If ever you have the opportunity to do that, to officiate at a wedding, don't hesitate one second—agree to do it! Evangeline and Andrew's special day was one of the cooler things in which I've had the privilege to participate.
But guys . . . I was ner-uhr-urh-vuss.
How long should the ceremony be? What should I wear? Do you want advice in the ceremony? Can I tell people that I think they should put down their electronics and experience the wedding with their eyes instead of through view-finders? Do I have to say “I now pronounce you man and wife?” Can I say “hell?”
Unfortunately, my darling friend was the chillest bride ever (as confirmed by the venue's event coordinator) and therefore not any help at all with my many questions. The gist of her answers to pretty much everyone sounded something like, “Oh, do whatever. I trust you. We just want you to be you . . . ”
But she was right, for thanks to the couple's preparation and eye for the artistic, the day went off without a hitch. There were violins, sparklers, rosemary-infused olive oil favors, five-year-old twin flower girls, advice-for-the-happy-couple Mad Libs on the tables, and—for reals—a stand-up comedian during dessert. Evangeline was a bombshell of a bride. Her Andrew looked debonair. The bridesmaids were smokin'. (My date was too hot to handle.) The venue was flawless. And the mocha chocolate cake with toffee ganache made me want to punch the bride in her blissed-out kisser; it was that effin' good.
So the ceremony? What was it like? How does a written-by-Megan ceremony go down? Well, I'll share a smidge of the first part and the final lines—
After the processional and my blurb about guests silencing their phones and putting cameras aside if they possibly could seeing as the bride and groom hired a couple blue-chip wedding photogs, we got started—
Welcome! You all must be pretty special to have landed an invitation to this exclusive event. It wasn’t an easy invite to get. For heaven’s sake, I had to agree to perform the ceremony to get an invitation. (And I won’t even get into what I had to do to get permission for a plus one.)
￼So that you can give all your attention to happy couple and not spend the ceremony wondering who the heck I am, I’ll briefly introduce myself—
On the first day of graduate school, I walked up to Eva—I know her as Evangeline—and said, “Hi. I’m Megan Romo, and I am going to be your barnacle.” I’d googled her and read her manuscripts before getting to Lesley and it provided me enough information to make me want to force myself on her. That surreptitious recon didn’t, however, reveal that she had the most patient, easy going, thoughtful boyfriend ever. Over the last few years I’ve had the incredible pleasure and privilege to get to know Vickery and Weidenhofer here well enough that they’d trust me with the honor of officiating at their wedding.
I live in Nevada and a few months ago I had occasion to visit Boston and have lunch with Evangeline. I asked after wedding details—dress, bridesmaids, venue, food, and cake, the most important part since dessert is always the reason I show up anywhere. And I asked who would be officiating. They hadn’t decided on someone. They’d been back and forth with a few officiants. There wasn’t a pastor they’d fallen for. And it was getting kind of stressful.
“Hey!” I said, “I’ll do it! I’ll get ordained or something, and I’ll marry you!”
“Funny you should say that,” she replied, “ . . . ‘cause we’ve been thinking about asking you.”
“Done! Yes! I’ll do it,” I basically hollered, “I’ll marry the hell out of you!”
So here we are.
A few weeks after I’d agreed to handle the officiant duties of this day, I received in the mail Andrew and Evangeline’s relationship questionnaires. Yes, everyone, they took the initiative to fill out worksheets. And since you know them well enough to be here, I know you have absolutely no problem believing that. They’d both taken two hours to fill out little love resumes and they sealed and sent them without reading the other’s answers. I have loved falling into the details of their relationship, and their answers are too darling not to share. I’m grateful for the opportunity to reveal the answers to you and to them for the first time . . .
From there were three readings that the now-newlyweds selected interwoven with those tidbits from their questionnaires. After that, their truly touching vows and the ring exchange. And these, the final lines:
. . . Okay, Andrew, once I’ve scooted out of the way for your photographer, you’ve got the go-ahead to kiss the hell out of this gorgeous woman here. ‘Cause now, she’s your wife.
Family and friends, I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Andrew and Evangeline Weidenhofer and Vickery!
While it wasn't your conventional wedding ceremony with a priest droning on about the merits of marriage, the feedback on our 20-minute show was good and, most importantly, my dear friends were pleased. Now they're off to a couple weeks honeymooning in Europe, and my nerves have finally settled.