“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


A Wedding Tale

It began with the something borrowed.
A ring, blue gemstones surrounding a pearl.

Or maybe it began with the bridal bouquet, ordered by a friend of the groom, both men believing it a detail left undone, not knowing there were white roses on order, waiting for the couple's arrival in Maine, neither man understanding the importance of those flowers to the bride. She called me during a bit of last minute shopping, finally exhausted, done. A white cake is a white cake is a white cake, she said, but my bouquet! The 2nd bouquet (spring flowers for a fall wedding) was cancelled, and the white roses were there in her arms on her wedding day.

But first she had to get there. With something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue. It sounds so easy. But within 5 minutes of waving goodbye at the airport, I received a message that the pearl was missing from that borrowed ring. Gone. An empty space where it once had reigned. I pulled into a parking lot and messaged her back: I will find it.

And the next afternoon I did.

But that morning? That morning's message had been that apparently they would have to return to Texas, the groom having neglected to bring his divorce papers, no place willing to issue a license. As the couple drove from county to county across the state of Maine, on their way to a friend's house (he of the spring flowers bouquet), searching for someone to say yes, here's your license, no problem, I searched the groom's studio, rifling through his personal papers, searching for the missing divorce decree. 3 copies of his will, his voting card, his original birth certificate with baby footprints - all there, but nothing to indicate he'd been married before, much less divorced. Sure it must be there in front of me, I looked several times before calling him back - it was now him I was speaking to; all I could do was say I'm so sorry and give him the phone number of the county clerk's office here at home. The county clerk being no help, another friend's help was enlisted here in town to search internet records, to track down some in-person help if needed. She was successful, but the news was so bad, so perfect for the day, that we had to laugh. All the records from the Year of the Divorce had been accidentally destroyed, nothing to be faxed, nothing to be emailed. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada.

By then, they no longer cared.
Back to Texas they would come,
but first,
a few days in Maine.

They continued the drive - what else could they do? - it just bees that way sometimes. But the giving up proved to be the secret password, the key to unlocking the door of red tape - arriving at last they found a surprise and a friendly welcome waiting at the friend's house. A place willing to issue the license, a person willing to perform the ceremony, but not until Monday. Good enough and thank you and God bless! I left the bride a message: Have a nice weekend.

And they did.
They had a fabulous weekend.
They had a windy wedding.
And they had a story to tell when they grow old.

When they returned home,
the bride messaged me from Dallas.
We are boarding the plane, she said,
we will be there at 9.
I arrived at the local airport a few minutes before 9,
where I received another message:
We are still on the runway.
Of course.

When things get crazy,
I told her,
it means a good marriage.

Theirs should be great.
the bride is upstairs nursing a cold


  1. What a fiasco! I am so glad that things worked out in the end. That will be a hell of a story and we all have our unique stories of our lives, don't we? Congratulations to the lovely, lovely Katie and her groom. May your union be blessed from this day on....

  2. I have been waiting to hear about the wedding and looking forward to the dress. I almost emailed you last night to ask where is the wedding story??
    Hah! Here it is and what a story!
    Now, I'm still longing to see the rest of the dress...
    Congrats to the happy couple. They should have a great marriage. It's already been put to the test!

  3. Oh, there is more I am not telling.

    And this dress? This still isn't it. Looking back through pictures, I realized I don't actually have one of the whole dress, top to bottom. :) Of course.

  4. Can I say that I was holding my breath up until you said everything finally worked out! Now THAT'S a story!



  5. Wow...now that's a story to tell the grandchildren!
    That seems like one of those life experiences where you are in a complete state of anxiety as it is happening, but later (sometimes much later), its so much fun to tell.
    I'm so glad they returned as a married couple!

    (I still need to go back and catch up on the earlier parts of this story...)

  6. wow! what a story...you are such a fabulous writer.

  7. Your storytelling gift is wonderful, I am so glad the ending was a happy one.

  8. Whew...what a story! But the key...just let go. Amazing how everything fell into place! This just made my day...thank you for sharing!

  9. wow that was an amazing story of love
    and patience...as you said it should be a remarkable union

  10. i send the couple love and light. marriage is a beautiful beautiful thing.

  11. Now that's my kind of love. Unshakable.


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