I’m informed that every little girl wants to be a princess and have a fairy-tale wedding, so it must be true, even though I don’t recall thinking about my wedding at all as a child, and only wanted a puppy, and was scandalized when that girl in my fourth-grade class wearing the pink tulle frothy princess outfit won Best Halloween Costume even though I had a neat flannel leopard suit that I had not yet peed in. I might have been unclear about the whole marriage thing at that age anyway. I remember thinking how lucky I was that my parents found each other because the pool of Brewsters is so small. It didn’t occur to me that my mother would have started out with a whole ‘nother name and toss it aside like yesterday’s paper.
I assumed I’d be married some day because that’s what happened to everybody, but I didn’t spend any time thinking about the particulars. As I got older and passed through the hippie filter, I abandoned the idea of marriage altogether. Then I married a man who also assumed he would never marry–that’s one of the things we had in common. I picked him out of thousands, which was possible back in that sliver of time between the advent of birth control and HIV. Actually, we snapped each other up off the bargain table. Neither one of us looked like a good deal at the time, but we gave each other a good seven-year test run, and had gotten used to the rough bits. We gave it a shot.
That was 27 years ago. Our wedding, miraculously, was much like the royal affair the world has just witnessed. I wore white; that was a fairy tale right there. Dave rented a tux and didn’t change into his “Just Murred” tee-shirt for hours. There weren’t a lot of hats, but Patty from the Hourglass Tavern did wear her dress sweats. The crowd heavily favored postal employees and bricklayers, which just about defines “common folk.” The mood was ebullient and the vows were punctuated by the popping of beer cans among those who had brought their own to tide them over until the kegs were tapped at 2 p.m.
We soon had four kegs of beer going in the back of our 1969 International Harvester pickup with the ice blown in. Festivities included volleyball, and the “sack toss,” wherein people took turns trying to lob a rubber-banded bundle of mail into a standing mail sack, and William and Kate would have done that too if they’d thought of it. We also had a race between two postal employees in which the starter pistol was replaced by an M-80, which was so loud that the contestants froze paralyzed on the starting line. Even with all the money gambled on the outcome, and even though mailmen were involved, nobody had predicted “none” as the winner.
The woman who was in charge of the venue–let’s call her Adolph–had assured us that it was ours till midnight, if need be, but she personally had bet on us being out of there by four o’clock, and took some pains to see that happen, directing that all our food be wrapped up and taken away, not realizing that this group wasn’t going to leave until the beer was gone. That indirectly led to the most striking resemblance between our wedding and the royal do: the attendance of a uniformed regiment. Somewhere around ten p.m., Adolph seized my arm and declared, furious, that one of my guests had just flashed her, and that the party was over. This didn’t seem to be beyond the realm of possibility, but the event she was referring to was somewhat less dramatic. She had shut down the restroom in the hopes that that would make people go home, and was busy hanging up a sign when Leroy, who was next in line for the throne, showed up. “This toilet is broken,” she informed him, and he informed her that he was a contractor (do NOT mess with a blue-collar crowd) and could maybe fix it; whereupon he gave it a test flush, everything looked just fine, and he said (again) he was now going to use the toilet, and she could watch if she really wanted to. She must have, because she reported back to me immediately.
Anyway, it wasn’t long after that than a contingent of Portland’s finest arrived with lights flashing (a theme) and encouraged everyone to leave, and Dave and I repaired to the honeymoon suite at the Marriott with a couple of our wedding gifts: a platter of chocolate Grand Marnier strawberries and a dab of cocaine. We were royally hammered. A good time was had, if not remembered, by all.
Now, if I could have a wing-ding like that…maybe I'd consider tying the knot.Maybe…
Ha! Take that English pigs! If only Will and Kate could be so lucky.
Our 26th is coming up this summer. For our 25th, we got into an argument. And here, all this time, I thought it was supposed to be 'silver.'
The only thing missing was a white horse, methinks.
I love this story.
You look so darn young in the wedding pics. Well, you still do really. You two must be a good fit.
What great wedding pictures! You must have figured out all the snags in those seven years before you got married, because it sure seems to have turned out well. Love seeing you both as young people! 🙂
Now a televised version of that I would have enjoyed watching.
Loved the pictures and think you are either tiny or your married a REALLY tall guy. Top shelves will never be a problem for you two.
Was your dress a "Gunne Sax"? Sooo pretty!
Contractors and postal employees? OMG! That party must have rocked!
Looks like a rocking party!
My husband and I just passed the 14 year mark, and we're still going strong!
Beer, chocolate strawberries, cocaine, and Adolph opting watching Leroy have a private moment. All weddings should be like this.
I fondly remember such public celebrations of joyous uncertainty, including my own wedding in 1978. There was an outline of a wedding somewhere that we followed, but the idea was to fill in the details with enough creative mirth to hide the doubts. BTW, still married.
Is Mr. Murr wearing white Nikes? How cool is that? Your wedding lacked what mine had (24 years ago): a guy I didn't know (this was not a big party) puking in the rose bushes and a 6'2" cross dresser (who was dressed better than me) making out with my friend Kim in front of my husband's deeply religious and very old grandmother.
Your wedding sounds awesome. Mine included my pastor telling the entire earth how my husband and I met, which he thought was hilarious. (My first thoughts upon meeting him was "YOU ASSHOLE!!!" and not anything flirtatious..)
That absolutely beats all four of my weddings.
