A Rogue Flower Girl, and the Ring Bearer Follows

Something will go amiss at the wedding. It's one of those rare things that you can count on in life. Those are the things that you remember, and they are often the things that make a wedding unique.


At the rehearsal for my cousin Alexis and her then-fiance Josh almost everything went well. There was some hesitation about the flower girl and the ring bearer both being so young.

The prudent decision was made to have the ring bearer carry the box without the rings in it. When he was coming down the aisle in rehearsal I wondered if he was going to make it to me. Everyone had a guess on where he would end up. I figured he would break into a run to one of his parents at some point. I was completely wrong. People were directing him to come to me. So, he ran up to me and clung to my leg! Hahaha.

I assured everyone of a few things. One, if that happened during the ceremony then he would have successfully delivered the box. Two, that if anything went wild then I would be the one to step in and fix it, or direct others in what to do in the moment. Three, that young kids can't really make major mistakes at weddings. Basically, no matter what they do they will be cute, people will laugh, and that will be that. (Unless they cry, of course.)

The rehearsal was done without chairs. That turned out to be key. The day of the ceremony was nice, things were going well. The flower girl started toward the aisle, but she missed. She walked up to where the seating started, she stopped at the back of a chair, and commenced to empty her basket. Flowers growing in a pile upon the grass.

There was a mix of little gasps and little giggles from the audience in response.

The ring bearer, being the young chivalrous knight in training that he is, followed her to the back of said seat. He started picking up the flowers and putting them back into the basket. It was hilarious! But it was also a nervous moment. One of those moments that can go either way.

I had warned everyone beforehand that such a moment may occur, and that we would just move past it. There was a slight tenseness in the audience. I took a couple of steps down the aisle, caught the attention of the bride and her father, and motioned for them to come forward, past the errant knight and his flower strewing damsel.

It went perfectly, as did the rest of the day. Here are my notes for the ceremony.

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1. “All rise.” Alexis with father. Stops with father between Josh and Alexis.

2. “Who offers this woman in marriage?” Father responds and lifts veil. “Everyone may now be seated. Josh and Alexis please step forward.”

3. “Ladies and gentlemen. Some of us are gathered here today for free drinks, some of us are gathered here today for cake, and some of us are gathered here today for dancing, but all of us are gathered here today to witness a wedding. And more than that, to witness a commitment. Commitment comes from the Latin com mittere, meaning to send together. Josh’s entire past, every moment, was necessary to bring him to this one. Every decision that Alexis has ever made has led her to this very place. Josh has had good times in his life, and hardships. Some that he brought upon himself, some that he did not. Alexis has had moments of joy and moments of despair. Some that she chose, others that she did not. In the future, too, there will be good things and there will be bad things, there will be joy and there will be despair. Which brings me to this question - why get married? It’s an important question, hopefully asked before now (smirk). And the answer is this, we do not get to choose many of the hardships that we will face, but we do get A choice. We get to choose how we will face these hardships, and who we will face them with. Josh and Alexis are here today to make a commitment, we are here today to witness their commitment, and to send them forth into the future, together. That, is why there is a wedding today.”

4. “Please join hands.” Alexis hands off bouquet.

5. “(Josh/Alexis), please repeat after me.
I, (Josh/Alexis), commit to love you, honor you, and cherish you.
I commit to celebrating the good times with you,
and to being by your side during the bad.
I commit to trusting you, laughing with you, and crying with you.
As I have given you my hand to hold, so I give you my life to keep.”

“Josh and Alexis, in the future, when you are confronted with hardships, remember these vows, so that they may bring you closer together.”

6. “Josh, do you take Alexis to be your lawful wedded wife?
Do you promise to love, honor, cherish, protect, and be faithful to her?
Do you promise to do the dishes and pick your clothes up off the floor?
Do you promise to love her even when she is cranky?”

“Alexis, do you take Josh to be your lawful wedded husband?
Do you promise to love, honor, cherish, protect, and be faithful to him?
Do you promise to not whine at him when he forgets to do the dishes and pick up his clothes?
Do you promise to love him even after he has been working too much overtime?”

7. “Bring forth the rings. These rings are a symbol of your commitment to each other.
(Josh/Alexis), repeat after me.
I (Josh/Alexis), take thee (Alexis/Josh), to be my (wife/husband),
to have and to hold,
in sickness and in health,
for richer or for poorer,
in joy and sorrow,
and I promise my love to you.
With this ring, I take you as my (wife/husband), for as long as we both shall live.”

8. “We will now have the sand ceremony. Two different colors of sand. Each beautiful on its own, but more exquisitely intricate when combined. Once combined the two cannot be separated, and will stand as an ongoing testament to the commitments made here today.”

9. Return to positions. “By the power vested in me I now pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss your bride. I would like to introduce the happy couple, Josh and Alexis Eldridge.”

- - - - - - -

There is no doubt that something will go amiss at a wedding. There are things that can help with that, such as having a plan, and having people willing and able to step forward and help if that plan goes awry. On the other hand, those mishaps may not be as big of a deal as we sometimes imagine. It's possible that those will be the moments that we remember most. In a good way.

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To read more from Jeff go to JeffThinks.com or JeffreyAlexanderMartin.com

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