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!
It is simply amazing the variety of couples who come to us to help them tie the knot. We've served 18-year-olds all the way up to 70-something-year-olds, and all points in between. We've had very pregnant brides, and couples with adorable babies and toddlers who very often steal the show; and middle-aged couples with grown children and grandchildren in attendance. We've officiated mixed-race couples, same-sex couples, couples who've never been married, as well as the ones making the trip down the aisle for the second (and third-plus) time around. We've even helped a handful of folks to re-marry one another following a divorce at some point in their history. We've worked with meticulous planners as well as couples who call us on the fly, last minute, sometimes even the same day they want to be wed. (As long as they have their license and have obtained a waiver of the 3-day waiting period, we can usually accommodate same-day requests.) Oh and we've helped unite couples from many different cultures, backgrounds, religions, as well as the nonreligious. It is always fun to see just who will walk through the door next!
Yesterday I officiated a wedding in an assisted living facility in Forest Grove where the bride's mother is a resident. It's difficult for her to get out and about, so we brought the wedding to her. We performed the simple ceremony in the care home's sweet little chapel. It has a large skylight, which seemed like a window to heaven. Many happy tears were shed among the guests, especially from Mom, who was so pleased and grateful to be included in the celebration.
Welcome to my blog, another step in joining the electronic age. I've dragged my heels long enough! I will plan to post about the weddings we officiate and/or host in our chapel. There are as many stories to tell as there are couples!
I'm the founding minister of Wedded Your Way. I love helping people tie the knot!