Category Archives: ceremony

Who’s going to marry you? Mr. Veggie of Course.

Mr. Veggie and I (in all our non-religious, non-cultured glory) were having a difficult time deciding who should officiate our ceremony. The only thing we were sure of, was that we wanted our ceremony be personal, delivered by someone who knows us. Preferably someone who knows us well.

According to usmarriagelaws.com, in Wayne county, PA: “Any ordained minister, priest or rabbi of any regularly established church or congregation, Judges, Justices of Peace, and Wayne County Clerks or their appointed Deputies may perform wedding ceremonies. Mayors of cities and boroughs are also authorized to perform marriage ceremonies.”

So we were looking for priest, rabbi, deputy or mayor. Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, or the casting call for a Village People revival band.

If I had my choice, we would definitely be married by the construction worker. He’s rad.

Anyway, when we looked at all of our friends and family, surprisingly there weren’t any priests, rabbis, deputies, or mayors amongst them. What gives?

But then I remembered that one of my friends got ordained on-line to marry his sister. Not actually marry his sister, but do the ceremony. You know what I meant. I kind of expected it to be a long and expensive process, but when I clicked over to the Universal Life Church, I found it was as simple as this:

I like their style. I too find it annoying that people have stopped using capital letters and also think it is fraudulent to ordain an animal without a person’s permission. And, bonus, when you get ordained you get to choose your own title. This means that whoever we choose to do our ceremony can become a “high priestess”, “master”, or (I kid you not) “Jedi Knight”. Sweet.

All kidding aside though, the ease of online ordination meant that we could choose whoever we want to perform our ceremony. So we started thinking about people who know us best, people who would be able to convey our values, people who are well-spoken, people who we would want to honor with this special role. And we came up with two.

Let me introduce you to our wedding officiants:

Momma Veggie and FMIL Veggie.

Can I tell you how excited I am that the women who welcomed us into the world will be the ones to welcome us into married life? It’s perfect.

Side story: I was skyping with Mamma Veggie a few weeks ago and she asked “Have you figured out who’s going to marry you yet?”. Of course Mr. Veggie had to pipe up from the background “Well, she better figure out soon, with all the wedding planning she’s doing.” He’s hilarious.

Wondering… Who’s marrying you? How did you pick your officiant? Was the officiant an important decision for you, or not so much?

Non-Tradition-al

Mr. Veggie and I sat down this week to begin thinking about our ceremony. And, we’re feeling a little, um, culturally poor. While some brides and grooms are able to draw from a wealth of meaningful cultural or religious traditions when planning their ceremony, we secular results of the American melting pot are feeling just a little bit in the dark.

I mean, sure we’re Americans, but what exactly does that mean culturally? What are American cultural traditions and just how would such traditions come across in a wedding? I certainly doubt that our organic, loca-vore, eco-friendly wedding will reflect the values of a Mickey D’s-MTV-SUV nation.

So what are we left with? A blank slate? Not exactly.

I am half Latvian and half everything else, and Mr. Veggie is half Welsh and half French. (Hmm… what would a Latvian-French-Welsh wedding look like? Tom Jones in a beret drinking vodka? I digress). But, having not grown up surrounded by these cultures, the traditions of our distant and not-so-distant European ancestors are, well… foreign.

Welcome to my brain. Pictures gathered from here, here, and here, and lovingly doctored by me.

We are Americans, and as Mr. Veggie recently pointed out, having both been born on Turtle Island, are “native” Americans in that sense. We feel strong emotional ties that bond us to the mountains, rivers, forests, and lakes that helped us become who we are today. Moreover, our beliefs and values are closely aligned with the cyclical world-view associated with the indigenous cultures of North America. But, while both of us have had powerful connections at various points in our lives with Native American culture, genetically only one of us holds mere 1/32nd of Native American heredity (Who’d have imagined a ginger-haired squaw?).

I gather that with a little research, I most likely will discover some Native American and possibly even early colonial American, or latter day American marriage rites that ring true to us. I may even dig up some Latvian, Welsh, or French traditions too good to pass up. And we’ve actually already thought of a Maori tradition we’d like to include to represent our time in New Zealand. But it all seems a bit contrived. Are traditions still traditions when you pick and choose the ones you want to follow?

I suppose I could be thankful that we don’t feel pressured to include outlandish cultural elements into our big day. But really I just feel at a loss. How do we create an intimate special ceremony, that conveys our belief system and pays homage to elements of our heritage without making us look like giant posers?