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It Ain’t a Wedding Without Mormons, Drag Queens and a See-Through Dress

January 5, 2011

When the Serb and I decided to get hitched, his family was all in – you guessed it – Serbia and my parents were living in Kuwait for ten months of the year. Celebrating the millennium in the Cook Islands seemed like a stellar idea because, if the world was going to end (or at least come to a halt), what better place to be than a remote tropical island?

I’d been a bridesmaid enough times to get the vicarious walking-down-the-aisle-all-eyes-on-me thrill but also the associated stress of planning a party for 100+ people. We decided to do the wedding alone but have a party in the summer when my parents were in town. We decided to mail announcements to our friends and family on our way to the airport letting them know that we were getting hitched (except for the parents – the Serb asked my dad for my hand in marriage 20 minutes after meeting him).

I contacted an event planner named Anita who arranged everything for us. We booked an apartment in a small, family-run motel on the edge of the water. The day we arrived she showed us the perfect secluded area of beach for the ceremony and we went to meet our minister, Danny. Then all we had to do was enjoy our vacation and see Anita and Danny two weeks later.

But we did see Danny again – a couple of times, actually. The first time was at a hotel where he was MC for a cultural dinner show. He spotted us right away and gave us a shout-out, which was cute, then had us come up and dance, which was less cute. The second time we saw Danny was in our room, sitting on our dresser. He was on the cover of our Guide to the Cook Islands, looking like one of the natives from Gilligan’s Island.

Apparently our Danny was a bit of a local celebrity.

On the day of our wedding, we weren’t due on the beach until sunset, so I’d booked an in-room massage to relax and pass the time. Enter Divine in a muumuu. She oiled me up, ran her hands up and down my shoulders for a couple of minutes, then asked if she could have my People magazines.

After she left, I had to have a few Pina Coladas to unwind.

It was time to get married. With the Serb safely ensconced at the bar, I put on my wedding dress (fifteen dollars at the mall), did my makeup (lip balm) and hair (four bobby pins). Anita showed up with a massive bouquet, out of which I plucked four gardenias to put in my hair in lieu of a veil.

The photographer acted as best man and Anita was maid of honour. We did our vows and then Danny pronounced us man and wife. In the name of the Church of Jesus Christ and the Latter Day Saints. There’s a picture that I’m sure was taken as Danny said this, because the Serb and I have looks on our faces like, “Umm…are we Mormon now?”

We didn’t have time to ponder that question because it started to rain, a blessing from the gods but not for my dress: it became completely translucent. The true blessing was having a bouquet as big as gladiator shield to hide my lady parts.

It's the rain that drenched the Serb's shirt and pants, not nerves.

After the paperwork was signed in a bar across the street, we took off on our scooter and toured the island in the rain, honking and waving at everyone we passed. Back at our apartment, the Serb decided to forego the traditional carrying of the bride across the threshold and instead threw us both in the pool. We ran to the beach in our towels to catch the most brilliant sunset ever, then got dressed and had a romantic dinner, where I promptly fell asleep at the table.

Looking back I can see how my wedding reflects my marriage: both were full of interesting surprises, overall kookiness, lots of laughs and utter exhaustion.

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20 Comments leave one →
  1. Leslie permalink
    January 5, 2011 8:23 am

    LOL! Now *that* ladies and gents is a wedding story! 🙂

  2. January 5, 2011 8:34 am

    What a sweet story! I wish our wedding had been as laid back, but it was a typical South Asian MegaWedding and I detested every minute of it (apart from the fact that I was marrying the man of my dreams). Totally off tangent – but your parents lived in Kuwait for part of the year? Are you sure you’re not partly South Asian too????

    • January 5, 2011 8:48 am

      There’s definitely something to be said about the wedding-as-spectacle, though…as long as you’ve got the right man by your side, it’s all good 🙂

      (I’m def. not even a bit South Asian, but I think my parents are in spirit)

  3. January 5, 2011 9:35 am

    What a great wedding story, thanks for sharing. 🙂 If I were ever to get married again THAT is how I would do it. Quiet. Relaxed.

    • January 5, 2011 9:49 am

      After going to a few Serbian weddings with envelopes stuffed with cash, I keep telling myhubs that for my next husband I’m doing it up BIG 🙂

  4. January 5, 2011 11:26 am

    In case I haven’t told you in awhile…I love you.

  5. January 5, 2011 12:59 pm

    Hm, I wonder if I could get a wedding like that? Maybe if I negotiated taking my husband’s name?
    What a fun story and GREAT pic!

    • January 5, 2011 5:34 pm

      I’ve become very nostalgic today looking at that pic. My fella might just get lucky this month 😉

  6. January 5, 2011 2:50 pm

    i LOVE this story. LOVE.

  7. January 5, 2011 2:54 pm

    Awww … thats actually quite cute and funny.
    You should totally write a book.

  8. ryoko861 permalink
    January 5, 2011 4:08 pm

    Aww, that’s sweet! And they lived happily ever after!

  9. Lara Agate McCully permalink
    January 5, 2011 5:07 pm

    Oh My Gosh… this is my favourite so far… how funny! Oh, and welcome to the church, Sister Lori. 😉

  10. TheIdiotSpeaketh permalink
    January 5, 2011 10:04 pm

    Blog post title of the year so far! LMAO! Awesome story!

  11. The Perfectly Imperfect One permalink
    January 6, 2011 1:30 am

    Lol I love this post 🙂

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