A few years ago, a dear friend of my daughter's was planning her wedding and she and her fiancee asked me to become ordained so that I could perform the wedding ceremony. A quick search on the internet turned up Universal Ministries, and a quick check of Oregon's loose marriage laws confirmed that getting ordained on the internet constituted a legitimate ministry in the state's eyes.
And so now I am a minister, complete with wallet size ID card and a handy mirror hanger I could use to snag a parking place outside of a church if I ever had the guts to try it. I've married several couples over the years, and had strangers call and ask me if I'd perform the ceremony for them. The answer is always no–I'll only do it for friends, because the responsibility feels so huge to me. And of course, my beloved daughter and son swore they would never, ever, in a million years ask me to perform the wedding.
Because that would just be weird.
Flash forward to January of 2009, last month to be exact, when my daughter got engaged and began planning a wedding for three weeks hence (last Saturday, to be exact). Her then-fiancee, now-husband is being deployed after coming nearly to the end of his inactive army duty and my daughter was determined to be married before he had to leave.
Good thing she's an event planner by trade. And that lots of people adore her, because that meant that she was able to muster a small army to clean and decorate at the home of my mother (she who, at 92, only last month vacated the house for a nursing home. Its been a busy year.) She found the most gorgeous wedding dress on the planet, ordered tuxes, planned flowers and food. But she still needed a minister to do the ceremony.
And guess who was handy?
Forget weird. She and her fiancee asked me to conduct the wedding with his father assisting. I was honored and thrilled and not the least bit nervous. I've done this before, several times, and in front of way bigger crowds than the small group that would be gathered for this wedding. Everyone asked me if it was going to be difficult and didn't I worry about getting emotional and crying?
Of course not. "I'm not the emotional type," I told everyone. "I am not a crier. I'll be fine. Just fine."
We all know what a trickster the universe is by now. And we also all know how very silly it was of me to think that I could get through my daughter's wedding ceremony without crying. The minute I caught sight of her on her father's arm, walking down the "aisle," the tears started. And flowed throughout the entire ceremony. Which, according to well placed sources, made every single person in the audience start crying.
My adorable son stood next to me and clutched my hand the entire time, much as he did when he was an adorable little boy, only now he was hanging onto me instead of me hanging onto him.
Long story short, it was the best day ever, a perfect wedding from start to finish. Does everyone say that about their weddings? Given the opportunity for drama, probably not. This one was truly glorious, a spectacular day.
And now I can dry the tears and get back to my writing.