Exactly one week after announcing our engagement, we attended an Octoberfest-themed First Friday event with some of our local Meet-Up friends and, unbeknownst to the Road Trips, we were about to be given our first (and possibly most awesome) gift of our wedding: a gift of service.
It’s hardly unusual these days to have a friend or family member officiate a wedding, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about it in those first three month of pre-planning, but to ask someone for such a favor seemed like a bit of an imposition. (And, you know, if they said no I’d be really crushed.)
So when friend L asked who we were planning to have marry us, we said we’d probably just hire a notary to do it (as Florida is one of 5 states that allows that sort of thing). And that’s when she asked if we would like her to do it.
We’d only been friends with L and her husband for about a year at that point, and she had assumed we Road Trips were already married. Within a couple of hours of that first introduction L and I were totally on the same wavelength, finishing each other’s sentences and becoming fast friends. And when we announced our engagement not only did she get a moment of ‘I knew it’ for good measure, she was–and still is–the person most excited about our upcoming wedding aside from Mr. Road Trip and I.
First she had to qualify, which meant either becoming a notary or get ordained by one of the online venues that specialize therein. Since we were, at that time, considering venues in Georgia as well as Florida (Thomasville, GA, is actually closer to Tallahassee than our venue in Greenville), she opted for ordination, choosing American Marriage Ministry over the ubiquitous Universal Life Church. Unlike some folks who get ordained to perform a specific ceremony and that’s it, L wanted to be able to offer her services to others, as well, so it was important to make sure the group she affiliated with fit in with her own beliefs.
She’s also been invaluable as photographer on 2 of my 3 dress excursions, researching venues, and keeping us on our toes about getting our ceremony put together.
Because, of course, that’s the beauty of having a friend perform the ceremony: you get to create it from the ground up!