"What do you DO, exactly?"

Posted by on Nov 28, 2012 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

"What do you DO, exactly?"
Has God been invited to your wedding?

Dear Engaged Couples—

    When you engage my services, I, your wedding officiant, will suggest that we meet at least twice—once, basically, so that we can find out if we are simpatico.  You know, it is true that sometimes the personality blend may not be quite right.  I honor that, and I hope you do, too.  No use forcing an uncomfortable relationship. 

If we ARE indeed simpatico, then at that first meeting we move on from polite conversation to talk about the logistics of your wedding.  Most probably though, those logistics will be in general terms. You may not know yet how many people will be in your wedding party, for instance, or what kind of music you will have (if at all). You may not have decided whether you will be writing your own vows, or using traditional ones.   What I DO hope to get from you at our first meeting, though,  is whether yours is to be a religious or a non-religious, albeit spiritual,  wedding or as another celebrant puts it, “Do you intend to invite God to your wedding?”  That will give me a headstart in putting your service together.     

The second meeting is scheduled for a time close to the day of your wedding.  Please don’t assume that in the interim period, that is, between our first and second meetings, I have forgotten you—that your file is on the top of a file cabinet gathering dust. That is not the case. Your file folder is always on my desk, and I refer to it at least a half dozen times, I promise, between those two meetings.  I stay in contact with you throughout the time of our relationship.  We bounce ideas off each other, ask questions of each other. You send me your program, for me to fact-check and ferret out those dastardly type-o’s. I contact you, maybe to find out if you have decided on a time for the rehearsal or to get the name and phone number of your wedding planner.  No, the reason I try to schedule the second meeting near the time of your wedding, is simply so that if there is fall out—I’m talking here about a major change in plans, we can discuss those then.  Things happen. It’s a common phrase in all languages.  In French it’s des choses arrivent, in Spanish it’s cosas sucede ; in Greek it’s pragmata soumbainoun.   The phrase is common to all languages, because it’s a common occurrence the world over.  Stuff definitely happens. 

So for instance, several years ago I got a call from an anxious bride.  The wedding was still on but her hapless groom had fallen down a flight of stairs.  He would be coming to the wedding in a wheel chair.  This was a Jewish wedding so we had to think through not only how he would maneuver himself down the aisle, but how he would squeeze his chair under the smallish chuppah  (canopy) and how he and his bride would stomp on the traditional wine glass with enough force to actually break it. (He raised himself up in his chair by pushing on the arm rests to do the deed).   Again, stuff happens.   

Of course, if you decide on premarital counseling sessions, we see each other more frequently.  I generally hold two 1 ½ hour sessions with couples I counsel.   I recommend these, just so you have an opportunity to talk through personality differences, financial worries, extended family dynamics, that sort of thing with me offering what I know about such things gained from years of study as well as personal and professional experience. 

All to say, yours truly does not twiddle her thumbs where your wedding is concerned.  It’s an important day in your life, but it’s also an important day in my life.  It’s what I love best. 
Blessings to you all.  Your Wedding Preacher


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *