Near wedding disaster funnier in hindsight

By CAROLE BAILEY,

Sometimes it helps when you’ve had something major going on in your life, to get some space between that occasion and your world now, to process things. I have to say this is what happened to me two years ago. Yes - it’s taken me this long, to be able to write about it and laugh. It really is pretty funny . . . NOW.  Let me tell you about it.

So Miss Middle, our middle daughter, was getting married. There were many fun things to do to plan the wedding, or so I thought. The wedding was going to be a destination wedding even though it was in Oxford. The first problem: the bride lives in Virginia. The second problem: the mother of the bride lives in Jackson. Complicated doesn’t begin to describe it. Then, I mistakenly thought I didn’t need any help with the gazillion details because our oldest had gotten married a few years earlier. Well - that wedding was in Jackson. Absolutely no comparison. What was I thinking?

The bride had very definite ideas of what she wanted. She was, after all, 30 and had dreamed about this all her life, like most little girls. The young man she was marrying was from Virginia. Such a nice guy and perfect for her. We knew it was going to take somebody really special that she would marry. Someone who could handle her because she’s very opinionated, like her dad. He was definitely the one.

So, we had some parties. We had engagement celebrations here and in Virginia. Then we went up to Oxford for several days before the wedding to make sure everything is done like it’s supposed to be done. You always have things that come up that you’re not thrilled about. We worked through them and hopefully, they’re not so noticeable to anybody else. Well - not necessarily true for this wedding.

The flower girl, much to my objection, was one and a half years old. Too young, in my opinion, to be in the wedding, but my objection was ignored. She screamed crying at the top of her lungs all the way down the aisle running toward her other grandmother who was coaching her with a sucker. That was fun! I didn’t have to say a word.

Oh yes - here’s the best part. When it came time for the father of the bride to give Miss Middle away, he turns around and proceeds to walk with both feet over the veil. I am not believing what I am seeing. There is a collective gasp from everyone. All this is happening at the same time the bride’s head is being pulled backwards. All I can think of at that moment is he’d better not rip that veil, or worse PULL HER DOWN. I can still see it in slow motion as the bride’s head is coming backward and she’s turning around to find out what is happening. Hubby realizes he’s walking all over the veil, gets off of it (humiliated and red as a beet), grabs it and throws it toward the bride in a wad. Then he angrily sits down next to me. I feel a deathgrip on my shoulder from behind as my oldest brother whispers in my ear, “It’s gonna be ok, Mom.” Meanwhile the matron of honor, our oldest, is scrambling to put the veil back in place. There are just some things you don’t think you need to say like DON’T STEP ON THE VEIL or DON’T MAKE THE BRIDE FALL!!!!

I mean - REALLY?

I had no words. Just listening to the crowd was enough. Watching the bride and groom nervously laugh along with all the bridal party. And the preacher? He just shrugged his shoulders and said, “Look - the father of the bride is paying for this, so he can do whatever he wants!” Everyone laughed.

So the good news is . . . the bride didn’t fall backwards. Another piece of good news? The veil? My veil that both my daughters wore? It wasn’t ripped. A miracle in itself!

But the best news??? It was a joyful occasion, and the rest was a blast. Plus? The evidence is in the photographs; from the screaming flower girl running down the aisle, to the father of the bride walking all over the veil, to the bride being pulled backwards, to all the horror and laughter on the faces of the bridal party, to the father throwing the veil back to the bride in a wad, to the preacher’s shrug at the father and his announcement to the crowd, to the matron of honor scrambling to put the veil back in place.

Some things will never be forgotten. The newlyweds have some great stories to tell of their wedding day. Especially since they’ve been documented in photographs! Every moment. Every expression. Every step. Forever!!

Carole Bailey is a Northsider.

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1. He drove a blue ‘77 Chevy Nova in high school. 2. He played on Jackson Prep’s 1985 and 1986 state championship basketball teams.