July 6, 2012
"When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited."
Reflection by Lillian Daniel
There is no accounting for taste. I have seen it all when it comes to weddings, and heard even better stories from others. Like the bride who processed down the aisle with a microphone hidden in her bouquet so she could sing Elvis Presley's "Love Me Tender" to the groom while she marched behind the flower girl.
I remember one wedding where the bride was quite late to the church but finally showed up breathless and frantic forty-five minutes late. The groomsmen, who had been out partying, had been arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct and the bride was hoping we could delay the wedding until they could come up with the bond money. The poor organist had been playing prelude music the whole time.
I was new to the ministry and not as assertive as I am today, so I walked up to the exhausted organist and whispered the situation to him as he played Pachebel's Canon yet one more time. I asked him if we could delay even longer. After all, one of the guys in the clinker was supposed to sing the solo, and he was supposed to have a beautiful voice.
I left the organist in the church to go find the bride in my office, still getting herself dressed with her bridesmaids, who were still wearing curlers and their flip flops from a recent pedicure. But then suddenly, we heard a familiar song playing on the organ at full volume. It was "Here Comes the Bride."
With that, the debate was over. We all just automatically ran into the church. The bride and the ladies lined up in a flash, I ran to the front, and the service got started, whether we wanted it to or not. Sometimes it just takes someone to say enough is enough, we need to get this thing started.
I have no idea where this couple is today. But after many years of ministry, I have learned that the wedding does not necessarily tell you much about the marriage, and certainly not anything about its longevity. The smoothest sailing wedding can turn into the rockiest marriage. And the most chaotic ceremony may be remembered fondly fifty years later at a golden anniversary dinner. How can that be? I suppose, in the end, there's no accounting for taste.
In this time of weddings, let us pray for all who venture into the strange adventure of marriage, and let us pray for a day of marriage equality, when marriage will be open to everyone crazy enough to choose it.
Ms. Christina Villa
Minister for Resources and Communications
Publishing, Identity, and Communication
Local Church Ministries/Office of General Ministries
700 Prospect Ave.