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Friday, April 8, 2016

Desert Oasis Wedding

When Trent and I became engaged, we knew that we didn't want a large fancy wedding, or even a small one with all of the hullabaloo, for that matter. I had been through enough sister/cousin/friend weddings as a bridesmaid or guest to know that I didn't want to go through all of that stress or expense. So we decided to hop on a plane (well, we walked on, actually, because it's less tiring and much safer to board that way) and go to Las Vegas.

We were walking down a street on the morning of the big day and trying to decide where we should go for our wedding. We had gotten our license to wed the evening before, but just needed to figure out where to go for the formalities. As we were chatting, someone stopped us and asked if we were in Vegas for a special occasion. When we said we were getting married that day, he asked if we had already planned where to have the wedding.  When we said that we hadn't, he told us that if we went to a "presentation," AKA sales pitch, his company would pay for our wedding and send us to a show that evening to boot.

We figured it couldn't hurt, so we hopped on the private bus to a hotel to hear the pitch. Actually, we found it hysterical that they were trying to sell land in Colorado to people from Colorado. I have fairly high sales resistance, having worked in both direct sales and retail, and we didn't take the bait. But we did take advantage of the freebies that we were promised.

That afternoon we went to one of the numerous Vegas wedding chapels for our wedding ceremony. There was no drive-through service, and no Elvis impersonators presided or entertained at our wedding. However, we did see a Beetlejuice bride in a traditionally designed but very red wedding gown as we passed dozens of little wedding chapels. Before we knew it, the wedding was done.

That evening we went to a show, which we probably wouldn't have done otherwise. We were seated at a table with several other couples and sat back to enjoy our time with these strangers while scantily-clad women with magnificent headpieces danced in between performances from a man doing some comedy and juggling and such.

Now, when we got married, cell phones weren't popular like they are now. They were fairly basic in their functions, too. Seriously, in those days they didn't even have the ability to text. Times have changed a great deal, let me tell you. One thing that cell phones have always had the ability to do, however, is make their presence known to everyone because their owner has forgotten to turn off the ringer at a time when it should be silenced. And this is exactly what happened during this show.

The comedian/entertainer was in a rather precarious position when the cell phone started ringing in the audience. He had tied a length of rope to two chairs and was using it as a tightrope. While he was on this shaky and dangerous contraption, he was also juggling. And then the phone went off. Everyone else at our table made disgusted sounds and comments about the phone owner's rudeness. Not me, though. Without even thinking, I said in a loud, clear voice, "Telephone!" The comedian turned in my general direction and said, "Can you get that for me? Tell them I'm on the other line!"

The other people at our table looked at both me and the comedian in surprise and admiration. I had managed to lightheartedly reprimand the owner of the phone and set up a good joke for the performer all in one fell swoop (or is it swell foop?). Our table mates were laughing and giving me various atta-girls and thumbs up. Trent smiled at them all proudly and said, "That's my wife!" Gosh, that was fun!

Later, we went up in the replica Eiffel Tower and looked at the lights of Vegas after dark. Surprisingly, the one who is afraid of heights (me) loved the elevator ride because of the clear plexiglass walls and floor. I didn't know until much later that it bothered Trent. When we got to the top, I was a bit nervous but still looked out the little observation windows while Trent recovered from the disconcerting ride. 

I have to say that for us, going to Vegas to get married was a good idea. We didn't have large families that would felt left out, although a friend was very put out that I cheated her out of the chance to go to a big wedding. After all of these years, I still have my husband, but this friend drifted away pretty quickly after that. Other than that, the whole process of getting married was fairly low on the stress scale, and I liked that a great deal. Merging your life with another's shouldn't make you want to just run away from the world forever, a way I've known some brides and grooms to feel. Everyone should find the road to making a future together on their own terms. For some of us, that means a huge, extravagant affair. In our case, a simple ceremony at an oasis in the desert was just fine. For me the love and happiness (and struggles, too!) that we share mean the most. No, I didn't have a fancy wedding, but I have wonderful memories nonetheless. That's enough for me.





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