"I do…I mean, I don’t!" 

Cold feet! You know what it is, right? In the months prior to the wedding it is apparently a common emotional experience. A UCLA survey determined that, at times, in flitting thoughts, 38% of engaged individuals feel some level of panicked uncertainty.  In some surveys the number is as high as 82% with a caveat— psychologists agree that it is quite normal. What I was hoping to learn in my research, however, is more than knowing who gets cold feet but a variant of the question; You’ve probably witnessed it in the movies. It’s the scene at the alter where the bride or groom realizes that their other half is not going to show. Maybe you’ve seen an even more dramatic version: the minister asks “Do you take X as your lawfully bla-bla-bla …” and we see the grimace of doubt, a horribly long pause, and suddenly he (groom) or she (bride) leaps off the podium and bolts for the exit.  So my question is, does this really happen in real life, and if so how often?  As a wedding photographer whose shot several hundred weddings, I’ve never witnessed anything close to it—at one wedding,  the bride arrived 3 hours late due to a complication and all the while the groom kept drinking. By the time the ceremony started he was so drunk he needed to be propped up and he slurred his “I do,” and later puked. I figured some have seen worse. So I began asking the question. For my research, I’ve interviewed Kauai’s best known wedding ministers and officiants.