As a former wedding photographer, there have been many moments that have earned a permanent place in my memory. That biggest of first steps seems to create either an atmosphere of happy wedding memories or one of matrimonial disaster.
The greatest fiasco occurred at one hour before the wedding, when the bride, having been given a few tranquilizers to calm her down, locked herself in her bedroom and refused to come out. No amount of pleading had any effect at all. Finally everyone except the photographer (myself) and the bride’s mom left for the church, taking with them all the limousines and cars.
The bride eventually stopped crying and I had to transport them both to the church. I don’t want to leave the groom out of matrimonial disasters. One groom decided at the last moment NOT to get married at all. One hour of heavy coaxing successfully changed his mind and he agreed to go to the ceremony. Half way through, he fainted dead away from the stress and had to be revived by a doctor in the church. Another bride was so happy that she decided to climb a tree in the park.
She was very good at climbing up, but terrible at getting down. The groom said no way was he going up there and the ushers had to get her down. The biggest unplanned event happened at a summer wedding when the temperature climbed to over one hundred degrees. This was a tent reception on a large estate with a large, beautiful fountain on the premises. You guessed it. The best man was the first to go in. Next went the other ushers in full tuxedos (rented) and the bridesmaids were quickly stripped of their shoes and thrown in.
The Reverend decided that he had nothing to lose and jumped in, too, blessing everyone from the waist high water. The next day I filled out the one inch space reserved for ‘comments on the wedding’ and two sheets of paper besides.
Other episodes include a bride and groom that got locked out on a roof for over two hours, a newlywed couple that “disappeared” to their hotel room m for an hour right after the toast to the bride and groom, and a couple who took a wrong turning in the church after the ceremony and had to climb out of a cellar window to get out of the church.
I still remember a bride bouquet passing through a ceiling fan to be torn to shreds before landing like confetti on the bridesmaid’s heads. Though my own wedding was not nearly as exciting, I am occasionally surprised when I meet the happy couples yeas later to relive those crazy wedding moments.