Ben and I walked into the main wedding hall that at one time must have been the ballroom of The Watch. It was certainly impressive. The entire room was lit with candles, there was no artificial light anywhere from light bulbs or spot lights. Mark and Max had decided they wanted an “enchanted glade” theme and from what I saw of the forest that had been recreated inside, they’d managed it very well. Trees shot up out of their temporary pots all over the room. Glass globes hung from branches with candles in them and white fabric had been wrapped around all the trees, designating the rows.
There was no seating, they asked everyone to stand with them and it was marvelous.
Ben and I maneuvered our way through the crowd and took our places next to Grandmama Murphy and Ben’s “Aunt” Elise. We murmured our greetings just before the quartet started playing. I don’t think I’ve ever actually been to a wedding that started on time.
We looked back at the doors and watched Mark make his entrance, dressed in a midnight blue tux and escorting his mother. She was beaming. I smiled and there may have been a tear that escaped. His father and sister followed and then it was Max’s turn. Max didn’t have much in the way of family, so he walked with his sister, who had to take his handkerchief half way through because she couldn’t stop sniffling. I started crying openly then and Ben handed me his handkerchief and wrapped an arm around my shoulders.
The vows they made were short and simple, no “obey” line or long sappy love confirmations. In short, their vows personified their relationship. It was incredibly sweet and when it was over, Mark dipped Max for the kiss and made us all laugh. We joined them outside as they laughed and rand down the aisle together, smiles so wide and pure.
The wedding reception was being held in the same hall, so we all waited outside while the crew set up the tables and added more candles. They had opened up the doors at the back and sides of the hall and the quartet that played for the wedding, was now playing to sooth us as we waited. Ben and I ended up wandering over to the happy couple to give them our well wishes.
“Marlowe!” Max yelled as he rushed me and picked me up in a bear hug. “I’m so happy you came! Did you bring your Ben?”
I laughed. “Yes I brought him! So now put me down!”
Mark was off to the side with Ben, laughing at us. I stuck my tongue out at them as Max put me down and we stood together.
“Oh look at them, will you? Such a pair!” Max said with a grin as he looked at his husband with love that I could feel radiate off of him.
“I think we got the best of the lot.” I said, wrapping an arm around his waist. “They’ll never leave us, even when we tell them we’re going to Tahiti together!”
I laughed and then squealed when Ben stormed over and scooped me up. “You are not, I’ve not yet had my fill of you!”
Max was doubled over with laughter until he coughed, which made Mark run over and thump him on the back. Just as Max got himself under control, the gong rang out for dinner. We walked back up to the hall while Mark and Max walked down to the lake with the photographer to do the wedding shots. We entered the hall and tables had been set up with a soft cream-colored linen table cloths with a deep green runner. Glass vases filled with pussy willows, cat tails and bluebells decorated every table. I’ll admit, I didn’t think it would look that amazing.
They must have given the okay, because the wedding dinner was served as soon as all the guests were seated. Ben and I had been placed near the wedding party table, so we got a good view of everything as it was being served. They had three different choices; one vegetarian tofu thing (which looked disgusting. I’ll never figure vegetarians out), one for the fish lovers and another for the meat lovers. Since Ben and I were in the mood for surf and turf, we chose the meat and fish choices, then cut our dinners in half and passed over the half we weren’t going to eat. When Grandmama Murphy saw what we did, she started laughing.
“What?” I said as I started at her. She was becoming red-faced from her laughter.
“Well Ben, it seems you’ve finally found someone who dines the way you do.”
Ben grinned. “Yes and I didn’t even have to ask her. She’d the one who suggested we do it on our fourth date.”
I melted a little. Who doesn’t want their guy to remember their dates that well?
Grandmama Murphy shook her head. “Don’t you let this one go, Benjamin.”
It sounded vaguely like a threat, but Ben laughed. “That’ll be up to the both of us, Grandmama. Not just me.”
She gave a curt nod and then began eating her dinner. We ate with the soft music of the quartet playing. The only interruption was when the newlyweds came in to the hall. We gave them a standing ovation.
“Oh, sit down.” Max said, getting a laugh out of the room. He and Mark walked hand in hand to the wedding table and took their places.
The rest of the evening went by pretty quickly. The dancing started soon after dinner and the newly weds danced to “This Magic Moment” by Billy Joel Royal. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room. It was marvelous. There was more dancing, a cutting of the cake (which was red velvet and yellow cake in alternating tiers) and what would have been the traditional bouquet toss. Instead of flowers, both Max and Mark tossed their boutineers. I know for a fact that rat Max was aiming for me, because I saw him looking for me before he tossed his. I ended up with one anyway. As I moved out-of-the-way for Max, Mark hit me in the head with his boutineer and the crowed got a good laugh. They got an even bigger one as Max asked when the date was and I gave him the finger.
Ben came up behind me as we mingled shortly after.
“Ready to go soon?” He said as he kissed the top of my head.
“Yes. I love weddings, but I’m exhausted.” I replied as I leaned back in to him.
“Let’s go bid the happy couple a farewell then. They’re leaving tonight for Bora Bora.” He said as we made our way over to the happy couple.
I couldn’t think of a response, so I settled for calling Max a jackass and wishing him well as we hugged hard.
“You two, I love you both. Take care of each other.” I kissed Mark then and when Max protested, Ben kissed him.
Mark and I doubled over in laughter at Max’s fish impersonation.
“Oh Max, you left yourself wide open for that one.” I said with a grin as I reclaimed Ben and slid my arm around his waist.
Max eyed me, then his husband. “I’ll keep what I was going to say to myself. I don’t want to sleep alone when we get to Bora Bora.”
“Smart move.” I said and we bid them farewell.
Making our way home, in the Thunderbird, Ben reached over and picked up my hand, kissing it softly.
“May I stay the night?” He asked me.
“Do you need an answer?”
“Yes.” He said simply.
“Then yes, you can stay. I want you to stay.”
I had to laugh. It was filled with relief, like he was honestly worried that I was going to say no.
We got home and climbed out of the car after Ben parked. We went in together and Ben stayed.