Naval Academy Annapolis Wedding Photography
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Naval Academy Annapolis Wedding Photography

I thankfully have no first-hand knowledge to back this up, but I'm told there are some brides out there to whom a spot of rain on their wedding day would be cause a bit of consternation. You know, worrying about guests and dresses and I've-been-dreaming-about-this-day-for-so-long kind of stuff.

That would not be Carly Berger.

In fact, nothing short of constant laughter would be Carly Berger. And so when the heavens opened up a bit on her wedding day, the only thing Carly seemed to be concerned about was that there were enough umbrellas on hand for her adorable nephew to play with. The little guy was having a field day playing amidst the pile of parasols in Carly's hotel room, and that seemed to be a perfect way to approach the whole rain thing in the first place.

So rather than write "Carly Berger and George Loranger were married on a bit of a rainy day in Annapolis a couple of weekends ago," let's keep things real. Carly Berger and George Loranger were married on an absolutely perfect day in Annapolis a couple of weekends ago, with the sounds of boat horns, mariachi bands and canons to help celebrate their wedding. And a lucky spot of rain ended up providing the couple with some great photo opportunities to boot.

I don't write these things, by the way, to make couples feel happy. From the moment I entered Carly's room at the Westin Annapolis, I didn't hear a single worry about the weather. Not one. Between that adorable child in diapers running around the room and the great soundtrack in the background (Mark Knopfler's "Romeo and Juliet" and Simon and Garfunkel's "For Emily, Whenever I May Find Her," two of my own favorites), there wasn't much time for weather discussions anyway.

Next door, George was just a tad nervous, and I did my level best to keep his eyes on the prize. As I've told hundreds of brides and/or grooms over the years--this was nuptials #399 for me--there are two kinds of nervous: taking an LSAT nervous and wedding nervous. The former is a gut-wrenching feeling, with college acceptances and all that stuff hanging in the balance, while the latter is pretty much all good, as you get to marry the person you love. 

After watching the bride laugh with her mom and dad (they don't seem to do serious very well), we headed off to the ceremony. George and Carly wedding's took place in the gorgeous chapel of the United States Naval Academy, where, if you really want to see something cool, you can go down below to the crypt and see the sarcophagus of America's first great naval hero, John Paul Jones, he of "I have not yet begun to fight" fame. (And not of Led Zeppelin bassist fame.) It's a place of monumental beauty, the chapel is, and George and Carly will, decades from now, look back and feel fortunate to have been married in such a place.

Of course, with Naval Academy chapel comes Naval Academy graduates, and George and his buddies looked dashing in their dress uniforms. (Perhaps someone can explain the significance of the armadillo that kept popping up all day. I think it's the mascot of an Annapolis bar by the same name, though I could be wrong.) George's dad looked particularly proud, smoking on a huge cigar outside the Annapolis Yacht Club with some of his son's friends. Oysters, crab and shrimp were in abundance, a mariachi band was playing, and sailboats came and went from the downtown harbor. 

In fact, if I were to distill 399 weddings into a list of practical advice, like the LSAT example, item #7 might be: When in doubt, get a mariachi band. I have a couple of years to the next big milestone in my life, my 50th birthday, but I've always thought that a backyard party with mariachi band would be the way to go. The musicians and the music are always pure joy.

Once inside for dinner, guests dined on crabcakes, got an impromptu and impressive drum recital from the father of the bride, and watched Carly be surrounded by a bunch of officers singing "You've Lost That Loving Feeling," right out of a scene from a movie whose name I don't even need to mention.

All in all, a perfect wedding.