's arm. "See? He WAS a wedding crasher!"
The Husband shrugged at me, and I turned back around to face the aisle. I had to stifle a shout, for there he was. Old Man Marley was now following the beautiful bride down the aisle. After a few moments, he shuffled with shocking speed to the back of the room. From there, he shimmied along the side of the hall to reach the front before the bride and her father did, in order to capture their
The wedding was idyllic after I adjusted to seeing his haunting face everywhere. I think the only way that the creeptographer could have been more intrusive would have been if he had sat on the groom's lap during the ceremony. Following the wedding, the reception was also haunted by Marley's presence. However, since everyone was moving around and talking loudly, it was easy enough to hide fom him and enjoy ourselves immensely.
So the take-away from this first Wedding Mishap is: don't select a photographer who seems even remotely creepy, because they may demonstrate an excess of creep when the big day arrives. Try to find a photographer who is polished, professional, and prepared. And preferably not easily confused with a faux murderer or homeless guy.
EDIT: Apparently I failed to follow my own advice when selecting my wedding photographer. I found him through a web service designed to match you with "your ideal photographic style and personality" (do NOT recommend). His name was Jeffrey (and probably still is, unless he's assumed a new identity). He seemed to be a professional, capable, middle-aged fellow. We met the day of the wedding, when Jeffrey showed up at my mother's house, entered the foyer, and promptly snapped a couple of pictures of the shocked semi-dressed bridesmaids at the top of the stairs. At least his suit wasn't wrinkled, I guess.
Any experiences that you've had with wedding photogs that you would like to share? Please post them - I'm eager to hear!
NEXT UP... Wedding Mishap #9: Speech and Toast Misfires