Category Archives: Officiant

Wedding Work Whirlwind Wrapup

I’m happy to report that Viki and I successfully tackled more than half of our extremely ambitious to-do list for this trip!

  • After a shape/style breakthrough, I finally made serious headway on the bridesmaids’ brooch bouquets.  Look for the tutorial this Sunday on The Broke-Ass Bride!
  • We got the rest of the supplies needed for the DIY invitations.  Wait, except for the custom stamp I keep forgetting to order. Well, most of the rest, then!
  • I successfully convinced Viki that I do not care about escort cards or table number signs and she can do whatever she wants for those as long as it gets people to sit in the right places and does not involve glitter.  Yay delegation!
  • We found a non-custom ring that will probably satisfy Collin’s tremendously picky tastes and unusual preferences for his wedding band.  It is too expensive (the jeweler wouldn’t even tell me how much, just that the designer’s “at cost” quote was higher than my price range), so the jeweler is hunting down similar styles for me. Progress.
  • We acquired the pieces for fabulous mixed metal necklaces for the women in the bridal party and the bridal hootenanny, and laid out the designs for all twelve necklaces. I don’t really care for jewelry and don’t ever wear any other than my engagement ring, but nevertheless this was a really fun project for me. I love the different styles we came up with and can’t wait to see the finished necklaces!
  • We kinda sorta came up with a plan for the chuppah. There was a lot of disagreement about how to properly attach the fabric to the poles. At least we’re working on it?
  • I… um… opened the invitation mail merge in front of Viki? We almost made it to the step where we went through and made sure I know who is a doctor and who is a Mrs., but we scuttled the plan after realizing we were so wiped out from the day’s work that we didn’t even have the energy to eat dinner (not make, EAT).

On the homefront, Collin wasn’t exactly slacking either:

  • He ordered a “super sexy” tux! With details strange enough to prompt the tailor to question, “Are you suuuure you want that?” I don’t get to know what it looks like. Which is only fair I guess, because I’m trying to keep my dress a secret.
  • He asked his cousin Scott to preside over our wedding. We’re self-officiating, but Scott will be our master of ceremonies, so to speak. He talks at large groups of people for a living, so the role suits him.

When I write it out like this with a pesky word counter pointing out my brevity, I feel a little less accomplished. But I’m better off than I was on Tuesday for damn sure, and that will have to do for now.

Do You Take Me? Part II

When I first learned that Pennsylvania offers self-uniting marriage licenses, I dismissed it as “not right” for Collin and my wedding.  Mostly because I think we are both going to cry a lot during our wedding ceremony, so we couldn’t be the emcees, so to speak.

Then the time came (and went, we are WAY behind schedule on this) to find an officiant, and nothing felt right.  None of the rabbis from Collin’s family’s temple were available, and I didn’t want to rush into finding a rabbi here on the slim chance I could get him or her for our wedding (because I am converting to Judaism for our children, not for our wedding, I am putting it off until after the wedding so I have one less thing to worry about).  All of the for-hire wedding officiants we looked at seemed too Christian or too new Agey (or too expensive or too overbooked). Finding a judge makes me grumpy because it reminds me of my stalled legal career.

What I really wanted, I kept saying, was to have a friend ordained online and have him or her officiate.  But the legal status of that type of wedding ceremony is up in the air in Pennsylvania, and I don’t want the headache of having my marriage invalidated.

Then I heard a friend of a friend got around that problem by using a self-uniting marriage license, but still having someone else preside over the ceremony.  As long as we say, “I take you as my husband” and “I take you as my wife” and have two witnesses sign our self-uniting marriage license, we’ll be married.

Collin is in love with this idea.  He wants to have our ceremony be lead by our families and us, as a group.  We know that writing it and practicing it will not be easy, but the end result will be the most meaningful, wonderful, right-feeling thing we could do.

And I agree.  But…

1. I’m still concerned about legal issues. A few years ago, Allegheny County (where I live) denied a couple a self-uniting marriage license because they could not prove they were of a faith without clergy.  A federal judge told them to cut that out in 2007.  Hopefully that means we’d be safe, but I still scared that I’ll show up at the courthouse 60 days before our wedding to get that license, be denied, and have to find a real officiant with only two months to go.

2. I feel like I’m guilty of cultural appropriation. Self-uniting marriages are available in Pennsylvania because of the Quaker population.  Collin and I are not Quaker, and have no intention of ever joining the Society of Friends.  Is having a self-uniting marriage along the same lines as when a Christian couple uses a chuppah?  Or worse?  I’m using the mechanism of their marriage ceremony because it is convenient to me.  It feels icky and wrong to have a Reverend (even a non-denomination one who promises to not mention Jesus) marry us because we aren’t Christian, so shouldn’t it feel icky and wrong to marry ourselves when we are not in the Society of Friends?

3. Can we pull this off? This is the DIY project to end all DIY projects.  Can we really write and perform our own wedding ceremony without any help from a pro?

Please, I am BEGGING for input and advice on this issue.  If you think I’m being a selfish, privileged, nasty cultural appropriator, tell me.   If you think the ceremony will be a clusterfuck without a proper officiant, tell me.  If you think I’m going to have the best wedding ever if I do this, tell me. Please please please weigh in.

Our Wedding Loses AGAIN

Former President Bill Clinton reportedly presided over Rep. Anthony Weiner’s wedding yesterday.

And now I will never be satisfied with any officiant we choose, because he or she will not be a former president of the United States.  And he or she will not be William Jefferson MFing Clinton, that’s for damn sure.

Not a contest, not a contest, not a contest.

Do You Take Me?

In today’s Bar Review class1 I learned that, in Pennsylvania, you can officiate your own wedding if you file the appropriate paperwork.

I don’t know if Collin and I are talented enough at public speaking to pull that sort of thing off… but it’s nice to know it is an option.

1Isn’t it great when actual responsibilities and wedding obsession dovetail like that?