This week my fiancée and I finally had the pleasure of meeting our marriage officiant in person. Not that we had any doubts, but it’s nice to affirm that you’ve made the right choice. Sometimes, you can just feel when fate is on your side, and this was one of those times.
Back in November, I hadn’t given much thought to who would officiate our wedding. I’d done some minor preliminary research online, but I didn’t feel like I needed to rush; our wedding date seemed so far off, and after all, it’s on a Wednesday evening. I did get a little worried about the cost- we hadn’t budgeted very much to pay for the officiant plus the marriage license, and it seemed that the ‘going rate’ was double or more what we had planned.
Then one day I got a Facebook message from an older cousin of mine, who lives about an hour away. She told that she had been the highest bidder in a silent auction for the United Way, and she thought the prize was a wooden Irish goblet (our family is of Irish decent, so the item appealed to her). What she didn’t realize until she got it home, was that it included a 50% off certificate for a personalized, Celtic-inspired ceremony– either for a memorial service or a wedding!!!
I mean, really. What are the chances? We want a Celtic-inspired wedding, but I don’t know where to turn to find the right officiant, and this just falls into our lap? Serendipity fo’ sho’.
I sent the Reverend an email, and received a lovely response. Then we spoke on the phone and I got the same good feeling from her. When I finally got around to addressing the, uh, lesbian issue, she replied that it was no problem at all, that she believes love is love in all its forms, and in fact her first husband was gay. I knew then and there that she was the perfect officiant for us.
A few weeks ago she sent us our first draft of the ceremony. I teared up reading it over because the reality of my imminent marriage really sunk in. Marrying the love of your life and making a lifelong commitment is a big, emotional deal! However, there were of course changes we wanted to make, and that is what we discussed at our face to face meeting.
In person she is just as lovely as I would have expected; kind and sweet. I could tell she was genuinely happy for us and not at all uncomfortable with our lifestyle. She responded positively to all our proposed changes to the script, and it was a relief to know that she is completely dedicated to crafting the ceremony to be exactly the way we want it, not tied to traditions or ‘this is the way it’s supposed to be done’.
Currently, our sequence of events is:
Procession, with silent honouring of the four directions/elements, and casting the circle
Spiritual reading by a friend
Remembrance (acknowledging deceased family and friends)
Statement of Intent and Consent
Vows and Ring Exchange
Blessing of hands/Handfasting
Group declaration of support
Signing of the Register
Newlywed toast with the Irish Wedding goblet
Closing words and final blessing
Planning the wedding ceremony has now become my favourite part of this whole process. Because really, this is the heart of it all. Decorations, flowers, what appetizers you have… none of that is as sacred as the ritual you create together to express your love and devotion to one another, to share and be witnessed by your beloved guests.
How did you find your officiant? Did you have a choice, or was it someone that you already knew, either through family and friends or your church/spiritual group? Did you have a set, traditional ceremony, or did you create it yourselves?