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The Great 2020 Ceremony

A year or so ago I received a call from a couple of young friends of mine all excited that they were announcing their engagement to get married.  This was not a great surprise to me or his family as they had been together for some time and already started a family. The big surprise to me that they wanted me to perform the wedding ceremony. There was no hesitation on my part. I have always wanted to perform a wedding ceremony, and these young people were just the right fit, somewhere along watching their relationship blossom. I secretly had hoped that somewhere in the future a wedding was forthcoming. As soon as I put the phone down, I went into my minister mode. I had heard that you could be ordained a minister online.  Sure, enough with just typing in a couple of words the Universal Life Church came on the screen.  I immediately went on line and signed up to become a minister. In a few weeks I received all of the necessary literature including a how to book and even a clip-on badge. Of course, there was a small fee to complete the entire procedure. I loved these kids so cost was not really a factor.  

Several months went by and I heard nothing more from the couple. Expressing some concern, I called the young man of the couple and he informed me that they had postponed to wedding in favor of another child. Child is a good thing. This would make a total of two. I can wait. The marriage can wait.

Around the end of this past September, I received another call from them. They would like the ceremony to be on the second Saturday of October if that was acceptable with me. I replied that I would need some time to discuss the fine tuning of the ceremony with them. So, on the preceding Saturday I met with both of them and nailed down items such as length of service, secular vs civil, and all of those items needed for the service to nicely flow 

We scheduled a rehearsal the night before the ceremony. I learned that there were to be a best man and 8 groomsmen.  The dress was going to be black shirt and 502’s. The bride had a maid of honor only. A minor adjustment but nothing I could not handle, after all I had a certificate from the ULC. All I had to do is figure how two get 8 guys up the aisle to balance out without any partners.  I came up with a marvelous plan. Getting the best man and the maid of honor up the aisle was no problem.  I devised a number process. I took small pieces of paper and numbered them one thru nine. I got all of the guys together and handed the slips out. This was their procession number. I had enough grandmothers, mothers, flower girls, and ring bearers so that each groomsman had someone to escort. Don’t loose the paper between tonight and tomorrow. Put down on the paper who you are to escort. This is what a rehearsal is for. I planned on staying at my ranch Friday night and did not have any extra paper.     

The service is to be out doors at the groom’s parents’ home high above the Ukiah valley. The service was scheduled for 5 pm in an area just behind the house looking east to the beautiful hills. I secretly knew we were pushing the weather a little bit scheduling an outdoor wedding in October. Lets just keep our fingers crossed. As the wedding day approached sure enough the long-term weather forecast indicated showers in the am, clearing mid afternoon with a temperature in the 70’s  

The graveled back yard was very large. It is about one mile up a graveled road to the house.  Benches had been set up facing an arch with a podium for me to put my notes on. Shirley had typed the entire service on pages in a three-ring binder with large print. When we arrived a few minutes before 5 pm the benches were wet from the earlier shower but that passed and a few towels was all it needed to dry them off. The kids wanted a short wedding so people were not going to be sitting very long

The service went off without a hitch. All eight groomsmen escorted the correct person up the aisle. The music played the appropriate song and the father of the bride escorted the bride. The groom and best man were waiting. I followed the script. The sun came out. The Bride and Groom both said there I do’s and couldn’t wait long enough to Kiss (twice).

This is marriage ceremony number one for me. Just to let everyone in Boonville know I am available for number two. If this is going to be the first marriage for either the bride or groom there will be “No Charge”  

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