Monday, May 31, 2010

The Ceremony: Somebody's Gotta Do It

Wedding officiants. You can't have a wedding ceremony without one. Yes, they sign the paperwork and organize a 20-30 minute ceremony. But honestly...that's it. So WHY do they have to be so costly?

We're on a tight budget, so I definitely did my research. I e-mailed numerous officiants. $400. $500. One reverend even said he "asks for a $700 donation." $700? You've got to be kidding. At this point I'm thinking: Can we just have my little brother, some family member, ordained online?

Luckily, my future mother-in-law, upon hearing our frustrations, found a local officiant with good reviews and offered to pay for his services as a gift! Thank you very much!

A little about our ceremony: Groom 3000 and I are not particularly religious, so we're not getting married in a church. Our ceremony will be in the evening on an outdoor patio at the same venue as our reception. Very convenient for our guests! The ceremony site looks out over the entire golf course with the Catoctin Mountains rising in the horizon. It looks beautiful at sunset!

Groom3K and I did not know much about what we wanted in our ceremony, only that we want it to be about 30 minutes (it's an important moment and deserves substance) and we want to write our own vows. Other than that, no clue.

In comes Pastor Bill.

Pastor Bill's been doing this for a while and will offer us documents with examples of readings and unity ceremonies, tips on how to write your own vows, and sample ceremony timelines. AWESOME. I can't wait to see them! A few interesting snippets from our conversation:

1) He asked if any of our family members were particularly religious. My grammy is a fairly devote Catholic and was kinda shocked to hear I would not marry in a Catholic church. Pastor Bill suggested we include a sample from the Bible in our readings. He called it "throwing grandma a bone." I think this could be a great homage to my Catholic upbringing.

2) Because of our outdoor ceremony location, Pastor Bill advises us to not opt for a unity candle ceremony. For those unfamiliar, a unity candle ceremony involves the mother of the bride and groom lighting a candle each, and the bride and groom lighting their own candle from those flames and joining them in another bigger candle--unifying the flames and the families. Groom3000 is very interested in having this ceremony as a part of our wedding (both his and my parents did this) and was disappointed when Pastor Bill said it probably won't work (a blown out candle is not a positive symbol at a wedding). Momma3000 had a great idea--use hurricane glasses to protect the flames!
Photo Source:

3) Something that caught me off guard: Pastor Bill does not write the majority of his ceremony speech until the day before the wedding! "I'm a procrastinator," he said. At first, this freaked me out. Um, a little unprepared, no? His explanation: he likes to include any last minute details that may come up at the wedding rehearsal, and, he has to "get in the zone." As a writer, I know ALL about getting in the zone--waiting for days until the inspiration fairy finally finds you.

So cross "Find an officiant" off the list. WOOT! I think I like the idea of exploring cake options next. I'm not a huge fan of cake, but Groom3000 could be the president of the fan club.


  1. We are on the hunt for our officiant as we speak, which is scary cuz the wedding is less than 4 months away now!! EEEE I don't like this one bit, but the person we thought would do it can't and c'est la vie! Glad to hear you found a good one!

  2. Hey there! I am learning a lot from your blog, keep up the posts or my summer is going to get extremely boring!

  3. I totally went the way of having a friend become a justice of the peace for a day and marry us. Much more relaxed! Now we're just having a good family friend be the MC at the wedding and having the same friend perform the civil ceremony in front of everyone at the wedding. Anything is possible :)

  4. Yikes! I still need to scratch this off my to do list, kind of hard to have a wedding without an officiant huh? :P