It’s Always a Party, Thowing a Wedding on Shelter Island

Beach Wedding
Beach Wedding.

Last week, I shared wedding stories from Shelter Island, but I was limited due to space allotted. So here are a few more gems. The names have been changed to protect their identities and my life.

There was a wedding with a ’50s-themed reception back in the late ’70s, where the bride and groom drove up on the groom’s Harley and the exhaust pipe scorched the bride’s gown. Later on, the uncle wanted to show off a bit and decided to show how well he could ride a Harley. He then rode it straight into the gift table.

There was a wedding where the bride and groom rented a large boat to take the immediate family miles out into international waters, where the captain could marry them. Afterward, they would sail back to Shelter Island, where a tender would offload the wedding party and take them to a nearby beach reception. It sounded so romantic and idyllic, what could go wrong? How about 5 of the 11 members of the wedding party (including the bride) getting seasick?

I only had seasickness one time and I can truthfully say that for sheer misery, not much comes close. I remember finally getting back on land, lying face down, and clutching grass in both hands so I wouldn’t fall off the earth while waiting for the sickness to subside.

Back to our wedding party. As the bride was being rowed in by tender, she decided to hop out once they were in a few feet of water, with the idea she could wash off her icky dress a little. She completely underestimated the weight of a water-soaked bridal gown. The tide was going out, and the bride was going in. The strapless gown was trying to leave with the tide. The gallant groom was able to scoop up the gown, avoiding accidental bridal exposure, and assist his new bride as they stumbled onto the beach to the head table. The bride told me she was so happy to be on land, she didn’t care about the ruined gown, but she couldn’t eat a single bite of food, not even her wedding cake.

Then there was the case of the poor caterer who was supposed to boil crabs on site for the guests’ dinner. I guess he didn’t know that when crabs are on ice, they sleep. But if you take them off the ice and they warm up, they have no trouble running off a table. By the time he realized what was happening, half the entrees had made a break for the water.

I have heard of, but not confirmed, that some parties have been able to rent one of the ferries and sail it around the island as they enjoy their reception on the boat. I would love that. All the leftovers go overboard, along with any annoying guests.

Weddings are big business. Couples go into huge debt to throw a wedding. I don’t know why. It’s a wedding, not a coronation. I had a simple wedding and spent five weeks in Europe. My best wishes to anyone getting married this June. I had a friend from Scotland who used to say, “Life is hard, marry whomever you damn well please, and the best of luck to
both of you.”

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