Thu, 30 Sep 2010
My Life As A Wedding Witness
Every Wednesday, my boss and four of us in our group have what we call a "Small Group Meeting", basically a way of brainstorming and hashing out things that just don't work well in a discussion involving the number of people that make up our entire group. It is traditionally in a coffeeshop down the road from the office, so we can talk without getting interrupted by folks wandering into my boss' office or a meeting room. This Wednesday, however having been a bad one for a couple of co-workers, we went to a place called Roger Monks (area folks may recognize this as the Lord Fox, which changed it's name a while back). They have a bar, and a happy hour, and we could have a meeting and then, hey, bar.
We were most of the way through our meeting when a young couple drove up, walked up the ramp to where we were sitting on the deck outside, and said they had an unusual request to ask of us. They had just decided to get married and were having the ceremony at a place just down the road, but they needed two people as witnesses — would any of us volunteer to do so? We sat there for a few seconds absorbing it, and then I said we were having a meeting, even though it may not look like it. I believe one of my co-workers suggested they go in and talk to the staff, so they wandered inside.
We talked for about five minutes more and were almost done with the meeting, when they came back out and said the staff couldn't leave, and we being pretty much the only folks there at the time, could they beg a couple of us to witness. I asked my boss if we were basically done, and as we were, I said I'd do it, there's too good of a story here to pass it up. My co-worker Steve S. said roughly the same thing, and we got into a rental car with the couple and drove down the street.
There's apparently a place in Dixboro that does this — Teacup Wedding (they bill themselves as "Michigan's Premier Short Notice, Elopement, Small Wedding Chapel) — I never knew it existed until today. Apparently they do a decent amount of business; the couple mentioned that the staff at the restaurant said this happens on a semi-regular basis. The groom rang the doorbell, and the lady who is the officiant opened the door and welcomed us in. She had their marriage license, and asked to see ID from both the bride and groom. She asked Steve and I if we were both over 18 years of age, which we definitely were. She then explained that they were about to get married, and that it was going to be a very simple ceremony. She asked the bride and groom in turn of they were freely willing to wed the other person (and some other stuff here, I was snapping pictures at this point), and when both in turn answered yes, she pronounced them married and they kissed.
Then came the part Steve and I were required for, the signing of the marriage license. Interestingly, in Michigan, the bride and groom are required to sign their name readably, but the witnesses, having a line on which they must also print their name, could use the regular scribble so many of us have cultured as a signature. They signed, we signed, three times, a copy was provided to the newlyweds along with the packet the county clerk gives you, and we were off.
For those of you familiar with the classic Spaceballs, it wasn't quite the short-short version, but it also wasn't as long as the short version.
We weren't gone for more than twenty minutes, and back at Roger Monks the couple bought Steve and I a drink, were inside for a bit, and then were off.
Dante and Annalyn, congratulations!