Village people and zombies: a wedding in pictures (unabridged)

A happy distraction from the news, back by popular demand!

In light of the Freddie Gray protests that became a mosh pit of riots and violence throughout Baltimore City, now in full repair mode, I found it fitting to post something more positive for everyone. I think a good blog post to make people smile is long overdue.

Another thing blog related that is long overdue is my story “The Sinister Crack in the Wall Listened”, which I meant to post April 30th. But because my new Internet connection at home is very slow and doesn’t work very well, I had to turn off my computer until the connection was better. It was also around four in the morning when I found myself still wrapping up the ending, as well as editing the rest of the story, and I sorely needed the sleep.

That in mind, the first story of “Conversations with Mr. Midnight” is split into two parts, the links listed below:

Part One >>>

Part Two >>>

Now, please enjoy the post written below about a wedding with zombies!

PICT0080This is an old post from November, 2012, which was previously in a blog called “Little Miss Pink”, which did terribly with my lame insight on dating faux pas. But after some convincing from my family, here is the blog post from the Pennsylvania wedding of my cousin Tom and his wife Nicole, complete with some of the pictures I took from the ceremony on Sept. 7, 2012:

There’s a wonderful scene in Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride that I love where the corpse bride Emily drags Victor (Johnny Depp) into the colorful land of the dead. She and the rest of the corpses treat him like family throughout the first scene there. After the amazing song written and performed by Danny Elfman, the corpse bride gives Victor a wedding gift: the skeleton of his old dog Scraps brought back to life. Victor has a good time with him until he tells the dog to “play dead” and the dog looks at him, confused.

It’s the sweetest, cutest scene in the whole film besides the gorgeous ending.

PICT0116Now if someone had done that theme at the wedding I went to Friday the 7th, I would have enjoyed it. But the only thing at the wedding that had a similar theme was the cake. The vanilla cake had white buttercream frosting with black icing decoration and a cake topper that had the humorous “Oh no, you don’t” bride and groom, only the bride figurine holding back the fleeing groom had zombie paint on her face and black paint on her dress.

One of the bridesmaids said the bride loved zombies.

Still, the wedding of my cousin Tom and his new wife Nicole at Meredith Manor in Pennsylvania was lovely and lively. It was so lively, in fact, that it was exhausting. Like running through town being chased by zombies with a cricket bat in your hand.

The ceremony began with the procession of the groom, best man, and groomsmen, including my oldest cousin Amy on the groom’s side, followed by the bridesmaids all dressed in black.

PICT0043

My cousin Tom’s face as Nicole walked down the aisle was priceless.

And what I always do very quickly when I have my camera out is take a picture of the groom as the bride makes her way down the aisle. Thankfully, I had my camera with me and I was closest to the front row so I could get the shot. As for the groom, he was smiling lovingly at his bride, wearing a slinky white halter gown with a beaded girdle accent and smiling back at him as her father escorted her.

The lovely bride, Nicole Howat, now my new cousin Mrs. Zayed, with her father.

The lovely bride, Nicole Howat, now my new cousin Mrs. Zayed, with her father.

PICT0062 Tom jokingly smiled at the beginning and gave an enthusiastic gesture after he declared to be Nicole’s husband, making some guests laugh. Then the pastor recited a couple of prayers and presented his gift to the bride and groom, a silver cross, to resemble God and Jesus’s love for them and the promise the bride and groom would make to love each other as God intended. After a reading by one person from both sides of the family, including an Apache blessing, and a final blessing from the pastor, Tom and Nicole were officially Mr. and Mrs. Zayed.

PICT0078The bride punched her hand holding the bouquet in the air as Tom led her down the aisle after their couple kiss.

PICT0079The only person missing from the family who was expected to be there was my aunt Tracie. The day of the wedding was in the week of the nine month anniversary since Tracie’s passing, which came at a terrible time. It had also been seven years since our grandfather Thomas “Poppi”Ahrens died due to respiratory complications. Since then, we all needed something to cheer us up, and not just a regular family cookout and gathering we do every year.

We needed this wedding to happen, according to my dad. I believed him.

My cousins with their spouses, along with other friends of the family. The bride and groom, Cousin Adam and Johanna in the middle, and Amira "Cousin Amy" with her husband Luke on their right.

