Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

I Do at a Coffin Sale

I used to say that you could get married when you ran out of things to do. So we got engaged after two rounds of Long Island ice teas at Carlos Murphy's bar on a Saturday afternoon in April. Somewhere along the highway, leaving the watering hole, Sean and I decided that we could save money on rents by jumping the broom.

June would bring another birthday for me, so that gave me two months to plan a wedding. Sean was Catholic, I was Baptist; we agreed on a Protestant wedding in the largest chapel of his dad's funeral parlor. With little time for details and no room for drama, there would be three bridesmaids and three groomsmen. I found the perfect peach dresses at a deep discount in JCPenney's bridal salon. Someone else's cold feet made my decision easy.

The funeral parlor offered all the amenities, including an organist, a large viewing room that would be used as a reception hall, a fleet of new white limousines, and when wind of our unusual wedding location made its way to the local paparazzi, there wasn't a seat left in the overflowing chapel. Some guests even sat outside the chapel in the hallway underneath the signboard, which had been changed from its usual listing of viewing times of the deceased to "Congratulations to the Bride and Groom!"

Two rows were reserved "for clergy only." Not inviting every preacher in town could spell professional suicide for the local undertaker.

It wasn't easy to get my divorced in-laws to bury the hatchet long enough to pose for endless photos. For my mother-in-law, it took a beautiful one-of-a-kind number from Irene Sargent. No ex-philandering spouse was going to ruin her chance of being "Mother of the Groom." Poor Daddy, in his wheelchair, being rolled from spot to spot, had to endure the not-so-quiet whispers: "Poor thing, used to be such a strong man, he had a horrible stroke, Lord, have mercy, you just never know."

I had taken ten milligrams of Valium with no water, and when I walked through the chapel doors, even though I didn't recognize most of the grinning faces, I was literally beaming. I floated down the aisle on the arms of my favorite uncle. The room was cleared of the usual crowd and before nearly 300 people, under the most beautiful arch the florist had ever made (especially for us since dad-in-law was one of his best customers), we pledged to spend the rest of our lives together whether we liked it or not. When asked, "Who gives this woman to be married to this man?" Daddy sat up straight in his chair and in his loudest voice proudly proclaimed, "I do!" The soloist wowed the crowd and even herself with a beautiful rendition of "Endless Love," which replaced her standard, "Soon and Very Soon, We Are Going to See the King."

Since I was working at the local television station, I got the weekend camera crew to film my special day at no cost. By the time we waltzed across the hall to the "Oval Office" for the reception, everybody was having a great time. Especially the limo drivers (a.k.a. funeral escorts), who skipped the last part of the ceremony and were already popping champagne corks. There were people from my Baptist church and people from Sean's Jack-and-Jill chapter, all enjoying the juicy slices of ham and roasted turkey his aunt had prepared, alongside the fancy hors d'oeuvres prepared by the caterer. Bright red punch flowed through the fountain in the center of the four-tiered cake, which had more flowers all around it, courtesy of the florist.

My news director didn't even notice that his newsroom was operating with a "skeleton crew" because most of his staff was at the wedding. Exchanging vows in the house of the dead is any newsman's idea of a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

What an amazing scene. Television personalities sprinkled in with every minister from every church in town, little old ladies who just "happened" to be driving by and heard there was a wedding at the funeral home, body snatchers from near and far who were paying their respects to the son of one of their oldest colleagues, and twentysomethings who were just there for the free food and drink and the chance to catch the garter. An hour or so into the reception, this eclectic group was doing the electric slide to the music of the good-looking DJ as if they were all old friends.

Then that magical moment struck -- 5:30. "Oh my God!" Everyone left almost simultaneously to get home in time for the six o'clock news. Would they see themselves on television? It was reality TV before its time.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
WALKING DOG IN MIRA MESA
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
Mini Goldendoodle: perfect little quarantine buddy.
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
FREE COUCH
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
SUPERIOR METAL FINISH
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
Private/Personal Chef
San Diego Reader Classified ads
February 6, 2020
Ad
Previous article

All the internet's a stage: the Old Globe goes online

Next Article

Walk, Run or Bike in Carlsbad, Best Wishes, Warmest Regards: A Schitt’s Creek Farewell

Events April 5-April 8, 2020
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

I used to say that you could get married when you ran out of things to do. So we got engaged after two rounds of Long Island ice teas at Carlos Murphy's bar on a Saturday afternoon in April. Somewhere along the highway, leaving the watering hole, Sean and I decided that we could save money on rents by jumping the broom.

