Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The High Priestess

As I mentioned in my last post, my friend Jill got married last weekend. It was the most perfect day in every way -- the weather was perfect, the bride looked beautiful. Rewind several months back, Jill and I were getting pedicures and talking over what she had left to do for the wedding. Someone to marry them and flowers were all that was left.

The father of a friend was who there were hoping to do the ceremony. That morning, she found out he was unavailable. I could see this was stressing her out. She didn't want to just hire a justice of the peace, she wanted someone they knew. She wanted it to be special.

"Do you want me to go online an get ordained? I can go all Joey Tribiani and marry you guys!" We laughed about it and the subject was dropped. 

Several hours later, she called me in tears. "I just talked to Geoff. Were you serious? Will you really marry us?"

"Of course I will." And that is how I became the "high priestess."

I researched readings and vows and ceremonies, pulling a little of this and a little of that. Jill and I met and made changes. I did more research. The document went back and forth between us, and then finally it was in a place where she and Geoff could add their own personal touches to it.

I practiced reading it out loud. I timed myself. I made sure I didn't stumble or laugh over any words. (We both agreed that the word "lover" didn't belong in any verse, but it always made me giggle.)

And last Sunday, the big day arrived. I went from event planner mode as I signaled the musician and the parents to begin the procession, to "high priestess" mode as I stood with Geoff and waited for Jill to join us in the gazebo.

I read with a loud, clear voice. I looked up at them, and at their friends and families as I went through the ceremony. I didn't drop the rings when the best man handed them to me. I didn't drop my note cards. My voice didn't crack or falter.

Back story: Jill and I have been friends for five-plus years. She drove me 40 miles south, to several of my IUI appointments. She drove me 65 miles north for nearly every IVF appointment. She was with me when I saw my baby's heartbeat. And she was with me a week later when the doctor had to perform a D&C. There is nothing I wouldn't do for her.

So I was proud and thrilled to be entrusted with such a huge job. And then, as I was about to utter the very last words of my script, I started to cry. I closed my eyes. I grabbed Jill's hand. And the photographer got that very moment. I took a deep breath and through tears, was able to say...

"And in accordance with the trust you have both placed in me...It is my honor and delight to declare you husband and wife."


  1. This is a beautiful story, Laurie. You can see the lovely bond between you and Jill in these pictures and it's wonderful to see. :o) You are lucky to have each other.

    And wow, how brave you are to do this! :o)

  2. Beautiful story, beautiful bride, and beautiful officiant! :) great photos of what I'm sure was an amazing day!

  3. Well, gosh, I got teary-eyed reading this. What a special honor for you, and I'm sure for your dear friend as well. Beautiful!

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