The Old Church in Portland, OR: http://theoldchurch.org/
Well it was bound to happen sooner or later. Nine years into my career as a wedding officiant/minister, I had my first fainting body come crashing down in the middle of a wedding. The recipe for disaster goes like this. It’s a very warm and humid summer day. I’m standing in the midst of a large wedding party up on the dais of downtown Portland’s Old Church, a beautiful vintage venue with a massive pipe organ. Though plans to upgrade the HVAC system are in the works, like many historic buildings, the place is not yet air conditioned. The pews are packed with guests, all fanning themselves with their programs. The bride is drop-dead gorgeous in her stunning white gown. Sleeveless and strapless helps compensate for layers of polyester and lace, comfort-wise. The young groom is handsome and trim in his three-piece tux and buttoned-up shirt with tie, tightly tied. Alas, formal men’s wear is not user friendly in the heat.
We’ve made it through the swelling organ music of the processional and are mid-ceremony. I’m reading along from my book. The groom is on my left; the bride is on my right and they are standing a few paces apart. Stretching out to each side there is a large assortment of bridesmaids and groomsmen. I’m not looking in the groom’s direction at that moment, so I don’t see it coming. But the bride does. I notice her anxiously reaching for him, which is curious since we’re not at the vows yet where I invite them to hold hands. Then, TIMBER-R-R-R-R-R-R! He goes down with a thundering crash, flat on his back, out cold.
Instantly there is pandemonium while everyone huddles around him, loosening his tie, removing his jacket, finding him water. They bring him to his feet and bring him a chair, but he still looks woozy. I try to persuade him to remain seated for the rest of the ceremony, but he’s a young, macho guy and refuses. And then he goes down a second time! More water, and the venue coordinator is just about to call 911 when he comes to and is on his feet again. I do the rest of the ceremony in hyper speed, skipping some paragraphs so we can make it to the goal of, “You may kiss the bride” while he is still conscious. Afterward as we all head to the reception room he is embarrassed, but married to his drop-dead-gorgeous bride. Everyone leaves with a story to tell.
I’m way behind on blogging. Lately I’ve been too busy doing weddings to write about them, having performed a flurry of nuptials recently in our Wedding Chapel. Why do weddings tend to come in flurries or clumps, I wonder? Maybe it’s because spring has sprung and love is in the air, and just maybe it’s because of women’s instincts. The guy may initiate the marriage process by getting down on one knee and popping the question. But after that, it’s usually the woman who plans and pulls a wedding together to make it happen. Women seem to have a herding or flocking instinct. They are known to synchronize bladders and thus end up in the restroom all at the same time. In the same way, I think they may channel a collective vibe to all at once call someone like me to marry them and their sweethearts. That’s okay; whether they come single file or in a “clump,” we welcome them all! We've posted a few pics above. See a bunch more of our recent couples on this link to a page on our chapel website: http://www.weddedyourwaychapel.com/recent-couples.html
Here’s a creative idea for a wedding processional that does not include a flower girl. We recently officiated at the Cornelius Pass Roadhouse in Hillsboro, a really great vintage farmhouse turned brewery and wedding venue. This ceremony took place just outside the historic octagonal barn. They did not have a flower girl at this wedding, instead prearranging a swirling design of rose petals down the aisle. The groom’s parents flew in all the way from their home in Germany. I also snapped a photo of the bride revealing her feather garter: Cute!
People around here have been in a marrying mood lately. We’ve logged in 10 weddings in the past 2 weeks, most at our chapel. The variety is fun to see. We’ve had some childless young couples, others just starting families, as well as older ones who brought their grandkids along. Some couples have arrived all dressed up, with various family members to watch and cheer them on. Others have dressed in jeans and asked us to provide their witnesses and only the minimum ceremony required to make it legal. One couple drove down from Seattle just to be married the same day. They obtained a waiver of the 3-day waiting period and got their marriage license on the way to the chapel. (Oregon will waive the 3-day wait, while Washington will not.) There were weddings with bouquets and rings and weddings without any frills. What they all had in common was love in their hearts, smiles on their faces, and a willing kiss after we pronounced them husband and wife. We’re sharing a few photos here, and you will find the rest at this link to our chapel website: http://www.weddedyourwaychapel.com/recent-couples.html
I'm the founding minister of Wedded Your Way. I love helping people tie the knot!