Weddings and Family
By Cait Collins
I’ve been to many weddings in my lifetime. I’ve photographed some, but soon learned I don’t have the patience for bridezillas, unorganized affairs, and brides and grooms who demand more than they paid for, and guests who think the photographer should stage the shots and then allow them to take their pictures before the professional gets his. One bride told me “This is all about me. Do what I tell you.” That was my last wedding shoot.
I have decided I’d rather be a guest. This past weekend, I watched a nephew as he played a song he wrote for his bride. This guy loves music. You see it in his stance and in his eyes. The joy and love whispered with each note from his violin. My eyes misted as he became one with the music.
This ritual was witnessed by friends and family with great joy and pride and love for the couple. Think back to all the weddings you have attended. We they true celebrations of vows given and received or was it a spectacle punctuated by shouts, verbal abuse, and threatening words and gestures? How do the characters behave? Is the bride marrying the groom or is she making her vows to his bank balance? Is the groom taking a wife with joy or is his devotion the upcoming payday? Are the moms and dads ready to let their children make their own home or will they build it for the couple?
Weddings have so many possibilities in the creation of a story. Good, bad or indifferent, we’ve been to weddings. times I can party on until midnight, but other times, I want to bask in the love. And sometimes I want to remember, to savor, and relive a precious moment. Our characters have the same feelings.
The good thing is we have hundreds of examples. Not just for romances, but great weddings in history and the events that played out and added to events in history are good information for creative non-fiction and biographies. Ain’t in grand to know that one common event is workable for so many genres?
So here is the challenge. Gentlemen, imagine you’re a bride who has planned the perfect wedding. At the last fitting, a bride’s maid walks out of the fitting room with the zipper pulled out of her flamingo pink dress. The lady has gained 10 pounds since the last fitting and no way is the dress going to be wedding worthy even if they can get the zipper repaired. You (a) burst into tears and storm out the room screeching about your ruined wedding; (b) have the dress repaired and find a pretty scarf to drape over the bride’s maid’s shoulder to hide the repair; or (c) cut the careless witch from the wedding party? Remember, the year is 2156.
Ladies, as a groom, you’re nervous you’ll fumble the vows; you hope your groom’s men arrive on time and sober. Unfortunately, your best man shows up smashed and without the rings. Put yourself in the groom’s place. You (a) send your cousin back to the house to get the rings and you order lots of hot black coffee to sober the guy up; (b) you punch his lights out and hide the best man in the party room; or (c) cut him out of the wedding party. Don’t forget. Your wedding is being celebrated in Edwardian London and your family is royalty.
Enjoy your writing exercise.