4 Days ago: With the final countdown to the wedding well under way, the person scheduled to perform the ceremony suddenly became unavailable. To put it mildly, this was a wee bit stressful on the Bride and Groom to be.
“Dad?” my son asked on the phone, “Remember that friend of yours who does weddings? Do you think he might be able to help?”
I was thinking “This close to the wedding? Ain’t no way!” but my answer contained more hopeful phrases like, “I doubt it,” “Don’t get your hopes up,” and, “but I’ll call him.”
Now to bring you readers up to speed, “my friend who does weddings” is Jonathan Hibbs; recently ordained minister, longtime friend, and the co-conspirator in many of my most ill-conceived, and therefore coolest and funniest childhood (and teen) adventures. Though our communications were infrequent for a few decades there after high school, we’ve done a better job at staying in touch recently, and despite the years I still consider Jon to be one of my closest friends.
So I called Jon, explained my son’s situation, and asked for his advice on how to go about finding a minister that could do a wedding on 4 days’ notice. It seemed unreasonable to ask Jon to do it, so I hemmed and hawed, hoping that maybe he knew of some kind of ordained guy network, or secret call center where wedding officiants waited around like day-laborers at Home Depot ready to jump in your truck, and go conduct a wedding. Well I guess that network doesn’t exist, but before I could think of how to give my son the bad news Jon said, “I’ll do it.”
Slam, bam thank you Jon! On ridiculously short notice, without an opportunity to even meet the couple-to-be, Jon reviewed the planned wedding vows and ceremony script via email, complete with Scottish handfasting tradition, and…
Fast Forward ►►
Today I attended my youngest son’s wedding, outdoors among the autumn oak and chestnut trees at a nice little park in Auburn, Washington. Everything went off without a hitch. Minister Jon, though it was only his third wedding, did a phenomenal job. The ceremony was reverent, entertaining, sweet, and funny in all the right places.
My dear old friend, Mr. Hibbs, did more than just save a wedding for my youngest son, and new daughter-in-law today. He, and a well-timed window of September sunshine conspired to make it perfect. And that will be long remembered.