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The Bride didn't Wear White

by Wayne Scheer


I admit I'm jaded. Weddings don't do much for me anymore. My wife still tears up at the appropriate moments, but for me attending these ceremonies is little more than an obligation saddled with the inconvenience of wearing a tie.

But this wedding was different. It's not that I knew the young couple well. The fact is I only spoke to them a few times. Nice enough--funny, smart, attractive, idealistic. If there were a TV reality show involving a perfect American bride and groom, Ron and Emily would become instant stars. They're the only people I know who smile when they talk without trying to sell something. They're happy, almost giddy. It's refreshing.

But, as I said, I really don't know them, so what made their wedding special?  It was what they weren't wearing. Theirs was a nude wedding held at my wife and my favorite nudist resort.

The ceremony had all the standard trappings of a wedding--flowers, music, a naked minister. Well, maybe not all the standard trappings. The bride even wore a veil. Nothing else, other than a navel ring, but the veil added a touch of mystery. 

The nude minister, fully ordained I'm told, performed the ceremony as straight as could be expected, considering the naked wedding party as well as the hundred or so members of the resort had been drinking beer in the sun for quite some time before the festivities began. The couple wrote their own vows and he cleverly intermingled them with the more traditional expressions. Other than the obvious, the ceremony could have been held at the local Baptist church.

A round of applause sounded when Ron and Emily were declared married and Ron lifted his new wife's veil. I think the cheers had as much to do with lifting her veil as it did the marital pronouncement.  I noticed that the bride's face had turned red in the hot Georgia sun. No one had expected a blushing bride at a nudist resort, but we got one.

Afterwards, the new couple and their friends --many of whom had never been to a nudist resort before, judging from how their rear ends resembled cottontails--laughed and drank champagne and ate wedding cake. The couple bragged about how much money they had saved on the wedding dress. The bride, patting her bare belly, said she fully expected to fit into her wedding attire in twenty years. My wife sipped her champagne and whispered, "Don't count on it, girlfriend."

The next day, after most of their friends had returned to the clothing-compulsive world, I managed a quiet conversation with the newlyweds. The first thing I asked was why a nude wedding. They had a great story.

They had been friends since college. Seven years had passed while they counseled one another through one bad relationship after another, including his marriage and divorce.  Two years ago, they had decided on a lark to clip a two-for-one coupon to our nudist resort. It was the first time either of them had gone nude in public and the first time they had seen each other naked. That night, they discovered they were more than friends.

"We'll probably have a church wedding for our parents," Ron said. "But this one was for us."

Even I enjoyed the festivities, especially since I didn't have to wear a tie.

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