It was my oldest child’s wedding. My daughter looked beautiful and it went off without a hitch. (Other than the two of them getting hitched.) The church had been decorated with white bows and calla lilies. When I walked her down the aisle, it was as if I was walking in a dream. So many things were swirling around in my mind. I was aware that this ceremony was very much different than my son Andrew’s wedding two years before.
My wife had passed away five months before his wedding and at that time I was still in a complete fog, but my wife would not have wanted us to delay it. The crowning touch was that Andrew’s wedding was in Cottonwood, Arizona and we lived in western Pennsylvania. It added to the stress in my life. I had to herd my daughter, my mother-in-law, and the luggage as we flew from Pittsburgh to Phoenix Arizona.
The wedding was great and the weather was as beautiful as the bride. My daughter’s wedding was over. All of the people of the wedding party went to have photographs taken while the other guests were invited to attend the reception and to enjoy cookies and other snacks until the picture session was over. Music was playing and punch bowls were filled. Guests were nibbling and mingling while they were waiting. Everything was going well. It was like almost like every other reception.
Before I tell the rest of the story, I need to explain. The reception hall we used was a community center in a rural area between two very small towns. There are no major recreational draws in the summer. There are two ski areas, but this was August. Two Frank Lloyd Wright homes and some white water rafting are the only draws.
The bridal party had just arrived in their stretch limousine. They had just stepped out and were about to go up the outside stairs to enter the reception hall when a small car sped into the parking lot. It surprised my daughter and her new husband. They stopped to see what was happening.
Initially they thought it was someone arriving late and were hurrying to get there on time, but when the car stopped in the middle of the lot and the car doors popped open. It was almost like a Chinese fire drill. The wedding party watched in stunned amazement. A whirlpool of people emerged. Four people jumped out, ran up the stairs, and asked to take pictures with my daughter and new son-in-law. One of the wedding party accepted the strangers camera and snapped several pictures.
While the pictures were being taken, the strangers talked to the newly-weds. The visitors were from Israel and on a whim, seeing the bride and groom, stopped for photographs. As soon as they got the pictures, they returned to their car and sped away.
My daughter told me later, once the strangers had gone, the bridal party looked at each other like “What happened?”
The reception went well. Good food, good friends, and good music made the night enjoyable.
After the honeymoon was over, my daughter told me about the strangers and the photo shoot. I said, “Why didn’t you invite them in. We had plenty of food.”
She said, “Dad! We were so surprised and they were back in their car and gone before we could say anything.”
All I can say is somewhere in Israel, pictures of my daughter and husband are in someone’s vacation album.