We walked down the hallway of the courthouse building, looking for the correct room number.
“Ten years from now you keep holding hands,” said an old woman as we passed.
After finishing our business, we left the building smiling, stealing glances at each other as we made our way down the steps and towards the crosswalk. That’s when another woman stopped us.
“Marriage license, right?”
“Is it that obvious?” I asked.
“It’s written all over your faces,” she said.
Planning a wedding is complicated, even for a very small (read six guests, no attendants) ceremony. There’s the location, the officiant, the clothes, the season of year. Not to mention taking care of the guests: transportation and lodging, getting them to and from the ceremony and reception sites, family politics, etc, ad nauseum. And tonight, we were tackling a different monster altogether: the text of the ceremony itself.
Working on the vows and blessings got us thinking of the first part of the ceremony. Before anyone says a peep, you ‘ve got to get yourself, your betrothed, the minister, and your guests to the right spot and into some sort of comfortable arrangement so that the ceremony can proceed in an orderly and dignified way. Suddenly, the order of who stands where and how the hell I’m supposed to even get from point A to point B seems like a monumental task. I think: “You mean I’m going to have to walk 10 steps all by myself and remember whether to go right or left!?!”
So to ease the stress that these simple decisions were causing me, he suggested we diagram the whole thing. By the time we had the processional all figured out, we had a piece of paper that looked like a page from Vince Lombardi’s playbook. X’s, O’s, lines, arrows, but damned if we didn’t have it all figured out when we were done. Oh sure, you think I’m exaggerating the complexity of this one aspect of the ceremony planning, but I dare you to sit down and write your own. You’d be amazed at how quickly the simple act of assembling a small group can become a complex maneuver of social engineering.