Four weddings and a flash mob: Part 1/5

Wedding #1: Sarah & Tom, June 1st, 2013

What you need to know about Sarah:  If someone walked up to me tomorrow and said, “you know your friend Sarah?  The one you’ve known for twelve years?  Well, she’s actually an elfin fairytale heroine come to life.”  I would nod and respond, “obviously.”  Sarah and I met through a mutual friend, and then spent two years in undergrad at IWU singing in Co-Choir together before she graduated.  During this time, I came to know Sarah as the only person who can rock a camera and fanny pack and still look like she belongs within some grand European church, living in a world of  colored, stained-glass sunbeams.  She has a gorgeous soprano voice, a nose for dark chocolate and wine, and a tendency to devour books of intricacy, romance, and history.   She also loves pizza and speaks about it in the same hushed tones most people reserve for family heirlooms.

What you need to know about Tom:  Sarah introduced me to Tom in 2007, and my first thought was, no joke, “This man should own a cape.”  Not exactly as the fairytale prince to Sarah’s fairytale princess, but rather as a Clark Kent/Peter Parker sort of superhero.  I thought this even before I knew that he both read and created comics–he sort of exudes his art and creative energy, you see.  Once I discovered his penchant for writing about magic and heroes, I asked him what his superpower would be, and he replied without hesitation, “I would want to be able to consume books through osmosis.”  And I was like, we are friends now.  Tom also has an encyclopedic knowledge of films, bands, and pop culture, and always manages to use that knowledge without condescension.  And he’s one hell of an imaginator, too.  (It’s a word, I just made it up.)

*   *   *

So, with these two lovebirds, straight from the realm of literature, comics, fairy tales, and imagination, you might imagine that their wedding was like a beautiful, lightly nerdy storybook.  And if you imagined that, you’d be 100% right.

Let’s start with the beautiful:

First of all, Sarah herself.  Holy cow, but did she look like an updated Victorian bride.  She’s quite used to climbing into costumes and flouncing around on stage in heels and jewels and gowns, so I would imagine some of her energetic poise throughout the day came from that experience.  But there was a sense of seriousness and purpose about her, as well.  Pamela Yasuko, their wedding photographer, captured that mix of energies perfectly, I think.


Secondly, the color scheme.  I have been to quite a few weddings, now, and they’ve all had lovely color schemes.  But there was something particularly vivid and arresting about Sarah and Tom’s colors that smacked of late spring and early summer.

Third, the setting.  The wedding took place outside in a lovely, restful gazebo, surrounded by oaks and willows.  It was a bit touch and go with the weather at certain points in the day.  It sprinkled a little bit when we first arrived at the country club, and everyone and their brother informed Sarah that rain on the wedding day means you’ll be a financially wealthy couple.  (Which sounds like something someone made up a long time ago to reassure a crying bride after her dress got ruined in the mud.)  But Sarah didn’t need reassurance.  She was perfectly fine with the rain, in that she trusted it to remain at bay until she decided it was welcome to come in, haha.  And as a matter of fact, the rain totally obeyed.  The wedding sky was cloudy with punctures of sun, and then just as we were all walking back inside, a storm broke out with pealing thunder, rain on the pond, and lightning.  It was fantastic.  Little known fact: Sarah is actually Storm from the X-men.

Fourth, and finally for this post (although there were about a thousand other beautiful things), the emphasis on family and the coming together of family.  As Sarah and Tom prepared for the wedding, they reflected on how incredible a thing it really is to draw two families together in union.  And so, during the ceremony, they invited their respective mothers to light two individual candles to represent the family lines.  Then, Sarah and Tom picked up the candles and lit one large candle together, drawing the blessings of their families together.  It was a truly powerful moment in the ceremony, because it was so obvious that Sarah and Tom understood the immensity of the life they were building together and the way it affected not only them, but also their families, for the better.

And now for the silly, the scholarly, and the nerdy (used here as a term of endearment and solidarity…nerds unite!):

Unfortunately, I don’t have as many pictures for this segment.  A lot of these moments sort of happened throughout the evening without the ability to be captured on film.  But here’s one picture that speaks for itself:

That’s right, the table decorations were books.  Sarah and Tom actually met when they were both working in a Barnes and Noble, and their entire engagement photo shoot took place in a library as they ducked back and forth between the stacks and sprawled on the floor together to read.  Adorable.

I think it’s also worth mentioning that instead of wedding programs, Sarah and Tom provided wedding playbills, complete with “cast bios” and thank yous for supporting cast members.

wedding playbillWe all walked in to the head table to the Imperial March from Star Wars, and the kids from Harry Potter joined us at the reception in the form of cardboard cut outs.  Sarah and Tom also provided everyone with a huge box of costumes to choose from for dancing–Captain America outfit, pirate hats, batman face masks, and, the crowning glory of the box and the prized possession of the evening, an Indian Jones fedora.  I know there’s a picture of me in the Captain America get up floating around out there somewhere, but I can’t find it…likely for the best.

Oh, President Obama also joined us in the form of a cardboard cutout, as well as Daniel Craig as James Bond.

The President and I danced a slow dance.

It was magical.

For my part, I did my best to add a bit of levity to my attendant of honor speech for Sarah, and I think I was fairly successful, despite nearly crying three times:

wedding toast*   *   *

That piece of paper in my hand also wished Sarah and Tom “every happiness together, many travels, discoveries, great books, and hopes and dreams come true,” as well as all my love.

The sentiment stands.

You guys are the best.

(all photos, other than the playbill, courtesy of Pamela Yasuko, linked above)


Historian, novelist, musician, and imagination professional.

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