Forever, Together - Seattle Wedding Officiants
- Shoreline, WA 98155
- (206) 920-3115
|Rated 5.0 in 51 Reviews|
"Ho, Hum, Another Wedding"
Okay, admit it. You’re halfway through the “high” season, wedding number 74 is now a memory, and the phone rings. You answer, and immediately hear the breathless voice of another gushing bride-to-be.
“Andy” (or Eric or Josh or Connor or Sam) “and I are so truly blessed. We met on eHarmony, started e-mailing each other and it was instant chemistry, Kismet, love at first ‘tweet!’ We want our wedding to be as unique and spiritual and passionate and etc. etc. etc. as we’ve been for each other over these incredible three months! We’re looking for an Officiant with whom we really connect, soul-to-soul, a kindred spirit!” And so on, and so forth.
The phone call (finally) ends with a meeting arranged, a good start, and you’re wondering idly how many times you’ve listened to this same blissful rant from panting young (and not so young) couples who sincerely believe they have found the ultimate love, the one in a zillion, unique in human history. That little voice in your head, the one who remembers performing 350 weddings for couples who sounded remarkably like the latest one, is reminding you that (yawn) you’ve heard it all before.
In other words, you’ve become jaded! It’s understandable to anyone who’s been doing this for more than a few months. In the eyes of every loving couple, their wedding is the wedding, the event of the century, unique, ineffable, the most special of specials. To you, if you’re not careful and thoughtful and compassionate, it’s just another gig, another few hundred bucks, one more afternoon at the Country Club. Understandable? Absolutely. But is it unavoidable? I don’t believe so…but as with any job you’ve done for a long time, how successful you are ultimately comes down to attitude.
My wife and I have done several hundred weddings over the last few years. Taken at face value, I could legitimately say that most of them were pretty much the same; other than the predictable differences in venue, bridesmaids’ dresses and appearances of the principal players, for the most part, a wedding is a wedding is a wedding, right? But to the people who are personally involved in the moment and the event, a wedding is so much more, and we who perform wedding-related services would do well to remember that.
A line in one of our ceremonies says it best: “To the whole world, you are but one person, but to one person, you are the whole world.” When the Officiant forgets how personal, how heartfelt, how emotionally loaded the wedding day is for the bride and groom (and their families and friends), it’s easy enough to become cynical. When that happens, then your job really is just a job…and couples pick that up from you instinctively. They want to believe that everyone involved in their special day feels just as fervent and enthusiastic about it as they do.
Notice I said, “want to believe.” Because in the greater scheme of things, it probably doesn’t matter if you actually share their belief that they are the perfect couple, whose union was ordained at birth. What matters is that you bear in mind that they feel this way, sincerely, passionately…and that their wedding is always, and only about their feelings. It’s not complicated, but the longer you’ve been doing this, the tougher that becomes.
The best Officiants are no different than other professionals who strive to excel. Since the job relies so heavily on empathy, we have two choices: act empathetic…or be empathetic. Act empathetic, and often a couple won’t be able to tell the difference, especially if you’re a good actor. You’ll do a respectable job, collect your fee and move on to the next booking.
But actually be empathetic, and you might be lucky enough to share in the spirituality of the moment, even if you’re only able to maintain it for the moment…and you’ll come away from each wedding as if it was a new and exciting adventure. In other words, in the couple’s book of wedding memories, instead of being a punctuation mark, you might end up being a whole paragraph.
"First entry of many...I hope."
Most Officiants like to wax poetic about the wonderful couples they marry, and of course we feel that way about our couples, too. But honestly, one of my favorite things about performing weddings is that, after being married for 17 years myself (and with Joanne for nearly 25), I have found a way to remind myself of why marriage matters and why it's such a great idea.
Being wedding officiants has, among many other positive benefits, helped both of us put the fun back into our own marriage, even as we have tried to give new couples a joyous, fun and memorable wedding day.
Life is full of surprises.