Wedding officiants get to observe some of the sweetest declarations of love a couple will ever make to each other. But given how high-stress and emotional a wedding ceremony can be, they hear plenty of weird stuff, too.
Below, officiants from around the country share the wildest, most awkward things they’ve ever heard or witnessed during the exchange of vows.
Cold Feet At The Altar
“During the vow segment of the ceremony, I asked the groom, ’Do you take Nancy to be your wife and do you promise to love, honor and cherish her throughout life? He paused for a moment and said: ‘Can I get back to you?’” ― Rabbi Solomon Rothstein, a wedding officiant in Jewish and interfaith weddings in Florida
The Premature Kiss
“Craig promised his wife Cheryl, ‘I’ll always slip you a kiss, even before I should,’ and then kissed her — when everyone knew the kiss was supposed to wait until after the pronouncement. Another Massachusetts groom theatrically moistened his bride’s ring finger with his mouth before sliding the wedding band into place.” ― Kezia Bacon, a wedding officiant in New England
“I often suggest that couples write and read their own vows, and this one was fantastic: ‘I promise to always love you. Even if you grow old and begin to look like an iguana, I will still love you.’” ― Ray Goad, an ordained U.S. Merchant Marine officer
The Internet Prankster
“So back in the summer of 2017, this couple I officiated for decided to write their own vows. The bride went first, and her vows were heartfelt, meaningful and emotional. The type of stuff every officiant loves to hear.
The groom’s vows came next, and he started out in the same manner as her. Then suddenly he began saying, ‘I’ll never give you up, I’ll never let you down, I’ll never...’ By this point, the bride, the guests and I realized he was rickrolling (in regards to Rick Astley’s 1987 hit) the bride in the midst of his vows.” ― Ernie Claeson, a wedding officiant in Beaverton, Oregon
The Longest Solo
“The most awkward was when a groom started to sing a song to his fiancee and wanted her to join in, and she waved him off. It was a loooooong minute.” ― Harris Bloom, a wedding officiant in New York City
The Football Fanboy
“On a beautiful blue sky summer day, surrounded by 200 family and friends, a positively gorgeous bride made beautiful promises to her handsome groom. Then, it was his turn: First, he told her that he loved her. Then he began his pledge by stating that he is obsessed with five-time Super Bowl champion, greatest of all time Tom Brady, and that he’d marry Brady if he could.
He finished this announcement by declaring that his bride was obsessed with shopping. I cringed. I could see the look of anger on the bride’s face and the uncomfortable reaction of the guests. He went on to promise to not get too upset when the New England Patriots lose ― ‘as infrequently as that may be’ ― and that their obsessions cancel each other out. I hope they ― and the Patriots ― go on to live happily ever after.” ― Priscilla Geaney, a justice of the peace in Massachusetts
“At one wedding I officiated in Vegas, the two grooms mentioned their pup in the funniest way. The rest of their vows were just cute. ‘Tim allowed me to become the alpha male with Conner, our Kerry blue terrier, even though Conner had been his dog for seven years,’ Dave said. ‘Tim loves being part of my family. He forgives me when I’ve been a jerk. He laughs when he rightfully should be mad at me. He’s a Goy who never hesitated when I said I wanted to be married by a rabbi.’” ― Rabbi Shai Specht-Sandler, a wedding officiant in Las Vegas, Nevada
The Guzzling Groom
“The groom came in late, drunk. Three hundred guests were waiting for the ceremony to begin. During the ceremony, he was joking around. I whispered, ‘Cut it out.’ At the conclusion, I declared them husband and wife and invited him to kiss the bride. In his drunken stupor, he bent over to kiss her and proceeded to vomit over her beautiful white gown, and then he passed out. When he awoke, she was gone. The marriage had to be annulled.” ― Rothstein
The Phantom Marriage
“I work with a lot of nerdy couples and do cosplay weddings. When the couples really get into it, they assume the attributes of their character in their vows. One groom assumed the role of a Jedi. He said, ‘My queen, may the Force be with us as we travel through the galaxy of life. I pledge to never turn to the Dark Side but stand forever in the illumination of our love. I vow to fight the Evil Emperor and I invite you take your place at my side as we rule the galaxy. Together we can withstand anything, even the Death Star, Jabba the Hut and Darth Vader. Come with me and we will make this world and the others around it ours. I’ll take part in any rebellion you want and pledge my life and love to you, princess. Take my hand and stand with me for light and justice throughout our lives.’” ― Alan Katz, owner of Great Officiants in Long Beach, California
Two Pirates In Love
“As you are undoubtedly aware, Sept. 19 is celebrated as Talk Like a Pirate Day. This is a holiday celebrated, in particular, by Pastafarians. The groom in a couple that I married on Sept. 19 celebrates that holiday, and his bride was happy to include Talk Like a Pirate as the theme in their marriage ceremony. They talked like a pirate and made plenty of references to pirates during their vows. There were also two short readings selected from ‘The Princess Bride.’” ― Rick Kaplowitz, owner of Bay Area Ceremonies in Palo Alto, California
The Quiet Type
“Every once in a while, a groom just says ‘ditto’ after the bride makes a long speech. Not weird, but it is funny.” ― Robert Gould, a judge and wedding officiant in Florida
The Killer Comedic Duo
“Jes and Kent recited their vows together, taking turns with complimentary lines. When Jes said, ‘We’re amazing together because we moved across the country twice without killing each other...’ Kent replied, ‘We are perfect for each other because we agreed the phrase ‘killing each other’ was appropriate for our wedding vows.’” ― Bacon
Responses have been edited for style and clarity.