Published on July 21, 2012, by in Uncategorized.

I have had a number of friends questions the stories that I write, thinking them to be fiction.  Let me assure you…life is stranger than any fiction that I could write.  Most of the time I tame the story so it doesn’t appear too over the top, but this one is so out there it is hard for even me to believe.

Early summertime can be very busy and I was rushing from one wedding to another.  The first was a simple wedding at a community center and the second at one of the most exclusive resorts to which I’ve ever been.  The first wedding ran a little late and even though I thought I had given myself enough cushion I still was uncomfortable with the time between the two events.

As I pulled into the beautiful resort and parked my car, I rushed in through the lobby to be greeted by the wedding coordinator.  “Take your time,” she said.  The bride had not yet arrived on property.  “What?  The wedding is scheduled to begin in 30 minutes and the bride is not here,” I asked.   No, she is on her way, I was told.  Thirty minutes past and the start time of the ceremony as well and still no bride.  The groom and his thirteen groomsmen were in the bar watching a ball game and throwing back more than a few hard drinks.

An hour passed and still no bride.  I called her cell number and she was just leaving a nail salon and told me she was headed to the resort.  I told her that her guests had been there for more than an hour and they were getting restless, to which she replied “They can wait on me.  It is MY day.”

Twenty minutes passed and still no bride.  Since the salon is only about ten minutes from the venue and she was still not there I called the salon and they told me she had already left and that she was headed to the jewelry store.

Another ten minutes passed and I was able to reach her via her cell phone and she told me she was pulling into the resort.  The wedding planner rushed to the front door of the resort to assist the bride and saw that the bride had neither showered nor dressed for her wedding.  As the bride walked through the resort she started to disrobe piece by piece and throw her clothing to the floor for the coordinator to pick up.  Meanwhile, the groom, his groomsmen, and their respective fathers have been in the bar for two hours drinking.

When the coordinator finally sees that the bride is ready she tries to gather the bridal party like a mother hen gathers her chicks.  Checking to make sure each one is there.  Now, we know there are supposed to be thirteen bridesmaids and thirteen groomsmen, but we can only find twelve of each.  Cell phones are called, hotel rooms are search, still not sign of the missing party.

The remaining bridal party lines up in the hallway while the groom and I take our position in front of the guests that remained (almost half tired of the wait and left.)  As the groom stood to my left he leaned to the right and then to the left.  The time at the bar had been enough that I felt I had to do a field sobriety test to see if the groom was mentally capable to make the commitment to marry.

The music started and the bridal party proceeded down the aisle in full style.  All were dressed to be seen and sauntered in with that special groove that you can only imagine.  Finally, after twelve pairs of groomsmen and bridesmaids proceed in the doors were closed to create a grand entrance for the bride.  With a “thumbs up” from the coordinator I asked the guests to rise and the doors opened for the bride and her father to walk down the aisle.  As the pair came down the aisle toward me I wondered if her father was feeble or suffered from something like Parkinson’s, because he shook so violently when he walked; even appearing to be help up by the bride as he escorted her down the aisle.  After they stopped in front of me, I asked her father “Who brings this woman to be married to this man?”  He looked at me as if he didn’t understand what I said, then slowly replied “Heeeer Mama and me.”  He had been in the bar with the guys and was completely toasted.  So much so, to the fact of another guest helped him to his seat.

There are so many more things about this wedding that I could mention like a guest dancing down the aisle, or, their risqué dance at the reception, but I won’t in good manners.  I will tell you that the missing groomsman and bridesmaid were found.  They were across the hall in the locked ladies restroom—you’ll have to use your imagination.

And it all happened down the aisle.

Published on July 19, 2012, by in Uncategorized.

A ship captain does not have any authority to perform a wedding unless the captain is also a member of the clergy or a justice of the peace.  If the wedding ceremony is performed outside U.S. territorial waters, it must be done in accordance with the local, state, or district laws where the parties live and in the presence of a U.S. diplomatic or consular official who agrees to issue the certificate and file any required reports.  Otherwise, the ceremony must be repeated ashore and the local requirements fulfilled.

Source:  “Contrary to Popular Belief” by Joey Green 2005

Published on July 19, 2012, by in Uncategorized.

sqThis past Spring I had the privilege to perform a wedding at one of our beautiful botanical gardens located here in Central Florida.  The wedding was the second time down the aisles for both the bride and the groom and each had children in attendance; the groom with his three girls and the bride with her two sons.

As the wedding guests and the men of the wedding party assembled around a remote gazebo, the bride and her bridesmaids gathered at the start of the walkway.  The first bridesmaid made her way down the sidewalk and gracefully took her place in front of the gazebo, as did the maid of honor.  When the bride, who was escorted by her oldest son, started making the very long walk toward the gazebo a large red squirrel was playing overhead.  About four steps down the sidewalk, the squirrel fell from his lofty perch in the Live Oak tree and fell to land with a “thud” on the hard concrete below.  Motionless , the body of the squirrel lay in the middle of the walkway.

