Thursday, January 26, 2012

For as long as we both shall ...

Her:  Do you say "til death do us part" in the vows?

Me:  I can, if you want me to.

Her:  No, that's okay - I mean obviously we know it ends in death.

Me:  I usually say "as long as we both shall live."

Her:  Oh, can we change that?  I mean, you can live a long time and we all know that people fall out of love with each other.  Can we change live, to love?

Me:  Okay, so you want me to say "as long as we both shall love."

Her:  Yeah, I mean, let's be real here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Things better left unsaid (PART ONE ... since we all know there will be more!)

Things that should never be said, heard, or done during a wedding ceremony ... (We'll just call this PART ONE, since we all know there will be more ...)

(1) another woman's name during the vows 

(2) stuffed animals should never speak during the vows even if they are dressed in a tuxedo and gown and the humans are dressed in dirty jeans and sweats

(3) the word fornication should never EVER never EVER be said during the ceremony, for any reason

(4) the phrase "fabrications in your heads" should really never be part of the ceremony, really

(5) the phrase "you commit to do what your partner needs sexually and sensually" should never be something the wedding celebrant has to say as part of the ceremony, really

(6) the question "are you ready and willing to try your best to hold your commitment to each other" just seems inappropriate for a wedding vow ... it sounds like you're already admitting defeat

(7) telling the celebrant that there will be a ring exchange and then "faking it" because you think rings are required ... and thinking the celebrant won't notice ~

Some things that should never be said while scheduling the wedding ceremony:

(1) does he need to be there?   (and yes, by "he" - the bride was, in fact, referring to the groom)

(2) oh, no I don't need your address, you are in the same building as [NAME], right? ... because she performed my last wedding

Some things that you never want to learn after the wedding ceremony:

(1) Can I get an annulment?  that was the WORST night of my life!

(2) I received this voice mail message about a year after performing the wedding.  It relays some very tragic news and some even more disturbing information:  "umm, I was wondering if we could get our wedding annulled?  we had a baby, and the baby died because we are first cousins.  my mother and his mother are sisters and they have the same mother"

(*** if you want to know more about any of these - just let me know and I'll blog more about that "incident" ***) 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I take you ... again ...

Occasionally I get a call to perform a ceremony for a couple that had a cultural ceremony (typically African) already back in their home country and are simply looking to renew their vows and legalize their wedding here in the United States.  I got one of those calls today from the courthouse and agreed that they could come over right away.  They needed to finish by 11:30 and it was already almost 11.  While completing the paperwork for them (quickly because of the 11:30 deadline) I discovered that they had already had a cultural ceremony in their country.  While talking about their cultural ceremony and how both families are typically involved in the ceremony, I asked how long ago it was ... they said 3 years.  I just laughed and said, "wow, take your time, you don't want to rush in to anything." Seeing the humor in the 11:30 deadline when they've had 3 years to do this, they laughed too.

While performing the ceremony itself, I "tweaked" a few places to reflect that they were marrying each other again. 

First, I had the bride repeat the vows after me.
  ((I [NAME] take you [NAME] again, to be my wedded husband.  To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.  I promise to love you, cherish you, and be faithful to you, for as long as we both shall live.))

Then, I had the groom repeat the vows after me ... which is where we all got another good laugh ... again.

Me:  I [NAME] take you [NAME]
Him: I [NAME] take you [NAME]
Me: again
Him: I [NAME] take you [NAME]
Me:  again
Him:  I [NAME] take you [NAME]

At this point the bride and I lost it laughing and both said, no I [NAME] take you [NAME] AGAIN to be my wedded wife.

After we regained control of our laughter -  he made his way through the rest of the vows.  As they walked out the door of my building - he turned around and with a very wide grin said "Thank you ... AGAIN!!"

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Religion of Bridesmaids and Stuff Like That. (UPDATED)

... sometimes, all I have to do is type out the conversation.  This is one of those times.

Her: I just have a question about the justice of the peace and weddings.
Me: Ok. What would you like to know? (answered basics re: cost, etc.)
Her: Do you perform religious ceremonies?
Me: No, I am authorized to perform civil ceremonies.
Her: So that means no bridesmaids and stuff like that?
Me: ... pause ... umm ... no, that's not what it means. It means I am not authorized to perform a ceremony that involves God or whatever religious beliefs you may follow....for that you would need to find a priest, or minister, authorized in Virginia that follows your religious beliefs.

*Who knew there was a religion centering around "bridesmaids and stuff like that"? JUST.WOW.

 UPDATE:  Gee I Do Too!    Jan 18, 2012 12:36 PM
And one of my friends' response to this conversation: Remember in the Bible where it says, "and thou shalt join in matrimony in the presence of no fewer than three ladies in frumpy attire and an even number of men in rented tuxedos"...I think it was in the Book of Inexplicable Social Conventions.

 UPDATE: Gee I Do Too!     Jan 24, 2012 12:13 PM
Remember the religion of bridesmaids girl? Yeah, she just called again to confirm her appointment - and give me a few more nuggets like: "Oh, no, we haven't gotten our license yet - we're going to go on Thursday because I already have Court on Thursday" ... and "I think I'll be more nervous for the big reception we're going to throw this spring, then the small dinner ceremony and actual wedding we're going to have with you" ... and "okay, should I call you sometime and maybe again on Saturday to, you know, see where you are and everything?" ...