The groom arrived at the church thirty minutes late, somber and teary eyed. His mother had to rush out to help him wear his barong tagalog. This must have piqued the priest so much that he started the ceremony railing at the vexatious delay. But the bride was very radiant in her wedding gown, and a smile exposing genuine exuberance as she walked down the aisle. Earlier, she had gone through such tedious preparation, waking up early, doing last minute instructions, make-up, and getting dressed. Everything’s set and everything’s done: from getting the marriage license, the wedding entourage, invitations, photographer, video, bridal car, booking a restaurant, hotel, and all other wedding essentials. This moment had got to be the joyous culmination.
While the wedding ceremony was progressing, the groom was fidgety and kept peeking at his cellphone. The time came for the exchange of vows, the highlight of this age-old ritual—the proclamation of their lifetime commitment to each other. The priest proceeded to ask the groom, in customary phrasing, if he will take the bride to be his wife. Just right before the groom could answer; a loud cry reverberated across the church hall: “No, stop the wedding!”, and the groom’s name being called twice. This came from a woman who just went in.
The groom turned, and with no hint of reluctance, went straight to the woman and embraced her. They darted out of the church, leaving everybody stunned, and the bride, shocked and horrified.