I almost always meet with new couples to make sure that they feel comfortable with me, and then we discuss what they want in a wedding. During this time I encourage questions and one of the questions I get most often is: What was your most unusual/strangest wedding?
Unusual is one of those words that I think is very subjective. What’s unusual to you may not be to me, and vice versa. And what I find unusual at a wedding may not be apparent to anyone else.
The strangest wedding I ever performed (and let me add that the wedding was not strange, on the contrary it was very straightforward and normal) was entirely in Spanish. That means it was strange to me.
You see, I don’t speak Spanish.
Several years ago a bride called me and as we spoke she said everything sounded great, but she really wanted the ceremony in Spanish, could I do that. I told her I don’t speak the language but could read it, however, I have a friend whose wife is Spanish-speaking and is able to perform ceremonies, and I gave her the phone number. A few days later she called me back, said my friend was not available and asked if I could do it. I hesitated, but she asked again, so I said yes.
I had a ceremony translated, and she approved it.
On the day of the wedding, at a beautiful, borrowed house on the North Shore, we had an outdoor Spanish language wedding in front of . . . all Spanish speaking guests. The groom looked over my shoulder while we were waiting for the bride to come down the aisle and pointed to some words that were incorrect (dialect). Nice, I had been practicing this wedding all week. I changed them, and when the bride was actually standing in front of me with her groom by her side, I looked at her and softly said, “You do realize that I’m more nervous than you are!”
I completed the ceremony, and afterwards asked the bride how I did. She said I did fine, but then what else could she say. However, as I was walking to my car a guest who had walked to the cars just in front of me, said that I “spoke really well.” I’ll take that as a compliment.
And guess what? I get to do another ceremony partly in Spanish this coming fall.
The moral of this story? Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, nicely, hey, you never know. And sometimes borrowing a friend’s home works out really well.