On Saturday, I officiated at the wedding of Tyler M. Crompton to Linlee Searcy at the Elevé Event Center in Pleasant Grove. As weddings go, I gave it an A-minus.
I have no idea what score Linlee gave her Big Day. I do know that Tyler, his father, Kirby Crompton, and Linlee’s father, Steven Searcy, played their parts to perfection. They stood off to the side, kept their mouths shut, and did what they were told.
I’ve never attended an A-plus wedding. Something always goes wrong — the weather, the cake, the dress, mothers-in-law clawing at each other’s faces.
The only part of my own wedding that I recall with any clarity is the enormous relief I felt when my wife said “yes.”
Right up to the last second, I was convinced that this gorgeous and smart woman would come to her senses and realize that she was about to marry so far beneath her station that it could have technically been declared a cross-species union.
It wouldn’t have surprised me if she had simply fled the Salt Lake Mormon Temple and entered the witness protection program. Nearly everyone else in the room probably thought it would make sense.
Instead, she looked me in the eye and said “yes.” It was a perfect moment. Clearly it was some kind of sign that the right decision had been made, and we could now coast through the rest of our lives on our love.
Boy, was I clueless.
In my brief comments to Linlee and Tyler before declaring them husband and wife, I wanted to caution them that life wasn’t perfect and that they should never stop working on their love for each other.
It would have been good advice for the other 200-plus souls in the room as well. It’s amazing how fast the fairy dust disappears and real life begins, sometimes before the wedding is even over.
Right in the middle of my ministerial remarks, the Utah State Hospital called me.
Having the Utah State Hospital looking for me is one thing. Having someone from there call me is another. My phone’s ring tone isn’t wind chimes, bird songs, or angels singing. It’s Homer Simpson bellowing, “Oh, crap!”
Me • “And so, Linlee and Tyler, the love you have is the most important thing … ”
Homer • “Oh, crap! Oh, crap! Oh, crap! Oh, crap!”
It took a small eternity for me to find my phone and shut it off. By then, the mood was gone. Any chance for the rest of my advice to be taken seriously — if indeed it had been in the first place — had vanished.
There were a few nervous laughs from the audience. Linlee didn’t flee in tears. Her mother didn’t scream. Her father didn’t try to shoot me. That’s good because we all would have missed what came next.
As I babbled through the rest of my remarks, which sounded weak and pointless by then, the time came to exchange rings.
Terren Searcy, Linlee’s 4-year-old nephew, was the ring bearer. The rings were attached to a pillow the size of a sofa cushion. Terren had lugged it down the aisle like an animal sacrifice.
When his part was called for, he stomped into the middle of the gathering, hurled the pillow away, and threw himself on the floor in deep frustration. After a minute of grim reflection, he stood and rejoined the ceremony.
That’s it. Pull yourselves together and get back up. I don’t know how it works for others, but that’s exactly how I’ve managed to hold onto my wife.