I've been officiating weddings for a while now and one of the things I've learned along the way is that there is nothing like a wedding officiant photobombing a first kiss. When I meet with couples, I tell them that if there is room, I like to step to the side during their first kiss.
This blog was almost titled: "A Little Catch Up" because that's what I feel like I'm doing. October and November have been so full of weddings and joy, but also a few important memorials and sadness. I have to remember that if a balanced life is the goal, then rain helps me enjoy the sunlight, and that the absence of light is a necessary part.
This Thanksgiving I wasn't able to travel to be with my relatives, but I was able to join the family I've chosen, friends, some I've known since childhood. The laughter and good food, conversation, and time was healing.
Yesterday my neighbor called me and let me know that after 19 years of living together, she and her beloved want to officially marry each other. They handfasted and it's been enough, but they are ready to be married and I couldn't be more excited to be a part of their love story.
Today I received an email from an extremely accomplished photographer, Ashley Posthuma @ photographyanthology.com, with photos from an amazing September wedding. Thank you Ashley for these wonderful photos. (Hire her!)
Today I'm off to marry two very beautiful and wonderful people who have been married before. Theirs is a fantastic story about being young and in love, leaving one another, leading a very full life, finding one another again, and being wise and older in love. I am honored to marry them today as they celebrate with family and friends.
I am thankful for my life, for the wonderful people around me, and for the love I receive and give. I am one grateful gal with a mission to lift up love. Thank you for joining me.
Many of the people I serve email me directly. I also use a service called Thumbtack to connect with people looking for non-religious wedding officiants. I responded to one last Monday for a couple looking for a wedding officiant for Saturday. After sending my quote and introduction, I realized that the couple was looking for a spanish speaking officiant. I am not a spanish speaking officiant and quickly contacted the bride to apologize and let her know that I am not fluent in spanish. We started talking and it turns out she was having a hard time finding a bilingual officiant. She talked with her parents about it and they determined that it would be alright. We set the time and date and I sent a copy of the ceremony to her. She loved it and we moved ahead.
I felt so welcomed when I arrived to the ceremony. This was an event that was going to be a justice of the peace wedding and through siblings and family convincing, became something bigger. After meeting with the bride and groom, who were so kind and gracious, I sat with the bride's young niece and we drew pictures in my officiant book while all the guests arrived.
The service was small and intimate. The bride and groom were nervous. The ceremony, one I often use for simple weddings, was beautiful. There were a few people taking pictures and video. After the bride and groom kissed, they stood there - no walk down the aisle. Instead, the most beautiful thing happened. Silently, her parents came up and shook their hands, embraced them, and kissed them. Then his parents came up and shook their hands, embraced them, and kissed them. Still silently, everyone there came up and shook their hands, embraced them, and kissed them. It was magical and I was there to witness this pure and love-driven action.
I don't cry at weddings I'm officiating, there's a switch that flips and my professional face stays put. This was enough to break that down. As I watched everyone line up for their time with the bride and groom, my eyes filled up and I just stood there and watched. The bride's mother and I hugged and I knew that the language of the ceremony didn't matter, that weddings are such an integral part of all cultures - that love is the only sound we heard. And we heard it together.
I had the absolute pleasure and honor of officiating an intimate wedding for two ladies this afternoon. We executed the ceremony in the living room of their beautiful home while two of their friends witnessed. These ladies are in professions where they are not able to be completely out to the world. I respect their privacy and will not use their names or any photos. That’s cool – and it’s something I’ve come across before. There is nothing wrong with asking any of your wedding vendors to respect your privacy. I use social media with pictures of smiling brides, grooms, wedding hashtags, and my own impression of the ceremonies to promote my services, however, there is no self promotion more important than the privacy of those I serve.
This couple invited me to share in their celebration and I am so glad that my schedule allowed for it because I had the most marvelous time. As the wedding officiant, I never assume that I am invited to the reception and am delighted to attend if my schedule permits. The only time I’ve ever had to decline was due to scheduling. Whether to invite your wedding officiant to the reception is completely up to you and your comfort level. Your wedding officiant is not going to have their feelings hurt if no invitation is extended. If you do invite your officiant, you are in no way obligated to entertain them. I’ve attended plenty of wedding and memorial receptions and I always find a connection or three, in fact, it’s my favorite part of receptions.
I love being with people. I like to be human with them – to hear stories, to share my own, to listen to what’s going on in people’s’ lives. I really dig people. Recently I attended a wedding that I didn’t officiate (that was a wonderful experience – it was a Star Wars themed wedding and served as a friend reunion with loved ones we hadn’t seen in 10 years or more) and as guests we were asked to write advice for the grooms. My advice to them was to always try and consider their husband’s point of view and to never turn down a dinner invitation.
Today I took my own advice and had the most wonderful afternoon with these ladies. They are people I would love to spend more time with – just loving and open, the kind of people you want to surround yourself with. We spent time just being human together and it was such a rewarding experience. I am a believer that if we take the time to just be human together, we can learn so much about others and ourselves and little by little – the world will become a much better place.
Time is precious, thank you for yours.
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