This bride had an awful feeling that something would go wrong at her wedding. Turns out she was right…
“Years ago, I was asked to join my church’s wedding guild, probably because they needed new blood. This hardy group of older ladies coordinated all weddings and receptions held at our church. Within a couple of months, I was assigned my first wedding/reception.
I wouldn’t call the bride a Bridezilla, but she was definitely obsessed with having a perfect wedding. She wasn’t difficult to work with, but seemed unusually afraid that something would go wrong. I should have listened to her intuition.
Just a few days before the wedding, I got a call from the church office. The secretary began the conversation with,
‘John Baring (not real name) passed away yesterday.’
‘I’m sorry to hear that John passed away.’ I replied, wondering why this piece of news warranted a call from the church.
‘The funeral will be on Saturday at 2:30 PM.’
‘What?’ I screamed over the phone. ‘The wedding is at noon with the reception immediately following in the hall! You’ve got to be kidding!’
‘It has to work. There’s a reason why our hall is named Baring Hall. The good thing is that family isn’t having their reception at church. They’re hosting one at home after the funeral. Just tell the DJ to keep it as quiet as possible during the funeral.’
And so I did. I also didn’t tell the already nervous bride. There are things best not told to a bride! We almost got away with it too!
The wedding ceremony was performed without any glitches. The bride looked radiant and relaxed. It helped that she had a couple of glasses of bubbly while getting ready in the bride’s room. While the guests were munching on appetizers, the bridal party wrapped up their pictures. When finished, I led them to the hall. They were introduced to the guests as the groom swung his bride into his arms for their first dance as a married couple. Afterwards, the luncheon began. I breathed a sigh of relief. It was just a few minutes before 2:00 PM. It looked like the plan to keep the funeral and the wedding away from each other was working.
As the funeral began in the church, several of the groomsmen felt that music was needed during lunch. They approached the DJ, who told them he had been asked not to play music during the meal. The groomsmen complained to the groom who told the bride. She went to the DJ and told him to play whatever the groomsmen wanted. Knowing where his pay was coming from, he cranked it up!
As I tried to get the DJ to lower the volume, two men in dark suits walked in. They made a beeline for the DJ. They told the DJ to can the music out of respect for the deceased. The DJ shrugged his shoulders, but didn’t turn off the music. One of the men tried to push the DJ away from his console. He pushed back. That’s when the mini brawl began. Luckily, for all of us, two of the groomsmen were able to intervene and cooler heads prevailed.
By then, the groom had found out about the funeral. He agreed to stop the music until the service in the church was over. Being protective of his bride, he wanted nothing to spoil the day for her. When asked what to say to the bride, he said he would take care of it.
The funeral ended next door. The wedding reception went on successfully. I toasted the bride and groom that night with a few glasses of bubbly. All’s well that ends well.
The week after the bride came back from her honeymoon, she called me.
‘Is it true there was a funeral at the same time as my reception?’ She demanded to know.
I sighed and said yes.
‘You ruined my wedding!’ she bawled.
That was the last time I ever spoke to her. From then on, she ignored me at church and at other functions. As for me, I went on to become the President of the Weddng Guild in the years that followed my first wedding assignment. I often think I should write a book about my experiences as a church wedding coordinator.”