Monday, July 13, 2009


I've been to two weddings in as many weekends. It never rains but it pours, and apparently my peer group has just broached the marriageable age. (Facebook tells me that other friends got married this month without inviting me, and still others are getting engaged.)

Both weddings were large, including all relatives and friends, and both were decorated with Christmas lights in white gauzy curtains. (When I described this to her, M. replied, "I encourage you to elope!" Much cheaper.) They were interesting amalgams of stereotypical wedding traditions with ethnic ones (Bengali and Portugese, respectively). The actual wedding ceremonies whipped past, a blur of recited passages and vows, but the receptions were lengthy socializing affairs, full of food and music and good feelings. They were beautiful, memorable events, worthy of the thousands of professional and amateur photographs that they generated. The wine was homemade, the rehearsal dinner for a hundred people was homemade!, the gifts were thematically appropriate, the groomsmen were forced to wear Bengali clothing and pink-accented tuxedos (respectively), the processional music was a classical-piano treatment of Star Wars, and the dresses were lovely confections of lace and fabric, piled high and wide around the brides like a slow-moving, formal game of human bumper cars.

Based on the speeches I heard, I'd recommend winging the speech instead of reading a prepared statement -- it comes from the heart, and the audience can tell. I'd also recommend getting a sibling or friend to plan your wedding, so that you can enjoy it. And an open bar, so your friends enjoy it, too.

This post's theme word, "tope," has three meanings:
  1. (verb tr., intr.) to drink (liquor) habitually and copiously.
  2. (noun) a small shark with a long snout (Galeorhinus galeus).
  3. (noun) a usually dome-shaped monument built by Buddhists. Also known as a stupa.

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