I do, I do, I do

    It has been The Year Of Many Weddings. (Eight of them, all in all). It’s occurred to me repeatedly that I should write about them, but when it comes down to it, I have eight identical things to say:

    It was exactly right for them. They seem so very happy. Their love is infectious and delightful. We laughed, we cried, we ate, we drank, we danced – and sometimes, we did all of that twice over. 

    I ruddy love a wedding.

    Those who wish to should feel free to hit me up for advice on how to be a semi-professional wedding guest. In another life, perhaps I will start a brand new blog full of top tips and advice including:

    • How to style all of your outfits around the one pair of fancy shoes that don’t destroy your feet
    • What to do when you turn up wearing the same thing as another guest (and she is clearly in her 70s)
    • Photo booth etiquette 101
    • Wedding cards: remember to save something for the guest book!

    For now, though, none of the above. Instead, some of my very favourite weddings from pop culture (none of which, of course, are quite as lovely as the real thing).

    Phoebe and Mike

    Who are they? Your favourite Friends couple. (Yes. Don’t argue with me).

    What’s their deal? They meet by chance on a badly set up blind date, and quickly fall into a happy and emotionally healthy relationship. This is confusing for them and everyone around them, as nobody they know has ever been in one before. They overcome some inevitable narrative driven perils (His snobby parents and painful divorce! Her exboyfriend coming back from Minsk!) to make it to their wedding day.

    What’s so great about their wedding? Oh, I don’t know, only everything. The snow. The dog. The fact that all their friends were falling over themselves to be part of the wedding party because they knew it was the only truly perfect coupling of their social circle. Music provided by a steel pan. Monica in a radio headset (the power is real). And, oh! Mike’s vows!


    And, well: beautiful ageless vampire Paul Rudd. You know?

    Stephen Irving and Miss Lavendar

    Who are they? Childhood sweethearts who quarrel and separate. He: mysterious and handsome in the way that only a long-lost-love can be. She: sweet and girlish and whimsical but tragically unwed. 

    Yes, you guys, it’s Anne of Green Gables time! (Anne of Avonlea, for the sticklers among us). 

    (Me).

    What’s their deal? Miss Lavendar’s been living mostly happily in Echo Lodge with her servant-pal Charlotta The Fourth. That imp Anne Shirley brings dreamy pupil Paul Irving for a visit. Paul’s mother is dead, and he’s been left in the care of his grandmother while his father tries to gallivant away a broken heart caused by becoming a widower. But of course, there is no salve for bereavement quite as powerful as reuniting with the one who got away. Paul writes to his father about the lovely and loving Miss Lavendar. Stephen Irving returns; they embrace; they are married within the month. 

    What’s so great about their wedding? It takes place in the garden of Echo Lodge: a setting that’s always been charming, but had been missing that extra dazzle of romance that a wedding can bring. The couple are happy and Paul perhaps even happier still. And, as they head off on honeymoon, so comes possibly my favourite moment in the whole series:

    “What are you thinking of, Anne?” asked Gilbert, coming down the walk…

    “Of Miss Lavendar and Mr. Irving,” answered Anne dreamily. “Isn’t it beautiful to think how everything has turned out… how they have come together again after all the years of separation and misunderstanding?”

    “Yes, it’s beautiful,” said Gilbert, looking steadily down into Anne’s uplifted face, “but wouldn’t it have been more beautiful still, Anne, if there had been NO separation or misunderstanding… if they had come hand in hand all the way through life, with no memories behind them but those which belonged to each other?”

    For a moment Anne’s heart fluttered queerly and for the first time her eyes faltered under Gilbert’s gaze and a rosy flush stained the paleness of her face. It was as if a veil that had hung before her inner consciousness had been lifted, giving to her view a revelation of unsuspected feelings and realities. Perhaps, after all, romance did not come in to one’s life with pomp and blare, like a gay knight riding down; perhaps it crept to one’s side like an old friend through quiet ways; perhaps it released itself in seeming prose, until some shaft of illumination flung athwart its pages betrayed the rhythm and the music, perhaps… perhaps… love unfolded naturally out of a beautiful friendship, as a golden-hearted rose falling from its sheath.

    AUGH, MY HEART. 

    This passage is everything I adore about L.M. Montgomery. A tiny bit over florid but sincere and solid and true. 

    Gilbert Blythe, my ultimate literary crush forever. 

    [Totally recommend falling in love with one of your best friends, by the way. It’s the shiz.] 


    Leslie and Ben

    Who are they? A sparky overachiever with an outlandish love of breakfast food, and a delightful nerd who’s the new boy in town. The great love story of Parks & Rec, despite stiff competition from April and Andy (and Jerry and Gayle, come to think of it).

    What’s their deal? They fall in love without quite meaning to or realising it. They date (and break up) in secret, because the rules of their jobs don’t allow them to be together, until they throw caution to he wind and decide that their love is more important than their careers even though their careers are the most important things in the world. They support each other’s dreams and ambitions even when they’re in direct opposition to their own. They make it work, somehow. They fit.

    What’s so great about their wedding? The writers of Parks & Rec are poetic, noble land-mermaids, each and all. They have moved me tears so many times, whether through silliness…


    …or sincerity…


    …or sorrow.


    But nothing makes me weep like a baby quite as much as Leslie and Ben’s wedding vows:

    Ben: In my time working for the state government, my job sent me to 46 cities in 11 years. I lived in villages with eight people, rural farming communities, college towns. I was sent to every corner of Indiana. And then I came here, and I realized that this whole time I was just wandering around everywhere, just looking for you.

    Leslie: The things that you have done for me, to help me, support me, surprise me, to make me happy, go above and beyond what any person deserves. You’re all I need. I love you and I like you.

    Ben: I love you and I like you.

    Is there anything more you can ask from a love story?

    Bernard and Lydia

    Srsly.

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