For years, people have asked me to tell them stories of some of my most memorable weddings. So, here goes!...
One that comes to mind most often is when I was 8-months pregnant with my now, 7-year old daughter, Railla...
The setting was a beautiful "Little White Church" just outside of La Grange, Texas. It was a gorgeous (!!!) April day and about 350 guests had gathered to celebrate Holly & Brad's BIG Day.
Holly was one of my favorite brides! She and her family were so wonderful to work with. I remember how Holly's dress fit her perfectly and how excited we all were to finally see this day come.
As Holly & her father, Jim ascended the steps to the Church, I had hold of her gown's train. Now it was common for me to crouch behind the bride, so not to be seen in any photos. Yet, this particular position was more difficult, as my belly was huge and the baby was not happy with my standing all hunched-over...at all!
The time came for the Bride's procession & I was now on my knees, fixing the train. What a sight! There they went...Jim took Holly down the aisle to her awaiting Groom. It was all so beautiful...until I tried to stand-up. (So there I went, crawling across the floor of the Narthex to the closest wall and finally got back on my feet. Thank God, everyone was now facing the front.)
The ceremony went-off without a hitch and the live piano music was most memorable...
At the reception...
Everyone was ready to kick-up their heels and along with all of the expected guests came the unexpected husband of the pianist from the Ceremony...we shall call him Ralph.
Ralph, it seemed had begun celebrating much earlier than everyone else had, while fishing at the lake that morning. According to his wife, Ralph was not supposed to have been at the reception, but I guess he had a change of heart & was now ready to join ranks with the festivities.
The bartender informed me that Ralph was becoming a silly menace at the bar. Aside from trying to serve himself, he was attempting to take bottles of wine from the bar, trying to "hide" drinking from them behind a table...brilliant, Ralph! You Sir, are such a mastermind of inebriation!
Before dinner was even served, Ralph was passed-out and sleeping-it -off at his own little corner table, near the bar. Ralph's wife was incensed with his behavior and decided...
to leave. Of course, she didn't bother to take Ralph with her! (Thanks, Wifey!)
The dinner was quiet and lovely. The guests dined and laughed and Holly & Brad were glowing.
Now I had learned that Ralph & his wife were prominent members of the "Little White Church". So it was during this time that I thought to visit with the Pastor and explain what was going-on with Ralph. The Pastor assured me that Ralph was harmless and that he would help me manage Ralph, should things go awry.
The Dance was about to begin and guests were getting excited to see The Bride dance with her Groom. As we prepared for this next facet of the event, I was visiting with the DJ about the special songs that were on the agenda...
...then Ralph woke-up.
From the far end of the stage, Ralph ambled-over to the DJ's computer and pretended to "mess" with things. Immediately, the DJ ran-back to his area to tend to the situation, while I - on the other hand, needing to act quickly, worked-on how to get Ralph off the stage & out of the hall.
So, I decided to enact a little "good old fashioned flirting". (After-all...this IS the South & we ladies all know how to "flutta & faint".)
So, in trying to "catch a fly with honey"...I extended my hand and said..."Ralph, come here to me. I want to dance with you..." followed by a fluttering of my eyelashes and a demure smile.
Ralph, of course crossed the stage, without delay...all-the-while, looking around to see if anyone was catching the pregnant Wedding Planner making advances.
Within seconds, Ralph & I took one very messy, dancing'ish turn from the stage, onto the dance floor...and as Ralph twirled me away...The Pastor caught Ralph's hand they (with the help of a couple of Church Men) all whisked Ralph right out the door.
With that...Ralph was gone and the rest of the evening was absolutely enchanting.
Later, I asked the Pastor if Ralph made it home alright. The Pastor informed me that once they finally found his car, he was taken safely home. The Pastor then laughingly said "Yep, Ralph won't be coming back here tonight," he then held-up the keys to Ralph's car & gave them a jingle...
Now, I'vd had the pleasure of working with many Officiates over the years...I pride myself in the teamwork of it all. But this instance took the definition to a whole other level.