That's a good feeling.
My friend Hotrod is one of those rock and roll dudes. Sleeves ripped off his T-shirt, his T-shirt featuring a white skull. Thumb rings and mirrored sunglasses. Size 6x jeans from the girls side of Gap Kids. A real natural with the kind of front man antics that whip groupies into a froth, young boys into air guitar seizures. He was Chuck's friend first, a legendary character I'd heard plenty about before I met him. Helicopters. Limos. Sharpie mustaches. Tuxedo T-shirts. He married K, who I don't know as well, but who can bust out mean backup vocals and is dexterous with rock and roll horns. She's exactly who you want to see in the front row of a show. Her flip flops with a bottle opener on the bottom.
The wedding was at Sacred Heart, once a church, now a place to see a certain style of band perform. There are still stained glass windows and an organ. Candles. Before it started, guests had already uncorked cans of PBR. The 13 groomsmen filed out and lined up like a Vienna Boys Choir reunion. T-shirts under coats with jeans. The groom's T-shirt featuring a white skull.
One of Hotrod's former bandmates was up front, playing Pachebel's Canon on an electric guitar as the nine bridesmaids strolled in. Then he cranked up the tempo, the doors to the former church ripped open and K came busting in wearing a long grayish, purplish, blueish strapless dress. The ceremony took like zero seconds, and then everyone filed out to an instrumental of a Bone Appetit ballad about a car. The wedding party party hopped on a shuttle, cigarettes dangling from open windows, and took off.
The reception was pure chaos. A collection of 80s cover bands and dinner band provided by a man in a tall paper chef hat and apron. He'd roasted a pig in his back yard that morning. This fluffy white cake with flecks of raspberry. K changed into this sassy black dress with a shiny belt; Hotrod took over the microphone for a mini Bone Appetit reunion that had everyone grabbing at the stage and singing along like it was some sort of summerfest in 1983 where you come home with beer in your hair, mud in your cleavage, impregnated by a roadie. And of the 400-ish people in attendance, I think everyone knew at least 350 of them.
What exactly happened? Heck if I remember. Cork1 dumped candle wax in JCrew's drink, then kept chanting "Ghost Busters," to which his brother took me aside and said "I think what he's trying to say is: Ghost Busters!" Later in the night, Cork2 began chanting his half of every conversation. JCrew and I slow danced to "Every Rose Has its Thorn." I spent a ton of time outside on the deck in the mist talking to Radzo and Tuska and tried to weasel my way into an 80s cover band. Again. Last call at RTQs.
Twas a good night. I don't think I've been to a better wedding. The secret, Hotrod said, is not letting ones parents have any control over what happens. You should let these two plan your wedding.
I spent Sunday trying to remember whose beard I stuck my finger into. Not as simple of a riddle as one might think. This is Duluth, afterall. We have a lot of beards.