Wedding Receptions in the You-Tube Era

 Posted by N. M. Cedeño



What’s going on with wedding receptions these days?

My husband and I were apparently married in a bygone era, the pre-YouTube era. Consequently, our bridesmaids and groomsmen did not choreograph dances, put on a ballet, or produce a Broadway musical during our reception for the entertainment of our guests. I would never have asked them to do so. And, it wouldn’t have occurred to them.

Now, the newly engaged search YouTube for what’s “traditional” at wedding receptions. Because if it’s “traditional,” it must be on YouTube, right? And, if the newly engaged believe the videos online, then an important part of the reception is the “Introduction of the Bridal Party” who are called out by name and title by a DJ, as if he were introducing contestants on the Price is Right.

“Introducing the Mother of the Bride! Mary Smith, come on down!” yells the DJ as music booms loudly in the background.

The members of the bridal party then enter the room in pairs or individually, dancing into the room possibly with props, to the applause of the gathered guests. Sometimes, the entire wedding party then gets together and performs a choreographed dance number for the watching crowd. Based on YouTube, this is a required duty of the bridal party and an important part of entertaining the guests. The bridal party had better be ready to put on a show.

My wedding cake

Not having been involved in any weddings recently, I had no idea that this practice had become so ubiquitous. Back when I got married, the bridesmaids went to showers, paid for a dress, showed up at the wedding, and posed for pictures. The maid of honor and best man had a few other duties as well: giving speeches and planning parties. So, when asked to be a bridesmaid recently, I said yes, not knowing that I would be receiving instructions on choosing an appropriate song for my grand entrance, selecting props and/or costume items, and, of course, choreographing my dance moves.

I have never aspired to be on Broadway or dance in musical theater. I have two left feet and no sense of rhythm. The ballroom dance class I took in college taught me quickly that my ability to see a dance step and then copy it was almost nonexistent. Imagine my shock when I received my instructions.

So of course, I told the bridal couple that my husband wasn’t willing to do any of that stuff. He’s a required member of the wedding party, so I threw him under the bus. The bride was surprised, but understanding. Having carefully studied YouTube, she hadn’t realized that bridal parties haven’t always danced into the reception. It never occurred to her that we didn’t know that entertaining the crowd with a dance routine was a duty of the bridal party.

In days past, I remember the bride and groom being introduced as they came to do their first dance. No one bothered to introduce the entire bridal party. Bridal parties didn’t do choreographed dances and post them online in the pre-YouTube era, that bygone era, before 2005.


N. M. Cedeño writes short stories and novels that are typically set in Texas. Her stories vary from traditional mystery, to science fiction, to paranormal mystery in genre. Her debut novel, All in Her Head, was published in 2014, followed by her second novel, For the Children’s Sake, in 2015. In 2016, For the Children’s Sake was selected as a finalist for the East Texas Writers Guild Book Award in the Mystery/Thriller category. Most recently, she has begun writing the Bad Vibes Removal Services Series which includes short stories and the novel The Walls Can Talk (2017).

Visit her at or find her books at her Amazon author page .



Anniversary Gift by Abbie Johnson Taylor

Abbie J. Taylor 010This post by Abbie Johnson Taylor

In the past ten years, I’ve had three life-changing events, all prefaced by natural disasters. In December of 2004, an earthquake and tsunami struck the coast of Japan. In January of 2005, my husband Bill proposed to me by mail. He was living in Fowler, Colorado, while I was here in Sheridan, Wyoming. After a two-year long distance relationship, I thought he just wanted to be friends so the letter came as a shock.

In August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. On September 10, 2005, Bill and I were married in a beautiful ceremony in my grandmother’s back yard.

Our Wedding
Our Wedding

In October of 2013, Super Storm Sandy struck New York. On October 30th, 2013, Bill passed away in a nursing home where he’d been for the past month, declining as a result of two strokes after six years of being cared for by me at home.

This month, we would have been married ten years. To commemorate our anniversary, I would like to share a poem from my latest collection, That’s Life, and the song that inspired it. When I heard this song a couple of years ago on A Prairie Home Companion, it was as if Bill were speaking to me from above. After two years, I’m finally able to sing it with dry eyes. You can click on the link below to hear me recite the poem and sing the song.



Everywhere you are,

I will always be with you,

watching from above.

Every time you breathe,

every decision you make,

I’ll know about it

and love you even more.



Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of:

Front Book Cover - We Shall OvercomeWe Shall Overcome


Cover: How to Build a Better Mousetrap by Abbie Johnson TaylorHow to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

Visit my blog.

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

Order from Amazon

Order That’s Life from Finishing Line Press.

Vote for my new book idea

It Was Lovely





Posted by Kathy Waller

This week my husband and I celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary. We both started out late, and we’re rather pleased with ourselves for completing our first decade together. In honor of the event, I’m posting a piece that appeared several years ago on my personal blog.


k-and-d-church-2I once heard my great-aunt say to a minister, “I’m ninety-six years old, and that was the loveliest wedding I’ve ever attended.”

