For the third and final act in the Summer of Weddings, we recently went to a wedding at Brynmere, a huge old, rambling, seaside house in Annisquam, Massachusetts, which beggars description. There is nothing for me to say about Brynmere other than the fact that I want the sort of life that gives me a reason to go there regularly. How do I accomplish this? Make more money? Have more time? Discover a previously unknown ancestor who made a fortune during the industrial age and built a house called Brynmere? I don’t know. But I would like to find out. Brynmere is as antithetical to the 21st century as it is possible to get and still be in the first world. It offers zero in the way of luxuries as we have come to define them, but everything in the way of luxuries as they actually exist. Porches to sit on that overlook the sea, comfortable chairs in corners made for reading (too numerous to count), a kitchen big enough to make twenty pies in at a time, multiple fireplaces, and an actual wood-paneled phone booth, to shut people inside who prefer to spend all their time yakking on the phone so that the rest of us can get on with our lives without having to hear them.
The two people who were married happen to be out of another time themselves, so Brynmere seemed like the right place for them to mark the occasion. It was a wedding that involved a lot of drumming. Which was pretty much as weird and enjoyable as it sounds. We pounded out our good wishes for the couple in a variety of symbolic rhythms, and no doubt the ghosts lingering in the corridors were amazed at the sight (and noise, which probably roused them from their eternal slumber). On the other hand, maybe not, because Brynmere is old enough to have borne witness to everything mankind has come up with, short of murder. It’s not a murdering sort of place.
Following the drumming and the blessing, which took place in the Victorian-era living room, we headed to the other side of the house for some post-rhythm merriment. Each table held several vintage creamers from the collection of the bride’s mother, and in every creamer was a tiny little flower arrangement. The bride assigned every single creamer to her guests, and we took them home at the end of the night, something to remember the day by, not that we could ever forget. The lovely cakes as centerpieces, the old creamers, the guests banging away on the array of drums during the ceremony, with Brynmere presiding over everything, the grande dame of Annisquam, may she reign for a hundred years more.