By Marcus Olah
First-years Emily Kinser and Jayson Wolf were high school sweethearts of three years from Fenton, Michigan, when they both decided to attend Albion College. A conversation with an “ordained minister” convinced them it was time to take the plunge. On Monday, Sept. 12, Kinser and Wolf exchanged vows in a wedding ceremony that was far from legitimate. The proper paperwork still needs to be started for the union to be recognized legally.
Coleman Schindler, an Elk Rapids first-year, came up with the idea for this ceremony when he announced that he was an ordained minister to a group of friends. Schindler’s ordainment through the American Marriage Ministries came about as a joke between a group of friends in his high school AP history class so that they could refer to themselves as ordained ministers. It cost him $10 for the certification card, but the actual ordination can be received for free by anyone at theamm.org. The bride and groom brought their previously-owned promise rings to the hallway wedding, and Schindler gave his blessing.
First-year Joe Roberts from Southfield, Michigan, was in attendance and acted as groomsman to Wolf. He described the event as “chaotic.” Students were crowded around the couple, standing and sitting on the floor. Groomsmen wore ties over T-shirts without a concern for matching. The rest wore other combinations of dorm leisurewear and traditional wedding attire. A student was designated as the father of the bride to give her away. Some girls wore dresses and wedding planners bought white and black roses.
“A lot of people thought it was bad…we thought it was funny,” said Roberts. He recalls some critics of the faux wedding who felt as though “they were taking marriage like too much of a joke.”
No one seems sure what the future holds for the bride and groom. Roberts recalls getting swept up in the event, but now he isn’t quite sure what to think of it. Schindler explains that, while it began as a joke, the wedding ceremony elicited “very high emotion.”
“The bride cried a little bit,” he said. “The audience was almost moved to tears.” He reports that he had fun and would gladly do it again for anyone on campus, for free, if any couples have the need.
Photos courtesy of Joe Roberts
9/22/16, 1:17 p.m. Correction: An earlier version of this article stated that Emily Kinser’s and Jayson Wolf’s promise rings were “prop rings.” The earlier version of this article also misstated Joe Roberts as Wolf’s roommate. Wolf’s roommate is another student not mentioned in the article. We apologize for the misinformation. If there are any mistakes you see in our articles, do not hesitate to let us know.