Shannon here: Romantic Suspense author, Rebecca Carey Lyles shares her not so traditional wedding. Comment on any post dated June 25 – 29 for a chance to win a copy of her debut novel, Winds of Wyoming in paper or e-book format. Deadline: July 7, 11:59 am central time. Here’s Rebecca:
Ever since I married her son thirty-eight years ago, my mother-in-law has called our wedding “The Happening,” which is a nice way to say the event was a bit unorthodox. Though we’d planned what we thought was a fairly traditional ceremony, variables occurred that kept the guests and the wedding party wondering what would happen next. Here are some of the highlights of our special day.
The first surprise occurred early that morning, when I realized one of the sleeves in my custom-made (by a friend) wedding gown had been sewn in backward. Thank God for a fearless sister-in-law-to-be who remedied the situation just before I walked the aisle.
And then, there was the heat. I don’t recall the temperature that sunny mid-July day; however, I do remember the church’s air-conditioning system chose that particular Saturday to break down. Needless to say, the wedding party and the guests were all toasty, especially the guys in tuxedos and the gals in long dresses with long sleeves. What was I thinking when I picked the patterns for our gowns?!
But my mother-in-law isn’t referring to any of the above when she talks about our wedding. She’s picturing the three-year-old trainbearer, her first grandchild. Excited to carry the “choo-choo train,” the happy little guy added appropriate sound effects as he marched behind me, to the delight of those who could see and hear him. The moment we reached the front of the church, he dropped the train and skipped back to the pews to sit with his grandparents, who’d promised him a piece of gum after he fulfilled his mission for the day.
She’s also picturing the two three-year-old flower girls, who sat on the platform steps plucking rose petals from their baskets and tossing them at each other—and the four-year-old ring bearer, who shared the duty with his older brother, and who took advantage of his proximity to his brother to stomp on his toes. Their father, the officiating pastor, tried to unobtrusively discipline his son, which, of course, didn’t work. So the mom, who had wisely chosen to sit in the front row, took over. But when she shook her finger at her youngest son, he shook his right back at her.
Shortly after that entertaining moment, the oldest boy, the one who actually held the rings, got a nosebleed and had to be taken off the platform to lie on the pew next to his mother. God only knows where they found a handkerchief to sop up the blood (or who kept track of the rings). And then my sister, one of five bridesmaids, fainted—but my father saw it coming and jumped onto the platform to catch her before she hit the floor. He laid her on a wide step near the busy little flower girls as my uncle ran for water.
At that juncture in the ceremony, my roommate and a friend were singing a duet, but they didn’t miss a beat. They just kept singing. Later, a male soloist sang a Vogues’ number, Woman Helping Man. In case you don’t know the lyrics, the song starts out something like this: “A boy chases a girl until she catches him, but this is one thing he should never see.” Though I doubt the song was written for a wedding ceremony, we enjoyed adding some humor to the event (as if it was needed, ha!).
To top off the music, we featured a male quartet comprised of my almost-husband, Steve, and all the groomsmen, except my brother, who’d just returned from overseas military duty. One of the groomsmen, a college friend, sat down at the piano and attacked the keys with his inimitable honkytonk/Floyd Cramer style. The other guys gathered around and harmonized a rousing rendition of If that Isn’t Love.
The individuals who remained center-stage during the quartet song included four bridesmaids (with a gap where my sister once stood), me standing face-to-face with the pastor for the duration of the song, sweat dripping down my face and neck under the veil, and my brother, who stood at the far side of the platform, as he was the last groomsmen in the lineup. I’m not sure how many children were still with us by then—or what they were doing to amuse the guests.
Finally, the song ended, the wedding party reassembled, and we finished our vows. Steve lifted the sauna veil, I gulped a breath of fresh air, he kissed me, and we began life’s adventure together (that is, after we retrieved our car—but that’s another story!).
About Rebecca: Though debut novelist Rebecca Carey Lyles grew up in Wyoming, she and her husband, Steve, currently live in the neighboring state of Idaho. She enjoys the creativity and beauty that abound throughout her adopted state as well as opportunities to hike, camp, snowshoe and cross-country ski in the midst of God’s grandeur. Favorite outdoor experience: While hiking in the Wyoming mountains one summer, she came nose-to-nose with (well, ten-feet from) a beautiful white wolf. Currently, she’s putting the finishing touches on a Winds of Wyoming sequel titled Winds of Freedom. Learn more at: http://www.beckylyles.com, http://www.widgetwords.wordpress.com, Facebook: Rebecca Carey Lyles, and Twitter: @BeckyLyles.
About the book: Winds of Wyoming – A Kate Neilson Novel
Fresh out of a Pennsylvania penitentiary armed with a marketing degree, Kate Neilson heads to Wyoming anticipating an anonymous new beginning as a guest-ranch employee. A typical twenty-five-year-old woman might be looking to lasso a cowboy, but her only desire is to get on with life on the outside—despite her growing interest in the ranch owner. When she discovers a violent ex-lover followed her west, she fears the past she hoped to hide will trail as close as a shadow and imprison her once again.
Come back June 29th for an excerpt from Winds of Wyoming!