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Oh No! The Officiant Canceled DAY OF!

It was August 31st, Labor Day weekend. I had just done my first wedding expo with Wedding Professionals of Volusia County ten days prior.

I got a call from Andrea, a coordinator from the Hard Rock Daytona Beach. I met her at the expo. There was a wedding at 5pm that day and the officiant called in sick at 11am. I had never done a formal wedding before. "Yes, I can do it!" I replied.

As soon as I hung up I got nervous. This was going to be my first formal ceremony, and it was six hours away. The bride also wanted everyone to wear white! I was pregnant, and did not own any white dresses that fit me. So it was time to hurry up and shop. I took off for the stores and had my husband look up basic wedding scripts. I was in contact with the maid of honor, who had not told the bride, because she didn't want her to stress. I have to give props to her because this was a smart move. She handled the mishap and the bride eventually found out when she was made to sign the contract I swiftly drafted up for her and the groom.

Thank God for my husband because he was at home printing the script for me as a I scrambled for a white dress. After shopping around, three stores later, I found a perfect Calvin Klein dress that fit. I hurried home and hit the shower. I barely had time to put on a natural style of makeup and just threw my hair back. I made sure to show up an hour prior, to do a sound check and to collect the license and payment.

I was super nervous. I arrived and went into the area where the bride and bridal party were assembling and taking photos. "Hello! Are you a guest?!" asked the bride's mother, who did not recognize me. She wasn't thrilled to see me and also confused as to why I was in the room with the bridal party. The coordinator, who had also been hired last minute unbeknownst to me, introduced me as the replacement officiant. I could sense the stress and tension in the air. This made me even more nervous.

I met up with the DJ, who fitted me with a mic and did a brief sound check. I found some photographers and confided in them that this was my first time officiating a big wedding and asked for any pointers. Boy, am I glad I asked because the photographer told me things often forgotten like when to rise and seat the guests, and to run out of the way after the pronouncing of husband and wife. The wedding I had done prior was so casual, there were no guests or photographers. It was only myself and the couple in a very casual setting.

Anyway, the ceremony started. I saw the stunning bride in her beautiful black gown, at the glass door getting ready to make her grand entrance. "Please rise for the bride." I said, as instructed. The only person who stood up was the groom's mother, and she kept looking back at me, unsure if she heard me right. I gave her the thumbs up, but she was the only one standing still. " I don't think you're supposed to say that yet." said one of the bridesmaids. The thing is, I didn't do the rehearsal with them so I had no clue what they agreed to prior to this. I started to sweat a lot. It was a very hot day and we were facing the sun. I started to read the script, and although shaky and nervous, I did pretty well. According to the bride and her father, I saved the day. It was then, that I knew it was all worth it. The bride still got her wedding, and she and her husband ended up becoming friends of my husband and I. Her husband's business is our lawn care service. The two have a beautiful baby boy and are building their future little by little.

The lesson I learned was to always have a back up. So now, whenever there is a wedding or a signing, I am sure to let my back ups know, just in case I am unable to make it, the show must go on.

written by Regina Cordero

Photo by Jesse Giles Photography



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