I thought my wedding-attending days were over for awhile. I’ve reached an age where my children and their friends are all married (the ones that want to be), my grandchildren are too young for marriage, and everyone my age who wants to renew their vows has already done so. Imagine my surprise when I received an invitation from a friend and former colleague announcing he was “tying the knot” (yet another antiquated expression that will probably be removed from American vocabulary in the near future due to political correctness).
I was happy to be on the wedding list. I worked for many years with my friend, at side by side work stations under the intense pressure of producing a daily newspaper. Our job duties intersected so we interacted all day, every day. Over time we became lunch buddies and ultimately, genuine friends.
We each left our respective newspaper jobs at the company a long time ago, but through the magic of social media, no one is ever out of your life. I wondered if other ex-coworkers would be attending the festivities, but I didn’t want to ask old friends on my contact list if they were going for fear they might not be on the guest list.
The wedding day arrived, along with picture perfect weather ideal for an outdoor ceremony at Teresa’s Hillview Country Club in North Reading. I was happy to see some familiar faces of co-workers from the past show up for the ceremony. I had a feeling this event was going to go down in my social history as another memorable event to be talked about for a long time to come.
The ceremony in the Saturday sunshine was elegant and heartfelt. The bride looked radiant, and her three daughters were beautiful as well. The groomsmen looked sharp in their gray tuxedoes. You could tell who the groom was. He was the one with the biggest smile on his face.
Inside the hall, the speeches from the family members told the story of what this couple meant to them. It was an emotional testament to the power of love. The bride and groom went to high school together but drifted apart over the years. They reconnected at their 25th high school reunion and became a couple again.
The kind words spoken by the wedding party reflected my friend’s life of love, kindness and generosity, of which I can personally attest to as well. After a scrumptious dinner, the party atmosphere kicked into overdrive. To the delight of the crowd, I pulled out some old school dance moves. There was only one casualty on the dance floor. (Sorry Maria, I guess I took the Footloose theme song too literally.)
The upbeat night continued for hours but felt like it ended too soon. It was a memorable occasion, but something in the groom’s Facebook post from earlier on his wedding day was more emotional than anything said during the ceremony. He spoke of how fortunate he was to have such great friends and a loving supportive family. He concluded his post with these words: “…As most people know, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ has always been my favorite movie – in my bride I have found the someone I have been searching for my entire life – My Mary.”
I’m happy for my old friend. It looks like after all this time he’s finally found a wonderful wife. And it was worth the wait. We should all be so lucky to find our own Mary. Here’s to a wonderful life, Chad and Alison!