Ah, it's good to be back.
This weekend, I performed my first wedding. The bride and groom were two very cool and very close friends of mine, and while I'm not officially official (they were really married a week before), I'm under the assumption that acquiring the proper credentials, so that I can actually marry people, isn't all that hard.
So, here's the score...
I'm thinking of parlaying this one-shot favor for friends into a potential side business.
I've been to a baker's crap-load of weddings and, if memory serves, only two (counting the one this weekend) were what I would consider "fun" weddings. I had another friend who got married on the beach in a ten minute ceremony with the reception at the bad-ass aquarium in Wilmington, NC; nothing says "love" like getting faced off of free beer and staring at an 8-foot long, neon green eel for a few hours.
For atheists, humanists, and other non-believers, weddings can be downright horrifying. Most of them are held in churches and are overtly religious, due to the fact that weddings aren't about the bride and groom but, more often, about pleasing the respective families and staying true to vaunted "traditions", to the point of being a mini-mass with a little something about non-god-or-Jebus-love thrown in for good measure.
To do what little I can for my Hellbound brothers and sisters, I will be, henceforth, offering my services as a scribe for custom-made wedding ceremonies.
Our goal in this is to celebrate the love shared by two people, and their commitment to each other, without invoking anything more mysterious than, say, the universe as a whole. None of this "god sanctioned love" and "holy state of marriage" jive. If power is vested in me by anyone, it's the state of wherever or the bride and groom themselves.
The ceremonies can and will be done on a case by case basis. If you'd like the crazy story of how you met your fiance to be a focal point, so be it. If you've got certain poems or song lyrics you want thrown in, that's no problem. If you want me to start with the Princess Bride "Mawwiage" bit (which I did in the wedding this weekend), I'd be more than happy to do it.
Hell, if you want your dog leashed at the altar, I can write the ceremony and read it over the PA to make it seem as if the beloved pet is the reverend. "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today in the sight of dog..."
Most importantly, I can make the weddings funny. Your traditional church weddings are just as boring as a normal church service, which always struck me as odd. Weddings are supposed to be happy! Two people are in love and they want the world to know it! Why have all this formality and rigid structure, with everyone sitting in uncomfortable clothes and reciting tired old call-and-response bullshit, the same bullshit we've seen in every fucking wedding ever slogged through?
Weddings should be fun for everyone involved, not just the alcoholic second cousins staying for the open bar. And the humor can be toned down or built up for taste. If you've got a really hip family, we can turn it into a comedy show that has real meaning. If you've got the kind of family who thinks "Happy Days" is a bit too racy, we can be a bit more subtle. Sure, you've heard people after a wedding saying, "Oh, that was very nice," or "it was a beautiful ceremony," but how many times have you heard people say, "Damn, that wedding was more fun than going to the movies!"
We can also do weird weddings. Goth weddings, heavy metal weddings, Star Wars weddings, etc. We'll draw the line on, say, Furry weddings just because I'd feel weird saying, "When a squirrel and a panda bear fall in love..." but damn near anything else, aside from religious ceremonies, is fair game. I'm also not above dressing up to accomodate the theme of the wedding; remember, I'm an actor and we all, traditionally, have very little shame, few scruples, and a constant need for attention.
We can do pretty much any length, from "short and sweet" to a magnus opus wedding (though anything over half an hour is just begging for people to get antsy and bored). As mentioned, I'm working on getting official, but if any prospective customers have other people in mind for the officiator and simply want it written, that's fine, too.
And remember, to anyone crazy enough to seriously consider taking me up on this, I'm an East Coast boy, so, unless someone is willing to pay for it, I can't just up and fly out to, say, Cali. If you're anywhere from VA down to FL and a couple of hundred miles West of there, I may charge for gas and lodging (along with a normal performance fee), but that's about it. So, for the time being, I'll have to confine myself to my immediate surroundings; I'll still write a ceremony for anyone, I just have to be picky about actually performing it. I'm hoping that will change but, then again, people would have to be interested first...
So, if you want a unique and fun wedding, or know someone who might, drop me a line. This whole ordeal is pretty new (the idea didn't hit me until a week or so ago) but it seems like something that might have a nifty niche market.
And if you're wondering about my ability to actually perform the wedding, I'm an English/Theatre grad who has absolutely no problems with public speaking. Comparatively, I can't be any worse an orator than any preacher or priest you've ever seen or heard.