As I looked down the aisle I realized that for the bride to get to the site of her wedding ceremony she was either going to step over the lifeless squirrel or someone would have to move it into the foliage.  Acting as quickly as possible I asked the remaining son of the bride (who was standing as a groomsmen,) to go and “kick that squirrel into the bushes.”  Before the young man could take more than just a couple of steps toward the seemingly lifeless squirrel, it sprang to life and shot down the sidewalk; straight for the first bridesmaid.  She screamed in panic, climbed upon the railing of the gazebo, and proceeded to wave her bouquet like a sword at the squirrel.

When all the commotion had passed, the bride made her way down the sidewalk to one of the most beautiful intimate ceremonies.

And it all happened down the aisles.

Published on July 16, 2012, by in Uncategorized.

About one of every three couples that I meet with ask me if I would suggest that they have a wedding coordinator for their wedding.  To answer the question as simply as possible, “Yes, Yes YES!”  Wedding Coordinators, whether they are hired to plan the wedding with you or whether you just have them there for the day of the event, are well worth the money that you will spend on their services.

Wedding Coordinators can help you avoid the pitfalls of not knowing vendors in your area, they can negotiate the best prices, they can give you choices you never thought possible, they can keep you on budget, and they can help you make your vision for your wedding a reality.  I have officiated at far too many weddings that had no one to line up the wedding party, pin on the boutonnieres, or make sure everything ran smoothly.

Wedding Coordinators make the hectic nature of weddings flow absolutely seamless and take a lot of stress off the wedding party.

It is money well spent.

Published on July 15, 2012, by in Uncategorized.

A recent wedding at a local golf resort was the latest wedding to provide me with some gut wrenching laughter.  The wedding ceremony was to take place in a beautiful breezeway between the pro-shop and the bar/reception area.  All across the back of the resort was a beautiful intricate verde green wrought iron rail that separated the back porch of the resort from the golf course below.  Attached to this railing were bamboo tiki torches; spaced about every four or five feet across the back.In Central Florida there are a few laws of nature that hold true almost all the time; one of which is that there is always a breeze mid afternoon and early evening.  Flames that are fed by a liquid fuel source do no blow out from these afternoon breezes, but flames actually “bend” as the air blows across them.

When the bridesmaids started making their way down the aisle, the wind whipped up, and two of the bamboo tiki torches actually caught on fire.  The bartender in the club house saw the tikis on fire and ran out to douse them with a pitcher of water.  Well, water and oil do not mix and a fire fueled with oil with only spread with the addition of water.

I motioned to the bartender as he came close and whispered “use a fire extinguisher.  It will spread with water.”  As the bartender ran back in the club house two of the tiki torches finally succumb to the flames and the canisters fell out of the charred remains of the bamboo tikis.  By this time two more tiki torches were fully engulfed in flames.

Finally the bartender  arrived back to put out the flames with the fire extinguisher and as he did, a huge cloud of  billowing white extinguisher smoke floated through and enveloped the last bridesmaid and the guests.

All this before the bride walked down the aisles and she never saw a thing.

Published on July 11, 2012, by in Uncategorized.



Some of the time the greatest moments of inspiration come from what we regard as disasters.
A while ago I was scheduled to do a very “interesting” wedding with dogs. No, the dogs were not getting married, but the couple that was getting married asked if I would officiate a wedding where all of us (including me) would have our dogs there. Being a big fan of dogs I thought this was a fun idea. I have been in a wedding before where a dog brought the rings down the aisle, but never where the wedding party and guests were invited to bring their dogs along as well.
That Tuesday morning started off like most weekdays do for me. I took my little run around the local lake and then came back to take my dog, a Weimaraner , for her daily constitutional in the neighborhood. Upon returning home from our walk, I proceeded to go to my daughters’ room to wake my youngest and get her ready for school. As I bent down to shake her from her slumber the dog jumped from underneath my position toward the bed. The pinch collar that she wears on her walks, caught the bottom of my top lip and tore the inside, then up onto my face where the bottom of my nose was sliced into what resembled fish bones.

As blood rushed from my mouth and nose, like something out of a Monty Python movie, I quickly made my way to the bathroom to get things “under control.” After much pressure and ice I was able to get the bleeding down to just a trickle and so I drove the kids to school. In route to the school I called the couple with whom I was to do their wedding at 9am and explained about the accident. I notified them that I had a bloody nose, black eyes, and that I would be more than happy to get an associate to come and do the wedding. They wouldn’t hear of it. They wanted me.
Off to the local park (without my dog in tow) to perform what was to be a most interesting ceremony. There I stood, with bride, groom, and dogs all about, and me with bloody tissue packed inside my nose. Though my head throbbed and my nose continued to bleed I pronounced the couple husband and wife. It was only afterwards, when I took myself to a minor emergency clinic that I was told that in addition to the sliced lip and nose, my nose was also broken.
And it all happened as I got ready to go down the aisles.