Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Joy Junkie: Confessions of A Marriage Officiant

My dad used to joke to me, "Someday, half the people in Virginia will be mad at you." He was referring to the weary statistic that 50 percent of marriages don't make it.
See, I am a marriage celebrant, appointed by the court with the power to marry couples who present me with a license from any jurisdiction within the commonwealth.
That happened in 1992, more than three thousand weddings ago.

What keeps me going?
Couples often ask me why I do this. When the need for a fresh contingent of marriage celebrants was first publicized, I thought, Yes! Besides being interested in people, I believe that the best way to go through life is happily joined with a kindred soul (meaning also, who could support the misery of an unhappy union?) At the time, I thought, with a little fortitude, that my goal would be a lofty 500 ceremonies, after which time, I would rest on my cherry blossoms and memories. Nearly 17 years have gone by, and still I am at it, accepting appointments and commitments, while my husband of 45 years is quite happily retired. Who has the advantage?
I would have to say that I Do! (no pun intended.) Maybe a decade ago, it was occasionally mentioned that I smile a lot. Finally, I realized that observation most often occurred when I had married a couple earlier in the day. So, the happiness is contagious and lasting--and surely--that's good for me, and everyone.