Remembering unique wedding moments

Published 10:27 pm Monday, August 8, 2016

By Michael Brooks
Brooks is a pastor of the Siluria Baptist Church and adjunct instructor at Jefferson State Community College.

I heard a national computer-help radio program over the weekend, and the hostess talked about some electronic innovations at weddings.

One is the small camera a bride can place in her bouquet, thus taking photos of on-lookers as she walks down the aisle, as well as close-up views of the minister as he performs the ceremony.

Another is the wristband measuring the bride’s and groom’s heartrates as they exchange their vows, and a printed copy added to the photo album.

The most unusual is the use of a drone to drop the rings in the couples’ hands rather than using a fidgety nephew as ring-bearer!

I must admit I’ve never seen any of this personally, but I did begin to think of some unusual things I’ve observed.

One groom intended to have his dog be “best man” at the outdoor wedding until he — the dog, not the groom — growled at a child on rehearsal night and was retired for the ceremony.

The first wedding I attended as new pastor in a church was unusual when the pastor who’d been previously engaged to officiate said, in the midst of the ceremony, that if the couple ever decided to divorce, we who love them would continue to love them.

Of course this was true, but I’d never heard a pastor offer an “escape clause” in the marriage contract.

The best story of all was told by Robert Fulghum of “everything I ever needed to know I learned in kindergarten” fame. He made famous the villain of weddings — the MOB as he called her. This acronym stands for “mother of the bride.”

I’m sure he was being funny, but we officiates do know we must please the MOB in all things!

Fulghum then told about the nervous bride who threw up in the middle of the ceremony.

Oh, my. Fulghum wisely called for a time-out, and then started over after the bride had time to collect herself. We can only hope the poor lady was able to laugh at this later on.

So much of my wedding philosophy came from the late John Atherton, the long-time music minister at Selma’s First Baptist Church.

John always counseled couples that a Christian wedding is a worship service and pop and show tunes aren’t appropriate.

He also counseled couples to keep the levity and practical jokes away from the ceremony since participants are actually leaders as the congregation worships.

I’m fortunate that I’ve never had inappropriate requests made when I’ve officiated, but I’ve always remembered John’s wise counsel.

If a service is conducted under the auspices of the church, it ought to bring honor to the Lord of the church in every way.