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Post-wedding....problem with ceremony and officiant :(

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zekele

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2005
Messages
92
Well, I have been married for one week now. Some of the emotion has died down and although my wedding was an amazing, beautiful, wonderful day, my husband, parents and I have realized that the ceremony itself left something to be desired. Back when I got engaged a year and a half ago, my mom's boss and good friend "Mary" told my mom that she is an ordained minister and would happily officiate the ceremony for us, free of charge, and would customize it however we wanted. Although Mary had never officiated a ceremony before, she was an administrator for 30 years at the nursing home where she and my mom both worked, and spoke in public many times. She is older, about 70, but in good health and of very sound mind. My mom asked me if I was okay with Mary performing the ceremony, and I agreed to it, since Mary was a good friend of Mom's and I thought for sure that she would do a decent job.

Fast forward to December 23. Through the months Mom had been telling me that Mary had a wedding transcript that was very appropriate and secular (my DH and I are not religious and didn't want a religious wedding), and that once I arrived in Arizona to make final wedding preparations, I could meet with Mary to customize it how I wanted. At this meeting, I take a look at the transcript and not only is it full of religious references that mean nothing to my fiance and I, but Mary has paper clipped all of the pages together and made all kinds of indecipherable notes that even she was having trouble understanding during our meeting. I troubleshoot this with her as best I can, reiterating that we do not want any religious elements in the wedding, and providing clean copies of the readings I wanted as well as drafting a new outline of the order of the ceremony. I leave our meeting feeling concerned that Mary is getting nervous and confused about the ceremony but my mom assures me that Mary will do fine, and to not rock the boat too much.

December 30, the rehearsal. Mary has created a new, nicely organized wedding transcript for herself and ALL OF THE RELIGIOUS STUFF IS BACK IN IT. I quietly have a nervous breakdown and tell my parents that my fiance and I did NOT want that in our ceremony. Mom talks with Mary, and tells me that the prayers have been cut and the material I originally requested is back in and ready to go. By this time, I am so caught up doing things with friends and relatives, my bachelorette party, etc., that I just trust my mom on this. In retrospect I should have demanded to see the ceremony transcript and rehearsed it with Mary until both of us felt comfortable with it....

Soooo all of this sets the stage for the day of the ceremony. Mary shows up and seems fine, but mentions before the wedding that she has a bit of laryngitis. I ask her if she is feeling okay, is there anything we can get her, is she okay performing the ceremony. She says she is okay, and her voice sounds fine during the conversation so I don't get too worried.

So I traipse down the aisle and the ceremony begins. Mary starts the ceremony by saying "I woke up with a frog in my throat but we'll get through this as best we can." Sure enough, shortly into the ceremony, she loses her voice. This is totally out of her control and I have nothing but sympathy with her, at one point I ask her if she wants to pause and drink some water but she ignores me. Then she forgets my name and calls me "Good ol' what's-her-name." It comes time for my bridesmaid to do her reading, which Mary is supposed to have for her, and Mary suddenly panics and says she doesn't have the reading - even though after an awkward moment of us consulting the book, we find that she does and hand it off to my bridesmaid. By then, Mary is so flustered that she ENTIRELY SKIPS THE EXCHANGE OF VOWS. We exchange rings, but not before she drops my ring on the ground. And then at the very end of the ceremony is THE PRAYER THAT WE DIDN'T WANT.

I didn't think much about this during the ceremony itself. Mostly I felt bad for Mary but she could have given us chocolate silk pies and said "you may now smash the pie in the bride's face" and I still would have been in wedded bliss. But the more I think about it, I feel like both Mary and my Mom kind of bullied me into accepting the ceremony Mary wanted to perform, instead of the ceremony I wanted. I'm frustrated with myself for not being more adamant about what I wanted. And I'm frustrated with Mary for not speaking up weeks ago that she was nervous and perhaps could not perform as she'd originally promised.

However, in the grand scheme of things, I know it's not a big deal. I'm married. I had an amazing day in spite of the ceremony flubs. I'm embarrassed and upset by how the ceremony went but that doesn't change my love for my husband and my family. Furthermore, I don't want this to affect my mom's friendship with Mary. Apparently, though, Mary is so humiliated by how things went that she is not returning my mom's phone calls. I feel terrible about this. I'm over it, my husband is over it, and I just really don't think Mary needs to dwell on it and shut my mom out.

I feel like my tone is very uneven in this post because I am still upset about the ceremony but I don't want Mary to take it to heart, either.

Also my mom feels so bad about all of this that she wants to pay for me and my husband to do a vow renewal at our second wedding reception in March with a professional officiant who, admittedly, sounds amazing (my husband is from Chicago, that is where we currently live, so we are having ths second reception for Chicago folks who couldn't attend the event in my home state of Arizona). While I would like to have some memories of a meaningful and emotional wedding ceremony, the hubby and I are both feeling a bit wedding'ed-out right now and don't necessarily want to do a vow renewal so soon.

