Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wedding jitters

I performed my first wedding last week and it went really well. Before hand I was super anxious that I would mess something up or that I would do the ceremony but that they wouldn't actually be married. My concern stemmed from the fact that the state never officially granted me authority to marry people. Sure, through my ordination/commissioning they do, but there was never a letter from the state saying "you can now legally perform marriages" or a knighting of sorts that would give me any sort of idea that the state actually recognizes me as an official authority for this sort of thing. So I worried that I would do the service and 10 years from now something would come up and the couple would find out they weren't actually married.

In addition to this anxiety, I also had a horrible nightmare where I basically made a mockery of the whole wedding, completely humiliated the bride, and ruined the day--so much so that the bride interrupted the service and asked security to escort me out. It was bad.

Fortunately when the day came my dad was here to help calm my nerves and send up a few extra prayers. When I got the church the wedding party was running a little behind, which was actually fine because it gave me a chance to shift from "completely nervous nutcase" to "in charge, calm the situation, assure everyone pastor". After a late start we did the service and everything came off without a hitch.

The next week I sent in the marriage license, signed and quadruple checked, and so I assume they are now officially married in the eyes of the state.

But the story doesn't end there, well, mine doesn't anyway. Because a couple days later I was talking with our wedding coordinator and she was telling me about someone who was married, had a couple kids, and then the wife went to change her name and found out that she wasn't legally married--the pastor never turned in the paperwork!! CRAZY! So apparently my paranoia wasn't completely uncalled for. So now there's a possibility that I would do their (re) wedding so they can be official.

But for now, it's planning my friend's wedding (actually just the homily), which is in two weeks!!! Only 17 more days Buddy!

1 comment:

Wendy said...

Not sure how it is in your state, but in Ohio we have to register with the secretary of state to get our civil license to solemnize marriages.