Recently, a bride-to-be asked me which part of the wedding process do I enjoy the most. Although I’ve been asked this before, I thought now is a good time to answer the question publicly!
A Person’s Best Friend
I most enjoy the initial meeting, when I’m asking the couple questions about them, such as how did you meet, how long have you been a couple, what do you most admire about your partner. In getting to know the couple, I also ask various other questions such are you pet owners. I’m a huge dog lover and if they are dog owners, we generally connect over our joint love for dogs. I’ve had four rescues in my adult life, two miniature poodles and two Maltese.
In January 2021, I met a couple who opened their home to three rescues, but the rescue that captured my heart is Jerome. Jerome is a pit bull who was adopted from a pit bull rescue organization. Jerome is a “senior citizen,” happy and well-loved in his forever home. His mommies recognized he needs special loving as he lives out this season of his life.
Then there’s Leonard. Leonard has anxiety issues. He seems to be okay one-on-one with the soon to be bride, but when the groom-to-be leaves, Leonard becomes anxious. Leonard was named after the beloved grandfather of the groom. The couple are dedicated to helping Leonard be less anxious when his male caregiver isn’t home.
For The Love of Cats
Please don’t think I don’t care for cats. I do! My mom was a lover of cats. In 1977, after I left home to pursue a master’s degree, my sister enlisted in the Army; and my brother married, our mom decided the house was too quiet so she rescued two kittens whom she named Rainbow and Harmony. The “girls” were followed by Pepper and then Patsy Cline (pictured). Patsy was my mom’s service animal, waking her when her blood sugar dropped. Patsy was a great companion for her. I often share this story with my cat loving couples! I have the honor of standing with a couple this fall who are parents to two cats. And in June 2022, I will officiate a wedding for a couple with three cats. The groom refers to the female cat as “daddy’s” girl.
America’s Favorite Past Time
Baseball is another topic that allows me to connect with a couple. I recently meet with a couple marrying April 2022. One is an Orioles’ fan and the other is a Cubs fan. I’m loyal to the Washington Nationals, however, my husband and I have been to 17 of the 30 MLB parks. So I was able to able to talk with the Cubby about my experience at Wrigley Field and the other about Camden Yards. It’s always great fun to talk with couples about the game of baseball, the fan experience and the uniqueness of each ballpark. Aside from Nationals’ Park, PNC is awesome.
In May 2019, I experienced one of the biggest thrills of my tenure as a wedding officiant. I officiated a wedding in the Silver Slugger Suite at Nationals’ Park. The ceremony occurred before the first pitch. After the ceremony, I joined my husband at our regular seats and we watched the Nationals defeat the Cubs 5 – 2. What an exciting evening!
Compassion, A Helpful Trait
These past 14 months, I’ve been able to connect with my brides and grooms in the health care field. Although I’m not involved with the physical well-being of others, I am a mental health professional. I was able to reach out to my couples who planned to marry in 2020, but had to reschedule or cancel their wedding due to Covid-19. I stayed in touched via email to let them know I was thinking of them, grateful for their commitment and hopeful that we would be together soon at their rescheduled wedding celebration.
My sharing with you is just a sliver of what I experience about 50 times each year. Getting to know couples informally so when their formal celebration rolls around, they each know I appreciate their humanness!