Find a passion for arbitration

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Officiating at friends’ wedding in October 2019. Photo submitted

When I was first asked to officiate the marriage of a close friend two years ago, I didn’t think it went much beyond a one-time favor.

On the one hand, I write for a living, public speaking being nothing that I have ever really practiced or seriously approached.

And secondly, the amount of stress I put on myself to make sure I just spell someone’s name correctly in a published article already seemed high enough to me, let alone taking on an extra task that is perhaps the most important moment in life. of two individuals getting married.

But as I performed that first wedding ceremony, I realized I might have a knack for it after all.

Approaching the task as I would when becoming acquainted with any topic I write for an article, I embarked on interviewing future husbands and wives, getting their perspective on what was important. for them.

After finding out what type and style of ceremony was important to them, with several informative books at my disposal, I researched all available religious passages, readings and examples of traditional elements and how they could be included in the ceremony. .

At the end of the ceremony, the hugs, smiles and words of gratitude that I received from the bride and groom were as gratifying as anything I could ask for.

Apparently, I had succeeded in my task – and I found new joy in bringing two people together in marriage along the way.

Since I celebrated this first wedding in October 2019, I have been asked to do another one, this time for a couple that I did not know at all.

But through many stages of preparation, as well as an in-person interview with the future husband and wife, another marriage scenario that I could claim to be proud of has been completed.

“Thank you for marrying us and making it official,” the bride said as she thanked me after the wedding. “Your speech was perfect and you did such an amazing job, it wouldn’t have been possible without you, so thank you very much!”

By the end of this marriage, it was becoming a little clearer that my ability to write could perhaps serve this purpose of bringing people together more often.

Now that I look to the future over the next 12 months, I have three more weddings planned.

It’s not a side gig that I’ve ever considered embracing before, but now I think maybe I should.

I do not consider myself a religious person, but I wholeheartedly respect the beliefs of anyone who may come to see me, whether they request a civil, non-religious, traditional, religious or same-sex marriage.

My door to bringing two people together in any way they choose is wide open, and I am all the happier for it.

With an emphasis on keeping this ceremony 20 minutes or less, honoring the wishes of the happy couple while the script is written with their input, and respecting the traditions and beliefs of both families, there is a lot juggling when doing “making the show,” but in my experience so far, it’s been “so far so good.

As I move forward in my career with a new title under my belt, I will continue to write – not necessarily to announce the news of the day, but to solidify the wishes of any happy couple who want to get married.

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