Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Rachel and Dave are probably the most fun-loving couple I have ever worked with and I looked forward to their ceremony on October 29, 2011 with anticipation. They are a terrific match for each other as evidenced by their fabulous wedding ceremony into which they put their hearts and souls and loaded it with their brand of humor. They chose a welcome address about zombies and tied it in perfectly with getting married: "They asked me to say a few words to set the proper mood and tone for their wedding.They thought for quite some time about what they wanted me to say, discarding metaphors and quotes of love, before finally settling on a topic near to their hearts – Today I’m going to say a few words about zombies. Zombies. The shambling ghouls of black and white Saturday matinees and the quick, ravenous monsters of modern horror are all suffering from the same disease – disconnection – from the world around them and from each other.

 And aren’t we all there sometimes?
 Don’t we shuffle to work, monosyllabic, until we get our caffeine, and then go through the motions of work and house as if completely unaware of other people? Don’t we set our sights on one desire after another, rushing from experience to experience without actually stopping to enjoy any of it?

 Haven’t you found yourself staring into space, wishing for just a little more brains?
 Dave and Rachel were there too and they’ve decided to take the only vaccine that works – they’ve decided to get married. By which I mean they’ve decided to get connected — unashamedly, unhesitatingly connected — to each other.

  In this they refuse to become numb themselves, they promise to give each other attention, consideration, and kindness – emotions zombies most certainly do not share. They refuse to feed on the heart and mind of the other, agreeing instead to grow those things together and share them equally.  And they vow not to allow the other to become a zombie when they aren’t looking – slipping into apathy, numbness, and a maddening hunger. They do these things with the shotguns of their love strapped strongly to their backs and the truncheons of their humor held firmly in their hands. Friendship, love, and desire, when held with both hands, are the only weapons any of us need to stay human.

 With the zombies held at bay by their mutual promises, Dave and Rachel are ready to face the other monsters of life – defending against the Frankenstein coworkers, the Soul Sucking Vampires of false friends, and the Mummy of age itself.

 The adventure they are about to embark on has all the magic of any Hollywood movie and all the terror of true Lovecraftian horror – dread Cthulhu (Cah-thoo-loo) has nothing on balancing family Christmases.

But the truest fact is that as long as they stick together, connected to each other, the zombies of life, real and imagined, apathetic and disastrous, cannot harm them.

 That said, let’s get married, shall we?"  (Rachel wrote me after seeing this blog post that she and Dave could not take credit for writing the welcome address about zombies but that it was written by Leslie Light in 2008 and Rachel found it on the Offbeat Brides' blog--a great source for non-traditional wedding couples.) 
Dave and Rachel chose the Saturday closest to Halloween and their colors were red and black. The venue was All Saint's Chapel for both the ceremony and the reception. Ironically, my husband, also named Dave, and I were going to a Halloween party that same evening and needed costumes. Several weeks earlier when I was in a consignment shop, I came across a "ghoul" costume--black flowing cape and a red hood with black netting covering the face.  Thinking that we could have some fun at the party because no one could easily recognize us, I bought the costume and made another one like it--fortunately I can sew!
Here are both costumes. Heidi does not know what to think of these strange looking beings who seem quite familiar! Then it occurred to me that the ghoul hood would fit in perfectly with both the zombie theme and the color scheme of Rachel and Dave's wedding. On the day of the wedding, I brought the hood with me and pulled Dave (the groom) aside and told him of my idea to wear it in the beginning of the ceremony. He said "That is really gonna mess with Rachel. I love it; do it!" (Rachel is also one of the most organized and detail oriented brides I have ever met. She had this big binder with every minute detail of the wedding in it and carried with her everywhere!) So, when we were ready to begin the ceremony, I pulled on the hood and Dave and his best man, T-Bone, and I entered from a side door and walked out on the altar. It was really fun to see the expressions on the guests' faces. Some were tickled and some in disbelief yet others curious to know what was coming next!
After Rachel's parents and stepparents and Dave's mother were escorted in, the bridesmaids started down the aisle. They were in disbelief also but they also knew Dave and Rachel's sense of humor and were not surprised.
 Then Rachel entered with her father with a huge rather puzzled smile on her face!
 Delivering the Welcome Address about the zombies!
And when I said: "That said, let's get married, shall we!" I handed my book to T-Bone to hold while I whipped off the hood! Loved it!
We  paid tribute to their parents and remembered and honored Dave's father who was also a major contributor and influence in his life. 
Monica, Rachel's aunt and Godmother, presented "Falling in Love is Like Owning a Dog" by Taylor Mali, a wonderful and comical poem comparing love to dogs.
Of course their "story" was hilarious and I loved telling it, especially how they met and Dave's persistent efforts to propose when Rachel did not suspect him to. She kept foiling his plans! They read their vows which were very original, both touching and funny, from my book as they exchanged rings. 

Ahhhh, Rachel and Dave, don't ever lose your enthusiasm, your sense of humor and fun, your amazing connection to each other and your zest for life. I am so honored to have been a part of your special day  and to have been the one to marry you.

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