Whenever I attend a wedding (rather than conduct one), I look for the stars of the show. That would be the flower girl and the ring bearer. They are such cute miniature humans! They can be so delightfully unpredictable, and therefore account for some of the most memorable moments in what occasionally becomes a tedious routine in our culture.
Barbara, the preacher's daughter, remembers the groom who fainted...twice! They finally brought him a chair to finish the ceremony. She also clearly remembers a wedding performed at the manse during which the ring fell, rolled along the floor and fell down the vent of the floor furnace.
But I digress. I was reflecting on the little stars of the show. Like little Raymond who was the ring bearer for my daughter's wedding. At rehearsal, he balked and cried, and simply WOULD NOT walk down the aisle. The next night, we were prepared to conduct the wedding with or without his cooperation. But this time, sporting an adorable little tux, and now with a church full of terrifying people, he marched down the aisle like a pro. You never know.
When my son was married in Memphis, the ring bearer DID become terrified by that great crowd. They begged, cajoled and finally dragged him down the aisle. And when he arrived, he anchored himself to the leg of my other son, serving as a groomsman, clinging for dear life, and never let go.
More recently when our nephew was married in the San Francisco area, the scene was outdoors at a picturesque park, seemingly made for the purpose. Someone had thoughtfully sewed the ring to a satin pillow for the ring bearer to carry to the pledging couple. But when he arrived, alas the pillow was there, but not the ring! The groom's father, known to be a quick thinker, took off his own ring, and the embarrassed couple used it because of the urgency of the occasion. I still have a snapshot of the wedding party, on their hands and knees, routing through the grass, looking for the lost ring. They didn't find it until they brought a metal detector the next day.
The little flower girls have not left me with such dramatic recollections. I remember a flower girl, with a basket full of flower petals, who did not drop a single one on her trek to the altar. Some have cried all the way. And I do remember one who shouted "No" to her mother, who was trying to tend her after she arrived up front. The memorable part of this scenario was that she shouted right after the minister asked, "Will you take this woman to be your wedded wife?"