When I turned into the gated community I knew this was going to be something special. Many golf communities have their grand gates and wide boulevards, but this was something different. Magnolias lined the sides of the streets while tall palms stood one behind the other, like soldiers on parade in the middle of the boulevard. As I made my way toward the club house I could see glimpses of the Southern style mansion that lay before me. Donned in yellow paint the color of creamed butter and massive Greek columns that lined the porch, this was a modern version of “Tara“ that would make Scarlett proud.
Upon my entry into the club house I try to meet with the couple to be married; just to go over last minute details and see if there are any changes that I need to be aware of. The groom was relaxed and throwing back the drink of his choice, while the bride was sequestered in a remote room on the floor above. Of the two the bride was the most detail orientated person, with nothing left to chance. Even though they had hired one of the most prestigious wedding coordinators in the area, the bride doubled checked every detail of the wedding. Flowers in place; check. Tables set; check. Bridesmaids all in a row; check.
As the wedding party exited the building, they headed across the lawn to the ceremony site. Situated on the lawn just before the 8th hole and with the beautiful backdrop of the lake behind them, everyone stood as the bride entered. Standing there wearing a dress that probably cost more than my car, she was the vision of what most brides aspire to be.
As the ceremony began the couple requested a prayer just after the blessing of the hands. As the crowds hushed and as I began to pray I noticed something that was out of the norm for me: Music. Now I hear a lot of music during wedding ceremonies, but this was not like anything that I had experienced. A simple classical overture would have been appropriate, but this was nothing like that. In the middle of the prayer, with my hand over the hands of my bride and groom we heard the song lyrics “Abra-abra-cadabra. I want to reach out and grab ya,” by the Steve Miller Band. The golf pro had forgotten to turn off the music around the pro-shop and had left for the day. The wedding coordinator could not get in the shop, the staff at the golf club could not figure out how to turn off the music and so we endured the complete song in the middle of the ceremony.
Okay, crisis averted, we can finally get through this ceremony. The remainder of the ceremony went as planned until we got to the exchanging of rings. Now I have seen and have come to expect that if there is going to be a funny moment it will happen when I ask the best man for the rings. This was not the case. The best man did his job to deliver the rings to me without any practical jokes and without any problem. The next crisis arose just as the bride was about to place the ring on her grooms finger. The same golf pro who had forgotten to turn off the music had also forgotten that there would be a wedding on the lawn Saturday afternoon, and thus had forgotten to reprogram the sprinkler system.
Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick…chucka, chucka, chucka, chucka the sprinkler popped up by the last row of chairs and sprayed down the guest in the last three rows. Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick…chucka, chucka, chucka, chucka it was headed back for another pass. The wedding coordinator bounded up the stairs to the club house office while her assistant rushed to the lawn to try and push the sprinkler head under the sod with her shoe. Guests scurried in very direction to keep what dry clothing they had from dripping with the grey water, the course uses to irrigate the lawn. Sprinklers finally off, rings exchanged, bride and groom pronounced husband and wife and it all happened down the aisles.