Kelsey Schneck thought that she had all of her wedding plans nailed down well in advance of her September nuptials. The bride and groom had even talked through the backup plan for their outdoor ceremony in case it rained, and both were looking forward to celebrating the wedding with just over 100 of their closest family members and friends.
But as happens with many, if not most, weddings, the very thing she hadn’t anticipated happening, happened. The night before the wedding, during the couple’s rehearsal, their officiant slipped on a gravel driveway and injured herself badly.
“We were not that far into our rehearsal when my officiant fell, which resulted in her breaking her ankle,” Kelsey tells The Knot. “I obviously was concerned about my officiant but my first thought was, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m not getting married tomorrow. I have spent the past year planning this wedding and now I have no one who can legally marry us.’”
Kelsey explains that she had booked their officiant nine months prior to the day, so finding a last-minute replacement within 24 hours felt nearly impossible.
As luck would have it, however, the Schnecks happened to book a caterer who was willing to deliver—in more ways than one.
“Some months ago, I had scheduled for City BBQ to deliver food for the rehearsal dinner,” Kelsey says. “As my officiant is being carried out, I stop the guy delivering our dinner to let him know that I need him to wait a few minutes to bring the food. I then proceed to tell him that unfortunately, my officiant fell and I’m pretty sure she broke something. He then proceeds to tell me that he is an officiant. I honestly don’t believe him at first. [But then] he confirms that he is in fact an officiant and without even knowing what his name is, I ask if he is available tomorrow at 4 and he said yes.”
The couple later found out that the generous caterer’s name was Emmanuel Morales (though he goes by Manny), and that he didn’t have to think twice before extending the offer.
“I could see that she was really upset when we were talking,” Morales told Good Morning America of Schneck. “I was thinking in the back of my head, I can do this. I’m an officiant.”
On the wedding day itself, “almost everything that could go wrong, did go wrong,” according to Kelsey. The rain didn’t let up, meaning that the couple had to move their entire ceremony indoors, but by that point, Kelsey says, she and Andy were just so relieved they would be able to exchange their vows that nothing else mattered.
“I think this story has two important messages,” she concludes. “One being that kindness still exists. A total stranger was willing to help out a girl in need of saving her wedding day. And two, every bride, including me, dreams of their wedding day being perfect. But at the end of the day, it’s about marrying the person standing in front of you and having the love and support of your family.”
Se also found comfort during the “slightly stressful” planning process with the help of technology. “What made it much easier for me was The Knot app,” she says. “It made wedding planning so much easier. I used the timeline and checked everything off that list. There is a lot of planning that goes into a wedding and I had no idea where to start and how far in advance to plan for things so the app was a life saver.”