A One Man Band

By Alice Muschany

A second marriage for us both, my fiancé Roland and I wished to invite only a small group of friends and relatives to the ceremony. But thanks to our large families, the guest list quickly grew out of hand.

After placing several calls to banquet centers and caterers, Roland turned to me and asked, “How about a Vegas wedding instead?”

The more we talked, the better the idea sounded. With five teenagers between us, the money we’d save would come in handy.

On the spur of the moment, we booked discounted airline tickets and the honeymoon suite at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas. Narrowing down chapels in the wedding capital of the world wasn’t as easy. A brochure for the Candlelight Wedding Chapel bragged about all the stars who’d been wed there.

“That’s us,” I said, “the ones with stars in our eyes.”

We chose a package that included a photographer, organist and florist – even a limo ride from our hotel to the chapel. What more could a bride ask for?

We decided not to tell anyone, not even our children. While we did let them know we’d be out of town, the details remained confidential. Without my sisters’ advice, it took me forever to select a dress. I finally chose an off-white one. As the date approached, I felt like a teenager running off to elope.

It’s true, Vegas never sleeps. The Candlelight Wedding Chapel stayed open round the clock. Foolishly thinking it would be romantic, we scheduled our ceremony for midnight. Arriving at our hotel, we wondered why we’d booked the chapel so late. A typical evening found me dozing off through the nightly news. Roland and I hastily changed into our wedding clothes and called for our limo.

Harold, our silver-haired chauffer, arrived promptly and drove us to get our marriage license. Along the way, he pointed out the best casinos and restaurants. Our paperwork in hand, he offered to turn back if we had a change of heart. We smiled and shook our heads no. Arriving at the little white building with the tall steeple, Harold turned to us and jokingly asked, “Do your parents know?”

We were still laughing when we walked inside and noticed the empty wooden pews.  I whispered, “Maybe you should’ve asked Harold to be Best Man.”

Reverend Jim arrived and introduced himself and said he’d be right back with our flowers. When fifteen minutes passed, I whispered, “Elvis has left the building.”

Finally, he returned with a bridal bouquet and boutonniere, and then left again. This time he entered the room with a camera slung around his neck. After snapping a few photos, he slowly made his way over to the stereo and played the Wedding March.

Chuckling quietly, Roland said, “That must be our organist.”

The preacher walked to the altar and motioned for us to join him. Our light mood turned serious as we vowed to love each other in good times and bad – until death do us part. Reverend Jim didn’t bother asking if anyone objected, mostly because there was no one else in the room.

After pronouncing us man and wife, the minister disappeared once more to have someone fill out the paperwork. Funny, but we were pretty sure that someone was him. A half hour later he handed us our marriage license and said our photos would be mailed within a week.

During the remainder of our honeymoon, any time either of us mentioned the ceremony, we broke out in fits of laughter. The Reverend wore so many hats, we half expected him to be our Black Jack dealer at the casino. While we did a bit of gambling and a lot of sightseeing, the highlight of our trip remained the wedding ceremony.

Back home, family and friends were disappointed they hadn’t been included in our wedding plans. They congratulated us just the same and held a small reception in our honor. Our lovely photo album – all three pictures – provided entertainment along with amusing tales of our secret wedding.

We’ve been married over twenty years, and our love grows stronger with each passing day. Who knows? It might be in the cards for us to return to Vegas for our 25th wedding anniversary. Hopefully Reverend Jim will still be there starring in his one-man show.

About this writer

  • Alice Muschany Alice Muschany lives in Flint Hill, Missouri. Now that she’s retired, everyone wants a piece of her. When she does find free time, she enjoys writing, photography and hiking. Her grandchildren are her biggest joy.

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16 Responses to “A One Man Band”

  1. Pat says:

    Your story left me smiling, Alice. What a delightful wedding memory.

  2. Ha-ha! Your wedding is right up there with mine. While yours was officiated by one man doing everything, ours was enmasse with 97 other brides and grooms simultaneously repeating vows. I enjoyed reading your funny story.

  3. Rose Ann says:

    Now that’s a wedding stories are made of! Congratulations on over 20 years of wedded bliss. Looking forward to that 25th anniversary story

  4. Thanks Linda. It seems we share quite a few ‘odd’ stories. Life happens!

  5. Thanks Rose Ann. There’s always a story!

  6. Thanks Pat. Everyone has a wedding story to share but some are more bizarre than others. The tornado sirens went off during my nieces wedding. She insists their marriage has been a whirlwind ever since.

  7. Donna Volkenannt says:

    I love your wedding story, Alice. What a joyful memory. Love the limo driver’s line asking if your parents knew about the wedding.

  8. Thanks, Donna. We still laugh when we here the name Harold.

  9. Dorothy Wilber says:

    Glad you never forgot the little details
    enjoy the next 25 years

  10. I did the math. It is getting closer to 25 years. Another 25 is a stretch, but thanks Dorothy.

  11. Tricia Sanders says:

    Awwww, what a sweet story. Hope the vow renewal is just as memorable. Ha! Love your stories. Kelp them coming.

    From my wedding, we didn’t have traditional wedding music and I remember my brother-in-law was in charge of the music and I was afraid he would mix the songs up. I was so worried that I missed my cue to walk down the aisle….and the music ended, but thanks to my savvy brother-in-law he had it on a loop and it just kept playing.

  12. Betty Massman says:

    Love your wedding details. Great story. Can’t wait to hear what happens as you celebrate your 25th hopefully in Las Vegas as well.

  13. Oh, such fun times! A wedding just the two of you remember vs a whole town affair. Each wedding unique. This is truly yours and yours alone.

  14. Loved the wedding details! You’ve always had a gift of humor whether the situation was good or bad. Can’t wait til you celebrate your 25th, hopefully in Las Vegas as well!

  15. Kerry Reynolds says:

    This is too funny. I didn’t know the details. Can you PLEASE send those pictures?

  16. Thanks, Marcia. It definitely wasn’t a town affair, just four of us if you count the preacher and Harold. Ah, but the precious memories!

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