Rachel, you may be feeling bad because of what happened for you on air last night (tears came when you first read about “tender age”). Please keep reading.
I’m an interfaith wedding minister in Chicago, have been finding joy in this work for over 20 years. But when I did my first wedding, I was moved to tears.
All the way home, I beat myself up: “You can’t do that, Marian! It’s not professional!” I didn’t do another wedding for a year!
When the second couple got in touch, they were wonderful. Back then (pre-internet), it was a bit tricky to meet people I didn’t know in public. We simply couldn’t know what we looked like. So, believe it or not, I wore a propeller beanie. Nice suit, high heels – and a propeller beanie!
They were both in full Groucho! The waiters were convulsed with laughter, I knew this was going to be memorable.
So I shared with them my fear of tears coming – and they said that would be absolutely fine, their families were emotional too.
Their wedding day – Pops for Champagne in Chicago. Over 100 guests in a small space so they were all standing facing me, and we were close together.
At the rehearsal the night before, I met her father – very nice man, ex-military with a strong, slightly soldierly, demeanor. He was standing just a few feet from me, watching his daughter carefully.
As expected, I was moved to tears a few lines into the script, then adlibbed to the couple: “I told you this was going to happen!”
They smiled, and assured me it was just fine. I continued with the next line – and noticed that her father had tears rolling down his face, for the entire wedding.
At the very end, as the bridal party began to walk down the aisle, he got out of line and came up to me at the front of the room. I had no idea what was going to happen – then he wrapped me up in a big bear hug, and whispered in my ear: “Thank you so much for doing that! You gave me permission.”
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR DOING THAT, RACHEL! YOU GAVE US PERMISSION!