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 the founding minister of Wedded Your Way. I love helping people tie the knot!