So, my cousin married into a family of ranchers. Honest, hard-working people. Good natured, friendly, extremely hospitable. I've never met anyone quite like them. They held the ceremony right there on the farm, and cooked up a few hundred steaks and chickens for the multitude of guests. The night before, it was prime rib for everyone. Leftovers both evenings were collected, to be fed to their pigs - nobody goes hungry there.
The bridesmaids were told to pick their own dresses - something they'd want to wear occasionally on their own time. They went with a beautiful evening gown, which sparked in the light and shifted from black to blue based on what angle you viewed from. These weren't in any way hideous, which I'm told violates all known laws of the universe.
(Those details don't really affect the story, but I'd still be remiss if I didn't mention them.)
During the ceremony, when the reverend asked if there's any reason why these two should not be married, the groomsmen turned to the audience and shifted to reveal their sidearms.
Not surprisingly, there were no objections.
(Time passes. More things happen. They don't affect the story either.)
Towards the end of the reception, children are running every which way; a collective sugar-high brought about by wedding cake. As I walk over to collect my own slice, a child swerves to avoid me, and I guess jostles the groom's chair as he tears around the corner.
There is a heavy clattering sound.
The groom glances at the floor around him, and not seeing the cause of this disturbance, starts to lean his chair back for a better view.
Another kid runs past, threatening to knock the groom and his chair over.
The groom returns his chair to a full upright position and glances up at me with a look of "Can you check? I don't want to end up in traction."
So I look, and the word leaves my mouth before my mind can wrap itself around what I've found:
His look this time says "Are you sure?"
"On the floor, under your chair. Gun."
The first kid comes running through, and nearly kicks the thing out onto the dance floor. "That could be bad," I think to myself.
But, nothing bad comes of it. The groom rescues his sidearm and carefully puts it back in it's holster.
"God," he says. "I hate when that happens."