New Castle News

October 11, 2013

Gary Church: Pretend wedding a real treat (with video)

Gary Church
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — I've been asked to do a lot of stuff in my life.

Perform a wedding was never one of them.

That all changed last week when I officiated at the marriage of Shelly and Eddie.

I first met Shelly in the late 1970s, when her dad came to pastor our church.

She was around 10 years old, and was one of the most loving kids I had ever met.

Shelly has a cognitive disability.

After her dad moved on to another church, I haven't seen her much in the last 30 years.

I never forgot about Shelly and her invisible boyfriend named Eddie, whom she talked about quite frequently.

Her niece, Jennifer, decided after all these years that it was time for Shelly to have a pretend wedding, and finally marry Eddie.

When she asked Shelly who she wanted to perform the ceremony, she replied, "Gary Church!" even though her dad is a pastor.

How could I say “No” to such a sweet person?

When I arrived at the wedding, Jennifer had gone all out. The tables were all decorated with tablecloths and flowers.

There was a guest book, and all of Shelly's favorite foods ready to eat.

Shelly even got to do the chicken dance, which she does quite well.

While looking around, I asked, "Where is the actual ceremony going to be held?"

Jen pointed to a tree that had a cut-out mannequin under it and she said, "Over there. That's Eddie."

It rained and we had to move to under an oak tree, so Eddie wouldn't crumble up.

To show you how loved Shelly is by everyone, she had some of the finest looking women around as her hand-picked bridesmaids.

Shelly is now in her 40s, but has always kept her happy and very sweet personality.

Her knock-knock jokes haven't changed much either.

Since I do a little bit of writing, I thought I might as well write some nice wedding vows for the couple.

She knew it was a pretend wedding, but she enjoyed every minute of it.

As you watch the video below, look for the guy in the pink shirt and tie with the black notebook. That would be me.

I'm sure I will get countless requests to officiate other weddings.

As you will see, I can have you in and out in 5 minutes and 46 seconds.