Making it Legal

When I think of a wedding officiant, the first thing to comes to mind is the old priest in the movie, The Princess Bride.

“Mawige. Mawige is what brwings us togedda today.”

Check out this You Tube link if it’s been a while since you’ve watched Westley the stable boy rescue Princess Buttercup from Prince Humperdinck.

The wedding officiant is the most important vendor you’ll hire on your wedding day.  Believe it or not, a wedding can actually happen without including flowers, a photographer, videography, music and food. We booked the ceremony location, but Chuck and I are still working on that special person to actually make the whole thing legal.

Though Chuck and I were brought up Catholic, our current religious beliefs are, well, nonexistent. Getting married in a church, any church, with its built in officiant, would be done just to appease our still-Catholic relatives and would start our marriage off on a dishonest foot.

I’m sorry, Nonna.

There were only a handful of weddings I’ve been to where the couple had an actual relationship with the officiant. Those were the most personal ceremonies, in my opinion, because the officiant could share his own  stories of how he’s watched the couple grow.

Then you have the guy that chats with the couple at the rehearsal, takes a few mental notes then regurgitates it the next day while mispronouncing the bride or groom’s name.

That’s exactly what I’d like to hear on my wedding day.

“AReeyella/Areelia/Mariella/Ariel/Areiola do you take Charles to be your husband?”

I don’t know who that chick is, but I know I do.

The fact that we’re planning from 550 miles away doesn’t make the process any easier because interviewing our prospective officiant has to be done over the phone, which is almost as impersonal as email.

I’d much rather have a friend or family member get a one day pass from the Town of Islip to perform our ceremony, a la Joey on Friends, than some stranger. Friends and family, I know you’re reading this and I’m taking volunteers.

If we do go the stranger route I’ll just have to force our officiant to practice my name beforehand.


7 thoughts on “Making it Legal

  1. i’d recommend mine but i wasn’t too pleased. We did the “get religious officiants to appease our religious family” except that I am Jewish and Rob is Roman Catholic. Our minister was better than the Rabbi mostly because the Rabbi went a little too “Jewish” at the ceremony (which I specifically told her i want to tone down the Jewish-ness as much as possible.) She seemed ok with it at the time, but then on the day of the wedding all of a sudden she has me reciting my VOWS in hebrew. It took me for a loop and you can actually see me in the video when she says repeat after me and then starts speaking hebrew and i’m like, Wait….what!? I guess I always pictured saying my vows in English like NORMAL PEOPLE. The minister wasn’t much better, she let the Rabbi take over too much which again made it too Jewish. I would’ve been happy with just a justice of the peace or a friend but the families would flip. take my advise, if you are not religious, don’t go that route even if it will dissapoint your family.

    • That’s exactly what I’m worried about! Chuck and I were definitely going the non-religious route, but I’m even worried about a justice of the peace screwing up the whole ceremony. Thanks for the feedback, Jess!

  2. i don’t remember if i spoke to you about this already or not, but you may want to look into an officiant who comes from the Old Catholic Church. that’s, in a nutshell, the more laid-back version. their priests don’t have to practice celibacy, for one (ours was married–to a new-agey woman–with kids and dogs), and for two, the wedding ceremonies are much more flexible. we had Rev. Callahan (who will also let you call him Father Callahan, if that pleases you). he can do a wide variety of ceremonies. he was really good about letting us dictate what we wanted. he also has different outfits for the ceremony, so you can choose something very catholic priesty or not.

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