Our wedding will be beautiful, thought Marvel Simmons. Her to-do list grew shorter each day as she completed details: dresses and jewelry for the women, clothing for the men, flowers, music, cake, punch. Judge Davis had agreed to perform the ceremony, better than a minister, under the circumstances. The hall had been rented.
Marvel hoped all the invited guests would come; one never knew. Both she and her intended had numerous relatives and they had many friends. Soon, we'll know how many friends we really have, Marvel realized. The simple invitation was ambiguous but the people most intimately involved understood.
On the appointed day Marvel dressed carefully and went to the hall with her parents. From behind the seats she could see the judge facing the audience with six attendants: three women on one side, three men on the other.
As the jazz trio played "King Porter Stomp," Marvel moved up the aisle, escorted -- not "given away" -- by her father. When she faced the judge, her maid of honor Cheryl Adams stepped beside her. the man in the groom's position did not move.
As Judge Mary Davis began the ceremony, several people gasped; a few left the hall. Some cried, but one expects that at a wedding. At the words, "You are now joined in marriage," Marvel and Cheryl kissed, then turned with radiant smiles to face the audience. They walked arm in arm to strains of "It Had to Be You."