This was not about the wedding. It was about her being ninety-six and still youthful and beautiful. She wanted credit.

Well. I am fifty-two, and mine was the loveliest wedding I have ever attended.

That is about the wedding.

It was lovely.

First, the rehearsal. I didn’t bother to pay attention. I was wearing a lovely new green dress and jacket and the tanzanite necklace that David had given me, and I assumed that somebody else would tell me what to do when the time came. I also assumed that David would be nervous and might get something wrong before I did.

The minister said wedding rehearsals were the only time he could feel like a football coach, with a chart with little Xs and Os, telling people where to go. He complained that I’d done such a thorough job of writing it all out for him, he felt like a coach who had to use someone else’s plays.

Well. I have directed two one-act plays and two class plays and have helped with a number of proms and graduations. I’m good. And I can’t turn it off that easily. Anyway, if you want something done right…

The rehearsal dinner was at El Mercado, and the staff remembered that we were coming, which was a relief. I’d called several times to remind them, and the manager was beginning to sound fatigued.

I presented the boys in the wedding party with watches and the girls with pieces of china that Mother’s youngest sister gave me when I was in my teens. David presented all the children with water pistols. Guess which gift went over big. There were pistols left over so David also presented them to several adults. Because these particular adults are just tall children, things ran amok.

It was lovely.

Our families sat together and talked to each other and behaved as if they were enjoying themselves. Four of David’s five brothers came, with two nephews (eight and three years) and a three-year-old niece. The eight-year-old was an usher, along with my pre-teen great-niece and -nephew. I had nine- and ten-year-old great-nieces at the guest book.

Having children involved takes a lot of pressure off the bride and groom because everyone watches the kids.

Of course, my eighteen-month-old namesake toddled around in the aisle with her sippy cup before things started and then jabbered so loudly that she and her mother got to spend most of the ceremony outside.

Now the service. The first thing on the program was music: two songs David chose and burned onto a CD: “The Alphabet Song” and “La Vie en Rose.” The bridesmaids stood shoulder to shoulder in the foyer and swayed back and forth as people looked over their shoulders and smiled.

Then my trained soprano sang “Simple Gifts” and, later, “The Prayer Perfect.” I went to the trouble and expense of finding and hiring a glorious voice, and afterward nobody could talk about anything except “‘A’ – You’re adorable…,” which cost David the price of a blank CD. Go figure.

But starting off that way made everyone relax, and that took a lot of pressure off, too. And not every bride gets to have Jo Stafford sing at her wedding.

It was lovely.

Wilson Wade, a former pastor at my church in Fentress, read 1st Corinthians 13:1-13, Shakespeare’s “Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediment,” and a passage from The Little Prince. This part was called “Kathy Has a Captive Audience and They Don’t Get Ice Cream Until They’ve Been Properly Edified.” I like words–so sue me.

It was lovely.

My cousins Lynn and Mary Veazey and my friend Maryellen were attendants. They wore dresses of their own choosing. When your bridesmaids range from fifty to sixty-eight years in age, you don’t put them in apricot taffeta with puff sleeves. Actually, I thought having attendants at all at my age was pushing things a bit, but these are my dearest friends, and they were as excited as the children.

And they were lovely.

Pictures took too long and were a pain. If I had it to do over, I’d lump everybody together and have one big photo taken, then have the photographer take candids at the reception. She did get some good shots. We forgot to give out the disposable cameras we’d bought for the children. Of course. Actually, I was so tired by that time that I look in the pictures just like I felt.

But the photos are lovely.

Flowers were lovely. My bouquet was HEAVY. I had no idea the load brides have to carry. Most of them are probably sensible and carry mostly baby’s breath, but no, I had to have FLOWERS. I carried it to Smitty’s Barbecue the next day for lunch with my family–milking it for all it was worth–and it held up well in the refrigerator for quite a while.

The reception was lovely. Except it didn’t go as planned. I was going to be Hyacinth Bucket and float from table to table being gracious, but I got stuck at one end of the room and never made it to any tables at all, including the food. Which is where I really wanted to go. I also never got out of my strappy little sandals that looked so lovely with my dress and cut into my feet like piano wire.

I’d planned to get the little girls together and throw the bouquet. But I figured if my aim was off, it could send a child to the emergency room for stitches and me to court for some kind of negligence. So we said good-bye and then just hung around, and I ate brownies and cheese and dropped a blueberry on that white lace dress while my darling relatives put up tables and chairs and swept the fellowship hall.

They really are nice. Lovely people.

At some point the minister came over and said they’d finished getting the pulpit and such back in place and all we had to do was clear our stuff out of the choir room. He also said he had the license ready to mail and that he would mail it. The certificate has arrived, so I suppose we’re legal.

