The Nostalgic Nuptials of Barbara and Bill

Barbara and Bill on their real wedding day in 1961
Barbara and Bill on their real wedding day in 1961

I wrote this play for my parents’ 40th wedding anniversary, and we performed it for them and a few guests. I played my dad, my brother-in-law played my mom, my sister played the best man…you get the idea.

To really get the jokes, you have to know that my father was a geologist, and he was passionate about his rocks.

Here it is. Enjoy.

The Nostalgic Nuptials of Barbara and Bill

Bill (groom)
Barbara (bride)
Chuck (best man)
Julie (matron of honour)
Flower Girl
Broken-hearted girlfriend

Setting: The church.

Scene 1: One hour before the wedding.

Bill, dressed in plaid flannel shirt with armbands, loose pants with suspenders, and rubber boots is pacing back and forth, looking at his watch. Chuck lounges in a chair beside him.

Bill: Where is she? It’s almost time to start and she’s not here. Women! No sense of time!

Chuck: Relax, Bill. You still have an hour of freedom left. (Hands him a drawstring bag.) Here. I brought you something to pass the time.

Bill: What’s this? You didn’t bring it to the rehearsal. Don’t throw off the timing now.

Chuck: Some specimens that Stan brought back from that claim he staked.

Bill: (Pulls out a rock, then takes out his eyeglass from his pocket.) Verrrry nice. This one looks like a sphalerite. Hey, did you see the rock I got Barbara?

Chuck: You got her a rock?

Bill: On her wedding ring. It’s a beauty.

Chuck: Oh, that. Yes, that’s the kind of rock women like.

Bill: Say, we’ve still got a few minutes. Let’s run over to the office. I want to put this sphalerite under the black light. Some of them are fluorescent, you know.

Chuck: Sure. As long as we’re back before ten to. Don’t want Barbara to think you stood her up. Oh—and Bill—you might consider changing your shirt. This is your wedding.

Bill: This one is clean. I had Shrinky wash it for me. Tell you what. If there’s time we’ll stop by the bunkhouse and I’ll put on a tie.

They exit into the bedroom.

Scene 2: 15 minutes before the wedding.

Flower girl runs through the room with a sand pail and shovel, and hides behind a chair. Julie, dressed up in a fancy dress, follows, holding a ribbon and a flower.

Julie: Come back, sweetheart. I need to put the ribbon in your hair.

Flower Girl: But I don’t want to be a flower girl! I want to be the ring burier. I know just where to bury one. Runs into the kitchen just as Julie reaches her.

Julie starts to follow flower girl but Barbara enters, distraught.

Barbara: My hairdo just won’t work out. Julie rushes over to fuss with it. And I don’t have a thing to wear. This dress is all wrong.

Julie: You look lovely, Barbara. You should be happy! One day you’ll tell your children all about this day.

Barbara: Oh sure. One day they’ll be making fun of all this.

Julie: There, there, dear.

Barbara: What if he doesn’t show up? Oh my goodness!

Julie: What is it?

Barbara: What if he does? I’ll forget my lines for sure.

Julie: You’ll be just fine.

Barbara: I hope I’m doing the right thing.

Julie: Bill is a wonderful man. A real catch. He has a heart of gold.

Barbara: That’s exactly it! A heart of gold, a steel will – rocks, rocks, rocks. The other night I had a nightmare that he took all the dishes out of the china cabinet and filled it full of rocks.

Julie: He’ll never do that. Bill is a sweetheart.

Barbara: You don’t know him like I do. He told me he likes to suntan in the nude! What time is it?

Julie: Just a few more minutes. The guests are starting to arrive. Come to the back room.

Barbara: I can’t remember where I put my bouquet.

Julie: Don’t worry, dear. You can hold this. (Hands her a flowerpot with a plant.)

Barbara: Do I have lipstick on my teeth?

They exit.

Scene 3: The ceremony

Priest walks in and checks the candles, looks over his papers, shakes hands with the guests.

Priest: Welcome, welcome.

Girlfriend sobs into her handkerchief. Photographer rushes over and takes a picture of her. <flash!>

Bill and Chuck enter. Bill is wearing a tie on his plaid shirt. <flash!>

Priest: Bill, you made it! Stand right over here and I’ll tell the ladies you’re ready.

Bill stands on outside, Chuck in centre. Calls toward den.

Bill: Just wait until Barbara sees that rock I got her!

Priest: It’s a go, ladies!

