Before the moment of impact
It wasn't the pastoral setting, under the stars and the pecan trees, the half-solemn, half-humorous ceremony under the white canopy, the excellent food, or even the bridegroom being tossed about on the dance floor by his friends and family that astounded the overseas guests attending my daughter's wedding (and some of the locals, too). It was the moment that the spotlights came on over the swimming pool, the gate was opened and a group of young men came crashing through, bearing the half-clothed (and somewhat drunken) bridegroom on their shoulders. They proceeded to swing him back and forth precariously before dumping him unceremoniously into the water. The relieved look on his face when he surfaced told us that his worst fears hadn't been realized and he didn't end up unconscious on the poolside. The after-party was about to begin!
The bridegroom's mates quickly followed him, and then the girls, some in bathing suits, others partly dressed and a few in their evening attire. My daughter, who is always prepared for any eventuality (she'd previously changed from her wedding dress into a short white dress and flat shoes for the dancing), appeared clad in a white bikini and jumped elegantly into the pool, without disturbing a strand of her hairdo. And so the young people continued on drinking, dancing, devouring hamburgers and dancing into the wee hours of the morning.
But more seriously, it was truly a memorable evening in a wonderful setting. The bride and groom made a beautiful couple, the guests, who comprised a multitude of ethnic groups and nationalities, blended together and enjoyed themselves – and the parents circulated proudly, soaking it all in.