Ellen’s wedding

Mel and I had a sitter tonight so we could go to the wedding of Ellen Munson and Erik Bakker. Ellen and her sister, Rach, have been our morning-shift nannies/sitters for Millie for the last six months or so, and before that Rach was our go-to sitter when Mel and I needed a night out on the town. Mel also works with their father, who’s also a teacher at Trek North High school.

Ellen and Erik’s wedding was pretty cool. They held it in the old Chief Theatre in downtown Bemidji — apparently the first-ever wedding held in the old building that is now the home of the Paul Bunyan Playhouse. They had a half-dozen or so white leafless trees with tea lights hanging inside gold eggs as decorations on an otherwise dark and black stage. Off to the left was a table with some more tea lights and a clay goblet, like the kind you buy out of some little tent off in the corner of your local Renaissance Festival. They used it toward the end of the ceremony to do something I hadn’t seen before; instead of the typical candle ceremony you usually see, they poured something from each of two vials into the goblet and shared a drink. There were also the traditional readings and singing; Rach, who was the maid of honor, and one of the other bridesmaids sang all the songs and did a great job.

I’ve found that as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to rather enjoy weddings. The receptions and the dances and all of the party that comes afterward, I really could do without; but the actual ceremonies are nice. It’s fun to see the unique things people do to make the day their own, and they make me think quite a bit about the three days that could come at some point in the future when I’d go through all of it with my own daughters. When those days come, I seriously doubt I’ll be able stay as cool and calm as the dads in these other weddings I’ve been to.

Andy Bartlett

By day, I am the executive director of communications and marketing at Bemidji State University. The rest of the time, I'm a husband, father of three, and proponent of super heroes, lasers, space ships and explosions.

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