Monday I went to the Marriage Factory planning to perform marriage ceremonies. I was asked to shadow 3 new volunteers and let staff know how they were doing. I really wanted to do the weddings, but I am there to help out staff.
Because they were with me, crazy happened:
One couple gave their rings to their four year old. He put them in his pocket. Time to give the rings to the couple, he can only find one ring. His grandfather all but turned him upside down and shook him to get the ring. It was caught in the pocket.
We met the next couple. The volunteer and I walked to the elevator, and there is no one with us. We go back and the whole group of guests and the couple are searching the lobby for the bride's ring. It is gone, the groom had a hole in his pocket. Luckily they found it on the floor at their clerk's desk.
The first woman Q was very confident and did not really take well to suggestions. I suggested that she needed to speak louder calling for the couple. She told me there were very few people in the lobbies, volume was not needed. She will find out, couples do not hear you even if you are next to them. Oh, well. She did well with the ceremony, but let one of the guests run the room. That can't happen. Q started the ceremony and the guest started posing the couple for pictures. No, once the ceremony starts, no posing only real pictures. There were other things, but overall experience will correct them.
The others forgot to introduce themselves, one forgot to do the ring ceremony, they didn't ask for the cell phones to be muted, but overall pretty good. The biggest thing I found out, they thought they had to do the ceremony exactly as written.
As you will remember there are only 3 legals sentences, all else is fluff. They knew that, but when a couple had their own vows Q still did our traditional vows. Talk about a really long ceremony. I explained they could shape the sample ceremony to suit the occasion.
I let them ask me questions. I told them horror stories of things going wrong. I then told them you have to be an actor, a host, and sometimes Mother. It all about control and making the couple comfortable.
I did do one wedding so they could watch me. The bride was 10 years older than the groom. They had known each other since he was born. From the time he could talk he said, "I am going to marry you." He would point her out to his friends and say, " That is my woman. We are going to get married." Then she married someone else, he was devastated. He married later. Neither marriage worked out. They found each other, he was in Tennessee and she was in Oakland. They are so in love. Love was in the room.