Julie: (Runs out in a panic.) I can’t find the flower girl!

Priest: We can’t wait. Just do without.

Julie: But she was going to look so pretty.

Priest: No time, no time. Get Barbara on her feet and wait for the music. Julie runs back.

Priest turns on the cassette player. It plays “Breaking up is hard to do.” Priest turns it off and switches cassettes. It plays “Here comes the bride.” Julie walks in, peering under tables and behind chairs as she goes, still holding the ribbons and flowers, just in case. Barbara follows, holding the flowerpot. Bill nudges Chuck as if to say “What a dish!” Photographer takes pictures of everyone except Barbara. At the altar, Chuck and Julie are in the middle and Bill and Barbara on the outside.

Priest: (picks up his paper, adjusts his glasses, and reads.) Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears. I come to marry Caesar, not to praise him.

Chuck whispers in his ear.

Priest: What? Oh, sorry. Wrong speech. Shufles his papers. Dearly beloved, we are here today to join this man (nod to Chuck) and this woman (nod to Julie) in holy macaroni. <flash!>

Chuck whispers in his ear.

Priest: You’re already married? Then why are you here?

Chuck and Julie move Barbara and Bill to the middle. They are on the wrong sides, so they have to change positions too.

Priest: Oh, I see. Ahem. Dearly beloved, we are still here today to join this man (nod to Barbara) and this woman (nod to Bill) in holy rigatoni. If there is anyone with a present who objects to this onion, let him speak now or forever hold his nose.

Girlfriend: (stands) I object! (sobs) <flash!>

Priest: Do you have a present?

Girlfriend: Of course not!

Priest: Then sit down. (Girlfriend sits.) Do you, Bill, take this woman to be your lawfully wedded wife?

Photographer fiddles with camera throughout the vows.

Bill: I, Bill, take you, Barbara, to be my lawfully bedded wife, as long as we both shall live. Here.

Priest: Do you, Barbara, take this man to be your lawfully wedded husband?

Barbara: I, Barbara, take you, Bill, to be my awfully fed husband, unless you teach me how to cook.

Bill: You don’t know how to cook?

Barbara: I always eat in the cookery.

Bill: Don’t worry, I’m an expert at TV dinners.

Priest: You may place the ring on the bride’s finger.

Bill: Just wait till you see it! (Reaches into his pocket. Tries the other ones.) It’s gone! The ring is missing! <flash!>

Priest: I can’t marry you unless you have a ring.

Julie: (takes hers off and hands it to Bill) <flash!> Here. Use this one.

Chuck: You can’t give away your wedding ring!

Julie: It’s just a loan, until he finds his.

Chuck: What if he never finds it? Or what if he hits it with his pick? Quartz crystals aren’t that strong!

Julie: You mean it’s not a real diamond?

Chuck: Of course it’s real. (to Bill) Now you’ve done it.

Priest: Are we ready to proceed?

Chuck: Not with that ring!

Flower girl enters from kitchen covered with flour, holding a glass of twizzle sticks and a big rock.

Julie: What happened to you?

Flower Girl: I’m the flour girl! <flash!> Look what I found behind these funny sticks!

Bill: That’s the ring! You found it!

Flower Girl: I’m the ring UN-burier.

Bill: (Takes the ring and polishes it on his shirt. Holds it up so everyone can see it.) Isn’t that a beauty? (Takes out his magnifying lens and shows it to Chuck.) You can see all six faces on the crystals. <flash!>

Barbara: Where did you get that?

Bill: I dug it up out of the creek.

Priest: Let us proceed. You may now place the ring on the bride’s finger.

Bill puts the ring on the bride’s finger. Her hand falls to the floor under the weight of it. <flash!> Julie grabs the flowerpot.

Priest: I now pronounce you man and wife. <flash!> You may kiss the bride.

Girlfriend sobs.

Barbara: Here, in front of everybody?

Bill puckers up. Barbara lifts her hand to be kissed instead. The rock knocks Bill over. <flash!> Barbara bends over him and pats his face to revive him. He wobbles to his feet. Priest turns on the music. (“Railroad, steamboat, river and canal, yonder comes a sucker and he’s got my gal.”) Everyone stands and applauds.

Photographer: (Claps his hand to his forehead.) Oh no!

Priest: What is it?

Photographer: The lens cap was on. Would you mind taking it from the top?

Bill with his rocks in the china cabinet.
Bill with his rocks in the china cabinet.