We had arranged to meet in a park here in North Vancouver and luckily the weather was on our side, warm and dry. A few moments after meeting up, I asked if their witnesses were on their way. Turns out the couple had forgotten that part of our communication and had no one coming. So, I explained that once they had completed filling in the family information portion of the license, we could approach two people walking by who looked like they might have 20 minutes or so to witness the marriage. Completely legal, although seldom done. This would be only the 4th time a couple would be going this route during the close to 450 marriages I have officiated over the past 4.5 years.
As soon as the first part of the paperwork was done and we were ready to invite two strangers to witness, I noticed a young man walking along a nearby path about 30 metres from us, pushing a baby stroller. I turned to the bride and groom and mentioned that we may not want to ask someone with a baby in tow as it may put that person in the awkward position of maybe wanting to help but perhaps needing to get the little one home.
Not 10 seconds later, while we were scanning the rest of the park, the same man, who had momentarily been obstructed from our view by a large tree, reappeared and cautiously approached us. He then asked if we happened to need any witnesses! We could not believe our luck and replied that we certainly did. He then called his wife over who had been walking some distance away from him and as they approached us they both broke out in huge smiles. They explained that I had officiated their marriage last year and were thrilled they could now act as impromptu witnesses for this couple. I recalled their marriage clearly since it was the only time that a couple had done a trail run together first, then jogged over to where their guests and I awaited them in their friend's backyard, still in their running gear.
Needless to say, after the ceremony, all five of us were in a state of awe and overjoyed that serendipity had come out to play at this intimate marriage ceremony, a most welcomed guest creating a lifelong memory for us all.