Beer Doesn't Have to be the Theme

Trip Start Jan 31, 1996
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , Washington
Saturday, September 29, 2012

I lie tossing and turning. The light from Seattle's Space Needle gives the room an odd glow. But that's not what keeps me awake. I envision Elenka in a wedding gown, scuba tank on her back, a Margarita in her hand, as we glide through the most pristine coral reef on the planet. 

Matus and Vierka are staying at our home back in Toronto, taking care of our cats, Harley and Doodle. Matus is a professional photographer who works mainly weekends, photographing weddings. Before we left for Seattle, he showed me some pics from a recent shooting. Wonderful composition and atmosphere, black and whites mixed with colour shots to show the mood. And the remarkable way he was able to capture the true love expressions of the newlyweds. I was fascinated by his work. 

“This should be the happiest time in a young couple's life,” he said. “But they are doing exactly the same as their parents did it, their grand-parents before them, and probably their great-grand-parents as well.”  

I could feel the unhappiness in his voice.

“Every time I shoot one of these weddings, the bride, the groom, the parents, everyone who has to have their photos taken are bored. This makes me bored, and maybe a bit nervous. In some small way my work suffers as a consequence.”

“What do you propose, the issuance of happy medication on the way into the church? A hash hookah in the vestibule, perhaps?”

Matus is a very determined young man, not prone to playing silly buggers. “When a young couple gets married … never mind young, when a couple are about to embark on the happiest, most important journey of their lives they should away take with them memories of what they enjoyed when this momentous event occurred.”

I had no idea what he was talking about. “That was a really long sentence,” I said.

After a short blank stare he pressed some keys on his Apple, then turned the screen my way.  “Look at these photos. They are from a wedding I shot on the High Tatry Mountains in Slovakia. I convinced the newly weds that this special day was theirs and theirs alone. This young couple like to drink beer, and bowl, and climb mountains ... and then drink more beer.” His face showed the first hint of a smile.

I navigated my way through the album. When I was finished, Matus said, “The look on your face while you viewed these photos was much happier than the one you had when you studied the solemn, Toronto wedding. Now imagine yourself in the shoes of  those two young couples. Pretend that it is ten years since you got married. How many times do you think you would have looked back at the photos of your solemn Toronto wedding over those ten years? And then consider how many times might have looked back at your fun photos, your wild and crazy marriage photos.”

I could feel my own silly smile. Solemn photos don't necessarily conjure happy memories. Especially in bad times. But if the photos were happy to begin with? Could wild and crazy marriage photos alleviate the 7 year itch, I wondered? Might having fun one day become a substitute for marriage counseling?  I just pointed at the screen of the wild and crazy marriage and moved my head up and down.  

In case you might be looking to get married or renew your vows, Matus can't provide snowy mountains in Ontario, but you can show him where the pine forests and lakes are. The only other requirement is imagination.

For more “fun weddings” and numerous other works enter the world of Matus at  Tip: After clicking past the main page, hit "portfolio". On the right side, below the photo of Lenny Kravitz, do another click. That's where you'll find all the wedding stuff.

The lights of Seattle illuminate our room as beautiful Elenka sleeps. How would I be able to get a scuba tank back on Elenka after her bad underwater experiences? Do they make wedding gowns that don't go all soggy-like when submerged? How would we be able to keep the Margaritas from blending with the sea? Would I go to prison if we actually did this? 

Tomorrow we board a south-bound ship. First stop Hawaii.

Elenka took the final fifteen or so photos at the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum in Seattle.


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dpbaril on

Jack is dreaming of Elenka in a wedding gown... Ah zo! mein gutte freund, vat do you sink deez means?

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