I received a phone call from a young man who is in the armed services. He asks if it is possible to get married in the USO at Lambert Airport here in St. Louis. The three things I must have in order to confirm my services is a date, location, and time. "Jeff" was on furlough and had organized a flight for his fiance', "Kathy", to fly into St. Louis. The plan was to meet at the airport, take a taxi to the county clerk's office, go back to the airport, and get married in the USO.
I had the date and the location, but not the time because they were depending on transportation to take them from place-to-place. My schedule allowed me to wait until they called from the county office, and then head out to the airport where I would perform the ceremony before 2:00pm.
I get a call from Jeff around noon and he states his ride to St. Louis was slow and he did not arrive at the airport as soon as he had planned. I told him I wouldn't mind meeting them on the street near the county clerk's office, and then I would drive them to the airport and marry them at the USO.
When I arrived on the streets of Clayton, MO - I meet up with the couple. There is a bit of snow and ice on the ground, but the weather is mild in the mid to upper 30's. Jeff tells me that they can take advantage of the situation and have me marry them on the spot. They could return the marriage license, receive a certified copy, and save time.
Mind you, I barely had their names because we didn't talk for very long on the phone. I have developed a "quickie" wedding ceremony with shorten verses of the question of intent and vows.
On the street, I ask, "Where would you like to go to get married? There is a restaurant across the street. I'm sure they won't mind." Jeff said, why not right here!! His first site of eligible witnesses came from another couple who was leaving the clerk's office, applying for a license for their wedding next week. Jeff asked if they would witness a quick ceremony right here on the sidewalk. A little startled, they said SURE.
I was glad to have my clipboard with me as I look at the documents to view their names so that I could properly address them. After a few "Do yous" and a couple "I Dos" - they were married. The witnesses signed the license and they were on their way.
I went back inside the government building, finished the fill-in-the-blanks on the license that are necessary, and they went back to the clerk's office to process the marriage.
No flowers, no photographs. Just a brief encounter with two people in love with each other.
I dropped them off at the airport, gave them a big hug and watched them walk into the terminal. "Kathy" would wish her new husband a safe trip to Korea, then she will fly back home a married woman and wife.
I'm not sure if you can get a quicker wedding anywhere. Even a wedding chapel hasn't process the license yet. I wish them all the best.