My cousins with their spouses, along with other friends of the family. The bride and groom, Cousin Adam and Johanna in the middle, and Amira “Cousin Amy” with her husband Luke on their right.

Then again, we did have a wedding a few years after we lost Poppi. Tom’s identical twin brother Adam married Johanna in 2009 in Havre De Grace, Maryland, which lifted everyone’s spirits up. Adam got his dance with Tracie for the mother-son dance and the bridal party did their jumping dance to techno-pop music. The bridesmaids wore blue to match Adam’s eyes, as the maid of honor said in her speech. And for good luck, a cricket jumped on the bride’s dress during the ceremony, which the bride took a minute to brush it off her dress, going, “Get it off me!”

Everyone had a good time, except me for the most part because I was stuck at the kids’ table and I was a student at Towson University already. I felt like I was Ben Stiller in The Heartbreak Kid, stuck at the “singles” table, which was really the kids’ table.

Thankfully, I sat with the cousins of the bride and groom, who were all grown up, at the most recent wedding. Still, most of our family members kept straight faces. Perhaps the reason for why most of my cousins had straight faces at the wedding was because they missed their mother. All of Tom’s siblings present shared a slow dance with their husbands and wives instead of the mother-son dance.

PICT0106At the reception, the bride and groom danced to Frank Sinatra’s “I Got You Under My Skin” for their first dance right before dinner was served. Afterwards, the chaos ensued. I tried to strike up a conversation with the man next to me, who was one of the bride’s cousins.

With his flat black hair, lanky stature and the possibility that he came alone, I thought he might be good to become fast friends with me. But when I tried talking to him, he didn’t want to talk to me that much. He only answered occasionally and didn’t smile at anything I said. I thought I might have embarrassed myself by saying too much to him, like “I didn’t lie about saying the bride’s dress was beautiful.”

 

I couldn't get a good angle for either of these photos because the crowd got hectic and all I could see was the pole. But it was fun to see a little of a show on the dance floor to the "YMCA".

I couldn’t get a good angle for either of these photos because the crowd got hectic and all I could see was the pole. But it was fun to see a little of a show on the dance floor to the “YMCA”.

PICT0142

After dinner and the cutting of the zombie cake, everyone was on the dance floor doing “The Twist”, “Twist and Shout” and of course, “Shout”. Not much later, a handful of men, possibly the groomsmen, dressed up like The Village People and paraded on the dance floor to the tune of “YMCA”. During the dance, Tom and Adam got up to dance, with Tom ripping his shirt off, revealing his white undershirt before dancing and mouthing the words to “Bust a Move”.

The picture quality is not that good here, mainly because my camera's battery was dying and couldn't operate the flash to that effect. But this is the last shot I took of my cousins jumping around and rapping to "Bust a Move".

The picture quality is not that good here, mainly because my camera’s battery was dying and couldn’t operate the flash to that effect. But this is the last shot I took of my cousins jumping around and rapping to “Bust a Move”.

My cousin got a little bit of cake icing on Nicole's face post-cake cutting. Everyone adored it when he picked up the napkin to wipe her face.

My cousin got a little bit of cake icing on Nicole’s face post-cake cutting. Everyone adored it when he picked up the napkin to wipe her face.

I grew exhausted from all that dancing and taking so many pictures from that night, though I felt like the night was only getting started. I was finishing up my champagne glass, with possibly the same good champagne I had at CCBC’s 50th Anniversary Gala, and I really looked forward to catching the bouquet. But then my dad called me to say that we had to go home since it was 11:30 and we had a long two-hour drive home ahead.

But as I sat in the back seat, looking at these pictures I took on my digital camera, I remembered what my cousin’s husband and best man Luke said as a part of his speech. “The moment I knew that Nicole was the one for Tom… was when Nicole came to baby-sit and Tom slept on the floor while he let Nicole sleep on the couch.”

Honestly, that was something I couldn’t wait to experience. “Give it time,” my aunt Patty said. “There’s no rush.”

Still, I want my Doctor Who Tenth Doctor and Rose wedding soon. Maybe a Serenity wedding with me as Kaylee or Inara and the groom as Simon or Mal. Or maybe a Corpse Bride wedding, if it’s on Halloween.

I still haven’t been on a real date in a year.

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