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The King And Us

The foyer was decorated with photos of the veritable galaxy of stars previously wed at the Chapel. Jon Bon Jovi, Jay Leno, Billy Ray Cyrus, Chucky & Bride of Chucky, and some guy that used to be on The Young and the Restless. I gazed up at them as the receptionist handed me an bouquet of white flowers. “You’re here for the eleven thirty?”

“We’re the eleven.”

“Oh right! Groom’s name… Garth? Garett?”

“Gareth!”

“Oh, that’s unusual! Okey dokey then! You guys ready to get married?”

The photographer took us into the chapel and arranged us into a dozen different poses in three minutes. Bride stand here, groom stand there. His arm here, her feet there. Hand up, chin down. Kiss here, grope there.

“Now, will you be exchanging rings?”

Gareth and I grimaced, “Umm, sorta.”

I pulled two rings off my finger. “We didn’t get round to buying them so we’re just going to use these and turn them upside down so they look like wedding bands.”

The photographer pointed at one of them. “What is THAT?”

“It’s jade! Or plastic, maybe. Got it from a market in Moscow for 20 roubles.”

He raised his eyebrow at Gareth, “Big spender, aren’t ya buddy?”

Next we were introduced to the Reverend who’d be doing the officials. She was all cute and round like Dawn French in the Vicar of Dibley. “So it’s Shauna and.. Gar-eth?” She pronounced his name like it rhymed with “caress”, with added lisp.

“Gareth!”

“Shauna and Gary, okay. Now Gary you come with me down the aisle and we’ll shut the doors so the bride can make her dramatic entrance. I’ll say a few words, then we do the vows, and then you’ll be married!”

Even as the Bridal March cranking up, I couldn’t comprehend that this was our wedding. I just stared at the cheesy photos on the wall muttering, “Heh heh heh.”
Someone opened the double doors and I strolled down the aisle, vaguely thinking “Oh, there’s Gareth”, but mostly “Woohoo! I can walk in these shoes!”. I half-listened to the Reverend as she said a prayer and some words about love and two lives coming together, blah blah blah.

But as soon as she started the vows, pow! I was finally in the moment. We didn’t know beforehand how the vows would be phrased, but they turned out to be simple and eloquent. Gareth was holding my hands, absently brushing his thumbs back and forth like he always does. That gesture always makes me feel so calm and reassured, this time it was electric. Until that moment this whole Vegas thing had just felt like some really elaborate vacation. But now we looked at each other with this mixture of nerves and warmth and tenderness and Holy Fucking Shit Batman, We’re Getting Married!

“Now repeat after me,” said the Minister. ‘Gar-ethhh, I love you.'”

“GARETH!” I corrected, “I love you!”

And I’d never meant it so much as right then. The tears prickled and my heart pounded like a Bon Jovi power ballad. Five stars to Boots No 7 Waterproof Mascara!

We then promised to love and cherish, but nothing about obeying, dammit. Gareth slid the upside-down ring-o-shite onto my finger. Then I stared at his hands in confusion, my usual battle with Left and Right made worse by the fact it was in reverse, but I eventually chose the correct digit without having to make an ‘L’ with my left hand.

The Minister smiled. “Now you may seal your marriage with A BIG KISS!”

And then we were hitched.

We headed to the counter to collect our certificate and pay the bill. A lady in a red and black sequined mini dress was next up at the white doors, her tight-denimed fella waiting down the aisle. They’d shelled out for the Elvis impersonator, and what a strapping specimen he was! Tall, lean and leather-suited; this was Elvis in the prime of his Vegas years, before he messed with the fried peanut butter sandwiches.

“So that’s you guys all done,” said the receptionist, handing me a receipt.

“Cool!” I gawked at the wedding certificate in disbelief. “Oh! I almost forgot. Do we get the DVD now or do you post it to us later?”

“You ordered the DVD? I don’t think there’s a DVD included your package?”

“I rang back a few weeks ago and added it, remember?”

