“And remember, all of you: she’s not ‘Livingston’ anymore; she’s ‘Walcott’ now!”
“Here! Here!” yelled Scott, the Best Man. A ripple of laughter, applause, and clinking of glasses followed this grand announcement.
The groom surveyed his audience and grinned. Glenn Walcott took a sip of champagne and proudly looked down at his beautiful bride, Charmaine, and she smiled up at him as though the world contained just the two of them and he was king. Her new husband continued his speech.
“This wonderful angel has been a part of my life for the last two years. I’ve never known a purer, more selfless human being…other than my mother, of course,” he hastened to add. Glenn’s mother, seated at the family table in front of him, nodded in approval.
At this, there were a few murmurs of “Yes!” and “True! True!” from his captive audience. Charmaine blew a kiss at her new mother-in-law.
Glenn then thanked the best man for his support, being his lifelong friend, and for organizing all the suits for the men in the bridal party. “In fact, I insisted that there would be no raucous bachelor party last night and my best man can testify to that. We were all in our beds by 10 o’clock, right Scott?” Scott nodded, although the murmurs from the audience indicated that they weren’t prepared to go along with that story.
In the background, the mellow sounds of “Always and Forever” by Heatwave wafted through the speaker boxes. The serving staff glided between tables throughout the reception hall swapping out the 170 guests’ empty dinnerware with dessert choices of vanilla crème brûlée, lemon cheesecake bars, and rhubarb sorbet.
Old friends and family members with years of distance between them reconnected, trying to catch up on the latest family gossip, tragedies, and triumphs. And like all good weddings, someone thought the food was too dry, someone thought the bride’s lipstick was too bright, and someone’s uncle got drunk way too early.
Glenn Walcott, overcome with emotion or perhaps with the fourth glass of champagne, felt compelled to continue praising his bride amidst the chorus of clinking glasses, whispers, and chatter.
“Words cannot express my gratitude and and complete adoration for my very lovely bride. This is the only woman for me, ladies and gentlemen. I mean, look at her: she’s stunning! She’s all class and grace and guess what? It was I who took her ‘off the market’!”
— a round of cheers —
“And by the way, ladies, I’m off the market too!” he winked, followed by more applause.
By now Glenn Walcott could feel his audience was with him all the way. Now, with a swagger in his tone he announced: “And as the good book says: ‘What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.’ So all you men out there, find your own woman, for this one is mine!”
A thunderous round of applause accompanied by several “whoop-whoop!’s” arose through the reception hall. The groomsmen and several of the groom’s relatives started drumming on the tables in agreement. Mr. Walcott reached out and clasped his bride’s left hand and displayed to his audience her freshly adorned ring finger. He then took his seat next to the new Mrs. Walcott and kissed her on the cheek.
He certainly enjoys being the center of attention, she mused. The demure bride beamed but she remained silent as her new husband relished his fifteen minutes of fame.
At the end of the wedding reception, the bride and groom took a few minutes to mingle with guests before their departure. Scott, the best man, grasped the inebriated Glenn and clapped him several times on the shoulder. He wished his best friend well, promising to see him in a few weeks after the honeymoon.
Scott turned to the bride and planted a huge kiss on her cheek and hugged her. He whispered in her ear, “Last night at your place was great. Let’s meet up again when you’re back from Aruba.”
The beaming bride and her new husband then boarded the awaiting limousine to take them on to the start of their new life together in wedded bliss.