Yes, those are white Nikes, and Phil Knight thanks you for noticing, Andrea. I think my wedding would have had your added attractions if we hadn't been shut down. Although it is very rude for the cross-dresser to dress better than the bride.
Welcome, A.M.Kuska, it sounds as though you have a little more story to tell. But I agree: "You Asshole" is not a deal-breaker. Sometimes it's just an observation.
My neighbor sewed my dress from a Folkwears pattern.
So young and so lovely, both of you! The smiles in your recent ones are the best, though. Good job!
Lovely. Sweet. Funny. You look so innocent! A wedding I'm sure folks are still talking about today. Kind of reminds me of my first, which was on Thanksgiving Day in the backyard and everyone had to bring a dish – as well as beverege(s) of choice, among other things. I really enjoyed this.
I remember your invitations! I wondered if you had copied Grandma's wedding dress, but I guess not. I enjoyed this.
PS Sharon when you get to heaven (I don't stand a chance) don't tell Mom about the cocaine, okay?
Hi Sharon! Right, inexplicably, there was a gorilla on our invitation. That was because our buddy the graphics guy had a neat gorilla picture he wanted to use and we were getting the design for free. Several guests assumed we had a gorilla thing going and bought us gifts with gorillas on them.
I have the top to Grandma's wedding dress and it's now as sepia as the photographs. The skirt was turned into baby clothes long since, I understand.
I'll keep your secret under wraps! I also remember your Fats Waller quote. I loved it then and love the memory now. I love your writings and especially the occasional glimpses of Grandmom's skirt or apron, the farmhouse…..and of course your mom's picture this past weekend.
What Anne said!
My husband and I, having both had starter marriages, tied the knot on the greenbelt near our house with only the Justice of the Peace and our dogs as witnesses. Then we threw a rocking party, but nothing like four kegs. 15 years later, we still like each other most of the time.
I feel almost as if I had been there. Wait. Was I?? Where was it again?
love this, love you.
Yah sure, you wuz there, hon.
I love this story! Would you guys consider doing a reenactment? You are one funny broad. SOB(Senior Old Broad). T says, "Whas up?"
Yep… that was a pretty cool wedding… the kids were especially impressed with a very short bride and a very tall groom on top of the wedding cake being married by ET. And all the food. Your wedding absolutely influenced the Grace and Alyssa's wedding!
Oh goodie, you got some of the food before Adolph whisked it away! Well, one good influence was it was cheap. We did it for the least money to invite the most people. Now that weddings cost $30,000, I think it's the way to go.
You look like a child bride at one of those polygamy compounds that are always getting raided. Except Dave only looks old enough to your brother and not your grandfather. Seriously, what were you, 14 at the time?
I always wanted a wedding, but I never wanted to get married. It was a conundrum.
Congratulations on finding your soul mate and building a happy life together. That's really quite an accomplishment these days. Humor helps and you've got an abundance of it.
"and a dab of cocaine" You slay me, Murr!
FYI: I was 29.
I also love the white Nikes!
Rocking wedding, sooooo much better than the royals (and no vagina-themed hats?!).
Those sleeves must've gotten in the way doing lines 😉
I wasn't invited to yours or to the Royals, but I'm thinking yours would have been way more fun. My first wedding was in 1969. Weddings during that era were very special, indeed. We would write about them but nobody can remember anything.
Fun post, Murr…I'm sure I rarely thought about my wedding as a child either, although I did have a "Hope Chest." My first wedding was also 27 years ago (only lasted 13 years though) and informal (cost about $1000 total). No flashing was involved (that I know of), but we rode back to my mom's house after the reception in the back of a pickup truck…at least I'd changed out of my dress by then…
So Murr: I love your story!!! You look adorable in these photos. And I laughed so much at your comparison to Will and Kate's wedding! My best memory of mine was: We had folk dancing in a barn way up New Hampsha with a fiddling trio. It was 1986–well post hippie: the era of mallrat frizzy bangs and a return to more formal dressing (just post disco–preppie was back). I remember the best man saying, "I dressed all up in a rented tuxedo to dance in a barn?" Well, yeah.
whatta neat story… they say the first thirty years are the best… my grand parents made 71, and uncle and aunt made it to 72, my parents to 52(before Dad died) and I made it to 6. (but the divorce has been going well.)
Oh Murr, you have described my ideal wedding! But then again, leopard suits (soiled or not) have always suited me better than frothy princess outfits!
Tops my three, too, Anne.
You guys looked better than Kate and Prince Whatsis (When he smiles, does it hurt him? It looks painful. And empty.) You guys look cute and happy and better dressed. Your guests, too. My kind of wedding. Happiest Anniversary, Murr!
p.s. Blogger sucks.
This comment has been removed by the author.
I see blogger's been eating your comments too… 🙁
It sounds marvelous. And you're lovely!
We did our wedding in 1981 for $300, something I'm still proud of. (And ashamed of: we should have scraped up *something* to pay our entirely too generous musician friends.)
Blogger DID eat my comments, and looked askance at me putting in a new post, too. I am always sort of thrilled when something like this happens and I know it wasn't anything I've done.
Happy anniversary. That sounds like a heck of a party. I went to a small town wedding a few years ago and the reception featured a softball game between the wedding party and the volunteer fire department. Some weddings are more fun than others. While I'm still upset at not getting invited to William and Kate's wedding, I don't think I would have had as much fun as I had at the softball game.
You guys was cute.
And a "flasher" no less… Murr, you just described the perfect wedding.