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Weddings are both solemn and joyful occasions – a blend of seriousness and serendipity.

Wedding vows reflect the heartfelt commitment a couple makes to each other. After all … a wedding is for a day … a marriage is for a lifetime.

At the same time, the most memorable wedding moments are often the surprises.

Dallis and I will never forget the collective gasp of our guests when our friend Jim, who was officiating, dropped my ring on the deck where we were standing and it rolled several feet, nearly falling through a crack. We took a brief time-out to retrieve it, and the episode has been a source of fun and laughter ever since.

Recently Dallis attended an outdoor wedding at La Purisima Mission in Lompoc, California, founded by the Franciscans in 1787, and now a State Historical Park. It was a beautiful day in a picturesque setting.

The ceremony had started a little late and was coming to the place where the bride and groom would be introduced as a married couple.

The presiding minister said, “And now we have come to a very special moment.”

And at that, a VERY loud and quite obnoxious “HEE HAW HEE HAW HEE HAW HEE HAW” came from what seemed like heaven, but in reality was from the corral next to the Mission.

Did I mention that livestock are kept in the park?

Laughter and smiles broke out! It was a surprise moment that won’t soon be forgotten.

Here’s the uninvited wedding guest – doesn’t he looked pleased with himself?


Words (c) 2012 Mark Lloyd Richardson
Photo (c) 2012 Dallis Day Richardson