“Do you Jorge Lakemere take this woman, Gwendolyn Jaxson, to be your lawfully wedded wife?”
“I’m sorry, what was that again?”
“Are you asking me to repeat what I just said?”
The minister looked at Jorge, who made a gesture that said ‘get on with it’. Shaking his head, the minister began to repeat the question, when he was interrupted by an irritated Gwendolyn.
“Did you just ask him to repeat the all important question?!? Are you just that stupid?!?”
Jorge thought long and hard before answering his wife to be. A smile soon appeared on his lips.
“Nah, I’m just pulling your leg.” Turning back to the minister, he said, “Of course I take this bodacious woman to be my lawfully wedded wife.”
Exhaling, Gwendolyn got back to her place on the grass.
Sighing, the minister continued with the ceremony.
“Do you Gwendolyn Jaxson take this man, Jorge Lakemere, to be your lawfully wedded husband?”
Gwendolyn gave Jorge a very dirty look before saying, “Yes, I do.”
“I now pronounce you man and wife. Jorge, you may kiss the bride.”
Jorge brought Gwendolyn a little closer and lifted her veil over her head. Gazing deeply into those baby blues, he gently grabbed her face and planted a very long passionate kiss. Returning the favor, the happy couple was presenting such a show of affection, that the minister began clearing his throat.
Breaking off the kiss, Jorge and Gwendolyn turned to face the crowd. The minister, now having everyone’s attention focused back on him, said, “May I now present to you for the very first time anywhere, Mr. & Mrs. Jorge Lakemere.”
Receiving a non-verbal cue from the happy couple, the band launched into a reggae tune. After getting bombarded with dandelions for a few minutes, Jorge raised his hand to silence the band. Looking over at his wife, who nodded in agreement, he cleared his throat and began speaking.
“The Mrs. and I would like to thank everyone for making their presence known here today. We can see that everyone is dressed backyard casual, as per the invitation, so in order for us not to be out of place at our own reception, we’ll be taking a brief absence to change into more suitable clothing. We leave you now to the alternative sounds of Paisley Pumpkin. Enjoy.”
As the band restarted by playing ‘Highway Calls’, Jorge and Gwendolyn made their way to the house to change. Three minutes later, they were both changed and on their way back to the reception.
Jorge was tastefully dressed: wearing an oversized half buttoned Hawaiian shirt; blue khaki cargos; Panama hat and sunglasses. Staying in theme, he was also barefoot. Gwendolyn came out dressed devilishly hot: light short sleeve floral cotton print dress with partial slit up the side; coral blue tube top; gold ankle bracelet; long hair lightly teased and highlighted, with sunglasses. Staying in theme, she was also barefoot.
Jorge observed his wife putting on the last of her make up and said, “Gwen, I’ll have to beat everyone off with stick, you look just that delicious!”
Gwendolyn blushed heavily from the compliment. Then with a toss of her hair, she walked over to Jorge and lightly punched him in the arm.
“Fresh! Come on, the reception needs us before it can get into full swing.”
She punched him again before grabbing his hand. As they were opening the patio door, a partygoer yelled, “Here they come!”
A low murmur rumbled through the air, originating from the side of the yard. The band, which had stopped when the happy couple reappeared on the deck, started up again with a long version of ‘Misirlou’.
Jorge and Gwendolyn stepped onto the deck and paused to gather their collective thoughts. Exhaling, they descended the stairs, where they were met by a crush of people. They slowly maneuvered themselves towards the stage area as they waded through the crowd. Fifteen minutes later, they were at the front of the stage.
Jorge hopped on up, and held out his hand to Gwendolyn, who took it. Pulling her up, he then grabbed a microphone and placed it in front of her. While she was doing a sound check, Jorge whispered something in her ear. Blushing, Gwendolyn shook her head. Undeterred, he kept the pressure on by bringing the crowd into play as well.
On cue, the crowd chanted, “We want a song! We want a song! We want a song!” The band took up the chant as well, playing a lengthy drum and guitar cue. Jorge then got down on bended knee and pleaded his case. Embarrassed by the attention, Gwendolyn finally nodded in the affirmative. Grinning, Jorge confidently strolled to the microphone. Raising his hands to quell the crowd, he then cleared his throat to speak.
“I can see that everybody is having a good time at our wonderful wedding reception. I like to thank everyone for helping me convince Gwendolyn that the only proper way to officially kick this off is for her to sing a song. As some of you know, my wonderful wife has an excellent singing voice, and has shown it off at the salon. I’ve tried to convince her on numerous occasions to share it with the general public, but had no success.”
A sympathetic sound of understanding came from the wedding guests. Holding out a hand to quell the aura of sympathy, Jorge continued his intro.
“Last night, I asked once again. I said, ‘Sweetie, could you possibly show off your golden pipes for one song, just to kick off the festivities?’ She thought about for quite a while, but eventually she said yes. But when the time came to perform, she understandably developed stage fright.”
An even more sympathetic sound wafted over the backyard. Again, Jorge held out his hand to quiet everyone before continuing.
“So, with the help of all you good people, and my blatant disregard of my self respect, we were able to convince the wonderful Miss Gwendolyn to grace our get together with a song. So without further ado, I would like to present for your listening pleasure, our new Mrs. Gwendolyn Lakemere! Let’s give her a standing ovation!!”
On cue, the entire gathering erupted in applause as an embarrassed Gwendolyn approached the microphone stand. Briefly adjusting the stand, she waited a full minute before raising her hands to calm the boisterous crowd. Clearing her throat, she began to speak.
“Well, I would like to thank my husband for his intro. Sweetie, you’ll get yours tonight.”
The crowd erupted in laughter as Jorge turned beet red. Throwing an air kiss his way, Gwendolyn then continued her spiel.
“Anyways, I would like to jumpstart the party by singing one of the few slow songs you’ll hear tonight. My voice was unfortunately designed for country music, so country is what you’re going to get. Please enjoy this song, it’s one of my favorites, and I hope it becomes one of yours.”
She then leaned over to the lead guitarist, told him the song and asked if there would be any problems. Shaking his head, he then went to each member and told them the song in question, and they nodded in agreement. Signaling that they were ready, Gwendolyn stepped back to the mike and spoke.
“For your listening pleasure, here’s my rendition of John Denver’s classic ‘Take Me Home, Country Roads’. Hit it guys!”
The melancholy sound of the dobro drifted out from the stage and over the backyard. Hovering for a minute, it gently engulfed the crowd in a melodic haze of country life. Joining the fray was the sweetness of the steel pedal guitar and the gentle bluntness of the upright bass. Together, this alt country trio of instruments, created a passionate sound of Americana, beautifully penetrating the unified soul of the crowd.
After a couple of minutes, the bass faded from the extended intro, soon followed by the steel pedal, leaving only the dobro playing in the background. Gwendolyn was keeping time while the extended intro was being played. As the steel pedal fell by the wayside, she began to prepare herself so that when the bass came to a halt, she could segue right into the opening stanza.
. Blue Ridge Mountains, West Virginia . Life is old there, older than the trees. Younger the mountains, blowing like a breeze. Country roads, take me home. To the place, I belong. Shenandoah River , mountain mama. Take me home, country roads. All my memories….” West Virginia