When out with friends, conversation often times finds it way to the different ceremonies I’ve performed or have upcoming. I love talking about all the different couples- how they met, what they planned for their big day, any funny anecdotes etc. But usually the weddings that get the biggest reactions are those that were last minute bookings. Folks seem to look down there noses a bit at them, and I’m not exactly sure why. There are a ton of reasons as to why folks might want to “get married quick”, but none stick out more in my mind than Jack and Jill (Seriously! I couldn’t make up names like that.)
Jill called me in a rush- she wanted, no needed, to get married the next day. On a Wednesday. Granted, this is even a bit odd even for me. But, I had a light schedule and the evening free so I figured why not. I sent her the standard samples and she quickly picked out a very short and sweet ceremony with an added prayer. Then she asked if I knew any places that we could perform the ceremony. Huh…now it’s getting a little more “outside the norm”, but hey…no big deal. We decided we’d meet at Piedmont Park and wander around a bit until a spot found us.
So I met up with Jack and Jill, and was first struck by their beauty. They were a good looking couple that looked made for each other, both with blonde hair, blue eyes and definitely athletic builds. But more than that, it was the way they looked at each other. They were so happy and excited to be starting their life officially together to the point where I was concerned they might burst. The goofy looks, toothy grins…the whole nine yards. I swear they were looking at each other more than looking for a spot that might work for their nuptials. However a particularly striking old oak tree managed to catch their eye, and we had the spot.
5 minutes later they were married.
We made our way to the Park Tavern for a place to sit and take care of the paperwork, and that’s where I got to hear the story behind the “Can you marry us tomorrow?” wedding. As it turned out, there was more planning involved than I knew. You see, there was something very special about that particular Wednesday. Jill’s great grandmother, grandmother, and mother all shared the same wedding date, and Jill wanted to extend the tradition another generation. And taking a cue from her grandmother, she and Jack had decided to elope and then tell the family later. Jack had arranged his leave (He serves in the Armed Forces) and drove from Alabama just to be married, and had to return the next day. So when the judge that they had previously arranged to perform the ceremony had to back out due to the impending birth of his grandchild, Jill began frantically Googling and eventually found me. This story literally almost brought me to tears right there in the tavern…it was so moving to hear them tell it and to hear all the history behind this “last minute” wedding.
This is one that’s going to stick with me for a lifetime, and I was so happy I was able to help them with their plans. Granted, not all short notice weddings have such a moving story behind them, but as the saying goes, don’t judge a book by it’s cover.