Bridus Interuptus

The venue was a natural heritage site just outside Johannesburg. The bride was a feisty German lady and the groom a rather docile English man. I was the officiating marriage officer. The chapel had been rigged out to look like something from the hippie sixties, complete with bales of hay instead of chairs and flowers strewn all over the floor. However, despite the informal décor and atmosphere, the bride wanted the wedding service to be by the book and very formal.

About half way into the service someone’s cell phone started ringing. The bride stopped me in my tracks with an imperiously raised hand and turning to the congregation she said; “Ve vill switch off our cellphones, jah!” Then she swept the room with such a penetrating glare that even the guests who didn’t have cellphones scrabbled in their handbags or pockets to instantly comply. Silence restored, she turned to me and declared imperiously; “you may proceed, jah!”

A few minutes later we got to the bit where the man turns to his bride and pronounces the covenant vow to love her in sickness and in health, and so on. Just as he started … a cellphone began to ring. The bride stepped away from him and rounded on the congregation, eyes flashing and finger raised accusingly. Slowly she fixed one guest after the other with a steely stare, but as she did so my eye was drawn to the groom. His face was crimson and his hand was creeping hesitantly towards his trouser pocket. Yes, it was his phone a-ringing! Poor man; ve vill not tell what she said to him after the ceremony.

So why am I telling you this story? What’s the moral here? I don’t know; just draw your own conclusion. I just found the whole incident hilarious and wanted to share my delight with you.


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