When we started wedding planning, Eric and I really didn’t know what we were doing. I utilized a lot of websites for information … I basically needed everything listed out for me because I knew we’d inevitably forget something important.
Image courtesy of http://www.merledress.com.
One of the most important things we didn’t immediately consider was the officiant. We’re not really religious, so we don’t belong to a church in the area. Many of our friends and family have had traditional religious ceremonies, so they didn’t really have to worry about finding an officiant … Their pastor or priest performed the ceremony.
For us, it wasn’t as clear-cut. We knew we had to get this figured out pretty quickly, though. After all, we can’t have a wedding ceremony without an officiant!
After reaching out to a couple of companies in the area, we got really frustrated. They took forever to respond to our calls and emails, and then failed to follow up when we expressed interest in meeting with them to figure out details and work up a contract. Yeah … Really professional.
Finally, I came across some information online for a local organization that piqued my interest. Billed as a group established to provide care and services to individuals, couples, and families regardless of their religious or non-religious beliefs, this organization seemed to be exactly what we were looking for.
I contacted the head of the organization, and promptly received a response. Eric and I decided to set up a meeting as quickly as possible. If they were as awesome as we thought they would be, we didn’t want to risk waiting … It’s not as though we’re the only couple in Omaha getting married on November 9th!
Almost immediately at our initial meeting we felt completely at ease. This wasn’t a business meeting simply designed to draw up a contract, sign, and pay a fee. We felt important … The meeting focused on us as a couple, our expectations when it came to marriage, and just getting to know one another. There was no pressure, no sales pitch … Just communication.
We explained that we aren’t looking for a traditional ceremony. Yes, we want some of the basic elements, but we don’t want a religious ceremony. We also don’t want to recite traditional vows … We want to write our own. Basically we wanted to work with someone who understood our vision and respected our choices.
At the end of the meeting, Eric and I just kind of looked at each other and knew … We wanted to work with this organization. We worked out the details, paid upfront, and then discussed completing a couples coaching class that was offered for free with our package. We were also given some great recommendations with regard to certain vendors (such as a bakery, photo booth rental, etc.).
Now, several months after that initial meeting, Eric and I are still just as excited to be working with them. We’ve attended 4 of our 8 couples coaching classes so far, and we’ve really enjoyed the experience. The homework has given us a lot of opportunities to discuss important issues, and we’ve both felt our relationship has grown and deepened through these exercises. It may sound corny, but it’s the truth. We weren’t really sure if we wanted to do the coaching classes at first since it’s not a requirement, but we’re both really glad we decided to go ahead with them.
Working with this organization (and, of course, our officiant) has been an incredibly positive experience thus far. I think our wedding ceremony is going to really reflect who we are as a couple, and I can’t wait to share that with the people we care about!