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When I saw Fish wearing a tie and tearing duct tape with his teeth, I knew this was a wedding to remember.
While standing in a shaded part of Chico’s lower Bidwell Park in late May, surrounded by friends and family, two of my friends, Roy and Shelley, got married.
Shelley wore white. Roy did, too.
I’ve known Roy and Shelley for nearly four years. Roy and Shelley are intelligent, compassionate people who love life, and who can fill a room with laughter.
Their wedding was a supercharged expression of who they are. They irreverently told religious tradition to take a hike and made the day their own.
Their friend, who goes by the nickname “Fish,” became a legally ordained minister thanks to “the power of the interwebs,” and performed the ceremony. He presided over the wedding with a gilded-edged copy of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy,” by Douglas Adams.
Before the wedding, Roy and Shelley each wrote what they loved about each other. Fish read their pieces aloud for everyone to hear. Most of the qualities they mentioned reflected their playful nature and their shared sense of humor, such as Roy loving Shelley “because she is ridiculous.”
They both chose to have mathematical formulas read to symbolize the constant nature of their love for each other. As a journalism major, the details of the formulas went over my head, but I understood the symbolism.
Instead of doing a traditional unity ceremony, such as pouring two different colored sands into a glass bowl, Roy and Shelley came up with their own way to show unity. Part of the credit goes to Shelley’s dad, who, as a long-time Volkswagen Bug owner, learned the value of duct tape in bringing together things that belong together. Roy and Shelley each put on a white glove. Fish tore off a long piece of duct tape with his teeth and taped their hands together. Roy and Shelley laughed along with everyone else.
After the ceremony, everyone helped collect the wedding materials to leave the park as we found it, and then we retired to the Arroyo Room, a ballroom and banquet hall in downtown Chico. The rest of the evening was filled with dinner, dancing, shared stories and lots of merriment.
I’ve been to a few weddings, and done a bit of research on the ceremony. I plan to have one with my fiancé, Richard, someday! I’ve come to understand that a wedding isn’t about the flowers or the decorations or even the dress. It’s not the ceremony or the religion or even the tradition.
It’s a celebration of two people’s love for each other. It’s a celebration of life.
With that in mind, this was not only a successful wedding, but one to remember.
Lauren Brooks lives in Chico. She is the editor of the Chico Enterprise-Record’s weekly entertainment guide, The Buzz. She is a CSU, Chico alumna who graduated with a B.A. in journalism in spring 2006. She can be reached at email@example.com.