ANYWAY...thanks for reading this far. Just wanted to vent a bit
 

sumbride

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 17, 2006
Messages
3,867
oh honey... wow... that just really... I have no words. I''m so sorry you had to go through that! That''s like my worst wedding nightmare!
 

RoseAngel04

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 8, 2006
Messages
865


so many emotions came to me while reading your post! I am so sorry that you didn''t get your "dream" ceremony. Wow...I''m kinda at a loss for words, how horrible. You are right, that the important thing is that you and your husband are married, but still...ouch. If I were you, I honestly think I''d take your Mom up on the second ceremony with someone new officiating....but that''s just me!

How did your guests react?!
 

Cheekyprincess

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 30, 2006
Messages
133
I'm sorry for you, that sounds utterly terrible. The only advice I can give is to stop letting it get to you, just laugh it off. It is too late for anything to change now, it is sad that it wasn't the way you anticipated. Perhaps on your first anniversary you can renew your vows, have it done just the way you would have wanted.

ETA: just read your last para- there is your perfect opportunity to have things done how you want! You don't even need to have a designated celebrant, someone who actually can do public speaking and take direction would be good enough.
 

zekele

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2005
Messages
92
RoseAngel, after the officiant presented us as Mr. and Mrs., they didn't applaud, they just kind of sat there...oh god, I had forgotten about that until now. We all had such a blast at the reception that I didn't really pick up on any negative thoughts about the ceremony.

But they just sat there, and didn't applaud until Mary prompted them. UGH.
 

VRBeauty

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
10,132
Zekele:

Wow! You have my sympathy. I'm not sure there's anything you can do about that at this point but vent, so vent away!

One of my younger brothers was married by the youth minister in his church. Apparently he couldn't be bothered to remember the bride and groom's names either, so he kept referring to them as "you guys" during the ceremony. He didn't have age as an excuse either.... And then during his little sermon, he proceeded to make some reference to how the bride and groom almost "went down the wrong path."
Grrr! It was all I could do to be civil to the guy during the reception!

I'm impressed that you're able to put the Mary's bad judgement calls and out-and-out deceptions into perspective, especially so quickly.

BTW, the exchange of vows is a rather significant part of the ceremony! You might consider taking your mother up on her offer and at least work that into your second reception. You wouldn't have to repeat the whole ceremony.... It might help you feel better about the first wedding.
 

stretch4

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 25, 2004
Messages
4,360
Oh I''m so sorry the ceremony didn''t go as planned or hoped!


As for the possible renewal of vows, just let the idea rest for a bit and see what you think once things have settled down a bit more.
 

zekele

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 29, 2005
Messages
92
Thanks for the support everyone. The more I think about it, the more I feel that it would be nice to exchange some meaningful vows in a casual ceremony. We were thinking of going with this guy, who has already told my mom that he is available to do a vow renewal at our Chicago reception. We shall see. Thanks again all :)
 

labbielove

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 28, 2006
Messages
862
i am so sorry,

as for her feeling bad, there is nothing you can or should feel obligated to do about it.
you are being very mature in your attitude towards this and seeing the big picture.
At the end of the day, if you''re married to the man you love, then all is well.

However- I would definitely have a vow renewal at your 2nd reception in March. It sounds like you really would get a lot out of it, and look at it as an opportunity to do it the way YOU want.

Good luck and keep us posted
 

eks6426

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 19, 2004
Messages
2,011
Wow, just think of the story you''ll be able to tell at your 25 year anniversary party! Keep it in perspective.

Maybe it''s just me, but doing a vow renewal won''t change what happened at your cermony so I''d only do the renewal if it is super important to you.
 

onedrop

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 24, 2006
Messages
2,216
Wow. Like ID said, you will definitely have a story to tell. But I agree with everyone else, if it is important to you, do the vow renewal. At least you have another bite at the apple.
 

Jas12

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 16, 2006
Messages
2,330
I think that the vow renewal is a good idea too...it will help dissolve the negative feelings you have about the ceremony right now.

I think it is painful b/c it is so recent, but years from now iam sure you''ll laugh about it. My mom had a nightmare of a wedding day--she could write a book (just a few things that went wrong--something in her eye the night before landed her in emerg--her hair caught and burned in curling iron, someone elses flowers--the whole hall was decorated in bright orange b/c they couldn''t find peach table cloths--dessert melted in 100 degree weather--priest got names wrong...the list goes on and on)!!!
Like you, on the day she was so wrapped up she didn''t have time to reflect on it, but the weeks after she was a little depressed. However, now when she tells the story and we laugh till we are in tears....
 
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