The day had finally come. It was Shayna and Michael’s wedding day. At this point, it seemed like all we had to do was put on our fancy clothes and show up. I say that it seemed that way because it wasn’t just some snap-your-fingers-and-VOILA-it happens process. First, there was the issue with my formal Scottish kilt. Donning this gear was an interesting experience to say the least. I spent some time searching for some instructions on on the Internet and found a very informative video. I was initially a bit thrown by the instructions telling me to first put on my socks and shoes. [Note: I KNOW they are called kilt hose but let’s not get into that again]. Once I did this, then I had to deal with the kilt, chain, and sporran. This was quite a production. It probably took me a good hour to get the outfit on and be satisfied with the results. I would imagine if you ask any girl I ever dated (or married), they would describe my experience in two words: poetic justice.
Once I was dressed, I decided to walk up and down the hallway for a few minutes. This was really a test to be sure that everything stayed where it was supposed to be. Once this test was successful, my pace became more of a strut (I did NOT prance). Being a guy, I even found myself quoting Mel Gibson from Braveheart. It was at this point that my younger son, Caleb, walked into the hallway dressed in a very nice suit and tie. Caleb sized me up and said: “Nice outfit, Kilt Boy.” This was one of several reminders that each of my four children are now actually young adults. It was now time for Caleb and me to make our way to the wedding site – Highland Park.
Once Caleb and I arrived at the park, we met up with Michael (the groom) and the other groomsman which included my older son, Tom. We were one fine looking bunch if I do say so myself. Michael told me that there were corsages and boutonnieres for everyone in the wedding party. Caleb, Michael, and the groomsmen donned their boutonnieres and adjourned to the area of the park where the wedding was being held. I remained behind at the party house where the reception was being held (also in Highland Park). I donned my boutonniere and greeted folks as they arrived. If they were a guest, I directed them to the wedding site. If they were in the wedding party, I gave them the applicable floral decoration. This involved a lot of waiting and pacing. As I paced, my boutonniere kept falling off. I must have fastened that stupid flower on like eight times. Some extended family arrived and took a picture of me in my formal kilt. I soon thereafter shared that picture on my Facebook wall. As I greeted more guests, I noticed that someone had commented on my picture. It was my niece commenting that I “look a lot like Grandma”. I understand that my niece was sincerely trying to compliment me. I did, however, let her know that a man in a kilt does not wish to be told how much he looks like his mother.
My routine continued onward….pace..drop boutonniere…re-fasten boutonniere. Maybe I am typing this just because I love saying the word boutonniere. Still, it IS what happened. Ladies from the bridal party began to arrive. This included my younger daughter, Brianna, who couldn’t resist complimenting me on my dress and my corsage. I was getting too nervous to retort at this point. It was shortly after this point that Shayna (the bride) arrived. All I can say is that she was just too beautiful for words. My wife had also arrived (looking amazing). Tom’s fiancée, Christy, also arrived with her mother. It is at this point that I must acknowledge and thank Christy for the wonderful job she did on everyone’s hair (after insisting she would only be doing the bride’s hair).
The ladies all congregated in the reception hall chattering about I don’t know what. I resumed my nervous pace in the foyer. Once again, my boutonniere fell off my vest. I decided it was time to seek some help on the matter. I turned around and saw Christy and asked if she could re-fasten my boutonniere. Christy also felt the need to outsource this solution by summoning her mother – Jean. Jean remedied my problem quite nicely. I don’t know HOW she did it but that sucker was STAYING on my vest. THANK YOU, JEAN! Once again, my pace became more of a strut (still no prancing). Once again, it was time for the next phase.
I walked with Shayna and the rest of the bridal party through an area of Highland Park called the Poet’s Garden. This allowed us to along a nice path to the wedding site without being seen by the wedding guests (or the groom). As we made it toward the end of the pathway, we began to pair up and form our proper places in line. It was at this point that two things happened. First, the world around me seemed to be suddenly running in slow motion. Secondly, I seemed to lose the ability to do the simplest thing without instructions. It was only Shayna’s voice that seemed to keep me on course and in reality.
Shayna and I were soon the last ones left to make our way to the wedding site. Again, I needed Shayna to guide me through the simplest tasks. “Fix my dress, please, Daddy.” What do you need me to do? “Just straighten out the hem so it isn’t crumpled.” OK, when do we know when to start walking up? “When they play Here Comes The Bride, we start walking.” My heart and mind were racing but everything else was still in slow motion. I was more nervous than Lindsay Lohan’s driving instructor. I was bracing myself for the worst. What if I trip? What if I step on Shayna’s dress? Shayna and I walked forward as the music played. People stood as we walked closer and closer to the altar. We had made it. Shayna did a wonderful job leading the way and was kind enough to make it look like i was the one leading.
Luis, also a member of the family, was the minister for this wonderful event. He asked in his cheerful but thunderous bass voice: WHO GIVES THIS WOMAN TO BE MARRIED? It was at this point where everything seemed to play at normal speed again. I proudly replied: I DO! I kissed Shayna on the cheek and placed her hand in Michael’s hand. I then whispered to Michael: You kept the payments up, son. She’s all yours.
I stood next to my wife and the ceremony continued. My baby had finally become a bride.After the ceremony, we all posed for hundreds of photos. We even let the wedding photographer get a few shots. We made our way to the reception. On top of all the wonderful things I experienced to that point, I got to dance with my wife and both of my daughters. My body was in Highland Park. My heart was on Cloud Nine.
Once I got home, I changed out of my formal kilt outfit. As I was getting ready to put the outfit away, I noticed that I had forgotten to remove something. It was the one thing that, for hours, I was happily able to take for granted. I reached for the vest and happily removed the boutonniere. With this last action, a very happy, important day was over.