I'm an ordained minister, and officiating marriages is making me really hate people.
I've married a bunch of people.
No, I'm not taking a book from the Jennifer Lopez school of the sanctity of marriage — I mean I performed the marriages for a few couples I know. And it's turning me into a misanthrope.
I got ordained online when my best friend asked me to officiate her marriage in October 2013. (How do you get ordained online? You use a credit card. Seriously. Where's your God now?) She and her now-husband are two of my closest pals, and I have faith that they're both in it for the long haul, so I didn't mind preparing a speech and standing around in heels for a little while. It was a good time.
I've done a few marriages since then. And some of them were f--king awful.
If you're asking a friend to marry you and your boo, here are some tips to make it go smoothly so it doesn't end up with one of you silently plotting revenge when it's over.
1. Plan ahead.
At one wedding I performed, there was no rehearsal. (The couple said a rehearsal would be too expensive, even though I was performing the wedding for free and saving them a few hundred bucks there.) As a I result, I (and the bridal party) didn't know where to stand. Additionally, I wasn't given notes until relatively last minute, on top of having a job and other crap to do, so I improvised most of the ceremony, which included jabs at my and the groom's unfortunate football team of choice, the New York Jets. (I will say I'm impressed with their pre-season performance so far, but it's the pre-season, and the pre-season doesn't matter. But I digress.) It turned out okay, but could it have been better with preparation and a rehearsal? Absolutely. (I'm aware that I used a lot of parentheses in this paragraph. I apologize for the asides.)
2. Use wise judgment when picking a minister based on your guests.
A lot of people use me because I'm a comic and they want something light and fun. If you and your guests are expecting something somber or reminiscent of a Nicholas Sparks novel, either specify it beforehand or use somebody else. It's really uncomfortable to have someone's Aunt Edna glaring at them when they're just saying what they were told to say.
3. At least pretend to be generous.
So far I haven't charged a single person for my services because they've all been people I'm close with or knew for a long time. But it's very kind of you to offer something, even if it's just dinner out with the happy couple, because this person is doing something really special and awesome for you. Unless they suck at it, but hey, it was your choice.
4. Make sure you're not marrying an asshole.
This is more for your own good than for your officiant's, but it helps them, too, because, well, we can't do this crap in good conscience if you are or are engaged to a douchebag. For example: Recently, a childhood friend I haven't seen since middle school asked me, in what seemed like desperation, to just authorize her marriage license. I said yes and refused to take money from her to just sign a form. Unfortunately, I didn't know this before filing, but apparently the guy she married pursued her when she was 16 and he was 27, making him at best a creep and in most states a sex offender (though in New Jersey, where they live, she was age of consent). I could have maybe looked past that: Touching kids is terrible, but that's one aspect of someone's character. But when I was filing the paperwork, the guy was also extremely entitled and a dick. He refused to get out of the car or even offer me a wave or a head nod to thank me for doing them a huge favor. Had I known all this information going in, I wouldn't have signed anything. Sir, you don't touch kids and be rude. That makes you a truly, truly horrible person and probably a sociopath. On the bright side, I'm pretty sure I accidentally made a clerical error in the form, so maybe they're not married after all. (And that, sir, is what you f--king get.)