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You’ve seen it many many times in the movies.  Two people getting married but the true love is not at the altar. The Hero rushes in right when when the minister asks “if there be any just cause….”

In reality it just doesn’t happen but I suspect there may be one good one in my future. There  was an occasion  where I almost objected to marrying the couple on account of the borderline drunkenness of the groom.  When I told him I would refuse to marry him if he continued to act out he seemed to sober up considerably so all proceeded pleasantly!

There was a close call about 8 years ago and it was uncomfortably awkward. The two people in question had emigrated to New Zealand.  They came back to South Africa for a holiday and decided that it would be a good time to get married.  They announced to all their friends they were having an engagement party.  Secretly they planned with me for this to be a wedding.  A surprise wedding!  That WAS a surprise.  It was bound to be fun.

About 50 or so family and friends showed up.  I stood around a little sheepishly trying not to draw too much attention to myself and ignoring the inquiring “who the hell is he?” stares.

Finally all guests were asked to sit down.  I stepped forward and announced that the gathering was in fact a wedding.  There was applause and everyone seemed happy.  I launched into the ceremony and all seemed just fine. Then I got to the inevitable “any objections?” question.  After the briefest of silences a woman about 2 rows back stood up and walked out.  The pause fell pregnant, went full term and almost gave birth before I thrust headlong into the remaining ceremony.  After that it was great and there was no further incident.

Afterward I asked who had walked out.  Turns out it was the groom’s mother.  They weren’t too shocked and had expected something as there had been ongoing issues.  They were confident it would be resolved.  I offered to help mediate and resolve a clearly touchy issue.  They assured me all was well.

I really hope it was.

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