The wedding officiant has a front-row seat to all the big-day action. Ceremonies usually go smoothly, but every so often, a mishap occurs right before their eyes.
We asked the professionals to reveal some of the most surprising things they’ve seen on the job. Here’s what they told us:
The Hungry, Hungry Ring Bearer
“I always tell couples: Never let children under 10 hold the rings. I do this for good reason. They are unpredictable. They can throw the rings, drop the rings, run the other way and more. I thought I had seen it all until the one day, against my better judgment, I said, ‘OK, if that is what you really want, I’ll let them hold the rings.’ Then, while no one was looking, as the wedding party was making their way down the aisle, this cute little 5-year-old boy pulled the bride’s wedding band off the pillow and put it in his mouth and swallowed it, and was then shooed down the aisle. When he got to the front, the matron of honor noticed the missing band, the aisle was scanned to see where it went. They held up the bride’s music as they looked for it. Then they asked the child if he knew where the ring was and he said, ‘I ate it. I thought it was candy.’
I asked the matron of honor if we could use her band. She quickly gave it to me, the music played and the ceremony continued. When it was time for the ring exchange, she stared at the ring realizing something was amiss. I told her to just go with it, as we had a big surprise for her later. Everyone chuckled. Boy, did she get a surprise later.” ― Alan Katz of Great Officiants
“I was officiating an interfaith ceremony in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for this totally in-love couple. They wanted their ceremony to reflect their families’ beliefs and celebrate with loved ones, who flew from all corners of the world ― Australia, Israel, California, just to name a few. It’s important to note that the ceremony took place on the venue’s deck, where you could clearly hear the classic New York soundtrack ― cars passing by, trucks backing up, people talking, etc. While the groom was saying his vows, a few annoying teens walking down the sidewalk yelled, ‘DON’T DO IT!’ loud enough to stop us all in our tracks. This is, of course, jarring to hear during a ceremony. Let alone, right in the middle of your vows. So my inner Brooklynite came out in full force and yelled back: ‘IT’S ALREADY DONE!’ which luckily reset the lighthearted, meaningful mood of the day. The guests laughed and clapped, which gave our groom the much-needed relief and confidence to continue his heartfelt vows.” ― Daniela VillaRamos of Once Upon A Vow
“The funniest thing I’ve seen happen at a wedding involved having six little boys blowing bubbles, followed by six little girls tossing flower petals, followed by the actual wedding party in the processional. Every time one of the boys would try to blow a bubble, they would stop and those behind them would run into them. With six boys blowing bubbles, it was quite a clumsy farce.” ― Judith Johnson
Mum’s The Word
“The bride and groom had been together five years and were great partners. Toward the end of their ceremony, the bride’s mother stood up and walked toward us. I was puzzled. Was she supposed to do a reading and they’d forgotten to tell me? I left the couple and walked over to the mother before she reached the couple. In a voice only I could hear, she said these immortal words: ’Do not pronounce them husband and wife, I have reservations.′ Beyond stunned, I smiled and said to her, ’The only reservation you better have is for dinner.′ I raced back to the couple and quickly pronounced them husband and wife. After the ceremony, I found the bride. As I gave her a big hug, she sheepishly said, ‘I guess I forgot to tell you about my mother.’” ―JP Reynolds of JPR Weddings
Dads Behaving Dadly
“The worst behavior I ever saw came from a father of the groom. His wife, the mother of the groom, had left him for a woman. Though they hadn’t gotten officially divorced, their relationship was clearly over. Being a man with a conservative view of Christianity, this was not OK with him. The mom was considering staying away from the wedding because of it. But she came — with her partner. During the ceremony, the dad was in the front row just weeping somewhat noisily. I thought, ‘How sweet.’ Later on, he revealed he was crying for himself because it made him think of his wife. Then, he went on to make a scene during the reception, start a verbal fight, and had to be asked to leave. All because he was focused on himself instead of his son.” ― Rachael A. Tanner of Officially Hitched
Pain In The Glass
“Two years ago, I had a ceremony with four children under 5, who the bride and groom insisted should stand up with them at the altar. They walked in giggling and running, and continued that during the ceremony. Their grandparents, seated in the front row and tasked with taking them if they were not paying attention, ignored them. We had a sand ceremony and a glass table for it up at the altar. As I was pronouncing them married, one of the kids made a dive for the table. I caught him midair before he landed on it and shattered glass everywhere. The strangest part was that no one blinked or remarked on it later, you know, thanking me for saving their kid!” ― Tracy Brisson of Savannah Custom Weddings and Elopements
“Last summer, I had a very unique couple that I married at Blue Lake Park in Portland. The first sign that this wasn’t your average ceremony was when I arrived, they were unloading llamas at the ceremony location. One was in a bridal outfit, while the other was in a top hat and bow tie. They were going to be the ring bearers.” ― Ernie Claeson of EC Matrimony
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.