Friday, November 11, 2011

Thanks but... no thanks?

We have been struggling to find our "perfect" officiant. It's been a much more difficult task that I had imagined it to be. I guess when you have specific requirements it turns out that way.

Here's the situation. Jeff is Atheist and I am Catholic. We have imagined a ceremony that is respectful of both our beliefs. In doing such we have been on the search for, let's say a "liberal" Catholic priest. Someone who is comfortable helping us to create a unique ceremony that obviously acknowledges God, but doesn't make him the star, so to speak.

In a previous post I mentioned how we found a great guy. A retired Catholic priest, now married, very liberal, but he charged waaaayyy to much so we couldn't use him. So we looked elsewhere. I then came across a great resource for Southern California officiants. It's sort of an officiant database called so cal officiants and on their site they had a list of three Catholic priests. Awesome. Their fee for a priest is still on the higher side, but less than half of what the previous priest I mentioned was charging. Double awesome.

The site hooked us up with a priest named Father Geoff. His first email to us was very informative with a lot of details such as a sample wedding outline, right down to how and where to get your marriage license. He seemed like a very organized guy, which is always a good sign. He also shared in his email that he was suspended for voicing his opposition to Prop 8 in California. From what I understand he was asked to encourage his parish to vote yes on prop 8, banning same sex marriage, and he didn't feel right doing that. If you're interested you can read about his story here. This is a subject very near and dear to mine and Jeff's heart as we are pro marriage equality. I'm sure it took a great amount of courage for father Geoff to publicly announce his opinion, even though it is against what the Catholic church believes. He seemed like just the "liberal" Priest we were looking for.

We were hopeful and optimistic that we had found our officiant.  Then I get a random call from my Grandmother the other night saying this: "Hi Sharon, we got Father Dennis to do your wedding. So that's all set, call me back." ........ Um what?

Let me explain that I did ask my grandmother if she knew any priests who would do a wedding outside of the church back in September, and she said she might know someone. In October I asked her again for this priest's information and she told me she would try and get in touch with him. Then I never heard anything again until the, "We got him for your wedding" message. I never asked her to ask this priest to marry us I just asked for his information. I am grateful for her help, but also worried that this Father Dennis might not be a good fit for us. I have never spoken to him, I don't know if he would be willing to help us create our ceremony, or if he feels comfortable with it being probably a less religious ceremony than he is used to officiating. It kind of gives me anxiety to think about having to talk to him. What if he is soooo not the right guy for us. Then I have to tell my Grandma, thanks for hunting down this priest and asking him to do our wedding, but we don't like him and don't want him marrying us?

I'm not sure what the outcome of this situation will be. I'm hoping we won't hurt anyone's feelings with our decision, but at the end of the day this is our wedding and we want to be happy with who marries us. Geez I never thought this part of wedding planning would be so tough! Trying to stay positive and calm... I guess I'll end with: to be continued...


  1. It's super important to have a rapport with whoever marries you. All three of you need to be on the same page. Sadly, it might be better to hurt some feelings now than for you to be bitter or upset on the day of or after. Do what's right for you.

  2. Hiya! I hope everything works out as planned with your officiant. I believe that everything happens for a reason and that whether Father Dennis officiates or Father Geoff Officiates... it is the plan that was meant to be. Good luck with everything. Oh and thanks for the socal officiant link. My Fiance and I need to find one as well. I'm following now.


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