“I’m so nervous I could puke.”
It’s a common hyperbole. A colorful, albeit icky, phrase that most of us have heard or said ourselves, as we clutch our stomachs in melodramatic agony, wailing about some upcoming big event. It’s along the same lines of “I’m so excited I could burst!” although in that example we don’t expect any actual bursting to happen, no matter how good the news is.
And so it usually goes, too, with
I'm so nervous I could puke.
But sometimes… sometimes… oh man. Sometimes it’s not hyperbole.
Sometimes we’re so nervous... we actually puke!
This is the unfortunate truth that befell an anxious, overheated, tired groom on his wedding day. The days leading up to the wedding had been a whirlwind. That day, the afternoon temperature climbed to almost 100 degrees, which made it about 200 degrees inside his suit jacket. And then there was the fact he’d forgotten to eat...
He stepped up onto the ceremony stage and turned to face his bride, cameras rolling…
Suddenly, surrounded by a large crowd of family and friends, his knees went weak. His stomach churned and his head started to swim. And then, well… blechhh.
It was one of those cringe-inducing moments you know might haunt your memories for weeks (or decades) to come.
The best man and groomsmen started to laugh. The guests stood up in disbelief to get a better look. The bride looked on supportively, but she had no idea what to do, either. And the groom, well, the groom kept doing what he was doing.
Luckily for him (and everyone else there), the AMM Minister who was leading their ceremony was quick on his feet.
Randy (we’ve changed his name for obvious reasons) leapt to the groom’s defense, turning him away from the crowd’s wide eyes, and instructed every last one of the guests to turn around and face the opposite direction for a couple of minutes, so that the groom could compose himself.
“Talk to each other for a little while,” the officiant told them, “and don’t you dare turn around.” With the guests successfully redirected, he kept a watchful eye on the couple until they were both feeling better and the ceremony could continue.
As things started back up, the officiant sensed the bride was still a bit flustered.
“You got a mint?” he said to her quietly, with a sympathetic but playful smile, and her relieved laughter broke any remaining tension.
The wedding ceremony continued without further interruption, and the couple’s first happy kiss as married partners stole the show.
This story reminds us how vital an officiant’s quick thinking and sense of humor are for keeping a ceremony on track! Staying calm under pressure and keeping a positive outlook help a good officiant lead a ceremony that’s memorable… in only the best ways, for the weeks and decades to come.
(If you’re an officiant or nearlywed who gets nervous in front of a crowd, read Wedding Ceremony Stage Fright: Tips for officiants - and couples.)
To learn how to officiate a perfect ceremony - no matter what kind of hiccups or hurdles come up - read the newly updated and improved Asked to Officiate. It’s a comprehensive guide on writing and conducting ceremonies, and will help you rise to any occasion like a pro.