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Sunday, December 22, 2013

Just a Thought: More memorable weddings
By Steve Walker

In the past two columns I shared with you the reader about weddings I have performed as a Justice of the Peace.

In the first column I shared some of my opportunities to perform them at various venues that ranged from the St. Anthony Hotel downtown to the 18th hole of a golf course.
In the second column I also detailed two particular memorable weddings that I recalled since they were so unique for different reasons. One pertained to a woman’s advanced age, the other health issues of a groom in the Intensive Care Unit at a local hospital.

While some of the ceremonies I was involved in were considered ordinary and bland by some, others obviously were far from being vanilla-like. From crying participants to those who laughed hysterically through out the nuptials, the weddings spanned the gamut.

Sometimes their laughter was so contagious it filled the courtroom or venue. Some laughter was from sheer joy and some from sheer fear of the unknown. The good news is they all made it through the ceremony in one piece. And some of those weddings were so touching they made me shed a tear as well.

For some reason I presided over my share of those who cried. For some it was more like wailing. The irony of the criers is that the majority of them were men!
One particular ceremony was in my court room. The young man in question was so overtaken by his excitement at the thought that someone would marry him that the tears streamed down his face as he sobbed almost inconsolably.

He could not repeat the vows so I was obliged to say them for him as he nodded his approval. His mother kept saying, “it’s ok baby, just remember to take care of her!!” All he could do was nod his head. I felt so sorry for him but he did get through the situation. Fortunately for him no one was in the courtroom except his bride and mother at the time.

Another time I was performing the ceremony at a local community center and about 60 people showed up for the wedding and a sit down dinner afterwards. The groom and his attendants were all dressed in matching tuxedoes and all had an identical tattoo on their right side of their necks. The bride wore a stunning wedding gown as her ladies in waiting were wearing matching dresses.

While the bride was composed the entire ceremony, you couldn’t say the same for the groom. He lost it as soon as I asked him to repeat his vows. Again another wedding and another groom sobbing out of control at his wedding.

His groomsmen were stunned as he sobbed the rest of the way through the ceremony. It happens.

Next week I will conclude with some more seemingly upbeat weddings and one wedding where the parents actually took the groom hostage for 40 minutes!

And as always, what I write is “Just a Thought.”

Steve Walker is a Vietnam Veteran and former Justice of the Peace and Journalist.

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