Sunday, January 9, 2011

Who Will Now Pronounce Us?

Choosing an officiant seems like it should be one of the more simple wedding decisions one can make.  Either you choose a religious figure, or not.  If not, you go with someone who has a close personal tie to you and your partner (and preferably has a penchant for public speaking).

Wow that sounds easy.  Sign us up for non-religious-figure, closely-personally-tied with mad public speaking skills, please. 

* chirp...  chirp... ...  chirp... ... ... *

Uh huh, yeah, so umm that didn't work so well. 

The first name we generated is a very good friend of ours and the partner of one of my Party People.  I actually thought he'd already officiated a wedding for one of his friends, but when I asked him about this his response went, "No, I haven't.  And I wouldn't want to.  So much pressure and responsibility!"

So he was out, and we didn't have any close seconds.  The other names we could think of felt a little too "my person" or "your person."  And I didn't want to be married by a "your person" any more than I wanted to be married by a "my person."  I wanted an "our person."  Well, turns out that even after 5+years of dating, Mr. NM and I don't have all that many "our persons."  And the ones we do have were already members of the wedding party. 

Two nights ago at dinner (Indian + buffet = delish / guilt), I again brought up the officiant topic.  'Cause you better believe I'm all about talking things to death until finally a decision is reached or one person relents/begs for mercy.  Frustrated that we disagreed over whether one particular "our person" could split roles between wedding party member and officiant, I made some crazy comment like, "Well if one person can't go back and forth , what if they all officiated?"  I wasn't really serious when I said it, but when we sat with the idea for a hot second it really started to grow on us. 

Maybe instead of "our person," the officiant could be "our people."

Yes, what if the entire wedding party officiated.  What if they take turns leading us through various parts of the ceremony.  What if we could be married by community rather than by an individual?  What if we could choose who would be best for which part of the ceremony based on personality and meaning?  What if only one person, the person who has "the power vested in me," had to be official but shared their role equally with all others?  What if we did this whole wedding ceremony thing in a totally non-traditional, achingly meaningful, completely lovely and oh*so*us kinda way?  What if... it just... might... work...

The more I think about it, the more I smile.  I so want it!  But it's not set in stone, and we haven't really talked about how it would work logistically.  It's still in the idea phase.  But I'm thinking it might just be our best idea yet.

What would you think of a wedding ceremony performed by the wedding party?  Any ideas about how we could make this work in a beatifully simple and deeply touching way?

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