I performed my first wedding as an ordained minister!! Ok, this post has really nothing to do with financial independence. But how cool is it to officiate a wedding!!! For realies!! 🙂
I was super exited to be asked to join together two very dear friends of mine and happy to report I didn't cry and didn't mess up the ceremony. 🙂 Thank goodness. ha!
So lets go back because I am obviously jumping ahead. When they asked me, I was not legally allowed to perform a wedding.
To become a minister of the Universal Life Church (Thank you Google!!), I had to register with them on their website. That's it. There are millions of folks out there who have becomed ordained ministers. Some of the more famous ministers are Lady Gaga, Stephen Colbert, The Rock, Richard Bronsan and even Ben Cumberbatch (Dr Strange).
I called the local Register of Deed's in the county I performed the wedding and they verified they recognize the Universal Life Church. For good measure, even though it was not a requirement, I purchased two documents Letter of Good Standing and Proof of Ordination.
Really there isnt much to it. The list of things I was responsible for were:
Make sure the couple goes to city hall and get their marriage license (can get it up to 60 days prior to the wedding day).
Make sure the couple brings the marriage license to the ceremony.
Mare sure the couple has two witnesses to sign the marriage license.
Write the ceremony and vows (no the couple didnt want to write their own).
Attend and coordinate ceremony at the rehersal.
File the marriage license with the Register of Deeds.
I cant stress how much fun this was. I met with “the couple” once together to talk about the ceremony and even brought with me a sample wedding service to get a feel for what they are looking for. (And for the record, I was geeking out a little. ok A LOT.) 😀 Both were in agreement that the service should be non-religious, informal and short. check!
Then I met with them each individually to ask them 5 questions. I told them their answers might be used in the wedding ceremony. The questions were:
How did you meet?
What initiall drew you together?
What was your proposal like?
What do you like most about “A”?
What is your best adventure you have had together?
Even though I know them both and was already familiar with how they met (a-hem at work) and how the relationship came to be, it was still fun to ask and hear the little details they shared.
As requested, the ceremony was short, non-religious and informal. I kept the fun parts of the ceremony a secret until the day of, as a special surprise. At the rehearsal, we went through the ceremony 3 times to make sure everyone was comfortable and knew their roles as well as when it was their turn.
If they wanted changes, this is the time for them to tell me… no changes. Ceremony written and practiced. Check!
The wedding was held at their home. Intimate, personal and perfect for a small wedding. I got there almost 3 hours early to help out with any last minute details. Everything was moving like clock work.
I hung out with the bride mot of the time and cant remember the last time I had seen her so nervous. lol… oh wait, I can … it was when she was leaving the company (we met at work too). I was in charge of pulling together a Farewell Party for her. The theme… a good old fashion roast. I told everyone to bring their best story and if they didnt have one about her to make one up and we would try to guess which ones were real. Now THAT was a party!!!! Even I could not have predicted all the stories that came up. LOL!!
Back to the wedding… 🙂
I wore a simple summer blue dress. The groom was in a grey suit. The bride was stunning in an offwhite dress with grey embroidered flowers around the skirt part.
The music started and just like in reheasal, everything went off perfectly. They loved the stories I stitched together on how they met, what the proposal was like and my personal favorite, sharing what they each love most about the other. While the couple came close, neither cried. 🙂
Would I do it again?
In thinking about it, this ordination could be a great little side gig… cause I would definitely do it again!
For anyone out there (in the US) looking for a minister to officiate a wedding or batism – I am your woman! Ha!
And YES, I would absolutely travel outside of the country to officiate a wedding. Why not! Even though I know some Italian and Spanish, I would still want to perform the wedding in English.