The Age, Melbourne, Saturday, January 19, 1901
ABSENT MINDED BRIDEGROOMS.
MEN WHO MISSED THEIR OWN WEDDINGS.
At Ipswich recently, says a London contemporary, a marriage was about to take place when it was discovered that the bridegroom was not present. Nobody had seen or heard anything of him, and the greatest confusion reigned until, some twenty minutes after the hour appointed for the service, his brother appeared on a bicycle, with the news that the missing gentleman was too busy to come, but would present himself at church on the following day.
When the wedding party reassembled at the time mentioned the bridegroom was present, but this time the bride had absented herself. A search was instituted, and she was found at her home, arrayed in wedding dress, but evidently determined to pay her fiance back in his own coin. She yielded, however, at last, and this eccentric pair were successfully united.
Most men are apt to be nervous on the last evening of their bachelor life, and a man living in a town near Bristol was no exception. So agitated, indeed, was he that he had to take a powerful opiate before he could get to sleep.
The draught proved instantly successful, and he was soon asleep. But, unfortunately, in his nervousness he had mixed so strong a dose that, when the appointed hour arrived, he was still in a deep stupor. Nor did he awake until late in the following afternoon, when he found everybody in the greatest consternation, thinking that he was in a cataleptic trance, from which he would never awake. Luckily for all concerned the drug left no bad effects, and the marriage was celebrated at the earliest possible moment.
A ludicrous case occurred recently where both bride and bridegroom missed the wedding. On the wedding morning the bridegroom received a letter from the bride informing him that she had changed her mind and had married a more favored rival at a registry office that morning. Curiously enough, the bridegroom had himself sent a letter the night before begging her to release him from his engagement, as he was certain that they could never be really happy together.
Cases of either the man or the woman saying “No” when the marriage service requires them to say “Yes,” though rare, have been known to happen. Several years ago a man lost his intended wife in this way owing to his irritable temper. On the marriage day he had been the victim of a number of small accidents, and, thinking himself alone, he had indulged in some strong language, which the lady happened to overhear, and thinking that life with a man of such bad temper would be most unpleasant, caused a unique sensation by saying “No” instead of “Yes,” and walking out of the church. Nor could all the arguments of the bridegroom induce her to relent.
Originally published in Tit-Bits, November 24, 1900, as Wodehouse’s first paid contribution to a periodical of general circulation, as opposed to magazines aimed at a schoolboy readership.