Pastors and Weddings: by PW

Our friend, PW, writes posts for the Jesus Creed blog on what it is like to be a pastor’s spouse (in her case a “wife” — hence, PW). This one is about weddings, and I’d love to hear some pastor stories about weddings.

recent YouTube video popularity sparked me to remember all the weddings
that I have been witness to as a PW. Some wedding seasons are the
traditional, standard fare. Others are quite unique. How about you?
Ministry families often get caught up in the preparations, festivities,
etc. What are your fondest or wildest memories from wedding season?


us, one memory would be a wedding that the bride and groom insisted on
conducting on a hay wagon–with the addition of a trellis. Sure enough,
a strong wind and storm blew in right at the hour of the wedding. I am
always a bystander by that time of the wedding. I love watching how the
couple and families respond in the situation that is the worst case
scenario on the day of the wedding.

times it is not so much the fact that there is a wedding, but the many
weddings running back to back to back. It’s a wonder the minister can

keep all the names straight…right?

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  • James Petticrew

    In England the wedding certificate has to be filled out in the church using a fountain pen with specific ink. Whilst I was pastoring in Manchester one of the local Anglicans told how the bride couldn’t get the pen to write, so thinking he was being helpful the vicar took the said pen and gave it a shake only to see large drops of ink spread across the front of the bride’s white dress. He just prayed that the Lord would take him there and then but instead he had to face the bridal party. Not pleasant. All the Bride’s pictures had flowers or the groom’s head strategically placed over the ink spots

  • Will

    About 20 years ago I did wedding where the bride, groom, best man and maid of honor were all dressed in full clown garb and make-up. They all belonged to a clown troop that did special events for hospitals and a variety of non-profit organizations. Clown do cry.

  • Clay Knick

    Hmm…I have a feeling that video is going to start a trend.
    Well now, there was the wedding that was supposed to be outside under a gazebo, but since we had a severe thunderstorm it was moved to the church-and the groom delayed coming because he built the gazebo and was found sobbing in it and then brought to the wedding. Then there was the one outside a tobacco barn in 100+ degree weather where everyone felt like passing out. The one that tops them all is the one where everyone (except my wife and me) was dressed for Halloween. The bride and groom wanted to surprise their friends by getting married at their annual Halloween party.

  • Jim

    I performed an Appalachian wedding under a picnic cover adorned with a Coke sign on top. The best man, who had earlier won a Joan Rivers look-alike contest and been on the Tonight Show, wore make-up, white gloves and tails. The picnic cover (gazebo kinda thing) was next to a little grocery store the family owned. The store had a freezer with a door that opened to the parking lot. The bride stepped out of the freezer at just the right moment with a swirl of fog.
    The night before the groom had threatened to “whoop my a**” for being late to the rehearsal.

  • BeckyR

    About 2 weeks before my wedding the pastor called to say he’d double booked on his calendar and would not be able to officiate, but that the other pastor could. I didn’t know that pastor. Ahead to day of wedding – groom, best man and pastor are in a back room waiting for things to get started and pastor suggests they pray. He says “dear God please bless Dean and Debbies union.” My hubby blurts in “her name is Becky.” Prayer ends and pastor frantically corrects his notes.

  • My wife and I got married at a chapel called Pretty Place that is right on the border of North and South Carolina close to Brevard, NC. There is basically a single road into this place from each direction, north and south. The wedding was supposed to start at six. There was a bad wreck in Brevard, so the traffic was rerouted around the town. Unfortunately, there was another wreck on the detour that my wife and her bridesmaids got stuck behind. They did not arrive until 7:30.
    It was an outdoor chapel and the temperature dropped to about 50 degrees unexpectedly and no one was prepared. So I had a bunch of freezing guests wondering where the bride was. The pastor kept telling me that I needed to get something going because people were getting anxious. I think he was suggesting that I marry someone else who was there.
    It was a beautiful wedding though… most of our music was classical guitar arrangements of Beatles songs… we walked out to a recording of “All You need is Love,” though…
    Oh, and our unity candle blew out 5 minutes after we lit it.

  • pepy3

    We had one of the groomsmen lighting the separate unity candles before our own wedding ceremony and he couldn’t get them lit since the air conditioner kept blowing them out! >
    Ironically, in all the years my husband has officated at weddings, the recurring problem he has chronically had is the single unity candle that the bride and groom light together won’t cooperate and be lit by the bride and groom. >.

  • pepy3

    (sorry, my previous post lost the parenthetical phrases…crucial!)
    We had one of the groomsmen lighting the separate unity candles before our own wedding ceremony and he couldn’t get them lit since the air conditioner kept blowing them out! (sense of foreboding)
    Ironically, in all the years my husband has officated at weddings,
    the recurring problem he has chronically had is the single unity candle that the bride and groom light together won’t cooperate and be lit by the bride and groom. (lights suddenly dim…candles flicker…winds blows like in the Ark scene in the Raiders of the Lost Ark).

  • Travis Greene

    If there is one universal rule to weddings, it is that the unity candle will blow out. Or be impossible to light. I’m glad we skipped that part.

  • Tim Adkison

    I’m pretty sure that hasn’t yet happened in the Southern Baptist church in which I grew up (but it looked a lot more fun that some of the weddings I did attend there).

  • Brian

    Our unity candle was broken within an hour after the ceremony ended. Next year we will celebrate number fifteen.
    I’ve seen a yo-yo come out, people faint, and a fire on the platform that required using an extinguisher.
    My favorite wedding pic (which I can no longer find on the Internet) shows Phil Keaggy playing his guitar at a wedding. There are several groomsmen, and one stepped out of line to get a closer look at Phil playing. That groomsman was Paul McCartney.

  • Terry

    Talking about keeping the names straight reminds me of the experience of one of my pastoral theology teachers who had long years in pastoral ministry. In one ceremony, at the point where he would normally have asked: “do you — take —- to be your wedded husband/wife” he blanked out on their names. With some quick thinking he asked the bride “young woman, what is they name?” and did the same with the groom. It moved smoothly and afterwards one of his parishioners told him how much they had enjoyed that part of the ceremony which they had never witnessed before!

  • Rick in Texas

    Call me cranky if you want. I don’t care for the video at all, I would not do a wedding for people in clownface or at a McDonalds. Save the funny stuff for the reception. Just as I don’t want my pastor to lead a worship service in clownface, a wedding is a service of worship.

  • Preacher Teacher

    I performed a ceremony where I was told the bride might be late because she had a soccer game that morning. She and the groom were so low-key that it was one of the least stressful and most enjoyable weddings I’ve experienced. Except that it was outdoors in July. Why do people want to get married outdoors when there are so many nice heated/air-conditioned church buildings?