|The first in a line of men I've dragged kicking and screaming down the aisle.|
Whether it was because I was close to her parents or because they'd waited so long to have a baby or for some other reason altogether, Christie has always been pretty special to me. And not just as a source of income, though being ten years older than her, I did a lot of babysitting. She was my flower girl in my first wedding.
|She's right next to me in the picture.|
A few years ago, she started dating this guy, Jake. He makes her happy. They're great together, and he fits right in with our family: he won't shut up, and he takes abuse well. :) Apparently I was one of the first to welcome him to the family; "welcome" apparently defined as "mercilessly tease". Even so, when they got engaged, they asked....ME....to do the marrying. You know, kind of like Joey did in Friends.
In the long line of scary things I've jumped into, pretty much the last terrifying role I expected to take on was wedding minister. But my cousin asked me to...and I love my cousin...and I totally believe in them as a couple...and I couldn't figure out how to say no.
Did you know pretty much anyone can be ordained over the internet at the click of a button and legally perform wedding ceremonies (after jumping through a couple legal hoops)? True story.
This whole thing stressed me out, but that didn't mean I couldn't have some fun with it. I've spent the last year threatening Jake with not marrying them and making him do whatever I asked to keep me happy. And I posted a slightly confusing status on facebook:
Of course, everyone knows me way too well to believe what I was insinuating, so most people assumed I was getting a new bike, and Bobbi and ajh figured out the truth. All my joking around didn't change the fact that I was freaking out a little on the inside. I planned every last detail of my second wedding, Jeff and I paid for it ourselves, and I can tell you that conducting my cousin's wedding ceremony was far more stressful. When you get married in the church, like I did, there's a priest there to walk you through every step. When you're the "minister", YOU are the one directing the show, so to speak.
Luckily, I had a friend to talk me down and make me laugh.
|Pre-wedding, you can see how nervous I was. Don't throw up...don't throw up...|
If you only knew how nervous I was standing up in front of my family and all those people I've never met before, worrying that Christie and Jake wouldn't be happy with what I'd put together, worried that all the guests were judging and finding things wanting...I was sweating bullets, and not just because it was 80 degrees in the sun.
There were only a couple of mistakes, neither of which can be heard on video. In having them repeat their vows after me, I coached Jake: "I, Jake, take you, Christie, to be my husba--WIFE!! wife!" and tried to give him HIS ring to put on her. We all laughed and moved on.
In the end, people were very complimentary. Once it was over, it was a pretty cool thing to have been a part of. Jake's mom said she'd recommend me to anyone, and Christie's aunt even told me I'd missed my calling. I'm not so sure about that, but maybe if this teacher gig doesn't work out I'll have something to fall back on. :)