So many different things could have happened,
but this one did.
Our fortune as fragile as a finger bone,
as inevitable as the moon meanwhile rising,
as light as his lips against my hand, folded in his.
If I were writing a script for the perfect wedding, it would surely include a farm, a foul-tempered rooster, three dogs, and homemade beer. There would be a bet between the bride and her mom, who was officiating the ceremony, over who would go longest without crying.
It would feature people in suits and kilts and khakis and baseball caps and freshly pressed jeans. Of course there would be a VW bus with a photo booth in it, and homemade beer. I might have mentioned that one already.
There would be shy people from Texas, a pack of loving Minnesotans, flowers picked moments ago from the field next to the makeshift altar. Brothers and sisters and proud parents and aunts and uncles and faithful friends would come from all over the country to share the day.
There would be drama, of course. The groom would suffer a blowout shortly before the ceremony, forcing him into too-big shoes stuffed with newspaper. The bride would be directing the preparations with the precision of a Super Bowl quarterback right up till the time she tossed aside her T-shirt to dive into her gown, an operation going down to the wire. The empty field would turn into a wedding site in just a few hours with the precision of a Grateful Dead concert sans twirling dancers. The twirling dancers would come later.
There would be a procession with flower girls who never quite got the hang of it, a wedding party that couldn’t stop smiling, and a bride and groom who had been living three decades or so just so they would get to this very moment.
I’d throw in some funny but heartfelt exchanges between the mom and the daughter about how they were never going to get through this without sobbing through the whole thing. And then I would cry happy tears with them.
The bride and groom would exchange the perfect vows. He would promise to love her forever and take care of her dog, who sat nearby in the wedding party; she would say she looked forward to their conversations. A happy marriage is a long conversation which always seems too short, the French author Andre Maurois said. I like that a lot. Marriage isn’t a piece of paper; it’s a best friend for life.
The mom, having forgotten to say it through all three rehearsals, would knock it out of the park at the end and proudly announce, “And now, ladies and gentlemen, I present for the first time: Kate and Ivan Durrant!” The crowd would go wild.
A chicken would cross the road while the guests lined up on both sides to shower the new couple with flower petals. It needed to get to the other side, I suppose. Meals would be eaten, toasts would be made, soup would be spectacular, cake would be cut. The bride and groom would dance to a Slaid Cleaves song. I love you more than Texas, she would proclaim. I grudgingly would admit it’s true. The crowd would sway all night to Paul Simon and Robert Earl Keen. Dogs would wander casually across the dance floor. The sun would go down. The spirit of family and friends would not.
And then, at the end of their first day of creating this new thing they would spend the rest of their lives figuring out, the couple would live the first day of happily ever after. Sure, it’s kind of a sappy ending, but it’s my script. I’m a sucker for Hallmark.
It would be a pretty great movie.