Listen to this story
Hi, everyone. I know you weren’t expecting to see Keith and I out here so soon, but we have some bad news. We’re not getting married today.
Believe me, we were really looking forward to it, but recently — this morning, in fact — we learned our blessed event was in direct conflict with the strongly-held beliefs of many of the people providing our wedding services. And if they’re not happy, we’re not happy.
Let me bring you up to speed.
You may have noticed the empty display table by the reception tent as you filed in. That’s where our wedding cake would have been. For our baker, however, creating a cake to be employed in the marriage of two men would be the moral equivalent of using communion wine to make sangria.
We knew the risks when enlisting Give Us This Beignet, Our Daily Bread as our wedding baker. They’re the best in downtown Aurora, no question — sorry, Wild-Flour! — but their beliefs on same-sex marriage are no secret. We hoped they might get swept up in the joy of the occasion but last night their chief baker Jonah, applying the final bit of piping, had a vision of Billie Jean King physically dragging him away from the gates of Heaven. And if that’s not a sign, I don’t know what is.
I should add, it may not have helped that we requested our little cake figurines be surrounded by an added semi-circle of figurines, in likenesses of the bakery staff, giving us the thumbs-up.
But that’s all done with. They’ve made their wishes clear and we respect them.
Which brings me to the empty vases alongside the pews and the empty centerpiece bowls on the reception tables. We’ve known Joyce Gantz, owner of Rest On My Laurels, for years; I couldn’t imagine this day without her. What I couldn’t know was the war raging within Joyce, fervent Catholic, after she learned of the meat-laden Friday barbecues Keith and I throw for our softball team. Last night, Joyce looked deep within her heart to ask, can I lend my good name to this cursed union?
The dumpster full of imported delphinium behind Joyce’s shop can tell you the answer.
You see, what we’re learning is that these are not just goods and services; they’re not simply the imprints of Keith’s Capital One card and the resulting exchange of goods. Every item at a wedding is nothing less than the avatar of its vendor’s entire belief system. With this in mind, each rose petal my niece Stephanie was prepared to hurl down the aisle might as well have been embossed with JOYCE GANTZ APPLAUDS THEE, SATAN.
What faith-engorged entrepreneur should face such hell?
This is why the rows of steam-trays in the tent are empty, and your choice of beef tenderloin or grilled salmon — or the one plate of tempeh veggie kabob, bless you, Amy! — will never arrive. Because Something Borrowed, Something Cordon Bleu, exceptional wedding caterers and unapologetic druids, could not bear the thought of providing nourishment to a couple willing to rip two thriving Magnolia trees from their backyard last summer. From their email: “Your heretic’s feast will be served when the earth heals from your violence.” By our best guess that wouldn’t have been by 6 p.m.
We also won’t be dancing to Renèe and the Ring-tones. While Rènee was a woman of few beliefs when we booked her, she has since converted to the Egyptian cult of Bastet, and considers the choice to put our cat Banjo to sleep, rather than pay $15,000 for experimental feline jaw surgery, to be “unforgivable wickedness, worthy of disciples of Set.”
I’ve been handed this note: Lane, our photographer, turns out to be more of a Star Wars guy and doesn’t feel right legitimizing such an obviously Star Trek couple.
Blessings on your journey, Lane.
In closing, our apologies. We were so busy coordinating our big day that we forgot to coordinate the sacred truths of all players involved. I’m told many of our vendors will adopt an exhaustive three-week interview process before each sale to keep this from happening again.
We did have a lovely wedding favor created for each of you, which we might as well distribute. It’s a wooden plaque, engraved with the phrase Love Conquers All, hand-crafted by our friend Bryce Charles in the front row. Now, Bryce is something of a Packers fan, and Keith is all about the Bears, but in the spirit of friendly rivalry, we’ve always managed to put aside our differ — wait.
Bryce’s feelings are changing.
They’re moving from loosely-held to nonchalantly-held. They’re not done; from the set of Bryce’s jaw, her feelings have transitioned to intentionally-held, and finally, they’re — yup. They’re strongly-held. Dammit.
Sorry, folks. You’re on your own.