Thursday night, after heading out from my new job, my roommate Kimmy and I left for my mother's house in Kalamazoo. We were both pretty excited because my brother and his lovely fiancee were finally getting married. They had a beautiful son last spring, so they had decided to postpone the wedding in favor of baby madness.
It was a very simple affair with not a lot of the usual months of generic wedding planning. Instead, those of us who could gathered for a large breakfast in downtown Kalamazoo at the Blue Dolphin, possibly the best place for breakfasts in town. Everyone is very friendly and accommodating, and the food is both delicious and inexpensive. The cinnamon rolls are a must! They have a large room off the main dining room that they rent out for such events and offer a private buffet (lucky for us).
It was nice to see friends and relatives that I have not seen for a while. Sadly, I do not make it to Kalamazoo as often as I would like; life just keeps me too busy here in Ann Arbor. Plus gas prices keep sky rocketing! In fact, as a wedding present, since I didn't have a lot of money, I got them a gas card to help them get to their honeymoon spot up north. Gas jumped 50 cents since I filled up last week. (It's now averaging $4.09 in A2.) Right now is a tough time to take a road trip.
I have been to plenty of weddings in my life - Catholic, Greek Orthodox, inside, outside, Vegas chapel - but this was my first wedding at the court house. After breakfast, many of us got in our cars and drove down the street and around the corner to the new (this is a relative term, really) courthouse. Upon entering, we were confronted with a metal detector, and Kimmy asked if we were flying anywhere. Clearly no one was expecting a metal detector as pretty much every man in our party set it off with their belts and/or cell phones. I set it off, but was dismissed because of my shoes, which, unlike at the airport, they had not asked us to remove. (Belts and cell phones, yes, and the ladies had to pass their purses through the X-ray machine.)
The ceremony was performed, I believe, by the magistrate, and we all gathered in an actual courtroom that looked not at all like they do on TV (unless you watch the local cable access channel, in which case, it looked just like that). The officiate asked my brother and now sister-in-law, as well as the maid of honor and best man to come near the judge's bench (where he not sit, they just stood at a table) while the rest of us sat on the benches on the other side of the little wall. The peanut gallery, if you will. I sat up front with my two nieces and my baby nephew who had nearly been left in the lobby, quite forgotten by everyone save Kimmy who is a nanny by trade and very good about not losing children.
The ceremony itself was very much like the Christian ceremonies I had grown up with, minus any mention of God. It was fairly quick, and when they were pronounced man and wife, we all cheered and they kissed. Everyone filed out, we posed for photos (a great number had already been taken at breakfast), and when the bride and groom exited the courtroom last, we all cheered again and clapped.
I am glad that we were able to have a real ceremony at the courthouse with everyone there. I really wasn't sure how that was going to work. It makes me feel a little better about any future wedding I myself might (had better) have since I am not exactly what one would term religious. (Spiritual, maybe.)
And I promised my mother that my wedding will also involve the more traditional months of planning. I doubt it, but maybe it will help her relax when that day comes.