Today is the eighteenth anniversary of the day I set my veil on fire.
Having agreed in front of all our family and friends that We Did at the beautiful Kumler Chapel on the Western Campus of Miami University, my blushing groom and I arrived at our reception at the Hueston Woods State Park Lodge, where our guests and Irish-American-Calypso folk band* (with bagpipe) awaited.
The only problem with the reception was the photographer’s assistant, a former high school teacher of mine who was so determined to arrange perfect tableaux of the bride and groom having fun with various friends and relatives that she ignored the possibility that we might prefer to have some actual fun. She also wouldn’t let me take off my veil, in case something “happened to it.”**
Right before we cut the cake, I was talking to one of Mom’s dearest friends in front of the main table and a passerby kicked over one of the flower urns flanking the main table, sending a flood of greenish water toward my white satin dress, which had already survived an attack by two (out of four) makeup-wielding bridesmaids, a walk over a lawn with a leaking sprinkler system, a barrage of previously-thrown birdseed mixed with dirt from my youngest cousins, because that was the “funnest part,”*** and chicken a l’orange with all the fixin’s.
So I backed out of the way. Into a lit candelabra.
Mom’s friend yanked off my veil and put out the flames before they reached my hair.^ My dress was untouched.
And when the photographer’s assistant insisted, despite my protests, that I put on my burnt veil for the cake cutting and she’d hide the damage somehow, my new husband glared at her and said, “She doesn’t have to if she doesn’t want to.”
I love you, too, honey. Very muchly.
Not every man would take his wife to see The Bridesmaids for their anniversary, and not every wife
should would have asked.
I’m so glad we found each other.
*Fannigan’s Isle: Rick Fannin and Tom Scheidt. They can play anything, and play it well.
**My foreshadowing practice is paying off, yes?
***If I’d been a four-year old kid who’d just been forced to sit through an Espiscopalian-Catholic joint ceremony, Mass included, I would have thrown dirt at the bride, too, until my mother caught on and skinned me alive.
^Thank you again, Mrs. Pedersen. I always liked babysitting your kids best.
(photo courtesy of the granat project on Flickr)