“Maahhhhwege is what bwiiings us together,” pronounced the priest in “The Princess Bride,” Rob Reiner’s tongue-in-cheek movie portrayal of true love, medieval-fantasy style.
And so it did. Marriage brought two families together into one big clan when my son married the love of his life last week.
Many played a part, none more predictably cute than the flower girls. For months my daughter coached her 2-year-old on the proper flower girl procedure. The universe cannot contain the range of possibilities to expect from a 2-year-old when the signal is given to advance up the aisle dropping white flower petals from a little wicker basket.
Viewing You Tube videos before the big day featuring flower girls offered valuable demonstrations. Still, very often the reason they are on You Tube is not because they did it correctly. Her mother sometimes shut them off quickly, saying, “No! Don’t do that!” Her instruction paid dividends. Our flower girl did her job to perfection and only got confused about where to go after completing the job — a situation that was quickly remedied.
Watching the proceedings made me realize anew the beauty women bring to celebrations. Weddings left strictly up to the male of our species would take us back to a kind of ambience suitable for the Stone Age.
Our son had input, but it was properly minimal. The majority of a guy’s role in a wedding can be summed up in two sentences, as follows: 1. Hit your mark. 2. Say “I do.” Anything more than that almost always only leads to trouble. Brides dream of this moment all their lives. Grooms usually start thinking about it intermittently a month or so before standing on the platform waiting for their intended.
In this case the bride’s father, a preacher, performed the ceremony and in doing so proved himself a better man than I. He admitted after the fact that it was extremely emotional for him, but it didn’t show. He got through it without choking up, a feat I would never have been able to pull off.
I, on the other hand, was the very picture of stoicism. Ahem, it was only the wind at the outdoor affair that caused my eyes to blink water. Weather related, you understand. All I could think of as this 6- foot, 3-inch- tall son of mine said his vows were the times we used to wrestle when he was little and how careful I was not to hurt him. It would be the opposite today. He is now a grown man.
It was my great privilege, prior to his walking down the aisle, to give him his worn and tattered “True Love Waits” commitment card I’ve carried in my wallet ever since he was in junior high.
Its redemption demonstrated that he is not only a man, but even more important, a man of honor. Am I a proud father? There must be a stronger word.