I remember most of my 600 marriages to date, and some have been quite unique, but there are a few that stick in the forefront of my memory. One such ceremony, took place at Waterton National Park Alberta. It was a beautiful summer day, and everybody was in a joyful mood, The Marriage ceremony was located on the beach, and they had constructed an arch with driftwood, tied together so the wood wasn’t damaged.
The couple had indicated they may go for a boat ride afterwards and was anxious to start the festivities. I had noticed a park warden’s pickup truck parked on the road adjacent to the area in which we were gathered, and I wondered if we were doing something wrong. The warden didn’t seem to be concerned about us, so I didn’t mention it to the couple. The marriage ceremony went as planned and Alberta gained another married couple. When my work was completed, I walked back to my car, in doing so I had to pass by the park warden. He was smiling and seemed to be in a good mood, so I nodded to him and remarked about it being a beautiful day. He then told me why he was there. The Park Office had received a call about the gathering on the beach, and about a Grizzly Bear being in the area. He was there, watching the bear, who was located by the edge of the bush, sitting watching all of us. The warden told me that the Grizzly left just before I had pronounced the couple Man and Wife. I think maybe the bear was a confirmed bachelor and couldn’t “bear” the though of losing his freedom. The park warden asked me not to tell the people about the grizzly until later, he didn’t want people to panic. This is the first time I spoke of it except when I told my wife upon returning home later that day. I enjoy every ceremony I perform, I am after all being in the presence of happy people.