Now all I have to do is figure out what my name is. I think David and I should alphabetize together–that’s the librarian thinking. But if I’m not careful, I could lose my both my middle- and surname and end up Mary Davis, who was my great-great-something-grandmother. David said it was okay for me to keep Waller. After all this time, it’s hard to give it up. But I would like to take his name. He called one of the caterers a couple of days after the wedding, then reported, “I told them I’m your husband.” His expression suggested he’d done something revolutionary.

Anyway, a good time was had by all, I think. I learned so much that it’s a shame we can’t do this every year or so. Among the lessons:

1. Wedding cake is not necessary. People like brownies and ice cream sundaes better.

2. It doesn’t matter what they tell you at the rehearsal–you’re going to get the hands wrong anyway. David said his brother kept hissing, “Turn, turn!” but David thought he shouldn’t and he didn’t and we ended up married anyway.

3. It is possible–and amusing–to make your matron of honor laugh just before she’s supposed to walk down the aisle. Lynn and I both collapse into giggles when one of us says, “Fourscore…”–after Mayor Shinn in The Music Man vainly attempting to recite the Gettysburg Address at the July 4th celebration. While we were lined up waiting for Wilson to finish reading, I handed Lynn a note–in large font to make sure she could read it without glasses–that said “FOURSCORE…” If I’d waited until we were at the altar, as I’d planned, she would have broken up the ceremony. If I hadn’t done it at all, she’d have sobbed through it.

4. If you want an elegant, solemn, sophisticated wedding–get over it. People would rather hear “The Alphabet Song.”

5. If you marry a twin, there will be confusion. Two of my friends walked up and said, “HI, DAVID!” and I had to tell them that they’d just greeted the best man.

6. Children like water guns but will not use them on formal occasions unless they see adults using them first.

7. If you’re getting married in Texas in June, pray for rain so the long-sleeved dress you bought in February will not fry you. Also, get to the church early and crank the thermostat down as far as you think you can get away with. Buy the shoes you know you should buy, not the ones the dress store lady says you should buy.

8. You can control a wedding, but receptions get away from you.

9. Do not move your furniture into your apartment ten days before your wedding and seven days before your prospective in-laws are expected to descend. If you break this rule, you have a choice–work ’round the clock to get things in place so they will think their brother is marrying a person of quality, or let them walk around the boxes. I chose the former. They now think their brother has married a person of quality who is ‘way behind on her Geritol.

(Seriously, I didn’t completely crash until the day after the wedding.)

10. It’s a lot easier for the bride and groom to get away with a light touch when they’re geriatric. If I’d married when I was twenty, I’d have been a wreck. Instead, I had fun.

And it was lovely.


Kathy blogs at To Write Is to Write Is to Write.

Visit her Facebook page at

Love, Love, Love

 This Blog  by Cher’ley Grogg

Photo: Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Love is in the air. I know it’s not February yet, but in my world love is everywhere, especially with my oldest grandson who is getting married in February. It’s good to be around them and to remember stories of my own wedding and my children’s weddings.

I’m constantly asking for a little love for an article or a blog that I’ve written. That’s a different kind of love, but it comes from people who care about me. Even strangers become friends when we share things in common and sometimes that common thing is just a Facebook account or a Twitter account.

It feels good to be loved and it feels good to love, even if the love is a great like and respect. I know I’ll be looking for ways to express more love in the next couple of months.

Peppy Le Pew says, “ I am ze locksmith of love, no?” I always wanted to feel sorry for Peppy, but I just couldn’t. I always felt sorry for Penelope the little cat who accidentally got paint spilled on her, so she resembled a female skunk. Pepe Le Pew, was dilusional about  his French amorous charms. Thinking himself irresistible  constantly made creative attempts to poor feline, Here’s a blog about Pepe.

In “Stamp Out Murder” James, the main character, doesn’t realize he’s in love until he almost loses his love, Carolyn. This brings about a whole bunch of feelings that were knew to him. First he gets protective of her, He gets possessive of her and her attention. He wants to pamper her, He allows himself to get emotional around her and he tries to impress her with his strength and talents.Sometimes he doesn’t even know why he says or does the things he does, but that happens when you are in love.

Carolyn is going through her own set of emotions. She wants to know more about him, she wants to know everything about him from birth on. She wants to be respected for who she is, she wants him to know how smart she is. She wants to spend as much time as possible with him and she wants to feel protected and cared for. She keeps looking for signs that this is the real thing.

There are other people who have come into their lives and there will be more people coming into their lives in the next book, “Cancel Out Murder”. This is where their love will be tested.

When we survive the tests of time that’s when we have a lifetime of love.

Tell me something about the love in your life, human, animal or other.

Stamp Out Murder”.

The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk” This is an especially good book for your Tween Children and Grandchildren.

Fans of Cher'ley Grogg,AuthorAnd please join me on my Facebook Fanpage, that’s managed by one of my most faithful fans: Cindy Ferrell

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