Sermon Illustrations

The Red Neck Wedding

In the Summer of 2000 a couple came to me and explained that they wanted me to perform their Wedding ceremony. The man was a farmer and the woman had grown up on a farm. They explained to me that this was both of their 2nd marriage and neither one of them had a Church Wedding the first time. They wanted a Western style or as the groom called it a Red Neck Wedding. We set the date for the Wedding in late July.

At the Rehearsal the night before I let the couple know that the women needed to be at the Church by 1:00 p.m. and the men by 2:00 p.m. since the ceremony was to begin at 3:00 p.m. Everyone agreed. The next day at 3:00 the Church had about 100 guests and all of the Wedding party except for the bride and groom. While we patiently waited for the bride and groom one of the uncles of the bride decided to stand up and tell jokes. Fortunately, they were appropriate for the setting. At 3:30 p.m. the groom showed up ready to go and finally at 4:00 p.m. the bride shows up. Now she really was not ready. She comes running in the guest registry in one hand and the ring bearers pillow in the other. The ladies quickly began to start fixing her hair in which I said, "It is too late for your hair, let's go.¨

We finally get the Wedding started and everyone (to my surprise) was doing just like we had rehearsed. I went through the Wedding Vows and then came to the ring ceremony. As I asked the best man for the ring, we realized that the bride had tied the ring onto the pillow with a very tight knot. Without even hesitating, the best man pulls out this huge knife and cut the ring off of the pillow in which the bride yelled at him, "Hey, stupid that pillow is rented and now you are going to have to pay for that". At this point the guests begin to laugh and it took me several minutes to get things back to the reverent point at which they had been. We then went to the Unity Candle section of the ceremony. At this point the music began to play and the couple went up and lit the candles just as practiced. The only problem was the fact that the bride and groom had chose to not take my advice when I told them that a 7 minute song would feel like eternity and they should fade it out. Although the night before, this couple had emphatically said, "No, play the entire song"; the groom was now begging me to turn off the music. My back was to the guest and the sound booth so there was nothing I could do. At this the groom hollers out loud to the Sound Technician, "Hey man turn that off , please"; in which the Sound Technician faded the music. Then the groom says very loudly, "Thanks man, I love you". Again the guests begin to roll in the pews with laughter. Again I calmed things down and continued. I finished my final statements and told the groom he could kiss the bride in which he did for about 3 minutes. Finally the best man punched him in the arm and said, "Come on we've got a hoe-down to go to". I introduced the couple and the recessional music began. (I must give you this side note. The bride always wanted a train on her dress so she had sewed a train to her skirt. The blouse and skirt were separate pieces.) The couple paired up and began to walk down the aisle and then the maid of honor and best man paired up and followed. As they were following the maid of honor stepped on the brides train and pulled her skirt to her knees. Talk about a huge burst of laughter. As the bride was bending over to pull up her skirt, the groom slapped her on the behind and said, "Girl get your drawers on". At this point I just sat down as I was laughing so hard I could hardly breathe. This was one of the funniest experiences I have ever had. I do not know how funny it has been to read but being reminded of this ceremony puts a smile on my face every time.

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