Well, we just got back (to the cabin) from a foray into the relative wilderness of Itasca State Park. I’ll tell you about the park later. Anyway, when we returned, there was a message on my voice mail from commenter Elle. Elle (a pseudonym) has been most recently in Nigeria daily striving to avoid a fate roughly equivalent to death (including actual death), and is on her way, it seems, to possibly more dangerous things. Anyway, her message was not about that. She said, “Hey, Greg Laden, I’m remembering that I was in such and such a place doing such and such a thing about two years ago and got an email from you telling me you had just gotten married. So this must be your approximate anniversary! Well, Happy Anniversary!”
Wow! So, I said to Amanda, “Hey, we just got second anniversary wishes from ‘Elle’ … but I think she’s wrong. We’ve only been married for six months, right?
Amanda thought for a second and said … Hey, you know, I think it might be our anniversary. But how do we check?
So I checked the blog, and here is what I found:
Yes, we did indeed get married on August 19th, two years ago (really, it seems like one year at MOST) up at Horseshoe Bay on Leech Lake. I remember now because there are pictures.
In fact, here’s our wedding party:
That’s Amanda’s sister Alyssa, her brother Andrew, the happy couple, my daughter Julia, my best friend Stephanie, and Linda, Amanda’s oldest friend with whom she went to school (or some such combination). That’s the wedding party. We were not going for gender symmetry. That would involve me getting a man as a best man, and that would be unacceptable, as many years ago, Stephanie said to me “Greg, if you ever get married, I have to be your best man, OK?” … one of those moments in my life that continues to make me very happy.
One of our intentions was to find just the right mix of traditional and novel for our wedding. Certain things we rejected out of hand. For instance, we did not ask Amanda’s dad to “give her away” … thus breaking the tradition of patriarchal ownership of the females and all that. There was no religion. None. But as you’ll see below there was some praying at one point and a minor miracle (But of course I’m only joking about the praying and the miracle.) But for everything we removed from the ceremony, we had to add something new, just so people who came all the way north to Leech Lake (four hours from the cities) would have something to do.
So we endeavored to raise ten water skiers at once with a single boat (cousin Randy’s boat, to be exact).
And when I say “we” I definitely do not include “me.”
Here’s Amanda in her ski-wedding dress:
And here are the seven skiers:
(Oh, did I say seven? Not ten? Well, it turns out there are physical laws at work here and seven was the limit this time around….)
The ceremony was by the lake.
I should say something about the conditions. The day before was chilly, windy, and drizzly. Very windy. But over night, the wind dropped (at about 3:00 in the morning …. the wind actually dropped so suddenly that it was audible, and woke us up!) and the lake (and this is a mondo big lake that always has waves) turned to glass. At the time of the ceremony itself, the boats that were out on the water fishing and stuff all sensed what was going on and stopped their engines. So it was pretty quiet too.
This photograph is one of my favorite photos of all time. In the front facing the camera is Julia. Look at the expression on her face. The following words have just been spoken:
“And now, Julia will read a letter that Greg wrote to Amanda….”
and Julia is thinking, “Right, I knew about the letter. But nobody gave me a copy of it. And now everybody is looking at me. And I can see my dad asking the person doing the ceremony if she has a copy of the letter, and dad is starting to search through his pockets like he does every morning looking for his cell phone. I wonder how this is going to turn out…”
Behind Julia is Amanda’s brother, Andrew. See the little smile on Andrew’s Face? That is not a Happy Andrew smile. Look at his eyes. Andrew is thinking, “Holy crap, where is that letter? It might be back in the motel room. Let’s see, that’s about 300 meters away. If someone has the key, I can sprint there and back in … how many minutes???…..”
This is the praying part.
The miracle part happens next. Prior, you probably know if you’ve been involved in a wedding that there was the pre-wedding preparation phase (which it turns out is a big part of the ceremony from which the groom is excluded and, frankly, had I realized what that was about I may have insisted we do differently … but I digress) when several unknown or barely known females descend on the wedding party to confuse them and put makeup on them (you are seeing Julia here with makeup on her for the very first time in her life) …
The documents which included the groom’s letter to be read by the groom’s daughter in front of everybody got handed off to a random person who happened to be a) passing through and b) in the audience and c) happened to realize that this document he had in his pocket might be what everyone was looking for.
I still get a bad feeling when I remember how close a call this was…
So in the following few pictures we get married and live happily ever after. Here is the famous “you may kiss the bride” moment:
Here is our first act as a married couple: To walk away leading everyone to the reception …
But really we went off to have the post wedding pictures taken, including this candid of me and Julia …. (our photographer, Biff Ulm, wore a jet pack so he could move back and forth across the landscape shooting all sorts of angles….)
And this is Marilynn and Duane, the happy couple and Julia…
I love this picture, at the reception, of Stephanie waiting for me to finish talking about some inane topic …
And then, apparently, The Village People arrived and took over: