2008.09.17 A wedding in the north

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

A friend in Montréal asked about the absence of a wedding report from Ben’s ceremony last month. A lot was written about Rosanna’s; not as much about Ben’s.

Poor kid. I guess that’s a pretty good summary of how it seemed to play out. Rosanna went first. That’s where all the attention was placed. Ben came through with his, on short notice, the very next month.

But wait a minute. That doesn’t mean it was an also-ran affair. It might have been our second wedding in two months, but it was the first for his bride’s family.

The bride’s side traditionally leads the way in planning and organizing, and oh, man, did we ever plan and organize for that first one. I use the word “we” in the larger, more general sense. I did what I was told to do and, when asked, I gave an opinion that was wisely ignored.

Ben’s new wife, Sarah, is from Suttons Bay—about five hours to the north—so it wasn’t a situation where we could drive over for the day to help.

In fact, we had never even been to the Morrison house before, and that’s where the wedding was to take place. Rosanna had the church and reception hall wedding and party. Ben and Sarah were going outdoors for both.

And it was fantastic.

Sarah’s parents, Kim and Chuck, did an amazing job of pulling it all together on fairly short notice. You would have thought Sarah and her parents had many months of preparation.

Everything was dependent on good weather, and after the morning scare with a really heavy downpour, the skies cleared for a perfect ceremony. The only problem I can recall is when the flower girl spotted her mother on the way down the “aisle” and broke down in tears. At least it wasn’t a ring-bearer. They might still be searching the lawn for gold.

The Morrisons were thoughtful to put the downstate guests on the outer edge of the dinner tent so they had the view overlooking Grand Traverse Bay. Old hat for the locals to see all that water among the trees; splendid viewing for us flat-landers. We head Up North on vacation to see this sight.

There wasn’t a large contingent of visitors from Ben’s side. My friend Kay from Montréal, for example, flew in for Rozee’s weekend, but couldn’t make a second trip back to Michigan so soon. That’s how it was for many people—either that or the long drive. I stressed quality over quantity. It was understandable that a lot of invitees couldn’t swing it, but many of our good friends were able to attend.

What else do you want to know, Kay? The bride was beautiful, the groom was handsome, the food was delicious. And since it wasn’t a rented hall with a closure time, the party went on forever...or so I’m told.

The wedding was half the story for this contingent of travelers. The other part is about the house we stayed in for the weekend.

Sarah’s mother made arrangements for us to rent a house in Suttons Bay, but then shortly before wedding day, she upgraded us to another place. Just an unassuming place down the road a mile or so.

We never could quite figure this one out. It’s been for sale since April and it sort of looked as though someone was living there, but it also looked as though they had packed most of their stuff away into locked closets and were gone.

I joke about using the word “unassuming.” The 4,500 square foot home is selling for $800,000. It’s 20 years old, sits on an acre of land overlooking the bay, and is almost like two houses in one.

The lot next door—no house, just the lot—is selling for $350,000, but most lots are much more reasonable, more in the $80,000 range. But they aren’t near the bluff overlooking the bay.

The visit convinced me that I’m not cut out for luxury. Very impressive, but would I want a bathroom with 11 light fixtures spread across the wall?

So there you go, Kay. You missed a really great wedding. All I can say to you, Ben, is that as the first-born, you were always first in everything. The stacks of Ben photos up against your younger sisters? No comparison. But Rozee finally got you back.

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