June and August mark the height, in this hemisphere, of the traditional matrimonial season.
But Monitor researchers have been culling the statistics and have concluded that July is the choice month for wacky weddings. Consider this sampling:
Jacque Bell and Wendy Williamson delivered their vows Saturday (in under 30 minutes) at Domino's Pizza in Jackson, Miss.
Mike Stivers and Ricci Hornsby faced off at center ice in the Joy Burns Arena in Denver on July 18.
Kerry Setter and Cassandra Kaczor took a Big Gulp and vowed to love and cherish one another in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven convenience store in Port Huron, Mich.
Meanwhile, Evelyn Neew and Christof Galuschka tried to become the first couple in Germany hitched in a hot-air balloon. But a state registry deflated their hopes by denying a marriage certificate. It seems a balloon basket is not an official office.
I used to be rather sanctimonious - even suspicious - about couples who denigrated this lifelong commitment by reducing it to theater of the absurd. Such weddings must be corporate publicity stunts. How can pepperoni pizza, a passion for pucks, or a drink in a 32-ounce cup really be the cornerstones of a lasting relationship?
But as my eldest daughter reaches dating age, I've become more tolerant. I'm learning to embrace and even celebrate unconventional ceremonies.
Perhaps what really matters isn't the setting but the sincerity of the sentiments. Having meditated deeply on the average cost of a conventional wedding ($19,104 and counting) my consciousness has been raised.
I've begun to selectively share news reports of these oddities with my daughters. How many guests do you suppose can fit into a hot-air balloon basket? Oh, look! Married in a tree house! And how about that spectacular telephone-booth reception? Wouldn't that be memorable!?
* We're home. Let us know how we're doing. Write to the Homefront Editor, One Norway Street, Boston, MA 02115 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org