Just recently a former student of mine posted on her FB page that she had checked something off her bucket list – she had sung at a wedding (and done a fantastic job, I might add). I smiled as I read her post as singing at weddings brought back some wonderful memories for me.
In my younger years I sang at many a wedding. Since few people used recorded music back then, wedding singers were much more in demand, so I was kept quite busy during the summer months. On these occasions, whether I found myself in the choir loft or at the front of the church, I usually had a pretty good view of all the proceedings. And sometimes those proceedings proved to be quite entertaining!
Because marriages are emotional occasions, teary-eyed brides were quite common (and sometimes even a tearful groom), but it is the bride who couldn’t stop giggling that I can vividly recall. Although the attending clergy kept giving her stern looks, once she started laughing she just couldn’t seem to stop and even ended up emitting a snort or two which caused more giggling. She barely managed to squeak out the words of her vows.
However, her merry chortling was not indicative of how she felt about her betrothed, and, I am pleased to report, that the couple has been happily married for over 30 years!
During one ceremony the nervous bestman dropped the ring. I held my breath as I watched it roll across the wooden floor and make a wide arc before falling down a ﬂoor register. The service was temporarily halted as the ring was fished out with a coat hanger. Thankfully the volunteers who cleaned the church were less than thorough in their job as the accumulated dust bunnies in the vent had stopped the ring from falling all the way down the duct work.
Most weddings were held in the midst of the sweltering hot days of summer which made conditions perfect for fainting.
Many times I watched as a member of the bridal party (usually one of the guys who was too proud to admit not feeling well) start the tell-tale swaying motion of someone feeling light-headed. So many times I wanted to loudly whisper, “Wiggle your toes!” or “Shift your weight!” or even “For Pete’s sake! Sit down!”
But I never did as I didn’t want to interrupt the proceedings just in case it was a false alarm. Unfortunately my assessment of the situation was usually correct and down would go one of the fellows. I can still picture one grooms-man who hit the ﬂ oor while still remaining ramrod straight. Again, proceedings were halted until the peaked individual had been revived.
Candles always made for interesting scenarios and while I thankfully never witnessed any veils catching fire, I did see some wedding décor that was much too close to an open flame go up in smoke. Only some quick thinking by a nearby guest saved the day.
But the best memory by far was watching two people pledge their love and devotion to one another. Over the years that aspect has remained unchanged. Helping make a wedding as close to perfect as possible is truly a reason to sing your heart out.