Several years ago I went to a friend’s wedding. I arrived at the chapel early. I sat in the front pew while the piano played. It was the best seat in the house. I wanted to see my buddy’s expression when he stumbled over the words “I do.”
The chapel was adorned with white flowers and greenery. The woman seated beside me was the elderly aunt of the bride.
“My name’s Irma,” she said, presenting her white-gloved hand. “How do you know the groom?”
“We grew up fishing together,” I said.
She looked at me like I had cockroaches crawling out of my eye sockets. “Really? I thought he hated fishing.”
That’s when I had a feeling something was very wrong.
And I was correct. When the groom took the altar, I realized I’d never seen him before in my life. I started having chest pains. I was at the right church on the wrong weekend.
Soon, the pianist played the familiar chords of matrimony and the congregation stood. I was going to sneak out the back, but
I was too late. The rear doors swung open.
The bride walked the aisle, wearing a gown that was elegant enough to break your heart.
Beside me, Aunt Irma was becoming emotional. “Have you ever seen her look so radiant?”
“Hardly even recognized her,” I said.
We took our seats. The minister asked who gave the bride away. A white-haired man said, “Her mama and I!”
It was a beautiful ceremony. The bride and groom recited vows they’d written themselves. The groom read a sonnet so eloquent it made most women in the audience feel moderately disgusted with their own choice of life partners.
When the bride read her vows, they were so sweet and heart-wrenching that half the congregation was dehydrated afterward.
Aunt Irma was sniffing so hard that I handed her a Kleenex. She hooked her arm on mine. I…