So when I say my "first wedding," I mean the first wedding I ever officiated - the one that started me down a path I have traveled with great joy. Since June 10, 2006, I have officiated approximately 350 weddings and loved almost every minute of it. We do have to be honest here. There are some minutes not quite as awesome as the rest, but these are few and far between.
I met Johny and Lise because they contacted the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brevard to find out if they could use the facilities and have a UU minister officiate their wedding ceremony. I was a ministerial intern at the church then, so ordinarily the task would have fallen to my mentor, Rev. Dr. Gregory Wilson. He ended up with a conflict on that date and turned the couple over to me. If I recall correctly, this was not much more than a week before the wedding date. Yikes!
While I knew the theories of ritual, I hadn't yet officiated any. Double Yikes!
But I don't fancy disappointing people and decided it was probably something I could handle since I was already a comfortable public speaker and knew how to do research. I spoke with Lise on the phone and hoped I sounded confident and competent. She and Johny had already prepared their vows so that was a big help. I quickly researched weddings, wrote what I hoped would be worthy of a Pulitzer Prize in Ritual, (No, they don't have that. More's the pity.) and got myself to the church on time.
There is absolutely nothing noteworthy to report about the actual wedding itself. Which is a fabulous thing as anything noteworthy usually means something went wrong. I do remember confessing to their photographer it was my first wedding and being thrilled when he looked surprised and said he couldn't tell. Whew!
On the ride home I could not stop grinning. The people who saw me through the car windows must have thought I was certifiable because I think I giggled a couple of times as well. The thrill and honor of being witness to two people taking such a phenomenal leap of faith into their shared future never grows old. And from what I can tell on Facebook, Johny and Lise are doing splendidly - a beautiful start to a rewarding ministry.