Post # 1
Ok so my FI and I have been having a bit of a time coming to terms with the idea of someone we don’t know marrying us. Neither of us belongs to a church or have church-going families, and it’s important to me that the person we find would also marry or perform civil ceremonies for homosexual couples.
We recently decided that we would both love for a mutual friend to marry us, because he knows both of us well, he is a fantastic storyteller, and he shares my passion for marriage rights for all couples. However, he is not a registered officiant and even though we have a long history with him, we haven’t seen him as often over the past year or so. My best friend’s husband is one of his best friends, and they are convinced that he would be super thrilled if we asked him, but I’m starting to worry that he’ll feel awkward, or that we might be missing out on some part of the experience by choosing someone who has never performed a marriage before.
Is it weird to ask a friend who is not already registered as an offiant to marry you? Is it too heavy a task/would we be missing something vital by asking someone who has never done it before? Also, if the answer is in the go for it stage, how much should we offer to pay him?
Post # 3
My two really good friends just got married and had another one of our friends officiate the wedding. She had never officiated before, but was really close to the couple (both individually and as a couple). She wrote the most beautiful ceremony that was so personal and touching. Seriously, not a single dry eye in the entire place. It was so special. I HIGHLY recommend it!
Post # 4
We did this, and actually had one of our best friends double as an officiant and a groomsman. Since his father is a pastor, his family was not cool with him actually getting ordained, so we were excited when we found the “deputy for a day” program that California has – he doesn’t get “ordained” through a church, but rather through the county and therefore had the right to legally marry us. He did a beautiful job, and people all thought it was so personal and beautiful!
We didn’t end up paying him anything, but got him an extra little gift on top of his groomsman’s gift. Hope this helps!
Post # 5
@twoblackcats: My sister did this. Although, I have to say, since her friend didn’t have experience, sometimes her voice didn’t project very well and she seemed somewhat nervous. So, you might want to give your friend the opportunity to practice (take him by your venue? practice using the microphones there?).
If it turns out that your friend is not comfortable or you want to go a different route, you could consider a Unitarian Universalist officiant. We UUs are super-inclusive (respect for ALL people is pretty much our main guiding philosophy) – all UU congregations are LGBT-safe spaces. We’re welcoming of all faiths/beliefs or lack thereof. (I’m an atheist, and a UU!)
Post # 6
Can I throw out another side of the story…
We asked our mutual friend to marry us as soon as we got engaged. We were thrilled by the thought and he was completely honored. But, as time passed, our relationship changed because of some drama on part of his now wife. Now we are dealing with asking this friend to step down and it’s horrible. We also need to reconsider asking a different friend so we dont hurt this other friend’s feelings.
I think having a friend marry you is so beautiful and special. I’ve seen it done a couple times and each time, it worked out well with the right person and the helm. But I would suggest waiting until 4 or 5 months to pick the friend to make sure the relationship is still on track.