Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Le Deluge

Original post date: September 8, 2013

It's been a long time since I've written.  A lot has happened.  I'll hit the highlights.

The week after same-sex marriage was legalized (or de-de-legalized), the marriage factory was empty.  I did maybe 8 ceremonies.  The next week, I did 30 in 4 1/2 hours.  Le deluge, indeed.  The couples were all grateful, and almost all sweet.  Standouts include the men who had matching bow ties.  I was wearing one as well, purchased for the occasion by my wife from Jessie Tyler Ferguson's marriage-equality-supporting company, tietheknot.org.

After the initial rush (20 ceremonies the next week, 18 the week after that), things calmed down, as I knew they would.  The average is 12-15 ceremonies, with the volume picking up toward midday. The summer has been busier, so I wasn't surprised to read that Miss Janet kept busy when she filled in for me.

Last week's couples were almost all dressed for the occasion, from those with one witness to a crew of 20 or more.  It wasn't until the end of my shift that I got a t-shirt & jeans couple.  Trumping all comers were a group from an African country.  Each woman in the crowd wore a different color.  They posed for pictures in the lobby, and it looked like a rainbow - so beautiful!  I also had two couples with English grooms.  That accent!  No wonder their spouses fell for them.

This week, there was an early wedding with a problem that pops up every once in a while: the member of the couple who does not speak English.  No worries for me if his/her language is Spanish - I do Spanish ceremonies every week.  This time, he spoke French.  My wife's French is good, but mine is non-existent.  As usually happens in these cases, there was a witness who was translating most of what is going on.  That person cannot translate the vows, however.  The groom must agree to the marriage without prompting.  The translator is only trying to help, but unfortunately, we must be rude and ask her to stop talking.  Luckily in this case, the groom understood enough to tell me that he wanted to marry his bride, and everything else went off without a hitch.  I used Google Translate to learn how to ask the necessary question: Voulez vous epouser BRIDE'S NAME?  Now I am prepared - unless the couple speaks German.  Then I'm out of luck.

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