I got on an elevator with an elf this weekend. A tall individual, he wore a kilt, green legging, pointy ears and a dreamy expression lacking any trace of irony. The crowd waiting to get on the elevator at the ground floor included pirates, fairies and all four Ghostbusters, proton packs aglow.
Steve and I were in Columbus, Ohio for the wedding of our friends David and Laura. The wedding guests stayed at the downtown Hyatt Regency where, we discovered, the 43rd annual Marcon was taking place. Marcon, we learned, stands for "Multiple Alternative Realities Convention," a gathering of 2,000 people in costume. A harried hotel clerk informed us at check-in that there would be zombies encouraging people to donate blood to the American Red Cross later on.
In the afternoon, as we boarded the elevator to leave the hotel for the wedding ceremony, it seemed like everyone was in costume: Steve and I in our wedding finery, and three bar wenches in push-up corsets and glitter eye shadow.
This is what I love most about weddings: the unpredictable hours before the highly choreographed ceremony and reception. The unexpected moments. The sci-fi convention that takes over the hotel.
Earlier that afternoon, we had joined the groom and a few other old friends in a walk to Goodale Park, a sprawling green space in the heart of the city. We sat in the sun next to a pond, chatting and watching lazy ducks out on the rocks on the far edge of the water. Yes, these are the moments that I love about weddings.
After that, David took off to prepare for the ceremony, and Steve and I perused Columbus' North Market for lunch.
North Market is a collection of counters and stalls in a large, open warehouse. You can find meats (including a nice selection of game meat), cheeses, baked goods, and flowers all within this space. I roamed the aisles, sunburned and happy, until I found Omega Artisan Baking in one corner.
Omega, the counterperson explained to me, specializes in European-style breads and pastries. It was the French wedding cupcakes that got me. I am a total sucker for a cupcake, and Omega's semi-sweet chocolate numbers, with their rich buttery frosting, destroyed any pretenses that I had regarding a healthy lunch. And their name was particularly apropos for the weekend.
After I consumed my dessert, Steve and I purchased two pepperoni rolls for lunch. We ate them slowly, walking back to our hotel along brick streets.
Later that afternoon, David and Laura exchanged vows under the sunny skies of Columbus. In the evening, we all danced in the fading sunlight and I saw a fish leap in the river, sending rings outward toward both banks. And I had time to think, once again, how much I love the unexpected moments at weddings.