I’ve mentioned it before, but JG has this alter-ego at weddings, and we call him Wedding JG.
I think it all started 5 years ago at our friends’ wedding in Williamsburg, Virginia. I was horrifically sick that weekend to the point of being basically unconscious in bed until it was time to rally for the wedding, and I did! That is, by mainlining throat drops, muffling my coughs, and reeking of menthol the whole time. So, by the time we got to the reception, I was barely standing upright, much less hitting the dance floor. The wedding was a mini reunion of JG’s high school friends, and I encouraged him to get out there as much as he wanted. I was fine. Well, not fine-fine. Good enough, I meant, with my bowl of food from the pasta station and plenty of concerned friends’ parents hovering over me.
During the 2 years since JG and I got married, we had gone on a cruise and attended a few weddings, so I had a chance to instill a few dancing tips, like, say, finding the beat and stepping on it. He also learned quickly that guys who dance, no matter how badly, earn major points with the ladies. So, by this time, JG had some pretty good, not-that-embarrassing dance moves, and he basically shocked everyone at the wedding by how, um, into it he was. Multiple people asked me, “How did you get him to do it?!” I don’t know! But it is awesome! Thus, Wedding JG was born.
JG has a winning combination of being a very energetic dancer and very tall. He compels people to watch him dance, and they subconsciously go along with whatever he is doing. And if JG is the muscle of the dance floor, I’m the brain. I can anticipate when we should be clapping on the 2-and-4 or quarter notes or even subdividing, or if we should probably start jumping in 1-2-3-4! So I shout or demonstrate what I think JG should do, he does it with me, and then suddenly, the whole dance floor is alive and together. At one wedding, I felt very strange that we were all in a big circle, jumping and pumping our fists, so I shouted, “We shouldn’t be in a circle for this! We should be in a big mob!” And JG jumped into the middle of the circle, beckoning everyone toward him with his arms, and lo, it was so. It’s like magic.
Wedding JG reached his peak at his sister’s wedding. Family members had built up the myth of Wedding JG, and there was plenty of hype. The pressure to be particularly awesome was on. Halfway through the reception, the DJ started playing “Don’t Stop Believin’” so, of course, JG’s next logical move was to run to the photo booth and grab an inflatable electric guitar prop. And that’s how this happened:
Yup. Full-on lip-synching and tearing it up with a fake guitar. Please note the very typical reactions of the people around him. When I observe from the outside or from behind a camera, it looks to me like he draws people out to their most fun and campy selves, and even while they feel that it’s kind of ridiculous, it’s still so much fun. JG’s brother went and grabbed the sparkly microphone prop, and people passed around around the guitar and the microphone during the rest of the song and the next Bon Jovi number. Those pictures are some of my very favorites from the night.
After the wedding, JG got lots of comments about how “Wedding JG did not disappoint” and that he “lived up to the hype.” Ha! A handful of people even came up to us and said that we should hire ourselves out as wedding party starters. One mom even said that I was a good sidekick to JG’s whipping up the crowd. Can you even imagine? I wonder what the going rate for professional wedding guest is…