June would bring another birthday for me, so that gave me two months to plan a wedding. Sean was Catholic, I was Baptist; we agreed on a Protestant wedding in the largest chapel of his dad's funeral parlor. With little time for details and no room for drama, there would be three bridesmaids and three groomsmen. I found the perfect peach dresses at a deep discount in JCPenney's bridal salon. Someone else's cold feet made my decision easy.

The funeral parlor offered all the amenities, including an organist, a large viewing room that would be used as a reception hall, a fleet of new white limousines, and when wind of our unusual wedding location made its way to the local paparazzi, there wasn't a seat left in the overflowing chapel. Some guests even sat outside the chapel in the hallway underneath the signboard, which had been changed from its usual listing of viewing times of the deceased to "Congratulations to the Bride and Groom!"

Two rows were reserved "for clergy only." Not inviting every preacher in town could spell professional suicide for the local undertaker.

It wasn't easy to get my divorced in-laws to bury the hatchet long enough to pose for endless photos. For my mother-in-law, it took a beautiful one-of-a-kind number from Irene Sargent. No ex-philandering spouse was going to ruin her chance of being "Mother of the Groom." Poor Daddy, in his wheelchair, being rolled from spot to spot, had to endure the not-so-quiet whispers: "Poor thing, used to be such a strong man, he had a horrible stroke, Lord, have mercy, you just never know."

I had taken ten milligrams of Valium with no water, and when I walked through the chapel doors, even though I didn't recognize most of the grinning faces, I was literally beaming. I floated down the aisle on the arms of my favorite uncle. The room was cleared of the usual crowd and before nearly 300 people, under the most beautiful arch the florist had ever made (especially for us since dad-in-law was one of his best customers), we pledged to spend the rest of our lives together whether we liked it or not. When asked, "Who gives this woman to be married to this man?" Daddy sat up straight in his chair and in his loudest voice proudly proclaimed, "I do!" The soloist wowed the crowd and even herself with a beautiful rendition of "Endless Love," which replaced her standard, "Soon and Very Soon, We Are Going to See the King."

Since I was working at the local television station, I got the weekend camera crew to film my special day at no cost. By the time we waltzed across the hall to the "Oval Office" for the reception, everybody was having a great time. Especially the limo drivers (a.k.a. funeral escorts), who skipped the last part of the ceremony and were already popping champagne corks. There were people from my Baptist church and people from Sean's Jack-and-Jill chapter, all enjoying the juicy slices of ham and roasted turkey his aunt had prepared, alongside the fancy hors d'oeuvres prepared by the caterer. Bright red punch flowed through the fountain in the center of the four-tiered cake, which had more flowers all around it, courtesy of the florist.

My news director didn't even notice that his newsroom was operating with a "skeleton crew" because most of his staff was at the wedding. Exchanging vows in the house of the dead is any newsman's idea of a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

What an amazing scene. Television personalities sprinkled in with every minister from every church in town, little old ladies who just "happened" to be driving by and heard there was a wedding at the funeral home, body snatchers from near and far who were paying their respects to the son of one of their oldest colleagues, and twentysomethings who were just there for the free food and drink and the chance to catch the garter. An hour or so into the reception, this eclectic group was doing the electric slide to the music of the good-looking DJ as if they were all old friends.

Then that magical moment struck -- 5:30. "Oh my God!" Everyone left almost simultaneously to get home in time for the six o'clock news. Would they see themselves on television? It was reality TV before its time.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
FOUR GRAVE SITES
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
FLOOR JACK AND JACK STAND
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
ANTIQUE GAS STOVE
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
BEDROOM SET
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
WANTED FREE BOWLING BALL
San Diego Reader Classified ads
March 24, 2020
Previous article

Carlsbad's Lhooq Books – the after story

"The whole meeting seemed antagonistic"
Next Article

All the internet's a stage: the Old Globe goes online

Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close