My niece’s wedding took place on a dock on Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, a fashionably updated working harbor surrounded by sailing ships, industrial areas, refurbished warehouses and chic shops and restaurants. It was a formal wedding, with the bride in cream satin, five bridesmaids in teal organza, and the groom and groomsmen in classic black tuxedoes.
Among the various tourist attractions on the Harbor is a pirate ship. It has lots of flags and sails, and a skull and crossbones, and its purpose, apparently, is for people to get happily sloshed while sailing around and experiencing various kinds of pirate schtick, all electronically amplified. I’m not clear on exactly what this involves. Maybe it’s something like the routines of the flight attendants on SouthWest Airlines only with a pirate theme, and probably a cannon or something. Anyway, the bride had been warned by the venue that the pirate ship made regular trips on Saturday afternoons, and that the pirates and their passengers tended to be somewhat…uninhibited.
Sure enough, just after the officiant had begun the service and The Sainted Aunt had been invited to come forward to speak, the pirate ship made its appearance, accompanied by amplified uproar. Naturally, it was impossible to speak over this, so the ceremony paused and everyone turned to watch the ship go by. This took some time. Everyone on the pirate ship waved, and the entire bridal party and guests all waved back. A ceremonial ARRRRRRRRRR was raised from the ship, and the guests responded in kind.
No matter what what else was said and done that day after more than a year of planning–what the vows were, what music was played, what was on the menu at the reception–I’m pretty sure that this act of exuberant spontaneity–and the response to it–is the one thing everyone will remember twenty years from now.
Another lesson for married life.