One of the interesting benefits of being a small, town mayor is that mayors are able to perform weddings. I was never much for weddings either as a guest, a groomsman or a groom, so when I was told that I could now perform them I became a little nervous. I also never pictured myself as “someone of the cloth”, so I couldn’t imagine saying “Dearly beloved…” and the rest of ceremony without laughing or– as I was to slowly learn– without crying more than the bride. I have performed sixty-six weddings so far and as with people, some have been more memorable than others. The first wedding I performed was for my nephew before he went to Iraq for a year. That wedding was, needless to say, an emotional one. There were the weddings that I performed for friends and family, which were for the most part enjoyable. A good friend’s sister, some of my neighbors’ children, my eye doctor, etc. Then there were the interesting weddings I performed for people I did not know from Adam. One of the first weddings I performed, the groom wanted to incorporate his pet snake (a six foot boa constrictor) into the ceremony. His bride-to-be and I urged him as diplomatically as we could that it might not be a good addition to the ceremony. Eventually, he agreed with us. As I read through the vows (a sand mixing ceremony), I tried my best to concentrate on the vows, but my mind kept going back to the snake: the serpent in the Garden of Eden. There was one wedding in which the bride was a little tipsy and the groom and I had to help her back up a flight of steps. While this was happening, there was a barking, ankle-biter dog peeing all over the kitchen and everyone in the house had left (I felt like I was in the twilight zone and that they might off me). But don’t worry, the ceremony was performed and videorecorded twice, once with the lens cap on and once without. In the end, she was ok, and as far as I know they are still married. Many requests for weddings begin when the bride or groom-to-be will call and ask for my availability to which my response is, “When would you like to get married?” There is usually a pause and then a sheepish, “Tomorrow at noon?” And of course, I oblige (I never quite understand the hurry). Then there are a few couples for whom I have tied the knot which has already come unraveled. All in all, it has been deeply satisfying to have been a part of what many people consider the most special day of their lives. I have attached a photo of a sweet couple that was my first wedding of this year: Carlos and Lindsay and their baby girl.
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