Last Saturday, I had the good fortune to sing at a wedding of a couple of my friends, Joe and Liz. They are both fun, laid-back people and the wedding, as weddings generally do, suited the personality of the bride and groom. Their ceremony took place in an intimate chapel connected to a parish church in Annapolis, Liz's hometown. I must mention that she looked gorgeous, an absolutely stunning bride as, Krystle later remarked, brides should be if they possibly can. Krystle herself was part of a very large wedding party; I believe there were six bridesmaids and six groomsmen, plus the matron of honor and best man. Nevertheless, despite the proliferation of these witnesses, the nuptial mass began more or less on time. Though the priest took an updated approach to liturgical prayer, his additions of a "blessing by the children" and a first-name orchestration of the ceremony were offset by the choir's renditions of traditional polyphonic ordinaries and motets, especially William Byrd's Mass for Three Voices, as well as by the Gregorian gradual "Uxor tua," stuck in awkwardly between the first reading and the responsorial psalm. Unexpectedly, Joe and Elizabeth made the effort to memorize their vows, rather than repeating them after the priest, which made that part of the ceremony especially romantic. They sealed their covenant, in the middle of mass, with a kiss!
After mass, we headed over to the Knights of Columbus hall for the reception. Overall, I found the party playful yet also very tasteful. A buffet-style brunch was served on real dishes, with coffee and juice in real glass mugs and cups. The tables were set up in a "card party" theme, with each table suggesting a different card game, such as Spades, Poker, or even Mao! Though I did not end up playing cards, I did enjoy chatting with a few old acquaintances. Of course, dancing ranks high among my favorite wedding reception activities: I danced a few swing dances, as well as a tango and a polka (Anthony made fun of my dance partner for choosing to polka to Josh Turner's "Would You Go With Me," but it was a blast! Totally worth the blisters . . . ). The bride and groom danced a lot also, showing off their swing skills in an impressive fashion considering Liz's beautiful and extensive gown. She later urged all the ladies to join in a freestyle dance to "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." All in all, the wedding was small and simple, yet abounding in festivity and joy.