About six months ago we were sitting at dinner at the winery down the road.

We had helped with an event and been invited to come back later to eat,

“Just the four of us, nothing fancy…” said Sue and Ray, the couple from Broadstairs, Kent.

The meal was fabulous, just what we like, salmon, roast veggies, salad, delicious wine and good company.  As we were tucking into dessert Sue said,

“Larry, I’ve a question for you…”

Expecting something like, will you make us another goat ramp, or how about a refectory table, or even, any chance of tickets to Adele, he said,


“Catherine wants to know if you will marry her and Ryan?”

You could have knocked both of us off our bistro stools with a feather… Hubs was stunned into silence.

Catherine is their daughter and she was getting married sometime before the end of the year.  She and her fiancee had met Larry for the first time at a birthday party a couple of weeks ago and they had been most impressed by his demeanor.

Totally flummoxed he said,

“Give me 24 hours to consider.”

“I don’t believe you didn’t warn him,” Ray leaned over and said to Sue.

“How could I have warned him without asking him?”  she said grinning from ear to ear.  Ray shrugged his shoulders.

We went home and the next afternoon Larry called the winery,

“Yes, I’ll officiate at their wedding….” We could hear whoops of joy in the background.  The happy couple were there for the day and thrilled.

“But I’m curious,” he continued, “as to why me?  Of all the people they know why did they ask me?”

Sue handed the phone over to Catherine.  Apparently he had greatly impressed them with just the right mix of traditionalism, an obvious love for his family and a balance between caring husband and efficient tour manager.  He was down to earth and fit the bill for the quasi formal ceremony they envisioned.  A few prayers to please all family members, especially the Catholics, a couple of bible readings, a pinch of solemnity, without going before a priest in a church.

Hubs obtained his minister’s license online and read the guidelines carefully, it appears he can also officiate at funerals.  Then he went to his prayer book and drew up a draft of the ceremony.

Five months passed very quickly, during which time Daughts was married under a sprawling pecan at Footlights.


After several meetings with the intendeds and emails back and forth lessons were chosen and readers were hunted down.  I stepped in for two of them, the traditional Corinthians 13 and a book excerpt.  A poem was read by a college friend and his wife.

The week running up to the wedding was busy with Christmas Eve and Day, a Boxing Day party, the rehearsal dinner which we were included in.  I felt like such a party crasher…I mean, who am I that I’m participating in the most intimate and personal moments of other people’s lives?

I had lots of opportunities to pull out some old cocktail dresses and wear them with my high heels…

Lots of opportunities to look as elegant as my English accent sounds…

Lots of opportunities to settle into my new and unexpected role as the wife of Father Larry…

The evening dawned,


Father Larry and Mrs. McNeny

and we arrived at the venue.

I won’t say Hubs wasn’t on the nervous side, this was his first time, but not everyone knew that so they looked to him for direction.

Father Larry did an outstanding job making everyone feel comfortable as he took them through the 20 minute ceremony without dropping the rings…or fluffing his lines.

They were joined as man and wife in God’s eyes and I couldn’t help wondering when the last time was that some of the attendees had heard the name of Jesus, said the Lord’s prayer, or been blessed?

Afterwards he was congratulated on the beautiful service,

“It was exactly what Catherine and Ryan wanted,” he said.

It was simply perfect.


At Sunday school the following weekend the charge to evangelize and witness came up as it is wont to do and I looked at Hubs and squeezed his hand.

There are many ways to share the good news with neighbors and the world…Hubs had been invited to do so by officiating at the marriage of our friends’ daughter to her beloved.

What an honor.

As an aside one of the women at Bunco last week, a game for which I sub on the odd occasion, said to me,

“I didn’t know your husband was a minister…”  I could see a look of reverence in her eyes as she said the words.

Never one to act under false pretenses I had to tell her gently,

“He was certified online so that he could preside at Catherine’s wedding.”

It hadn’t occurred to me that his newly ordained status automatically gave me a label too.

The Minister’s Wife!


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