“About five years ago, I performed a wedding ceremony for a very sweet young couple. The venue was a local park and the plan was to have the ceremony by a wooded area near a picnic shelter with a reception there afterwards. A low budget wedding, but hey, nothing wrong with that. It was a beautiful place and the flowers and decorations looked tastefully done.
So far, so good.
The ceremony was to begin at 1pm, so I arrived a little after twelve to make sure everything was ready to go. I was standing around chatting with a few guests and I had been observing the bride’s and groom’s mothers working around the tables and getting things ready for the reception. I noticed they were dressed very casually for the wedding with both of them wearing blue jeans and t-shirts. I wasn’t alarmed because there were several people in jeans, although most of the 40 or so guests were dressed a little nicer with numerous men in khaki pants and dress shirts and I saw at least a few women in dresses.
Fashion has been all over the place at weddings for a number of years now.
What did alarm me, however, was when I heard the bride’s mother say to the groom’s mother, ‘Well, we really ought to head to the house and get dressed for the wedding.’
This was at 12:45 with a planned wedding to begin at 1. This was my ‘you can’t be serious’ moment. My alarm increased when I saw there was not a single wedding party member anywhere in sight.
At 1:05, no one appeared to notice. By 1:30, people were coming up to me and asking me if there was something wrong. A couple of men joked about the groom getting cold feet. I told them I had no idea.
Around 1:45, the bride’s father arrived looking harried and tying his tie as he emerged from his car. After asking him if a wedding was going to take place today, he sort of shrugged and said, ‘I think so.’
By around 2:00, the guests had dwindled to fifteen or so, and they seemed contented with drinking a few brewskis and chatting among themselves. The other guests had given up and left. I took aside the photographer, who was a family friend and was actually just a guy with a digital camera, not a professional, and asked him to do me favor. I gave him my cell number and asked him to call me if the bride and groom wanted to get married today. He looked apologetic and said that he would.
I then headed to the house.
At 3:30, the photographer called and told me the bridal party were all there and wanted me to come and perform the ceremony. I ambled back to the park, and we had the ceremony. The handful of guests who remained afterwards ate heartily, drank merrily, and celebrated with the happy couple. No explanation was ever given for the wedding starting over two and a half hours late.
The bride and groom still keep in touch with my wife and me, and they appear to be deliriously happy together.”