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新利网上娱乐Someone to Do the Deed Finding Our Officiant

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All in all, it took me three months, hours of research, and dozens of emails to find an officiant. What began as an easy task became an extremely frustrating chore I wanted to be finished with. But the hard work paid off. As Mr. Puffer and I continue to work with Sandy to finalize our ceremony, we’re both getting more and more excited about how “us” it’ll be.


My FILs on their wedding day (Personal photo)

Mr. Puffer is Jewish. I was raised Baptist. We’re not synagogue- or church-goers. Basically, we don’t have a spiritual leader to marry us. Yet Puff wanted the personal connection a reverend or rabbi would offer. So to my to-do list, I added a task to find an officiant willing to spend time getting to know us.

It took a lot of discussion to get him to articulate why he didn’t share my wedding vision. First, being the extrovert he is, he has a huge network of friends he wanted to invite (not to mention a family four times the size of mine). Second—and a biggie—was that he wanted a personal relationship with the officiant. His problem with a JP ceremony was not the ceremony itself but the idea of being married by a complete stranger.

Of the 10 emails I sent, I received…three responses. A 30% response rate was pretty darn disappointing. Even worse, one of the three officiants who did contact me didn’t respond to my follow-up email for two months! The second set up a phone meeting, but he was so intent on giving us a sales pitch, he didn’t even ask for our names until we were ending the call. The third had no personality, seemed distracted, and was completely uninterested in getting to know us—a definite no-no for Groomzilla.

That was easier said than done.

I’m not an overly emotional person, but I’ll admit to getting choked up several times as we talked with Sandy and she explained the elements she adds in to make her ceremonies special. Mr. Puffer and I started out side-by-side on the couch, my iPhone between us. By the end of the call, we were cuddling and holding hands,2015六合同彩管家婆, grinning at one another.


Image via Weddings by Sandy

Once I had a list of about 10 prospective officiants, I started sending emails. My typical message went something like this: “My fiancé and I are searching for an officiant to conduct our secular wedding ceremony in November. His family is Jewish, and mine is Protestant, so we would like to personalize our ceremony to honor both families’ beliefs. Our ideal ceremony would focus on our love for each other and those closest to us rather than specific religious ideals.”

But when it comes to our wedding, he puffs himself up and lets his opinion be known. While I’d envisioned a simple ceremony followed by an equally simple dinner with a small handful of family and friends, he wanted something more elaborate. I quickly pointed out that my parents didn’t have an elaborate wedding, and they’ve been married for 47 years. His own parents are celebrating their 50th anniversary this summer, and they had an equally intimate ceremony.

Thoroughly disappointed, I went back to the drawing board and started researching all over again. This time, I found Weddings by Sandy, a group of officiants who conduct weddings all over the East Coast. Initially, I was hesitant to deal with a company that seemed more about renting out officiants than providing personalized services. But I contacted them anyway, and within one day I received an email from Sandy Queen (not the Sandy in the name Weddings by Sandy, by the way). We exchanged a couple emails and set up time for a conference call.


My parents’ wedding: a simple ceremony followed by cake in the church basement (Personal photo)

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As with my other vendor searches, I put in several hours online researching candidates. My requirements for any potential officiant included the ability to conduct a secular service, to personalize the ceremony with nods to our families’ distinct cultural beliefs, and the willingness to meet with us several times during the months leading up to our wedding.

First, a little background on our wedding. I teasingly refer to Mr. Puffer as my Groomzilla. In reality, Puff is one of the most caring, non-judgmental people I’ve ever met. He believes everyone has the right to lead their lives exactly as they please, as long as they don’t harm others. His loving, accepting nature is one of the reasons I fell for him.

Of all of the tasks I’d put on my wedding to-do list, I thought finding the person to declare us married would be the easiest. Wrong! Finding an officiant was surprisingly difficult.

An in-person meeting the following week confirmed that Sandy Queen was our officiant. She’s personable, funny, open-minded, and easygoing. Better yet,索雷尔娱乐城加盟创业有加盟创业的好处br 以各, she took time to get to know us and asked that we meet several more times in the months leading up to the wedding. Sandy stays in touch with many of the couples she’s married over the years, and she speaks of them as if they’re family. Mr. Puffer and I both hope we’re able to cultivate as close of a relationship with her.