The receptionist flipped through the book. “Oh yes. Here it is. OH. Right. Umm. Let me go check with the photographer.”

A few minutes later the photographer rushed in, clutching his forehead, “OH… SHOOT!”

“You didn’t film their wedding?”

“OH… SHOOT!”

The staff were aghast and apologetic. Maybe they thought I’d be Freakout Bride and sue!

“We are SO sorry!” said the lovely blonde lady that owns the place, “The photographer just saw the package name on the sheet and didn’t see we’d added a note about the DVD. I can refund you right away?”

“It’s okay, really!” I said, “But the only problem is that my mother was very insistent we get the DVD, so I don’t dare go home without it.”

“Okay,” said Blondie, “We’ll just have to reshoot.”

“Reshoot? You mean, do the wedding again?”

“If you guys don’t mind. It’s the least we could do!”

She was all apologies, but Gareth and I were in stitches. It was so beautifully ridiculous. Two weddings in ten minutes? If we stuck around another hour we could beat Elizabeth Taylor’s record.

“I’ll tell you what, how about we throw in Elvis, too?” Blondie offered. “Since you’re being so good about this. He’s right here and ready to go!”

By then Mr & Mrs Minidress were done. Elvis sauntered over to be briefed on the situation. He grinned and gave the thumbs up.

Next thing Gareth was back at the altar and I was poised behind the doors for my second jaunt down the aisle. It was then I recalled The Mothership’s reaction when I told her we were running away to Vegas. There’d been a long pause on the line before she asked, “Are you sure you’re taking this marriage thing seriously?”

“We’re taking the marriage seriously, Mother!” I explained. “Just not the wedding!”

The doors swung open and there was Elvis waiting for me, strumming his guitar and crooning Love Me Tender. I hooked my arm through his and willed myself not to laugh for the next five minutes. I could hear the tripod screech every time the video camera changed position. This was going to be one classy production.

“Who gives away this woman today?” the Minister asked as we reached the end of the runway.

“On behalf of her friends and family,” drawled Elvis, “I do! Elvis, the King of ROCK AND ROLL!”

He winked at Gareth, “She’s all yers, buddy!”

“Thank you. Thank you very much!”

The Minister plowed through the vows again. For the benefit of the camera we tried to recreate the sincerity and emotion of our first marriage. I tried to get my voice to waver on the vows, so people wouldn’t know this my second time around. And I managed to kiss the groom with the same enthusiasm as I had all those minutes before.

As we unlocked lips there was the plasticky CLUNK of a portable CD player. Muzak dribbled forth as Elvis burst back into the chapel. The Minister gestured with her eyebrows for us to take a pew and be serenaded. We smiled awkwardly into the cameras as the King sang Can’t Help Falling In Love.

It’s cool to be on your second marriage without encountering lawyers, bitterness, custody battles or property settlements. Best of all they gave us a free t-shirt that says, I RENEWED MY VOWS AT GRACELAND CHAPEL!

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About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m an author, copywriter and old school blogger. I love telling stories about life and helping my clients to tell theirs. Find out more about me and how we can work together.


42 thoughts on “The King And Us

  1. WOAH! Amazing… you guys rawk!

    (And I’m so glad that I’m the first one to comment on this. Yay!)

  2. “We’re taking the marriage seriously, Mother!” I explained. “Just not the wedding!“

    That’s your funniest entry in ages. If only every couple thought this way. Congrats again.

  3. “the second time they threw in Elvis for free!”

    ACK! Too…Funny….

    You got the PERFECT Vegas fun wedding all by accident. So much more entertaining than if you’d just got the Elvis package to start.

    *makes mental note that “Gareth” is not a name yanks can deal with*

  4. That’s a terrific wedding story. Having to do it twice just means that you’ll both be twice as happy. Congratulations!!

  5. That’s a terrific wedding story. Having to do it twice just means that you’ll both be twice as happy. Congratulations!!

