First self portrait of “married me.” Hey, where’s my wife?!
There’s a new year coming and I’m not ready to be done with the thrill of weddings. So, now that my wedding is finished, let’s focus on yours! I want to keep this rolling!
And by the way, I’ve improved availability and my fee! I’m still available any time on Saturday and Sunday, but now I’m able to perform weddings earlier in the evenings Monday-Friday starting at 5:00pm with fees as low as $200.
Just shoot me a message to get on my calendar for 2016.
The Perfect Wedding Guide Summer/Fall 2015
Check it out! I just got the newest edition of the Perfect Wedding Guide! It’s been super useful for myself and my fiancée in our planning process for our upcoming wedding. The guide is available for free. You can pick one up at David’s Bridal or contact them directly. www.perfectweddingguide.com
Oh, and look… there’s a section on officiants. I think I recognize one of the names in there…
A few weeks ago my fiancée and I became… well, fiancée and fiancé and we started our “Countdown to Married.” Usually you don’t start a countdown until you’re really close to the launch, and we are! We picked a date in October of 2015. So, we gave ourselves a 3 month timeframe to plan and prepare for the wedding day. It seems crazy to most of the people around us, but since we have been planning on getting married for so long that it doesn’t seem that crazy to us to plan the actual wedding event in such a short period of time.
One thing I have noticed is that from the beginning of our engagement we have been doing things together. I mean doing things as a couple, like walking through target with a scanner “booping” things into our registry of course, but also with our friends and family. When my fiancée went to try on dresses she brought my mother, her mother, her best friend, and my sister. We decided to use family rings as well so she and I were having heartfelt conversations with her grandma and my grandma and grandpa. We were having lunches and hearing them tell stories of their own lives and loves. We learned about people we have never met, but who wore rings that we would wear forever.
It is easy to get frustrated in this process. Sometimes you feel like you’re counting on people who aren’t concerned enough about timeframes, details, and things like that. But, counting on others is what this is all about and the people you have to count on and the people that you choose to count on are concerned about one important thing and that is you. They aren’t perfect, but neither are you. If they weren’t a part of the process there would be no point in having a ceremony, because it would be meaningless.
This isn’t a one day party. This is a moment of transformation, fulfillment, and overflowing connectedness. People need to prepare for these types of moments together. Your lady needs to chat with her girlfriends and try on dresses. They need to ask you about colors and things. (And when you don’t have an opinion about something she needs to hear you say that the most important detail is you and her being together forever). Your man needs to BS with his buddies and hear the secrets the married ones have to share and the hopes the single ones disclose. You both need it and everyone around you needs it in order to process, prepare, understand, and then celebrate together on your wedding day.
If the bride has children… if the groom has children… if they both have children, or even if they have children together… the idea of family vows will come up. And it should. Family vows are a way to open up some space in the wedding for the children to be genuine participants in the momentousness of the occasion. But, tread carefully and make your vows simple and clear. Make your vows from your heart and from your head. Because, when a child becomes a genuine part of the momentousness of the occasion adults must become as authentic as possible.
You will have thought or felt some things along these lines as you considered the idea of getting married. You will have said to yourself “I’m not just marrying him/her, I’m marrying her kids too.” That’s not accurate, but it has a weird truthfulness to it. By marrying her you are becoming a caregiver, teacher, protector, etc. etc. etc. for her children. They are not an optional extra, they are part of the package. They are part of who she is, who she has been, and who she will be. Scary? Yep, but relax. People do this and scarier stuff all the time.
If you plan to make family vows part of your wedding the children might want to vow x, y, or z. They can say whatever they like and it will be cute as heck. But children’s vows are different than adults’ vows. Do not let the children be burdened by what they perceive to be promises they will have to keep and allegiances they are making and will have to maintain. No, there are no promises they need to keep or feelings they need to have. The important part of family vows is what the parents say.
Believe me, I’ve got like, so many awesome ideas for family vows, but I’d rather hear from you. Please share about a time when you saw family vows done well by commenting below. If you have witnessed family vows go terribly wrong, please share that too. You might help the rest of us avoid the same mistakes. Maybe you’re considering using family vows, why is it important to you? What might you say? If you’ve already used them, please share about your experience with them. How did family vows affect the wedding and life after the wedding? What did you vow?
You’re all grown up, or at least you pretend to be and finally you’re in a position to make some of your own gosh-darn decisions for your own gosh-darn self. You look out with a mean eye and a raised eyebrow, “Bring it on world, gimme a decision… set it up I’ll knock it on its…” Unfortunately, the world heard you beating your chest, slapping the waves, and taunting the sea. So, voila! A big decision for you.
You can’t go left, you can’t go right, the only way is through. Nothing happens next except through this decision first. Suddenly, you don’t feel so big. You want advice and you seek it out.
One person tells you what to do and you think, “Yeah, that’s what you would do. But what should I do?!” You move on to the next person. This person doesn’t even give you any advice, they just tell you a story from their own life that has vague similarities to your own. The next person you talk to declines to comment, telling you, “It’s your decision to make” and maybe they throw in the old, “I’ll support you no matter what you decide.” You’re like, “I gosh-darn hope so! Why would you even bring that up?!”
You’re going to get advice you don’t like and won’t follow, sympathy from those who care about you, and support from those who love you. But, you are stuck making your own gosh-darn decisions for your own gosh-darn self. And no matter what decision you make it will feel uncomfortable, dangerous, arbitrary, and earth-shattering, because that’s what it feels like when you take the reigns of your life, make your own gosh-darn decisions, and ride off into the sunset… or sunrise… or maybe you want to ride out at high noon… I’ll support you whichever you decide. It’s no one else’s decision to make.
To change your name(s) or not to change your name(s) that is just one question. But, it is not the question today. Instead, take a look in the box… to the left. That’s the box for your “first name.”
There are at least 7 people who I have known for at least 10 years, all of whom have real names that their families gave them when they were born. I don’t know any of those names. I only know their nicknames. It’s been 10 years and I think it’s too late to ask, but also I wonder if it matters.
On your wedding day you might think it matters. You might be convinced either by yourself, your family, or by the magnitude of the event itself… you might be convinced to change your name. You might avoid Jo and instead choose Josephine or skip Reggie in favor of Reginald. Then again you might just choose Big Papa instead of… whatever his family thinks his name is.
In the end it doesn’t matter what you choose. Only the officiant will remember messing up your chosen name. Everyone there knows who is in love with whom and who will be with whom forever. It’s pretty hard to hear through tears of joy anyway.
Eric Clapton sang about “the sunshine of your love.” Shakespeare let slip from Romeo’s lips a mouthful of morning metaphor when he wrote, “…it is the east, and Juliet the sun.” Or something along those lines.
Cliché after cliché stack up and spill over the sides of the metaphor bin, like VHS tapes at gas stations in the middle of nowhere. You can have 4 for a dollar. “That’s okay, I think I already have a copy of Pretty Woman.” 12 for a dollar… “okay, take ’em they’re all yours we’re just going to through them away.”
But these frequently flung phrases are flung so freely because they make visible or taste-able or hear-able the invisible emotional and psychological transformation that happens when you love and are loved.
So, go ahead and get married as the sun rises. And don’t be afraid to say you didn’t even know it was dark until you met the light of your life. And go ahead and say that you didn’t even know you were cold until the radiance of your beloved’s love warmed your skin. I’d love to be there for that.