Some have a whirlwind courtship, and others have a whirlwind wedding. Two weddings booked with me last week, each with only two days’ notice. One young couple, Katelyn and Shane with a darling 4-year-old boy, Charlie, opted for our chapel setting. The guest list was pushing 20, which is our capacity, including a number of small children. I expected a bit of a zoo, though I love kids and, in fact, have 5 grandkids of my own. I was pleasantly surprised at how well-supervised and well-behaved they all were.
The other couple, Sonia and Terry, was fortunate to have close friends who hosted their wedding at their lovely West Linn home, which boasts a gorgeous view of the Willamette River flowing just beyond their backyard. That wedding was so typical of life—the sun broke through the clouds and “smiled” on us just as we began. Moments later, the neighbor started up his noisy lawn mower. It was a small demonstration of the vows about accepting the good with the bad.
Best wishes to both of our last week’s whirlwind couplesand Sonia and Terry, for a lifetime of happiness!
We officiated at a really great venue over the weekend: the Jupiter Hotel, a renovated motor-inn turned boutique/hotel. It’s on East Burnside, not far from the Willamette River in downtown Portland. They have a really great tented courtyard with lots of potted plants everywhere and even a couple of fancy hanging chandeliers. The bridesmaids wore dresses in all different styles and shades of purple. Best wishes to Brad & Christia for a long and happy life!
Here's a link to the Jupiter Hotel: http://www.jupiterhotel.com/events/index.cfm
People can be so creative with hair! I snapped this photo of four groomsmen chilling with a pre-ceremony beer at one of my weddings over the weekend. I asked the guy with the yellow Mohawk if it was hard to maintain. Lucky guy, his girlfriend is a hairdresser.
Another of my couples pulled off an elaborate ruse. They’d invited 100 of their closest friends to what was supposed to be a reception-only, telling everyone they’d eloped the week before. Instead they met with me to plan their surprise nuptials. I showed up to the “reception,” posing as a guest. The groom arrived, but time passed and people began to wonder where was the bride? At the appointed time the groom stepped up to the mic, looking confused. He announced that he had a confession to make. There had been a misunderstanding, he said, and a wedding had not actually taken place. “Is there a minister in the house?” He asked, sounding very sincere. (He was a really good actor!) According to plan, at that point I raised my hand. I pulled my clergy vestment and book out of my bag, then took my place up front and center. Processional music began playing, and in walked the bridesmaids followed by the bride. The look of shock on the guests’ faces was priceless! I began with, “Yes, folks, this is a real wedding and I am a real minister. The bride and groom wanted to surprise you and they obviously succeeded!” A surprise wedding is simply a delight!
A surprise wedding is a delightful event. I once married a couple from Denmark who were visiting with friends on a vacation here in the States. A Sunday morning brunch was arranged by a friend who was in on their secret for them and their parents and a dozen or so of their friends. But it was no ordinary brunch; they had prearranged with me to help them tie the knot. When I arrived I was introduced simply as a friend. The bride and groom did not tip anyone off with their dress—they chose to wear matching tropical shirts for the occasion. Before the bacon and eggs were served, I called everyone out onto the patio and announced that this was, in fact, a wedding. Surprise!
Kids add a wild card to any wedding. Most certainly they will steal the show. But the entertainment is free, and simply adorable. Our chapel has hosted lots of weddings with kids in the wedding party. One of my couples had a daughter who had just turned two the week before. The guests were seated, the processional proceeded and I commenced the opening words. We sailed smoothly through to the middle of the ceremony when she spied the flames of the Unity Candle. “Happy birthday to you!” She began singing, over and over, while trying to blow out the candles. Mercifully, an auntie scooped her up and took her outside the room, though we all heard her running up and down the hall, still singing. Toddlers are beyond cute, whether shyly hiding behind a grown-up’s leg or hamming it up in the spotlight. Just be prepared: They will steal the show!
I'm the founding minister of Wedded Your Way. I love helping people tie the knot!