Wedding Day

It takes a lot of energy to say, “I do!”

When it was all done – after the invitations, the vows, the toasts, the cake and the dancing – the father and mother of the bride marveled at how fast it all went. And not just the wedding. In an instant, their little girl was transformed, married and gone. All at once they felt wistful, happy and fulfilled.

Weddings generate these feelings and others. Before it’s a bustle of preparations and checklists, a logistical operation that builds toward a wondrous experience. Weddings are one of life’s watershed moments, gathering family and friends and making lasting memories are made. The little-noticed guest: energy – natural gas and oil powering, supporting and facilitating the Big Day.

The Morning Of

The experience was magical – which is not to say it was perfect. The imperfections, though, have a way of becoming endearing. Like dad forgetting his belt, and the friend who raced to the hotel to fetch it. Or was it good old Uncle Scott? There was the flubbed line during the ceremony, the ring bearer who wouldn’t surrender the ring and the long-lost third cousin who went techno on the reception dance floor.

As things unfolded, they were hardly noticed.

For the bride, the day starts like so many others – a little foggy at first but with growing purpose. She cradles the sturdy mug she’s carried since freshman year of college, transported back by the aroma of the hazelnut blend in it. The cup is something old to hold onto as she ponders the something new to come.

On the drive to the venue, the father drifts off into memories of their daughter: Pebbles-style hairdo, bug collection, raucous sleepovers, skinned knees from learning to ride her bike, soccer trips, school projects, that first date …

The Ceremony

On the terrace, white and lavender hydrangeas dot rows of white chairs on a perfectly manicured lawn. The sweet aroma of fresh-cut flowers is everywhere. The family gaggles for the pre-ceremony photo session and finds that the cliché about photographers being annoying is true. The father wants to make rabbit ears behind one of the groomsmen’s head but thankfully resists.

92% of couples used smartphones to plan their weddings in 2017 – with many of the phone’s components made from or with natural gas and oil

$5.18 billion – Americans’ spending on wedding flowers and décor in 2017 – agriculture and manufacturing supported by natural gas and oil

$1.8 billion – The approximate amount Americans spent on wedding transportation in 2017 – fueled by petroleum

Soon, the bride and her bridesmaids are in final preparation: straightening bows, re-fixing hair and touching up makeup. It’s almost time, and the bride and her sister, the matron of honor, hug before going out. Each has tears welling in their eyes, so there’s one last makeup adjustment. As they head for the terrace they grab tissues from a pocket-sized pack and hear the lilting notes of stringed instruments playing Pachelbel’s Cannon in D. The bride clutches her father’s arm, and as they walk down the aisle it’s totally unclear who’s leading whom.

For the bride, the only things she’ll remember is her groom mangling that line in the vows and the wobbly smile she cracked at the end, when the two of them turned and gazed at the audience.

The Reception

They all enjoy flowers, candles, cake at the after-party.

The endless stream of well-wishers is another story. The DJ seems stuck in a 1970s time warp, like the dude in the film “Love Actually.”

The bride dreads the turn around the dance floor with her father, because dear old dad is no Hugh Jackman. At the end of the tune he whispers a line from Shakespeare – Shakespeare!? – in her ear, and she feels oddly content in the middle of all those staring eyes.

Wedding Day

The mother kicks off her heels and rests tired feet, marveling again that it all came together, mostly on cue. All around the kids are making selfies with their smartphones and then posting them. What a day.

Toward the end, the DJ finally snaps into this decade in time for the bouquet toss. “All the Single ladies” blares from the sound system to the delight of, well, all the single ladies. They ready their positions and wait for those white and lavender hydrangeas to take flight. They land squarely in the hands of the bride’s best friend – the start of another new beginning.

Natural gas and oil: Powering the moments that matter.