Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Reluctant wedding couples

I went shopping this morning and I don't need a dog collar in order to shop so I put on my denim skirt and a jumper. I've had to get changed now as a couple I've been trying to talk to for months are finally going to arrive. Usually young couples can't wait to come and talk about their weddings but these two have needed to be cajoled into it.
Unfortunately for them the only other couple who have ever been hard to pin down ended up as the wedding from hell so today's vibes are not good.
The other couple were a wedding set up by my predecessor. She had been married before and was about 20 years older than the young man. I did have to talk to them even though they had already done the preliminary visit with someone else.
I finally pinned them down to a late afternoon one Saturday. David and I were going to a concert in the Cathedral that evening but we had lots of time.....in theory.
After I'd waited for them an hour we were worried. After an hour and a half, really quite cross. I didn't want to go out wearing the collar but it looked as if I was going to.
Eventually they turned up. They were almost 2 hours late and David and I had 20 minutes before we had to go out.
They were unapologetic. They had been sitting in the sunshine in the garden of the local pub....such a lovely afternoon etc. I explained that we couldn't talk now it was much too late. We were going out. She smiled and said we could do everything by email then.
Oh dear. I had to see the divorce papers.....they had been photocopied. There was no stamp...it was all a mess and I had to tell them that they must come back the following day. They were setting off back to London they said, never mind!
I had a bad week wondering what to do. I rang the diocesan registrar who confirmed that there were papers I must see. Had I rung her local vicar?
No but it was a good idea.
His opening words were, "You're not going to marry those two are you?"
The story was long and fairly sordid. On my own I would have just not gone ahead with it but the church had been booked, as had the reception and I felt I had to honour my former Rector's agreement.
Finally the words were spoken with some feeling. "I need you to start to be honest with me or this wedding's not going ahead."
Eventually picturing myself sitting in the next cell we did do it...it was not my finest hour.
So I am hoping that today's couple are going to turn up on time and in good order.... that prison cell still looms large!
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