Wedding Disasters…

As many of you know, I was ordained more than 15 years ago after I completed my Master of Divinity degree. I had to go through quite a process and after that, in the state of Indiana at least, I was able to perform wedding ceremonies. Janet and I were at dinner this evening with our daughter, Kristin, and our grandson, Connor, as the conversation turned to some of my experiences as a pastor and officiant.

I guess that most people think that it always goes right. But the statistics show us that more than 90% of pastors would rather do a funeral than a wedding. That’s because people rarely complain at a funeral but weddings can get out of hand very quickly. And I am here to tell you that is true!

I remember the time that the bride decided at the last minute that she didn’t want her father to walk her down the aisle. Even though her parents paid for a beautiful event, their daughter didn’t want anyone looking at Mom or Dad since the day was about her – the bride – and she didn’t want her parents “ruining” it. I was “ordered” to tell the father to go sit down. Well, if you know me at all, that didn’t go very well. I threatened to walk out and not do the ceremony unless Dad walked his daughter down the aisle. We finally got started – with Dad escorting his ungrateful daughter to the front of the chapel. Her husband to be was so quiet he didn’t even want to speak so I had to finally let him know that the vows and answers to questions were required… enough said…

Then there was the time that the outdoor wedding had to be moved indoors due to rain. We made arrangements to have the ceremony amplified due to the size of the venue and once it was moved inside, the mother of the bride tried to cancel the $300 fee for the sound. Of course, the sound person had already been paid. The mother informed me that I was a liar and clearly had every intention of keeping the money for myself. I almost left that one also…

At one of the most beautiful venues in the city of Indianapolis, the bride entered the ballroom, on her father’s arm, to be married. As they reached the front, the best man, who apparently had too much to drink, grabbed the ceremony out of my hand and tried to take over and conduct the ceremony himself. It was embarrassing as the bride’s family had him removed. The rest of the wedding was awkward and subdued as the entire thing had been ruined by the best man. By the way, after the service, when witnesses were asked to sign the official record, this guy took his pen, punctured the license, then tried to rip it in half. The bride was horrified as the best man said he just couldn’t stand the thought of his best friend getting married… Clearly, both families were angry and agitated.

At another wedding that I was to perform at the same venue months later, the father of the bride decided to celebrate before the wedding and was too drunk to walk his daughter down the aisle… He almost passed out as he was getting ready to enter the venue and the bride ended up walking down the aisle unattended. I really felt sorry for her and I am sure that Dad never heard the end of it. Another really beautiful wedding ruined…

I have also had groomsmen and bridesmaids pass out at weddings as they “locked” their knees and stood ramrod straight until they fell over. Once, I even had a flower girl pass out, knocking over the table where the unity candle was sitting; and setting the tablecloth on fire. So, I have seen pretty much everything in my years conducting weddings.

While I have performed hundreds of ceremonies, most of them have gone very well, but as you can tell, I have had my share of stories to tell. God is the architect of marriage. He made it clear that we were to be united as husband and wife. In fact, when God mentioned that Adam did not have a suitable mate, God said that it was “not good.” This was the first time in the Bible that God is displeased with a part of His creation.

Tonight’s verse simply reminds us that God decided to create a mate for Adam. We are told, in Genesis 2:18, “The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” My encouragement tonight is that God wants us to celebrate the institution of marriage and that this holy event is something that we should do with solemn commitment to one another. While we may want to have a party as we are surrounded by friends and family, the wedding ceremony itself is something to be remembered and held in the highest regard. My prayer is that in each of our lives, we may recognize those times that are most holy and sacred, forever remembering that God has designed those things that are best for us to be united with Him – and with one another. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…

 
 
 
 

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