Before I get into this post, I need to tell a story. Not a long one, I promise. Call it my “attention-getter.”
A couple of years ago, I went to the wedding of a family friend.
It was a beautiful wedding. Wonderful colors, gorgeous flowers. The church looked stunning. And then the ceremony started. It began with a picture slideshow. I promise every last one of you, Garden: I am not exaggerating this next sentence at all. Their slideshow was forty-five minutes long. Yes, that’s right. Almost an hour! It started out normal enough. Baby pictures of both of them, pictures of them growing up, the occasional embarassing pre-teen snap shot. But eventually, they started throwing in random pictures. Pictures of them together, pictures of them with random people I wondered if even they knew, 30 pictures of the bride with completely random people and 30 pictures of the groom with completely random people. It just kept going. What’s worse, the music wasn’t wedding related or romantic or sweet and loving at all. I swear, they were just playing top 40 songs for the majority of the video. Before then, I had always been in favor of the pre-wedding slide show. But after that? Not only did I hate them, I absolutely refused to have one in my wedding.
Onto the actual post now, when the Joker and I started to plan our big day, the slide show discussion came up one day between Mommy Joker and Orchid. I said there would be no slideshow in our wedding, and they both looked at me like I had kicked a puppy.
“But…you have to have a slide show,” Mommy Joker said, actually looking sad at the idea there wouldn’t be one in it.
Mommy Orchid agreed, and when I reminded her of the 45-minute-life-story we witnessed years earlier, she hesitated. Then, the two women gave us a compromise: one song each. Not even the whole song, if I didn’t want to. But just enough for maybe 30 or 40 pictures. After some discussion, I decided I was okay with this. Because after all, not everything in our wedding is about us brides, is it, Garden? One song each was a nice compromise because it meant our mommies got the slide show they wanted, but we could keep it short like I wanted. But I especially loved the idea of a slide show, when I realized it was yet another opportunity for the Joker and I to be unique on our big day because there was a special twist we could add to the slide show that no other bride and groom does.
A couple of years ago, I read the poem “I Like You” by Sandol Stoddard Warburg. The poem in itself is not that unique. I read about it in a wedding magazine, and since reading it, this was the first time I’ve heard of other couples using it in their ceremonies. However, the first time I heard it, I knew it had to be in my wedding.
I instantly started to think of moments this poem would be appropriate in our wedding. Then, the question came up of who would read the poem in the ceremony. I thought over the people in our bridal party, family and friends we share, all of whom I knew were talented enough to do it and do it well. But as I tried to think of who was the perfect fit to read this poem, I realized something: We were the perfect fit for this poem. I didn’t want anyone else to be reading aloud what so perfectly fit us other than us. So fine, it was going to be in our wedding, and we were going to read it. But when? As I tried to think of when we could recite “I Like You,” I kept thinking about this slide show. I realized that what I didn’t like about the idea of a slide show is I didn’t feel like there was any time in the video that represented us as a couple. Especially since our mothers were picking the songs that would play. I wanted to put a touch to the video that still said “Orchid and Joker,” not just another pre-wedding slide show. I realized this poem was just that opportunity.
My puddin’ works for a radio station, which gave us access to top of the line recording equipment. So Mistah J and I went to the studio and recorded us reading excerpts of the poem. If we had done the entire poem, it would take at least fifteen minutes. Plus, there are parts of it that are too silly for a wedding, so we only did a cut version of the poem.
As I told you all in the proposal story, the song “God Gave Me You” has a special meaning for the Joker and I now. Thus, it became the background music. Our moms chose their songs, obligatory corny songs from the early 1990’s, and we put everything together to get our slide show!
So, I guess our names aren’t really a secret anymore! But you don’t know what we go by! And I actually don’t technically go by either name, but rather a variation of one of them.
*clears throat* Nonetheless, this was our slide show. I couldn’t be more proud of how it turned out. Everyone, who saw it, said it was absolutely perfect and totally us. In fact, many people have cried watching it! Including a groomsman! I won’t tell you which one, though. I don’t want to embarass him.
Not that I’m digging here, but what do you think, Garden? Are you doing something original in your slideshow?