This past weekend, Tim and myself had the honor of being groomsmen in our great friends, Jeff Doke and Susan Perry's wedding. Doke and Susan are two of my closest friends so this was a very special occasion. Not only was this, as the Soaps put it, "A Very Special Wedding" but it was also the first time Kim and myself were both in a wedding party together. It would be an outstanding weekend filled with a celebration of love for my two friends along with reunions of old ones not to mention Kim and the kids getting to meet several important people from my younger and more rampant years.
Unfortunately, there was an elephant in the room, partly of my own doing and partly because stories have a life of their own. As they get retold, these stories sometimes get larger.
You see, Tim and I have a bit of a reputation regarding our attendance in weddings as a :
|Guilty as charged....|
With that being said, it's pretty obvious that there was just a tad bit of pressure hanging above us. No worries. Doke is a pretty easy going guy and I had rented a golf cart in which I ended up tricking out over the weekend so I knew I could outrun Susan. (Sorry Susan, while you never once acted like a Bridezilla not to mention a perfect lady as well as hostess, I'm still a little scared of you. I've learned to never cross a Brunswick girl......Love you, Mrs. Doke)
The wedding took place on Driftwood Beach which in my humble opinion is one of Georgia's most gorgeous beaches and also not well known. It is a very special place to Susan and Doke so that only added to the beauty of the "day".
|Oddly enough, Driftwood Beach's name is not ironic.....|
As the Big Day drew closer, Doke put out an All-call for there to be be as much Anti-Rain Voodoo as possible. I contributed by packing my rain jacket the Big Guy gave me for Christmas one year, Every time I pack that damn jacket, it never rains. I've probably worn the stupid thing less than a few times. Our friend, Courtney, claimed to do to perform a series of elaborate No Rain Dances back in LA where she lives now. Fingers were crossed and everyone quietly hoped Doke had a Plan B as the chances of rain did not seem to subside.....until the very last minute.
Our good friend, John Trotter does a daily sketch and for Saturday, Doke and Susan's Big Day, Trotter drew this:
There was much joking around during lunch about how dusty every one's villas were as they checked their Facebook because it was impossible to look at Trotter's cartoon and not tear up. We could all feel the impact this wedding would have on all of us. It didn't matter whether it rained or not, All that mattered was to watch our friends tie the knot and start their new lives together with their families.
It's a cheesy thing to write much less say out loud, but as I looked at this sketch, all I could think was that line Steve Martin said in L.A. Story about how he'd stop the polarity of the earth, roll in fog, etc. etc. to keep his love from leaving. I kept thinking of how much Doke would do anything to give Susan the wedding she never had.
And it went off without any huge hitches. A few few people were late. A couple of folks needed last minutes rides to the beach but by 4 o' clock, everyone was at their respective wedding posts:guests and attendants.
|Best use of a pallet ever.|
Now there were a few close calls. Tim had originally planned to show up at the rehearsal wearing a pair of these
The Tim I knew from 10 years ago would have shown up wearing this with myself alongside wearing a cape as had been bandied around jokingly. But we're older now. We have careers, families, responsibilities, house payments and such. We have matured. So much in fact, we waited until the cookout after rehearsal. It actually went over really well.
Tim wore one and then handed me the other. I honestly am saying I had no idea just how comfortable wearing a pasty would be. Surprisingly comfy and it doesn't hurt when you pull it off (well, except for chest hair but I wouldn't think would be an issue for the intended use.). They are also surprisingly affordable, though to be honest, I've never really considered just what a pasty should cost. Check it out on Amazon.
All of us had stood beside both of our friends through some pretty crazy times but somehow these crazy kids made it and everyone recognized the power of what Susan and Doke feel towards each other.
A few Christmases ago when Doke had not reconnected with Susan yet, we had driven together to a friend's dad's funeral. When we came back to my house afterward, The kids were being sweet while Kim greeted me at the door with a kiss followed by one of her patented smart ass quips. Doke looked wistfully and said, "This is what I want for myself someday."
As Doke opened up his moleskin notebook and read his vows to Susan, I kept thinking to myself. "Well Ol' Boy, you certainly got what you wished for and much more. Well done, sir."
Scott Ryfun is one of Doke's buddies down in Brunswick and does a popular radio show down that way. He is neat guy as well as the creator of the podcasts, My Star Wars Story and the notorious Dinner 4 Geeks. As the reception was winding down, Ryfun sought me out and said with a grin, "We need a criminal. C'mon." Ego stroked, I went along.
Curiously I followed Ryfun outside to meet up with another of the Dinner 4 Geeks commentators, Ryan. It was Ryan who shared how he had gotten a hold of the bridal suite room key and we were minutes away from going and trashing it. The following conversation occurred pretty much like this in a short narrative in which I've entitled:
Scenes From a Wedding Reception
ME: (without hesitation) Nope. I'm out
RYAN: Where's your balls? C'mon it will be hilarious.
ME: My balls are exactly where they've always been. I'm no afraid at all. I'm just staying out of this. Tim and I have garnered a tad bit of a rep at these things and I am lying low.
TIM: Hey guys, what's up? Ryfun said to meet out here.
RYAN: We're about to go and mess up Doke and Susan's room.
TIM: (without hesitation, part II) Nope. Have fun.
EXIT ROBBY AND TIM
TIM: Did we just...?
ROBBY: Yep, We're getting old.
TIM: I don't think it's that so much as you and I are determined to not have anyone cursing when our names are mentioned this time,
ROBBY AND TIM SAUNTER UP TO BAR. END SCENE.
|What were the odds that the Groom's cake would be Star Wars related? Hmmmmmm...|
Our final test would come when the lucky bride and groom were preparing to leave. There was this idea in which all the guests would line up outside in two rows and much like a royal military procession where swords are crossed, the happy couple would meander their way on out.
This is an adorable idea. My first thought was instead of swords, we'd all hold toy light sabers due to Doke and Susan's love of geek culture. Imagine my shock when Kim explained we'd all hold these mongo-sized sparklers overhead as the Dokes would pass under us.
I love my friends. They are amazing people. Seriously. But I also recognize that once alcohol has been added to the equation the resulting sum using ends in some sort of call to an emergency service. Add to this equation the variable in which I am a fire bug especially after a few libations, then game on.
|No wedding parties were harmed in the making of this photo....|
Somehow the Dokes were able to do not one but two passes (for photo reasons and not some perverted Red Rover fantasy) without incident. I spent most of my time trying not burn any around me and the other half trying to keep Littleman from putting out my eye.
The rest of the evening went off without a hitch and was quite fun. I got to smoke a Cuban cigar while hanging out with Stu and Kevin, Courtney's husband. Everyones' kids had a blast running around together. Kim and I spent much time with everyone hanging out in the Villa's pool and passing the bottle around. The Dokes even came by and the evening very slowly turned into an "I love you, Man"-Fest. It was awesome.
Now don't get me wrong. This weekend was certainly all about Susan Perry and Jeff Doke getting married. Frankly, Kim, the kids, and myself had so much fun, it reminded me how special wedding can be. I revisit what I said earlier about that Christmas break back when Doke was single and wanting to find that girl who was just right for him.
There are some couples you meet in life and you know they gel just right. Pardon the Forrest Gump reference but you guys are each other's peas and carrots and I am thrilled that I got to be a part of this very special day. Thank you both.
You did it, Doke Well done, sir.
And I did nothing to fuck it up this time. Curse broken. I'll have that top shelf margarita, please.
|About that time the Duke Boys decided it was time to groove......|
Also love this one of the Duchess at Tortuga Jack's
|"Waiter, I ordered the large...."|