Return to Mayberry

This month we’ve been discussing how often truth is stranger than fiction.  This week, I’m sharing unbelievable yet true stories of weddings I’ve photographed.

My sister Michelle and I were photographing a wedding once for the daughter of a pastor.  It was in a tiny town which was quite comparable to Mayberry on The Andy Griffith Show.  However, when we got to the address that was on the contract, there was a small church administrative office with a postage stamp sized yard.  We knew that couldn’t be the place, and that the mom (who filled out the contract) must’ve accidentally put her church’s administrative mailing address rather than the actual wedding location.

Of course, we tried to use our cellphones to call the bride and get a correct address, but being such a small town, there was no reception.  So we drove around until we found the local police station.  However when we went to go inside and ask for directions, the door was locked, and there was a sign on the door that said “Closed Today For Wedding.”  (Yes, really!)

We drove around aimlessly a bit looking for the church.  (Luckily, we left in time to get there very early in case of bad traffic.)  When we still couldn’t find it, we went to a convenience store to ask for directions.  The cashier said, “Oh, y’all must be going to Brittany’s wedding.”  (And of course, we were.)  So she pointed us in the right direction.

We found the church, then since we had an extra couple of hours to kill, we went to a diner.  The waitress apparently overheard us talking about the wedding and said, “Oh, are y’all going to be at Brittany’s wedding?”  We chuckled.

When we got to the wedding, outside the church was the largest tent I’ve ever seen!  It was about the size of a city block!  When the pastor told us that everyone in town knew her and would be there, she wasn’t kidding.

We got out of the car and walked over to the outdoor reception area to check on everything, and that’s when we noticed that there was a baseball bat propped against each of the seventy-five tables.  We assumed they were planning a massive softball game or something of the sort, so we were shocked when someone came to tell us that the bats were in fact to use after it got dark when the wild boars came out of the woods!  (Yes, really!)

Well, when we finally got to photograph the groom and his groomsmen, we were surprised when the (one and only) sheriff was actually the best man!  No wonder the police station was closed.  And then when we photographed the bride and bridesmaids, two of the girls were none other than the clerk from the convenience store and the diner waitress!

The wedding was beautiful, and I have no doubt that indeed the entire town actually did show up at the ceremony.  Furthermore, yes, more than a dozen wild boars did come out of the woods that night when they smelled the food, but we were relieved that the boys that chased them away didn’t actually strike them with bats.

So tell me, have you ever been in a town so small that everyone literally knows everyone?  Have you ever encountered wild boars at a wedding reception?

 (NONE of the photos below are from the wedding described above.  However, I was the photographer for each of these shots.)blog2 (1)

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