The fearsomely learned Conrad has sent me an excellent OED find, the long-forgotten word bridelope:
[late OE. brýdlóp, either:—*brýdhléap, or ad. ON. brúðhlaup, brullaup (Sw. bröllopp, Da. bryllup) wedding; cf. OHG. brûthlauft, -louft, MHG. brûtlouf, Ger. (arch.) brautlauf; f. OTeut. brûđi- BRIDE + hlaup- run, LEAP.]
The oldest known Teutonic name for ‘Wedding’: lit. ‘the bridal run’, or ‘gallop’, in conducting the bride to her new home. See Grimm, Brautlauf: and cf. BROOSE [“A race on horseback, or on foot, by the young men present at country weddings in the north”]. ? Only in OE.
Unfortunately, Robin, the bride at the wedding I just got back from, was in too much back pain to do any running or galloping, but she was a real trouper, and I suspect the joy of the occasion more than made up for the discomfort. And Jim, known around these parts as jamessal, had a goofy smile on his face the entire time I was there and was clearly thrilled to be marrying her, as well he might be. The two of them are now off on their honeymoon, and I’m sure they carry the best wishes of the entire LH crowd with them.
I felt a little trepidation setting out on a journey that required essentially sitting on buses for two complete days and spending the intervening days as an outsider in a vortex of family wedding preparation (I was staying with Jim’s parents, Nathan and Lydia), but everyone was so genuinely welcoming I never felt a moment’s awkwardness and was able to fully enjoy the food, drink, and good company. The food was amazing, especially the rehearsal dinner at Elements (an extensive tasting menu that left some diners defeated and asking for doggie bags, but of which I ate every bite); the drink was provided by Mattias Hagglund, the bartender at Elements and a friend of Jim’s, who created concoctions for the wedding reception called Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, and Something Blue (I had the last-named, a mixture of Blue Goose vodka, curacao, and peach liqueur served in a martini glass, and it was so delicious it was only with the sternest self-discipline, and the memory of the effects of the previous night’s alcoholic consumption, that I denied myself a second glass); and the company was so exhilarating I wish I could have spent much more time in it: Jim’s uncle Ken Robbins (who was also staying in the house, and who turned out to be one of the few people I can enjoy talking with when hung over), Jim Haba and his wife Erica (an artist who works in tiles so vivid they made me wish for much more color in the built world around us), Kathryn Levy (whose excitement at finding a fellow Lorine Niedecker fan was such that she dropped her glass)… I know I’m forgetting other names, but the point is, it was a wonderful crowd well worth staying up till 2 AM for. Don’t worry, I’m not about to turn LH into a social calendar, but it’s not often I get to do things like this, and I wanted to record it. Oh, and there’s even a language book involved: Ken gave me a copy of Wordly Wise, by James McDonald (a mathematician who loves word history), which I look forward to immersing myself in.
Totally not LH-related, but wedding-related and a lot of fun: Vanessa’s Wedding Surprise. Warning: schmaltz!