Experiences Grave and Gay at
the Marriage Ceremony.
ODD BREAKS AND BLUNDERS.
The Tearful Regret That Flowed From
the Heart of a Happy Ex-Widow--A
Pert Reply to "Wilt Thou?"--A Tragic
Wait and its Sequel.
According to the stories told by several of Chicago's leading clergymen, wedding ceremonies do not always run any smoother than true love.
"People seem to act more insanely at a wedding than at any other time, save perhaps a fire." declared one pastor, "and it is usually the bridegroom who gets the most flustered. It is seldom that a woman gets the responses mixed as does the man. One time at a fashionable wedding where I was officiating the bridegroom insisted upon saying in a loud voice, much to the amusement of his hearers, 'I take me this plight' instead of the usual 'I plight thee my troth.'
"Another time when I was marrying a country couple at my home I asked the bridegroom the usual question, 'Wilt thou have this woman to be thy wedded wife?' and he replied, with fire in his eye, 'What do you suppose we're here for ef I wouldn't?'
"It was at a wedding in my church that the six-year-old niece of the bridegroom caused a ripple of laughter. With big eyes she watched the bridal procession come up the aisle, and as it neared the altar she noticed her uncle, who had come out of the vestry and with his best man and me awaited the bride in the chancel. Up she jumped and, pointing a small finger at the bridegroom, said in her shrill baby voice, 'Oh, mother, if there isn't Uncle Bob with his best clothes on and his everyday nose!' She had been told by her uncle, who possessed an unusually prominent nose, that when he got married it would be shorter.
"One time after reading a ceremony the bridegroom handed me a five dollar bill saying 'I'll give you two.' Not understanding him, I said, 'Thank you.' and put it into my pocket. He touched me on the shoulder and again said, 'I'll give you two.' 'Oh, you want change?' I inquired. He nodded and I handed him $3."
One laughable wedding was that of a widow who married one of her boarders. She was a woman past forty-five with all the airs of a school-girl and amused all who knew her by her references on all occasions to her departed husband, John. In fact, John got to be a byword among all who knew the widow. Among the boarders was a young fellow of twenty-five, who fell in love with the fair relict of the sainted John, and in a short time the roomers were all invited to attend a wedding to be held in the parlor.
The widow was large, tall and stout and the bridegroom exceedingly small for a man and when on the night of the wedding the widow appeared at the proper moment leading her prospective husband into the parlor, much as a mother leads her little boy, even the waiting clergyman had to suppress a smile. After the ceremony had been read and congratulatory speeches were in order the erstwhile widow exclaimed, with emotion, "Oh, if only my poor, dear John were here to see how happy I am at this moment!" Only the perfect self control of the guests saved the situation.
It was in an Episcopal church that a superstitious bride fainted at the altar. Just as the bridegroom was about to put the ring on her finger his nervous, shaking fingers dropped it and it rolled away across the floor. The bride, certain that some great calamity would overtake them, refused to go on with the services and then fainted. After the delay of an hour or so she was prevailed upon to allow the ceremony to be finished.
A Unitarian minister tells this story: "One time I was to read the service in my church in a western state where licenses are not required. The church was filled and the bridal party arrived on time, all save the bridegroom. For more than an hour we waited, the bride growing almost hysterical and the guests restless over a delay the reason for which was not suspected.
"At last word was brought that the party was ready, and I came out from the vestry, the organ pealed forth the wedding march, and the bride came up the aisle to the altar, pale and trembling, looking much different from the pretty, flushed girl I knew.
"Imagine my surprise when the bride and best man stepped before me. The man said a few whispered words. I looked at the girl, and she nodded, and I began the service that made the girl the wife of the best man. The bride was saved from mortification, and the guests were not disappointed.
"It seems the best man had been in love with the girl, and when the bridegroom did not come he quietly stepped in and got her consent to marry him. I believe she never heard directly from her recreant bridegroom, and her marriage to the best man proved a happy one." --Chicago News.