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You're standing in front of your Family and Friends prepared to make your dreams of a lifetime come true. It's at that moment that you are grateful that you have a professional guiding your ceremony. The Supreme Court has finally ruled upon this issue. Now is the time to plan your perfect LGBT Wedding. I have been performing Commitment Ceremonies since the beginning, and I am so pleased this has opened up for everyone to marry the one they Love. Contact Reverend Jacqui Weiks, Your LGBT Wedding Officiant
We are an open and affirming, multi-racial and multi-cultural, assessable to all, peace and justice oriented body of faith. We go into the community and God's disciples. Grounded by the teachings of Jesus the Christ, we uplift Christ's goodness, create spiritual community, and care for God's people and God's world. Dynamic hope, incredible compassion, extravagant hospitality, and radical love are our core values.
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Gay Wedding Officiant: Tips for Challenges
By Rev Kristen Barner, MDiv | Charleston Wedding Officiant
A Gay Wedding Officiant’s Advice
You have logged onto Smart Gay Life and read about things to think about before agreeing to marry your partner. You have come to the conclusion that “Yes, I absolutely want to marry this person! Let’s have a wedding!” You get to plan the wedding you never thought you’d have. (It’s time to find your gay wedding officiant.)
Dealing with Lack of Support
Aunt Liza is suddenly weirdly silent. Your favorite relative doesn’t say much and she doesn’t even look at you. Finally, after much trepidation, she sits you down to explain that she doesn’t think you should get married because gay weddings aren’t real weddings and she has concerns about what the neighbors will think, as well as concern for your eternal soul. Eternal soul? As a gay wedding officiant, I know this will seriously affect your celebratory mood.
What do you do when your presumed support system checks out and falls down the rabbit hole of religious homophobia, reserving marriage for two people with differing genitalia? This is supposed to be the most exciting season ever as you plan the best day of your life. Things are about to become very hard while you are your betrothed want to simply celebrate the love you’ve found with one another. An experienced gay wedding officiant can offer some thoughtful advice.
Things I’ve Learned as a Gay Wedding Officiant
We learn a lot about the people in our lives when we plan a wedding. There is no prediction and you can place no bets. The outcome or response can be pivotal for you and your partner and help guide you in your future together. Considering the following responses:
- Supportive – Some people will surprise you with unbridled enthusiasm. You have just gathered new information about the people you love. Celebrate this!
- Negative – Other people will disappoint you greatly with their lack of support and damning words. Store that information away.
- Appreciative – Without judgment know that you now understand who really is there for you and who is not.
Dealing with a disappointing or negative reaction to your wedding can be very difficult emotional work. You always had faith in Aunt Liza but now this discovery. Realize that your relative has some struggles of her own – even if it’s hard for you to see this when she has hurt you so badly.
- Limited Love – Yes, your relative has always known you were gay and she’s always loved you. Some level of denial can be a wonderful agent in tempering behavior and conversation.
- Public Support – Your gay wedding is asking your relative to state publicly that she loves you, every bit of you, for who you really are. Those who attend your wedding should be in full support of you and your partners union.
- Strong Fear – Your gay wedding is asking people you love to be brave. While love conquers all, it is hard for some people to be brave. Fear often prevents good people from doing the right thing.
Maybe one day your relative will come around. It’s hard to tell and it will tear you up until Aunt Liza’s love for you is strong enough to conquer her fear. Understand that this is Aunt Liza’s challenge, not yours.
Be Loving, Be Mature, & Be Brave
The wedding planning is happening, so what do you do with the Nay-Sayers? Roles are changing and you get to be the grownup here.
- Love – Tell her you love her if you love her.
- Inclusion – Tell her she is always welcome if she is welcome.
- Acceptance – Tell her she must accept all of you, including your spouse.
As a gay person, you have had to be brave your whole life:
- Coming Out – You had to make the choice to come out of the closet.
- Being a Minority – You had to navigate a same-sex relationship in an opposite-sex world.
- Making the Decision – You had to decide to pop the question or to answer “Yes.”
Your entire life has forced you into a kind of bravery most heterosexual men and women never have to muster. Many people in your life have never had to be brave the way you have had to be brave. You are more courageous than you likely think.
Bravery must come from within. Love often helps us to find that. It helped you. Perhaps, one day, your love for others will help the fearful.
Always Be True to Yourself
When facing disappointing or disheartening reactions to your wedding, it’s important to be strong and courageous. You must also be true to yourself. My advice as a gay wedding officiant is this:
- Authenticity – Be fully and authentically yourself.
- Kindness – Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others.
- True Love – Trust that the soul and the heart matter so much more than anatomy.
Know that you were called to love the person you are about to marry. Know that you and your partner are the bravest people around and maybe one day, led by your example, friends and family will be brave too.
As for the surprisingly enthusiastic cousin you were never really close to? You just got closer. This cousin is in your court and you can add him to your heart’s list of people who love you, just the way you are. This is great new information. Take it and run down the aisle with it! There’s a gay wedding officiant waiting to marry you in your beautiful wedding.
Read Part 1 of this series, Observations of a Gay Wedding Officiant.