“Nancy” and her intended “Jeffery” decided on the spur of the moment to get hitched during the last part of her senior year of high school. No, she was not pregnant, they just decided to marry. Jeffery was a couple of years older and her “knight in shining armor”.
So the ceremony was to be planned ASAP and Nancy asked me to be her MOH, as she had no sisters and I was her closest friend. In response Jeffery asked his best friend “Keith” to be his best man. (By the way Keith and I were dating at the time.)
I began helping Nancy and Jeffery with planning the wedding. Since they wanted to be married quickly, the plans were to marry at a small local chapel that also had a facility on the grounds for a nice reception area. Nancy and I did a lot of work trying to arrange a nice simple ceremony with a respectable reception to follow for immediate family and close friends.
About 3 weeks later it all changed. There was really no money in which to have any sort of wedding and reception becasue she is in high school and Jeffery is a enlisted soldier with little spare change to spend on a wedding. I had wrongly assumed that their parents were offering to pay for the wedding costs only to find out that not only did the groom’s parents not know about the upcoming marriage (red flag #1!) but that her parents refused to cough up a dime based on the fact that she was not marrying a fellow Catholic man.
So now Nancy and Jeffery decide to scrap it all and instead of possibly waiting a few months and save up for a decent ceremony, call up a local Justice of the Peace to marry them. This is where it gets bad.
On a Friday at school (remember I am a senior in high school with Nancy) she informs me to not make any plans that night, as she and Jeffery are to be married at 7pm that evening! Oh, okay? So I get home from school that evening and let my mom know what is happening, and she just rolls her eyes and says okay. I can’t say as I blame her for her thoughts on this scenario!
So Keith and I meet up with the bride and groom to be and go in search of the home where this Justice of the Peace they found in the phone book lives. On the way over Nancy informs us that she had contacted the JOP the day before and informs her that he is an elderly gentleman who for health reasons only performs ceremonies in his home. But he assures her that he and his wife have tastefully redecorated the front parlor of their Victorian-style home to accommodate a lovely ceremony. So we figure not all is lost to provide them somewhat of a nice ceremony.
After getting lost for about 15 minutes we finally arrive at the home. Mind you this is in January and at this hour it is already dark outside. But once we arrive we are pleased to find ourselves in front of a lovely home in the historical area of town. Thankfully the bride to be’s family has relented in having a non-Catholic son-in-law and arrive for the ceremony too.
We are greeted by the JOP and his wife on the front steps and welcomed in. They ask if anyone would like to use the Powder Room to freshen up before the ceremony and both Nancy and I request to do so to check our makeup and hair. We are lead down the hallway by the wife while the JOP escorts everyone else to the front parlor.
After a few minutes of “girly primping” and nervous giggles we head back to the front parlor. Here is where the fun begins.
As soon as we walked in the look on everyone’s face is priceless. It was a mix of horror and being uncomfortable. It was then we began to look around the room and realize the “tasteful décor” is old dusty furniture (and I don’t mean antique furniture, more like 1970’s Brady Bunch style) and old peeling wallpaper. But the cherry on top was that literally on every wall was at least one oversize painting depicting a UFO scene! Then we noticed in the bookshelves stacks of books on the subjects of aliens, space crafts, UFO sightings, ect. It was beyond bizarre! And for Nancy’s very religious family this was almost more than they could stomach!
But at this point there was nothing to be done and so the ceremony was to proceed. Then the wife of the JOP insisted on playing music as the ceremony was to begin. Of course we were expecting something romantic and “wedding-like” to be played , but oh no, it was very weird music that I honestly had to say would be something you would hear at the beginning of a horror movie! Thankfully she only played it for about 30 seconds before turning it down to barely audible level.
The ceremony was just as strange. Instead of the usual, “Do you Jeffery take Nancy to be your wife….,” type of vows, it was all about being one in the universe together and living in the harmony with all that the planet Earth would produce. I was floored at the words I was hearing and several times looked over at my boyfriend/best man, only to see him straining to keep from laughing at this “ceremony”.
Thankfully it was over quickly. Pictures were taken outside (to obviously have some non- Star Trek theme going on in the background!) and we all departed for dinner. There was some tension as we left, but thankfully once we arrived for the dinner everyone was in a better mood and the weirdo wedding was not discussed.
Let that be a lesson to all brides to be, no matter how little time you have to plan your wedding, NEVER book a ceremony site without checking it out first!!!
Oh by the way the lovebirds may have been cursed by this strange wedding and all its kookiness, as they divorced less than 2 years later. 10-14-08