In my five years as a celebrant, I’m happy to report that any ‘surprising’ wedding moments have been planned and well-received. There’s never been a Ross/Emily/Rachel scene, a la Friends, or a last minute kerfuffle as a blast from the past interrupts the vows declaring ‘STOP! DON’T MARRY THAT MAN/WOMAN! EVEN THOUGH I’VE HAD A MILLION CHANCES BEFORE, I HAVE CHOSEN NOW TO TELL YOU’. So below is Part One in an occasional series of Most Surprising Weddings.
The Flash Mob Wedding.
This was for a gorgeous couple called Helen and Nigel. They had seen me conduct a wedding for friends of theirs, and when they asked me to conduct theirs, I was excited as we clicked very quickly.
I suggested that they ask their readers to choose their readings themselves and to keep it secret, and offered to liaise with their readers directly. One was a guy called Nick, and he came up with the idea of singing One Day Like This by Elbow
When the time came for his reading, the last during the ceremony, he stood up the front, acted very nervous, and fumbled about trying to find his ‘reading’ in his pockets. ‘Oh dear,’ he stuttered, ‘I appear to have forgotten my paper.’ The bride and groom were looking pained, and were muttering ‘Don’t worry mate, it doesn’t matter...’ to him.
Nick then said ‘Actually, I think I can remember it anyway. Let me try…’ and with that he talked the first line ‘Drinking in the morning sun…’ then began singing the second line ‘Blinking in the morning sun’, and with more confidence and volume, the third and the fourth line.
As the bride and groom started to clock on that Nick was going to sing them a song for his reading, another friend, sitting among the guests, stood up and sang the fifth line, then another friend the sixth, then another, and another, and so on. In the end there was eight friends and myself (who got to sing a line) all in on it. And to add a bit of extra musical flavour, I roped my husband, Mr HB, in and he walked up the aisle playing the guitar for the chorus which all eight of us sang.
The bride and groom were blown away with the effort put in for this (we had all rehearsed) and their guests were equally surprised. And this, dear reader, is why I love, love, love my job!
Next week: Another surprising ceremony moment involving yet more musical talent