the poetry store does weddings.

wedding #1: march 6, 2010/sun valley, idaho

i had never before imagined my own wedding, and suddenly, there i was, imagining myself someday having a wedding like this: a cozy lodge with a little bar and just a few tables, candles lighting the place, the magic of mountains and winter cold outside, a single barefoot musician playing acoustic guitar so beautifully that even the little kids stopped running, sat down, crossed their legs, craned their necks upwards, and watched.

what an honor it was to be sitting at a wooden bar on pieces of wood fashioned together to make a chair, sitting with my red royal, my carbon paper, my pre-prepped frames, learning about so many people and their relationships to each other, witnessing their love and admiration for the newly married couple, a & j. what an honor it was to invite them all to receive a special gift from the bride and groom—a poem, about anything they wanted, as a “thank you for coming to our wedding and being part of this day.”

for hours i talked to people and wrote poems, delighting in the fact that everyone asked for a poem for, or about, someone they loved. some poems made people laugh. some made people say, “wow.” and almost everyone asked, “how do you do that?” (to which i always say, “i’m not sure, but i feel really blessed that i can.) some poems even made some people cry. a best friend of the bride told me she went somewhere private to sob a little after reading her poem and she said her husband got choked up too and instead of crying he just said something like, “well, damn.”

admittedly, the song a & j danced to (an original by the barefoot guitarist) marked the fifteenth time in the night i almost cried. but it wasn’t just the music that got me. it was the love in the room amongst forty-five people who did not all know each other before hand, a love that was more than wedding day cordial; it was palpable, like honey dripping from people’s lips. i mean, i was a perfect stranger, hired to write poems, and yet every person i talked to felt like a friend.

in a toast, a’s brother said she was the kind of person who was comfortable anywhere—hobnobbing with socialites or drinking a beer on the back of a pick up. yes, that was precisely it, what made the night feel so perfect—a & j and the kind of people they surround themselves with, people who are genuine, easy to laugh, open. what a gift.

and what a gift this poet got from the magic of strangers meeting over a typewriter to celebrate love and friendship.

plus, i’ll never forget seeing the rocky mountains rising like teeth cutting tough skin. the guy sitting next to me on the plane telling me they called these the sawtooths. yes, i thought, perfect, like the remnants of some giant carcass spread over sun valley, the mouth of a great whale open wider than nature would ever allow.

it strikes me now that’s what the night was–love open as wide as human beings know how to allow.

note: the poetry store wedding services include writing poems on demand, providing frames and/or paper, creating a book of the poetry written at the wedding for the bride & groom to keep, creating poetry center pieces, creating poetry gifts, typing invitations and/or invitation address labels, and any thing else your heart might desire that fits into the scope of what the poetry store does, and, of course, that fits into a typewriter. prices vary depending on what services you’d like. interested in having the poetry store become part of your wedding? just ask.

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