Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Who will Marry us?

In a previous post I mentioned something kind of important that we have yet to accomplish. We do not have anyone to marry us. Not only is finding someone from across the county difficult, but finding the specific type of person we want is also proving to be tough.

I was raised Catholic and always assumed I would be getting married in the church. Then I met the love of my life who is not Catholic and has no desire to get married in the church. I would never force my fiancé to get married somewhere he did not feel comfortable, not that he is uncomfortable in a church, that kind of a setting just didn't feel right to him. And it doesn't really feel right to me either. I still consider myself Catholic, but I'm not a very good practicing Catholic. I don't go to mass every Sunday, I haven't been to confession in years, and I don't see this changing anytime soon.

When I imagined where our wedding would be, I imagined someplace that represented us as a couple. We have gone on many outdoor adventures together and I knew we wanted something outside surrounded by nature. And that's what we found and I couldn't be happier. But now who will marry us?

When you get married in the church, they assign a priest to your wedding and that's it, decision done. But for us we have to search for the perfect person. My parents and I liked the idea of still having someone affiliated with the Catholic church to marry us. But those of you who are Catholic know a priest can't marry anyone outside of the church, but a retired priest can marry a couple anywhere they want.

With that information, we set about our search. Thanks to wedding wire, I came across a guy who seemed perfect for us. He is a retired Catholic priest, who left the ministry to get married. He now officiates weddings all over Southern California, and he will  make your wedding as traditional or non traditional as you want. He had a review that said the bride and her family were Catholic and the groom and his family were atheist, and both families loved the ceremony that he created for them. He sounded like a winner to me.

So I called him to inquire about his services. We played phone tag a bit, but last night we finally got in touch with each other. He was nice, funny, talkative, easy going, he was great! He told me how he had done a wedding a block away from Kim Kardashian's this past weekend and his poor bride had to deal with three helicopters flying over her ceremony. He told me his background, about his kids, his marriage, and then he told me his price...

Image via Flickr

$1,200. This includes; a ceremony planning session, his travel to the wedding, (he would be coming to LA from Santa Barbara, about 125 miles) the ceremony itself, and filing our paperwork after we are married. He sounds so perfect for us, but his cost is more than my wedding dress.

At the same time, the wedding is about the ceremony right? The most important part is when you say your vows, and who conducts your ceremony is an important component. With that said, I think $1200 is too much. I think we need to shop around and explore other options.

Many people have asked me, why don't you have a friend marry you. We've thought about it, but we really can't think of anyone who is close to both of us who we would like to bestow that responsibility on. Maybe we'll change our minds and think of someone, but at this point that doesn't seem likely.

So I will continue my quasi-quixotic quest for our perfect officiant. Or maybe I will cave and pay the $1200...probably not.

Who will be marrying you? Did you have any trouble finding someone?


  1. I wish I had some good advice for you. $1200 seems like a lot for an officiant.

    Are there any non-secular churches in Santa Barbara? You may find someone who can marry you there.

    And I'd continue to ask around. You never know who may know somebody.

  2. First - loooove the "q" alliteration.
    Second - did you see if he can do anything about fitting into your budget? I would ask him, what's the worst that happens? He says no and you have to keep looking. At least ask and see!

  3. @sandytoesbride: Good point I never thought to ask if he had any wiggle room, and if he says no oh well at least we tried.

  4. $1200!? That seems like way too much for an officiant. Maybe it's because you are in NYC. I mean, it doesn't hurt to ask if he can fit into your budget. Like sandytoesbride says, the worst he can say is no.


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