THEY SANG AT OUR WEDDING

Daily Prompt: The Show must go on

posted in Challenges by Pat Gerber-Relf
If you were involved in a movie, would you rather be the director, the producer, or the lead performer? (Note: you can’t be the writer!). Photographers, artists, poets: show us CELEBRITY.

Garry's Emmy -- and there are more. Celebrity? Yup.

Garry’s Emmy — and there are more. Celebrity? Yup.

When it came time for Garry and I to get married, we weren’t thinking about music. Not much, anyway.

I figured we’d do something simple, but of course, Garry’s brother is The Maestro. Dr. Anton Armstrong, internationally renowned conductor of St. Olaf’s Choir. He showed actual horror at my suggestion we go with Mendelssohn. He made it clear this was unacceptable. He was not going to stand by and let us have inferior music.

Okay, then.

Shortly thereafter, we found ourselves hiring a bagpiper, searching out music we liked and which would meet with The Professor’s approval.  Drafting vocally blessed friends — of whom it turns out I have a surprisingly large number — to sing at our wedding. It got a little complicated since one of them was my maid of honor — okay, matron of honor her being married and all. But we overcame the complexities of bouquets, microphones, speaker systems and acoustical anomalies and came up with what was deemed by all interested parties, an appropriate playbill.

Opening with Amazing Grace, starting with the bagpipe, then a segue to my friend Kit who had to keep from crying, but once she got that under control, it was all good. Fade to a duet, Kit and Anton — a folk arrangement of a bible verse and I dont’ remember the name — but I have the video.

Not the original wedding, but our second vow renewal. In the backyard, by the unfinished teepee. Seven years ago.

Not the original wedding. Our second vow renewal. In the backyard, by the unfinished teepee. Seven years ago. Taken by somebody — don’t remember who. We should have had a better camera available. Don’t know why I didn’t think of it!

Then, Mary handed off the bouquet and sang “Follow Me”, a lovely version of a favorite — and appropriate — song best known when sung by John Denver who was unable attend the wedding.

Garry and my show business roots began to show. While everyone else seems to concentrate on the reception, we really got into the “show,” that is to say The Wedding. That was our main event. For the reception, we figured if we had a DJ, dinner and a dance floor, everyone could hang out and be happy.

It seemed like a gigantic wedding to me but it was fewer than 100 people. I would have been happy with City Hall. Garry was in his prime and we could have gotten the Mayor to marry us. I would have thrown a bouquet and we’d have been on our way to Ireland. But nope. Garry wanted A Wedding. THE WEDDING. He’d waited a long time and if he was going to get married, he was going to do it right.

Which meant I was going to do it right. He was much too busy to do more than issue marching orders and tell me who I had to invite. Men and weddings. Clueless beings. That was when I realized if I could survive the wedding, the marriage was going to be a piece of cake. Wedding cake. I had to order one of those, too.

We had written vows and Garry memorized his, just like he memorized what he had to say in front of the TV camera every night. Well, he didn’t have to get his hair done, make sure everyone was where they were supposed to be, that the food showed up, the piper was piping, the flowers flowering. I forget my vows. Totally. Went completely blank. Stood there with flies coming out of my mouth.

Never mind. We moved on and got married.

Bonnie, our Scottish connection

Bonnie, our Scottish connection

Yay! Bouquets! Cheers! Confetti (raw rice makes the birds sick)! More music! Bring back the piper!Marching out to “Scotland the Brave” though neither of us is a bit Scottish. We have Bonnie, the Scottish terrier. It should count for something.

I have almost all of it on DVD. It was originally on videotape, but it disintegrated and we barely saved it onto disk. A lot of it wouldn’t play, much less transfer. I was so sorry we lost some of my favorite moments. Most of the soundtrack survived, but the visual part on  tape was badly damaged. Time ate it. A reminder for anyone who has important stuff still on tape to move it to a less fragile medium ASAP.

It was a great wedding. Sorry you weren’t there (unless you were, in which case — wasn’t it a cool wedding?). We’ve had a couple more since then, just for fun.

Maybe we’ll have one more, when year 25 years rolls around. Definitely. One more wedding to go. A year and a half from now.

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Categories: Anecdote, Celebrities, Garry Armstrong, Humor, Life, Love, Marriage, Music

Tags: , , , , , , ,

25 replies

  1. The was beautiful. I felt like I was right there. Tears, smiles and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY WISHES! ❤

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  2. I’m a big fan of any bit of the Marilyn and Garry story. Great music, loved the photo of you two even if it wasn’t perfect. Here’s to 25 in a couple of years!

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  3. Great wedding! Thanks for the pingback.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

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  4. How lovely to have a piper at the wedding. Very moving and stirring. xxx

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    • My first husband (Garry’s best friend) was very into bagpipes and knew a bunch of pipers, so he hooked us up with a good one. It was dramatic and haunting — and it shut the guests up good and proper. Weddings are great times for reunions. Most of the guests knew each other from college where we all met originally but hadn’t seen each other in a while … so they had a great time catching up with each other. Just needed to silence them for a few minutes while we did the official “getting married” part … with musical interludes.

      Like

  5. That was really some wedding, never to be forgotten.. It was our wedding anniversary yesterday 04.02 – 45 years but we only did it once in a registry office with just two witnesses but we are still together.

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  6. Hi Marilyn, I had to play with this a bit. I tried to clear it up a bit and softened it to cut some of the grain. Wish I’d been there. I look forward to seeing the video on Friday. Hope we don’t get buried. Enjoy!

    Like

  7. I would love to see some pics or video of your wedding. Definitely know there must be lots of great stories to tell about that day. Oh, by the way, next wedding I’m photographing it. OK? Wonderful memories and beautiful music. I look forward to your 50th!

    Like

    • 50th? You ARE an optimist. I’ll see if I can find the video and bring it with us on Friday. Assuming we don’t get zapped by the weather. I would hate that. I’m not loving winter … but then, who is? Wish you’d been at the last one. Could sure have used you … but I hadn’t met you yet.

      Like

  8. Man, bagpipes are awesome.

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    • Awesome and LOUD. I wanted two pipers, but was told that this would cause my guests to run screaming from the church. One really was enough. I loved the piping … and then we went to Ireland for our honeymoon … and there were pipers everywhere. Just for us!

      Like

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