Maryland waterfront

Dinner for the Newlyweds

How one man brought a little extra joy to a young couple’s wedding day

When Ted Sheridan traveled to the east coast from California a few years ago, he thought attending two weddings in two weekends would be lot. Little did he know that he’d encounter a third happy couple — and that he’d have the chance to make their wedding day that much more joyous.

An analyst for a large national bank, Sheridan and his wife and three kids had just been to a wedding in Boston and were on their way to another in Washington, DC, when they stopped in the small town of Oxford, Maryland, for dinner at a place called Schooner’s, with an outdoor deck looking over a marina and shipyard — “a beautiful view.”

“My wedding was like a Roman Bacchanalia with a nine-piece salsa band. It was over the top.”

“It was a Tuesday night, it was pretty quiet,” Sheridan recalled when Good Turns spoke to him recently, after a friend recommended we hear his story. “There were only about three other tables, and this young couple comes in holding hands and looking at each other, very lovey dovey stuff. The waitress talked to them, and she burst into a smile and congratulated them.”

Naturally curious, Sheridan asked the waitress what was up, only to learn that the pair had just been married at the courthouse in the county seat, one town over. The groom had been in the armed forces and had just come home, and this quiet dinner alone was serving as the couple’s wedding reception.

“It made me think of my wedding,” Sheridan says. “We had hundreds of guests. It was like a Roman Bacchanalia with a nine-piece salsa band. It was over the top.”

“This was a Tuesday in the middle of nowhere,” he says of the young couple’s wedding day. “They’d just signed the papers and that’s it, they were married. This was so humble, so profound in its way. I had to do something.”

After consulting with his wife, Sheridan decided to buy the newlyweds dinner. “We spent a few moments talking to them and wishing them well, while our kids were running around like banshees,” he says. “They were very touched and moved. It was just an amazing moment in time, to try to pay it forward like that.”

Though Sheridan and his wife never heard from the couple again, we hope they too are paying it forward, however they can, and enjoying the amazing moments that come from being on either end of such a good turn.

(Photo courtesy of Flickr user m01229)
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