Weddings are fun.
But you know how it is for the people involved.
There is so much stress.
What about the untold stories?
The ones the planners never hear.
The tales of ordinary onlookers just trying to make it to a ceremony on time.
I have one for you.
You see, my sweet Sven and I were invited to a wedding recently.
It was to take place on top of a hill.
Thank God for technology.
All you have to do is plug in an address and drive to it.
But, one does not do this immediately.
Not if one has a pretty good idea where one is headed.
"Wait until we get off the ferry before you turn on the directions," said Sven.
"We are taking the ferry?"
"What if it's full? What if we have to wait?"
"It won't be full."
The ferry was full.
It had also just pulled away.
We had to wait.
That is when I began to sweat.
My son, Rene, lives in California and was not able to make the trip to Wisconsin for his sister's nuptials.
He asked me that morning if I would be willing to video chat the ceremony for he and his wife so they could be there virtually.
"Of course," I said.
That is actually when I began to sweat.
Remember that little ballistic missile scare in Hawaii in 2018?
If I worked there, I would have been the one who accidentally sent out the, kiss your ass goodbye, notice.
"Now what are we going to do?" I said to Sven.
"We will just have to drive around the lake," he says. "You might as well turn on those directions."
The invite said, three o'clock.
The navigator said we would arrive at two fifty-nine.
"Take the next right," I snarled, looking at the map on my phone.
"Why would I be taking a right?" says Sven.
"How do I know? Maybe because that is the way you are supposed to turn."
I don't really want to go into all the details about the choice words that flew out of my sweet little mouth in that heated car on that beautiful sunny day.
Because it may leave you with a bad impression of me.
Sven remained his usual self.
Slow and steady.
But after a few more tiffs he pulled over to take a look at the big picture.
"Oh," he says.
"What?" I said.
"It's by Devil's Head. I thought it was by Devil's Lake."
I sent an emergency text to Iris, my granddaughter, who was already seated on top of a hill on a white chair with the rest of her family, explaining that we would be late. And would she be willing to video chat the ceremony with her aunt and uncle in California.
"Ofc," she wrote back.
That means of course.
And then after some groans, sighs and profanity coming from the passenger seat, my sweet Sven began to speed.
Per the navigator we were ten minutes away from our destination.
"Take the next left," she says.
But there was a, Road Closed to Thru Traffic, sign at the next left.
"Screw that," says Sven. And he turned onto it anyway and he pushed the pedal to the metal.
We sailed over the one side of smooth black top at sixty miles per hour.
There it was.
A, Sky High Campground, sign.
A text came in from my daughter-in-law. "The wedding hasn't started yet. Are you guys close?"
"I think so," I answered, as we drove straight up into the sky.
We then found ourselves inside a maze of tents and campers and kids and dogs and pools and golf carts.
"Do you know where a wedding might be taking place?" asked my gallant husband to a kid in a shirt that said, staff.
"Um. I think there is something going on up on that hill," he points.
Sven swung into a parking spot next to a big red building and parked in front of a sign that said, Absolutely No Parking Here.
"I'll move it after the ceremony, " he snapped.
Sven never snaps.
I got out of the car.
And then we watched the mother of the bride in a gorgeous dress and heels hop onto the back of a golf cart.
She grinned and waved to us as it pulled away.
"Stay right there," she called out. "Another cart is coming."
Sven and I made it to that wedding after all.
But, that is not where this story of two onlookers just trying to make it to a ceremony on time, ends.
We were seated in the white chairs chatting with the other guests.
And then a man stepped out of the trees and stood in front of the crowd and put a microphone to his lips.
"Is anybody from this group parked in the lot next to the red building? If you are, you must move your car immediately! I repeat. Those cars must be moved. Now."
Sons du les bitches.
I was just glad that my son Marques happened to be an usher with a golf cart.
He was able to whisk away my sweet Sven and another criminal in order to move their vehicles before the campsite sent them through a crusher.
I was also glad that Iris was still willing to video chat the ceremony.
In retrospect that was probably a good idea.
At three-twenty that sunny afternoon on top of that hill, the wedding party began to march out of the woods.
It was a silent file of beautiful dresses, green berets and suspenders.
Oceanne, another granddaughter, popped into the clearing carrying a bouquet of flowers in one hand and hanging onto the arm of a groomsman with the other.
After the line of bridesmaids and groomsmen, came Marques, Sven and the other bad guy.
They dove for their empty chairs.
I forgot to silence my phone.
This I know because just then I received a text.
"Shit," I whispered and pulled it out and turned it off.
And then we all stood up as the the bride and groom appeared.
We all sat down.
And then I heard my phone inside my purse, making a phone call.
I pulled it out and canceled the call.
The crowd was hypnotized by the bride and groom standing in front of the beautiful view and sharing their vows.
And then, just before the man with the microphone said, "I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the bride," I heard, Classic Xylophone, which happens to be my freaking ringtone, loud and clear.
I pulled that sucker out of my purse and turned it off so fast, I amazed myself.
The audience applauded the luscious kiss.
The reception was a blast.
The food was excellent.
The music was outstanding.
It was a fantastic affair all around.
And honestly, the lady at the dispatch center, as well as Deputy Jones, could not have been nicer people. I was lucky enough to be able to tell them this.
You see, I never did turn off my phone.
Which explains why it never did shut up.
I pressed some S.O.S. emergency app.
Some people refer to it as dialing 911.
My apologies to all the important people not pictured in this story.
You know who you are.
Send me your photos.
I would love to add.