No. 23: Officiate a Wedding!

This past weekend I officiated a wedding! When I added this to my 101 things in 1001 days post I knew it was going to happen, so I’m not sure if that’s cheating, but it is such a momentous thing that I thought it merited being on the list. I kind of still can’t believe it’s over, and my mind is sort of a jumble of thoughts and feelings that I haven’t fully sorted out. Thus, I will apologize ahead of time for the discombobulated nature of this post, but here are some assorted thoughts, feelings, and pictures from the wedding weekend!

Photo Sep 15, 2 05 05 PM

Taking my oath to legally pronounce the marriage in Yolo county, Californa! Seriously. YOLO. You can call me Commissioner Bakst. (Picture from SS)

Photo Sep 13, 1 09 30 PM

The bride making love to the camera. Also utilizing the genius post-it trick to collect fallout (?). Is that what it’s called?




The gorgeous bride, F, and her lovely and wonderful best friend. (Picture from AM)

Photo Sep 13, 7 41 55 PM

Me and my main man, T! We’re all fancified.

Photo Sep 14, 3 38 05 PM

Oh, just for fun here’s me being a creeper with my housemate at the airport.


Those are the few pictures I collected of the weekend (and some of those weren’t even mine)! I haven’t been involved in (or even invited to) all that many weddings, but one thing that struck me about this one is that in all the prep the few days before, in all the speeches that were made, in all the things I heard wedding guests saying, everyone was just so full of love for the couple, and so invested in their happiness. Each person did so much to make the wedding go smoothly. And B and F (groom and bride, respectively) were champions. They managed their stress like bosses and did an amazing job of being present with their guests while still enjoying themselves (or at least I’d like to think they enjoyed themselves!).

I have to say that being an officiant was both amazing and amazingly difficult. I was the only one who knew the whole ceremony beforehand. I wrote my own introduction to the ceremony, and helped write and edit most other parts of the ceremony from the marriage pledge and pronouncement to the community vow. I helped make sure that readers prepped their speeches and gave the bride and groom feedback on their vows. It was an amazing thing to be part of. I also sang two songs (and played guitar) for the processional!

Standing up at the front watching F come down the aisle toward B was a beautiful sight. And being able to sing to them as it happened, and stand up there with them as they read their vows to each other was incredibly meaningful. Frankly, I’m getting teary just thinking about it. But doing all of this stuff was also unbelievably challenging. I’ve been dealing with a lot of anxiety issues (in life in general), and this definitely intensified everything. Adding to that was the ridiculous heat — it was 100 degrees out when we did the ceremony (outside), and being all done up in formal wear, playing guitar, and singing… well, it was daunting. I was also sick. Of course. I had been running a bit of a fever the previous 4 or 5 days, and had also gotten my period. The bottom line is that all of those things conspired to make me incredibly anxious.

I have been seeing a therapist for the last few weeks and I thankfully had an appointment right before I left for the wedding. One of the things we talked about was how my anxiety may be to a point where it is interfering with my happiness and mental health, but it also tells me about what is important to me. Being so anxious about the ceremony makes sense: I value my relationships with F and B, I take marriage and the responsibilities of an officiant seriously, I value my health and my mental well-being… so ideally I can turn the gain down on all this anxiety, but it’s not irrational. It’s just intense.

And ultimately, I did it! And I would like to think that I did it well. I will always be the person that married them, and I am still completely awestruck at that fact. In these days after the wedding I am at once so relieved, happy, and exhausted, and I still cannot believe it’s all over! I wish F + B many years of happiness and health and I cannot wait to see what comes next for them. (Well, literally what comes next is a bomb honeymoon in Hawaii. JEALOUS.)

And with that, Commissioner Bakst out.