  6. Oh Shauny! How so very exciting! You can’t imagine my smilre right now! That is just THE coolest. I hope my wedding is as cool as yours.

  7. You just made me grin very widely indeed… no wonder Garth (or is it Garrett? Garfield, maybe?) said the wedding was blogging gold.

    THEN you made my eyes well up with sentimental tears at the last photo. Even though it was take two…

    And the dress (and haircut) look fantastic!

    Do you have problems with people calling you Shona here? I’d have thought you might, but then again I went to nursery school with a Shauna, so maybe it’s not as unusual as I think.

    “Gareth” doesn’t seem THAT hard to get one’s head around. But I sympathise. I’ve had a lifetime of people calling me Kirsty, Kirsteen or Christine – but at least I can guarantee it won’t happen during my wedding vows!

  8. desperate for the latest instalment (was already a follower before the award),out of boredom I clicked on the google translation into French……..Not the same text AT ALL!!

  9. Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!! This is fantasic – you both look happy, fantastic and I’m grinning from ear to ear. Many, many best wishes xxx

  10. You make me laugh and cry at the same time – hic-heehee! I LOVE your wedding and I LOVE you guys! This entry couldn’t be more Solid Gold if it tried! ~sniff-guffaw~~ 😀

  11. Perfect. That photo is excellent. It must be blown up to A3 size and go above the family mantlepiece, when you have one.

  12. that is the best wedding i have seen in years, i wish that my fiance & i could do something similar, unfortunately my “in-laws-to-be” have it in their heads that it’s their wedding. 🙂 so it’ll be a monstrosity, i’m sure. you look beautiful!!! (as do gareth and “elvis”)
    congratulations!

    p.s. i read often, this is the first time i’m commenting. you rock!

  13. Yeehaw! (That’s what they say our there in Nevada.) Shauna I had no idea that you were such a stunner! Gary/Gareth/Garess is one lucky dude.

  14. its all too cool – the whole thing!

    you could’ve called this one two weddings & a t-shirt!

    congrats again.

  15. Ha-ha-he-he,

    French kiss and Elvis in the same building should never be mixed together! Is this blog still classified as a family website or what?

    In my old country Czechoslovakia (which no longer exists) the exchange of vows – even taken the maiden time were considered to be an acto of carelessness; but second time – surely that must be up there with the definition of recklessness 😛

  16. there were no tongues i swear! still rated PG here!

    totally unrelated –
    the mothership called today all miffed about the PURPLES! entry, she says she’s not going to buy me undies ever again, hehehe.

  17. That was the funniest read yet (is that possible.. they are all so funny). My friend got married there but had the “fat” Elvis. When I saw the video I just laughed the whole way through – well done on keeping a straight face. Your writing is pure gold!

  18. if our relationship means anything ANYTHING, surely it’s worth a divx copy of that dvd.

    congratufuckinglations, miss s.

    a few words of advice from the old and married. ensure marriage has equal parts of the three ‘c’s, communication, cuddles and chocolate.

    Love youse.

    bjb

  19. Married by Elvis – it doesn’t get much cooler than that. I think I should buy the movie rights to your life Miss Shauna! 🙂

  20. I wish you’d stop.

    I’m getting sick of cleaning out my keyboard after I’ve sprayed mouthfuls of lunch over it (those bits of sweetcorn get EVERYWHERE!).

    Sounds like an ace day, and I hope your marriage continues in this vein!

  21. great story and beautifully written. congrats, have a great journey together! however, made me happy i got married under an apple tree to the sound of bach…!

  22. Congrats, but I couldn’t get to the picture to see you happy creatures. Oh well, maybe next time 🙂

  23. I’m so sorry I am late in adding this, but CONGRATULATIONS!!! What a fabulous wedding you had! I love your attitude about the whole thing – how great!

    I would love to see pictures if it’s not to late to have a peek! 😀

  24. hey i’ve been offline for a few months due to moving and so i MISSED the pictures! how can i get a peek, please?? Congrats on a great wedding however! too much fun! 🙂

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