October 27, 2021

There is something about weddings where a catastrophe always happens, but it always turns out alright.  For example, at the wedding of my daughter Alisa and her husband Gregg they were practicing taking communion and a bottle of red wind was set on a table in front of them.  That bottle got knocked over and spilled all over the front of her white dress less than an hour before the wedding was to begin.  

My daughter, my wife and all the bridesmaids rushed to the ladies room in the church and started washing the dress in the sink.  Praise the Lord it all came out and they dried it with hair driers.  There were 6 going at the same time and we had to reset the electrical breaker twice to finish the job.

Then during the reception one of the caterers was carrying a large pan of meatballs out to the dining area and ran into her again.  Again, they were able to clean the dress in the ladies room.
The best story I have was at My Niece Ann’s wedding to her husband Jay.  They had dated for a couple of years,  she was in her thirties so she had the ability and skill to make it a really gala affair.
They probably could have invited 300 but chose to make it more elegant and limited the guests to about 50.  It was held in a nice country club on an upscale golf course.  

Ann wanted everything perfect, and it pretty much was.  Note this, Ann is a beautiful girl and had just competed in a bikini class body building competition, so she made wedding Barbie look plain.  Jay also a body builder is a tall handsome fellow with a build to compete with Mark Walberg.  They both looked like models.  The gals & dresses were all gorgeous and the guys were handsome and dashing!

Ann is a great party planner so everything was done to a T for a flawless ceremony.  With a wide room and only 50 people everyone was up close for a great view.  Ann very respectfully invited all of the aunts & uncles. We aunts and uncles were on the second row.  Not 10 feet from the stage and ceremony.  We could see and hear perfectly. I was sitting by my wife Brenda, next to her was my 80-year-old sister-in-law Barbara.  My oldest brother Harold’s widow.  Then next to her was Marilyn, the widow of my next oldest brother Charlie.

Everything was going like clockwork. The music, the outfits, the pastor, Ann had put together the perfect wedding.  Well almost.  They were just exchanging vows.  Jay had eloquently recited his and just as he finished a loud telephone ring was heard from our side of the room.  It is the ring of the old rotary phone that sounds like a loud bell.  It rang once, then twice, everyone is looking at our row because that is where the sound is coming from.  

Jay begins to roll his eyes.  Ann has brandished a look of horror!  Now 3 then 4 and the phone is still ringing.  By now I can tell it is coming from Barbara’s phone.  She had forgotten to turn her ringer off.  I tell my wife who is sitting next to Barb to “Get the phone”.  
5 rings and we still haven’t stopped the intrusion.  I think to myself at least it will go to voicemail on the 6th ring.  Instead, halfway through the ring Barbara finds the phone, opens it up and in her outside, I don’t hear so well voice says “Hello, hello who is this.”  You can tell it is a telemarketer probably foreign because Barbara can’t understand what they are saying. 

“Who is this “she repeats several times.  Everyone is frozen.  The whole crowd had left the beautiful bride and was focused on Aunt Barbara.  Under my breath I urgently plead with my wife to grab the phone from her hand.  Jay is standing there with sweat rolling off his forehead, Ann not taken a breath in so long her rosy cheeks are turning blue, the bridesmaids have tears running down their cheeks.  Even the officiator is speechless as the conversation continues.

Barb tells them “I am at a wedding” which I am sure the caller doesn’t believe because Barb continues “I can’t understand you.  Speak up! Who is this?  I don’t know you!” she repeats “I am at a wedding I can’t talk right now”.  Seconds were seeming like hours at this point as Brenda is unwilling to rip the phone from her sisters’ hand and I can’t reach it.  

The conversation goes on as Barb seeks to persuade the caller that she is at a wedding and can’t talk. The more intense her conversation the louder Barbara talks.  The children in the crowd start to point. 

“I don’t need any diabetes medicine.” She said raising her voice.  “I’m not giving you my address” she states emphatically.  “I told you I wasn’t telling you my address!”  Barb repeats angrily.

Fortunately, the caller was not as persistent as the regular scoundrels that call old people on the phone, for with a threat to call back he lets Barb off the phone.  Barb hangs up and casually puts her phone in her purse while patiently waiting for the ceremony to continue.  She was totally oblivious to the excruciating intrusion.

The wedding continued and everyone pretended nothing had happened.  Pictures were taken and we all moved to the dining room.  The dinner was exceptional, everyone was having a good time and maybe a drink or too.  Then it was time for the speeches. Halfway through the best man speech a phone in the crowd started to ring.  The dinner guests become quiet in fear that it is happening again.  Then another phone begins to ring, pretty soon phones were going off all over the room and each was answered in loud voices with  “Hello, hello, I am at a wedding.”  

It was a prank of course by some of us attending. As more phones rang and were answered “Hello, hello, I am at a wedding” the crowd recognized the joke.  Chuckles soon grew into a roar of laughter.  At this moment the faux pau was turned into a memorable moment of merriment.  

Years later at Barbara’s funeral during the graveside service niece Ann shared the story with affection.  The story brought smiles and laughter to the heavy hearts of mourners as they said a final goodbye to their loving mother, sister, grandmother, and friend.  This day it was Barbara going to the wedding feast as the bride of Christ.

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