About a month ago, my oldest friend (we met in first grade), called me and said she was going to elope and was there any way I could get officiated, travel up to Bellingham, and marry she and her brand-new-fiance in exactly one month. There was no way I was going to miss the marrying off of someone I've been through all manner of life experiences with. Ben asked for a weekend off, we booked a hotel, and slated the four hour drive for the calendar - July 11th. A week ago, she let me know she'd invited a few other people to the elopement and the elopement was no longer; it was a surprise wedding. The guests thought they were attending a pot-luck. By Saturday morning, there were 30-40 attendees and I was all of a sudden actually officiating an intimate wedding.
On the morning of, we got to my friend's house and spent some time with her little family (fiance, puggle, and foster baby) and watched the rain sprinkling on and off over the tall evergreens of Bellingham. Rain is good luck on your wedding day (says everyone trying to calm a bride) and despite the wedding being outside in a park on the bay and susceptible to a downpour, my friend was calm and the show just proceeded as planned. When she arrived at the park and everyone was asked to gather near a little point on the water, the rain let up and a break in the clouds allowed for us to perform a short and sweet (and very emotional) ceremony.
The surprise was apparent on everyone's faces (spontaneous tears and shock), and it was clear that my friend has found a wonderful family in her fiance's family. Everyone was elated to see them together and spoke of how great they were as a team. There's little that makes you happier than seeing someone you've known and wished the best for (for 21 years) find someone that makes her happy and whole.
P.S. This is the dress I wore to officiate. But with some flat sandals as it was a surprise pot-luck, after all.