On February 9, 2023

United in love

By Dom Cioffi

My wife and I were having dinner with some friends recently when the couple started talking about a wedding they had just attended. It was a destination wedding near the ocean with about 25 close family and friends.

Apparently, the bride and groom wanted something simple since it was a second marriage for both. The idea was that everyone would wear white attire and flip-flops and then stand next to the ocean while a justice of the peace presided over the ceremony.

The problems began to arise when the weather decided not to cooperate. Of course, it was January in Florida, which means it could either be 80 degrees or 40 degrees depending on the jet stream. On this weekend, it was the latter.

Everyone wore white, but due to the bitter temps and brisk wind, most everyone had on coats or sweatshirts, few of which were the required color. Our friends said everyone hung out in their vehicles keeping warm until the allotted time and then rushed out onto the beach for the vows.

Unfortunately, due to the howling wind, no one could hear anything the justice of the peace or bride and groom said. But what really irritated our friends was that both the bride and groom wrote long epistles to express their unrelenting love for each other. Given the situation, brevity would have been the right choice for everyone involved.

However, the best part of the story was that the brother of the groom and the brother’s girlfriend (who were both highly intoxicated by the time the vows were being exchanged) decided that it would be a monumental expression of love to have everyone jump into the ocean for a cold-water plunge.

They offered up the idea right after the bride and groom kissed by screaming, “Everyone into the water!” According to our friends, all the attendees looked at each in disbelief, praying that no one started running towards the ocean.

In an instant, the two inebriated relatives took off toward the water. The brother of the groom was obviously unrelenting in his drive to become submerged, but his girlfriend apparently started to chicken out once her feet got wet. To get her to concede, he yanked her forward, causing her to dramatically face plant into the surf.

Apparently, a few guests offered some assistance but most sheepishly turned and headed toward their cars.

My wife and I were rolling as our friends told us this story. They agreed it was a classic tale but had to admit that living through it was pure hell. Thankfully, the reception at a nearby restaurant was much less dramatic – and warm.

My wife and spent the ride home from our dinner reminiscing about own experiences going to weddings. During our 20s and early 30s, it seemed like we had a wedding every other weekend. In fact, we used to complain that weddings were making us poor. We pined for the days when everyone we knew was married and the ceremonies would be over.

And that day did come.

Of course, then we entered our 40s and that’s when the second marriages started to occur.

Most of the weddings we attended we decidedly normal. There was one where the groom passed out just before he had to say his vows. That was pretty dramatic, especially when the ambulance showed up and delayed the ceremony for over an hour (it turns out the groom was a little dehydrated from the previous day’s activities).

The added bonus to that event was that the groom’s mother, in a fit of panic upon seeing her son drop to the floor in a church, got up and rushed to his aid only to twist her ankle on the slippery marble floor. Thankfully, the ambulance guys were able to attend to her as well.

In this week’s feature, “Shotgun Wedding” starring Jennifer Lopez and Josh Duhamel, we meet a middle-aged couple who have decided to throw their own destination wedding on an island in the Philippines. The only problem is that some uninvited guests decide to turn the event into a nuptial nightmare.

There’s nothing special about this film. It’s exactly what you think it’s going be. However, it did have enough comedic moments to make it a fun distraction. I’d recommend this movie if you have nothing else to do and are looking to share a diversion with your significant other.

A celebratory “C+” for “Shotgun Wedding,” now available for streaming on Amazon Prime.

Got a question or comment for Dom? You can email him at moviediary@att.net.

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