This is a true story. A true story about me–ON my wedding day.
I’m writing this, not as a serious piece or wannabe public service announcement, but to make you have a little chuckle at my expense.
You see, today is my 14th wedding anniversary.
Ah, the memories…
Here’s the things that stick out most in my mind when I think back on my wedding day:
It was hot. REALLY hot (just like today!). And humid.
The church we were married in was small and not air conditioned. Plus we were brainiacs and chose to get married at 2 in the afternoon on a mid-July day. Why not, right?
While I was waiting for my “big moment” after getting my wedding dress on, I waited in a basement room of the church, parked in front of a box fan with my dress hiked up over my knees. I was such a classy bride. Somehow a photo of this did not make it into our wedding album.
When my handsome groom was repeating his vows, I focused on a droplet of sweat that was making its way down his nose and hung on the end of it. Oh, and a fly buzzing around his head. Not because I’m shallow or flippant about my marriage, but because I was nervous about being in front of the crowd watching us. Something to focus on, you know?
Apparently he was just as nervous because when ring time rolled around, he was trying to put his ring on me. Um, it was way too big. Finally we figured it out and put the correct ones on each other. See, I told you we were brainiacs.
Since our reception was outside under a big rented tent, my wonderful parents had arranged for buckets of water ice to be available as a snack while we had our pictures done. People LOVED this idea. You know, in that awkward time span after a wedding while you’re waiting for the real food to start.
During cake time we were so NOT nice and sweet. Somehow I ended up with wedding cake up in my eye. A picture of this is in our wedding album. We kissed afterwards, so it’s all good.
After the cake and all that stuff, we were just about getting ready to go in, get changed into real clothes, and finally leave for our honeymoon. Just at that moment, my Aunt Beverly called us over to tell us something. That’s when the kidnapping occurred.
Yep, it’s really true. I was actually kidnapped on my wedding day.
Now, before I tell anymore, I have to explain a little more about who kidnapped me. To fully appreciate the story, you have to get a word picture of my uncles.
My Dad comes from a long line of farmers. So, pretty much 95% of his family is involved with farming somehow. And, at 6’6″, my Dad is the “little” one of his brothers. They’re both just about that tall, but much bigger than him. Not fat, just big and burly and farm-boy strong. They also have always had the mountain man beards going on, sorta like these guys.
Anyway, are you getting a picture in your head?
Good, because here’s what happened next….
My Aunt Beverly calls us over. At that moment, a friend of ours (also extremely big and burly) grabs my new husband from behind. I was all like “What the…?” when I feel myself being lifted up by my elbows and see my Uncle Wayne on one side and my Uncle Frog (his real name’s Bob, by the way but I’ve always known him as Frog) on the either side of me, both with an iron grip on my arms. They half toss me (only because they’re super strong;)) into my Uncle Frog’s farm pickup. “Well Raquel Welch, (that’s been Frog’s nickname for me since I was little. I have no idea why, other than the fact that my name’s Rachel. Rachel, Raquel.He also calls my Dad Jesse James and my brother Honky Baloney. Everyone gets a cool nickname in this family.) we’re going to go for a ride.” Before I know it, we’re pulling out the parking lot of the church, and I still have no earthly clue what’s going on.
If you had a good picture of what Uncle Frog looks like, I’m sure you can imagine his pickup. Yes, my friends, I spent a small part of my wedding day sitting crunched (in my wedding dress on a 98 degree day, no less) between my mountain man uncles, gear shift in between my knees, and old Mountain Dew and green Skoal cans rolling around my feet. Oh, and baler twine and straw flapping around the back.
See, I told you I was a classy bride.
Anyhow, they start driving around the back roads near the church that I was married in, discussing crops and the weather like they hadn’t just snatched a newly married bride a mere 5 minutes before. I still had no idea what the heck was happening, but since I’m usually an easy going person, I was rolling with it. After a few miles, they looped back around to the church parking lot. They slow down and drive by the reception tent, where I see the guy who had held down my groom with a microphone in his hand.
“Did they get enough money yet?” one of my uncles hollers out the rolled-down window. “Nope, keep driving!” the other guy yells back. I also see my husband with a hat in his hand and a miffed expression on his face. Okay, so I’m starting to get a clue now. Apparently I’m being held for ransom. Why, I have no idea. But all of our wedding guests look like they’re enjoying themselves (as much as you can on such a hot day), so I guess it’s all some kind of big joke.
After more riding around and discussing farming, we pulled back around to the church and they were informed that I could be released now. I hop out of the truck in my wedding dress and see what’s up.
So, I guess my man had to go around and ask the guests for money to buy back his bride, then they planned to give us the money to spend on our honeymoon. My poor husband, who is very proud, especially when it comes to money, was mortified. Every time my uncles see him, they still love to tease him about it.
Right after this happened, and even for months afterward when the subject of our wedding comes up, people thought we were somehow in on their plan. A couple of people were like, “Rachel, you must be a good actress, because you looked really surprised.” Um, that’s because I WAS. Definitely no acting going on here.
So, there you have it folks. How I was kidnapped on my wedding day. It’s a pretty funny memory, and our kids just recently heard the story.
A day that will live in infamy. Ha ha, not really.
This picture was snapped a little while after, when we really WERE leaving for our honeymoon. This is one of my absolute favorite wedding day pictures. I’m sure we were like “Finally!”
Thanks for tuning in, and try to keep cool!
PS-And they lived happily ever after.