My good friends Jamie O’Leary and Shannon Gunn got married Sunday, and because they know I’m an asshole, they’re probably expecting me to use my rapier-like wit to skewer their wedding.
But I’m not going to do it.
I’m going to wait just a few more seconds for the line of attack to make itself self-evident. What will it be this time? Parody, gross exaggeration, farce, or something I haven’t thought of yet?
Wait! There it is! Fantastic idea, if I say so myself, and I do. I do! Hah, that’s hilarious double-entendre wedding humor right there! But let’s take this comic piece of literature a step farther by breaking the ceremony down into its components, analyzing individual details of the event for flaws—like the lawyers’ frame-by-frame analysis of the Rodney King beating video, but with less blood and violence.
This is the first wedding I’ve attended that was conducted: a) outdoors; b) on an island; c) on a golf course; d) in the middle of a water hazard. The bride and groom actually arrived at the chapel on golf carts, and the venue was stunning! I mean “stunning” literally, mind you, as we quests were forced to keep a nervous eye on the skies overhead to keep from getting pinged in the forehead by errant Titleists. Fore! At least Jamie and Shannon could say it was a Top-Flight wedding. Hah, hah! When’s the last time you read a funny wedding story laced with golf ball jokes? Never, I’ll bet! Hah! I am the Big Bertha of wedding humorists! Fore!
Most of us quests stopped worrying about golf balls during the ceremony–Fore!–because we passed out from heat exhaustion long before it started. It was hot, hot, hot—I’m guessing about 110 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade, except there wasn’t any shade in the outdoor chapel. Remember Tom Hanks blistering and withering away in Cast Away? It was worse than that, because we didn’t have a raft to float away on with our imaginary soccer-ball friend, Wilson.
So, we sat there dutifully, facing the white-hot Colorado sun, our skin melting faster than the Earth’s polar ice caps. Fore! With all the profuse sweating, it was like a Christian wet T-shirt contest with opaque suits and formal dresses instead of filmy T-shirts. Everybody agreed it was an amazing service, though, as well as educational; Jamie and Shannon lit their unity candle using only a beam of sunlight that Jamie cleverly bounced off his balding head and focused through the enormous diamond in Shannon’s wedding ring. Fore!
I know all of us were severely dehydrated–Fore!–but the minute the pastor picked up the microphone, my wife and I swore he looked like Matthew McConaughey, sounded like Matthew McConaughey and smelled exactly like what we imagined Matthew McConaughey would smell like, which is a sickly sweet mixture of sweat and coconut oil. Our suspicions were confirmed–Fore!–when the Right Rev. McConaughey suddenly left the pulpit and stormed down the aisle into the audience, dramatically throwing his suit coat to the ground and ripping off his shirt and tie.
“Yes! It is I, The McConaughey!” Father McConaughey shouted boldly in a Southern drawl. “Gaze upon my deeply tanned, finely sculpted pecks–Fore!–and thank Almighty God for His works! For what He is about to join together in Holy matrimony–Fore!–let no man tear asunder without going through these guns first! Fore!” And then Minister McConaughey flexed his biceps and washboard abs, causing most of the women who hadn’t already fainted from heat stroke to faint with joy. This was the first time I’ve seen a preacher flex his biceps at a wedding ceremony, and it was impressive. I was so frightened, I nearly converted to Christianity all over again. Fore!
Shannon works in the motocross industry and, naturally, hired her friends at Hansel and Gretel’s Motocross & Wedding Photography to take pictures. Fore!
Not surprisingly, Gretel is a striking blonde. Fore! I mean this in two ways: She’s attractive, but she also wasted an undue amount of time striking Jamie’s younger brother, Teddy, a former hockey star at the University of Denver. Teddy is young and single, and clearly something of a horndog. The bridesmaids were fully warned, but nobody remembered to mention it to poor Gretel. Fore!
Hansel brought some much-need comic relief to the ceremony by dressing in period costume. Fore! In this case, he chose to blend two distinct periods: rural German farm life circa 1840, and post-modern punk Berlin today. If you haven’t seen a Teutonic blond man wearing lederhosen, a Bavarian alpine hat, black work shoes, black mid-calf socks and multiple facial piercings at a wedding, you haven’t lived. Fore!
But Hansel did his job X-tremely well, especially for somebody who usually takes pictures of mud-covered motocross riders who are moving at 45 mph and airborne. Fore! I’m especially fond of the soft-focus candlelit shot of Jamie and Shannon catching Big Air in a sunset jump off the clubhouse balcony.
The reception was cool! I mean indoors and literally cool, which was a welcome change to everybody who made it through all 30 days of Survivor 2009: Pelican Lakes Golf Course. (Sorry about the heatstroke, Grandma! See you in heaven!)
Everybody seemed very happy at the reception, especially the caterer, Scott, who’s another of Jamie’s good friends. Everybody’s aware that the restaurant business has been tough lately thanks to the recession, which feels an awful lot like a depression to me and all my friends. Fore! I suspect Scott and his crew were grinning broadly because they knew they’d easily make payroll this week. I also suspect that everybody who ate dinner on Jamie’s and Shannon’s dime that night was smiling because it was the best meal they’ve eaten in weeks, even if you count the delectable new Sweet & Spicy Asian Boneless Wings at Wendy’s restaurant.
Given his audience, Scott could’ve gotten away with handing everybody a cold bottle of Guinness and a boiled red potato. I can hear the reviews now: “This is the best tater ever, lad! You’re a fine one, you are, and I’ll be the first to raise my hand in a toast to the chef!” But Scott went all out, serving crab cakes, prime rib and chicken cordon bleu, which was an especially appropriate dish given the long-standing friendship between the Irish and the French. Fore!
It’s people who make weddings memorable–Fore!–but I believe I speak for everybody when I say I was deeply disappointed in this department.
Jamie is a professional hockey coach, and the newlyweds’ guest list included hard-working Irish folk, motocross gearheads, hockey players, at least one former NHL star and several people who work in the financial sector. Everybody hates bean counters these days, and the guest mix should’ve been a sure-fire recipe for trouble. Fore! I eagerly expected somebody to liven up the event by arriving drunk and getting drunker as the evening progressed.
But despite the open bar, I didn’t hear a single argument or witness a single fistfight, let alone an all-out family brawl like you see in all the movies about Irish families. I didn’t hear anybody say something titillating like, “You feckin’ clatty prick! I told you she had herpes!” Nobody named Mary Katherine Cate used a sheleighlee–an Irish nightstick–to whack the besotted head of her husband, Declan. Even the kids were well behaved. I tell you, going to this wedding was like winning free tickets to a mixed martial arts fight, only to discover that the combatants recently decided to become pacifists. Fore! Don’t these people realize they have a stereotype to live up to? Very disappointing.
Well, that’s my breakdown of the O’Leary wedding. I hope everybody believes I’m kidding–Fore!–even if I’m not. I really don’t want to get punched in the face by an angry Irishman, and Jamie’s got a few brothers who look like they’d enjoy doing it for him for free. Fore!
I will say this, in all seriousness: Jamie and Shannon, it was a fantastic wedding–one of the best ever–and you’re a terrific couple! I love you guys and I’m positive you’ll have a long, happy life together making babies, discussing hockey and arguing about money or what to watch on television. Marriage is a wonderful, blessed institution–but, Shannon, I’d keep that sheleighlee near the front door just in case….Fore!