I was seated on the bride’s side of a large church sanctuary awaiting the beginning of a wedding. Prelude music filled the air, and I scanned the scene making note of every exquisite detail in the decorations—all breathtakingly gorgeous. The bride was an only child; her parents were not wealthy, but they were definitely in the upper echelon of middle class. No expense had been spared for their only child’s wedding. The groom was one of four male children—his three brothers were part of the groomsmen party. So in a sanctuary filled to capacity and sitting amid such lovely surroundings, I certainly saw no indications that this wedding would be anything other than your ordinary, run of the mill ceremony. However, about halfway through the ceremony the minister began to explain the significance of the exchanging of rings….and turned to the groom and asked if he had a ring for his bride. The groom affirmed and turned to his best man for the ring. The best man reached into his upper outer pocket and searched but came up empty-handed. He then reached into his upper inner pocket….also empty. Then he dug deeply into both trouser pockets and pulled them both completely outward so that all could see they were empty, too. He shrugged both shoulders, shook his head, and turned to the groomsman behind him. The groomsman searched through all his pockets in the same manner as the best man, came up empty-handed—also shrugged his shoulders, shook his head, and turned to the groomsman behind him. Thus it went down the line of groomsmen, each one searching and finding nothing. The last groomsman performed his search and then turned back to the groomsman in front of him….and up the line it went again, each groomsman searching again in the same manner as before. By now laughter had engulfed the congregation, and when the best man finally produced the ring and held it aloft for all to see, everyone began to clap and cheer. I later learned that the minister was as clueless as everyone else (bride and groom included) to the missing ring antics of the groomsmen. But he was a wise man and quickly seized the opportunity to incorporate the episode into the ceremony. He spoke of the need for humor not only in the marriage relationship but almost every other relationship in our lives. He admonished the bride and groom to remember to “look for the humor” and told the bride, “I daresay you will not lack for humor in this family since you are gaining three brothers-in-law whose names happen to be Moe, Larry, and Curly” …. and the congregation again laughed and applauded.
The fun didn’t stop there. The reception featured a live band, and later in the evening, the bride asked if the band could play “Son of a Preacher Man” — which they did. The bride sang it to her groom …… and yes, he REALLY was the son of a preacher man. And I learned to do the Electric Slide that night! This wedding took place nearly 15 years ago, and I’ve never forgotten how fun it was; remembering it always brings a smile to my face.
It’s always nice when weddings go exactly as planned; but sometimes the funny, unexpected happenings can only add to the memories.
(c) 2016 Leslie O. Kelley
photo of Lucille Ball modeling wedding gown/public domain