Committed to Us: The Big Decisions – The Officiant

When you begin planning your wedding, everyone will tell you – no matter what happens on the day of, it will be great, because in the end you will have married your sweetheart.  I agree that that is a great result – and of course, the main reason for the whole shebang.  But I also believe we spend a lot of time, effort, and money on making a wedding what we dream it to be.  And if it doesn’t go the way you want – you are allowed to mourn that.  The best example I have of that is my best friend’s wedding in May of 2010.  They had spent months planning a beautiful “country chic” (my term) outdoor ceremony and reception.  And the day of their wedding, was the Great Nashville Flood of 2010.

It was wet and cold.

Were they lucky that they still were able to wed – absolutely.  Were we as friends and family especially fortunate to not only be able to witness this, but to know that we were all safe, and without loss in a time where many of the city couldn’t say the same – without a doubt.  But was my friend allowed to be disappointed, let down and upset about how her wedding day actually went down – I believe, YES.

For those of us that were there that day, yet to wed, I believe she set the bar for rolling with it.  Whatever comes that day, you will survive.  You will see the man that you are marrying be the man you will need him to be forever, a comforter, a supporter, and all around shoulder you can lean on.  Watching her and her husband go through the commotion of a ton of lost deposits, unused food, and smaller guest list than planned, and then an eventual evacuation from their honeymoon suite at the Opryland Hotel helped to show us single gals – that no matter what we go through on our wedding days, we will be ok.

I hung true to that belief and those memories as it seemed Hurricane Irene was going to grace us with her presence just before or possibly even on our wedding day.  But, I knew, what mattered was that no matter what we faced, Dave and I would get through it – together.  We had spent so much time, planning the decorations, and choosing colors and “feelings” that we wanted to have around our day.  But the time spent on these listed items, paled in comparison to the time we spent deciding on an officiant and working on our ceremony.  You see…what really DOES matter most on your wedding day, and what really WILL be accomplished no matter what, are the vows you are making to each other.  The commitment you are making in front of your friends and your family.

Dave and I had many discussions revolving around whether or not we would have my grandfather (known as Papaw to most, a Baptist preacher and all around amazing man) do the ceremony, or if we wanted to find a Justice of the Peace.  As we were uninvolved in a home church at the time, and I wanted very badly for my grandfather to enjoy the day as a guest not a preacher we decided on going with a Justice of the Peace.  Sometimes I wish that we had gone with my grandfather.  Not because Sue (we’ll get to her in a minute) wasn’t AMAZING, but because I think my Papaw would have been able to add in a personal while she was growing up story.  A more familial point of view.

That's Papaw there on the left. And his beautiful wife, my Grandmommy on the right. / Photo by Kristin Korpos

As it was, we had decided to go with a Justice of the Peace, and new pretty much right away who we wanted to use.  While at our same friend’s wedding where we had first heard Brad the DJ, we had heard Susan Green perform the services.  Sue had a calm about her.  She had a way with words that really helped to make you feel connected to the service, and she really had an ability to pull the crowd in so you felt like you were part of the service.  And that was just what we wanted our guests to feel.  We wanted them to know that this day was not just about us, but that we were asking for accountability and support from those who were sharing in this day with us.  So we gave Sue a call, and while she didn’t typically travel so far out for her clients, she made an exception for us (thanks Sue!!!) and said that she would do our service.  We were thrilled!!

Sue - doing her thing! She was seriously amazing! Made it feel so personal. / Photo by Kristin Korpos

So we went to meet with Sue and left with a stack full of ceremony options, reading options, and lots of questions about how we wanted this thing to go down.  We spent lots of weekends tweaking, writing and rewriting our ceremony.  After all, this is what this whole party is for.  In the end, we came up with something that we felt reflected both of us, and conveyed to our guests, that we were appreciative of them being there, and that we understood the seriousness of the vows we were making to each other.

Next up – what we came up with.

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