The wedding my husband and I went to tonight was held at in a very old building that’s been turned into a restaurant and banquet hall. As we walked into the room where the ceremony would be held, the first thing I noticed were the candles. At the end of each row of chairs, three candles in glass votive jars burned. The dancing flames reflected off the hardwood floors, and the whole room was bathed in candlelight. How romantic, I thought. “The bride wanted candles,” the woman behind me said.
We’d been in our seats for just a moment when I heard a crashing noise – like the sound a bowling pin makes when it hits the floor. An older woman in a dark green dress, stopping to say hello to her nephew, had knocked into one of the candles. It rolled across the hardwood floor, leaving a streak of wax. She picked the candle up guiltily and took her seat. A young man walked over and relit the candle.
A minute later, another guest walked in, an older man scanning the crowd for familiar faces as he walked up the aisle. Clearly, he should have been looking at his feet. Three candles went tumbling over that time, rolling under the chairs and causing other guests to scramble about retrieving them. This time a young woman came over and patiently relit the candles.
It became a game. I couldn’t resist turning to watch as guests walked in. I’d whisper my predictions to my husband, “The woman in the flowered dress? The one talking to her husband? She’s not looking, she’s getting closer – there it goes!”
The bride, dressed in a traditional white gown, was lovely, and the groom was glowing. The ceremony included songs, touching speeches, and heartfelt vows. But what I remember most were the candles, crashing over again and again, falling and rolling and blowing out completely, while young people patiently retrieved them, set them back up, and lit them again. At the end of the ceremony, the young friends had won out, and every candle was burning nicely, shining on the bride and groom as they walked back up the aisle.