This sounds like the beginnings of a horrible joke where the punchline is too racy or demeaning to share in this blog, but, in all actuality, this is the story of our wedding. Mr. Library was raised Catholic and his family, while not being strict church-goers, stand by their religion. FFIL Library was actually Protestant growing up and converted when he and FMIL Library came together. They have been Catholics for as long as I have known the family, and only a few years ago did the FFIL Library story come out. Mr. Library is currently contemplating what his true beliefs are, but it was important to him that religion be a large part of our wedding ceremony.
My family, on the other hand, is very much Protestant. Mom and Dad Library have a similar story to the FIL Libraries; Mom Library grew up Baptist and Dad Library grew up Catholic. When it was time for them to get married, the priest they talked to called my mother a heathen for not coverting and pretty much put up a big fit, almost refusing to be a part of the ceremony. Disgusted, my parents decided to raise Sister Library and me as United Methodists. When Mom Library’s parents were alive, we would go to the Baptist church with them. Gram Library (Dad Library’s mom) is my only surviving grandparent, so when we go visit her we go to the Catholic church, but otherwise we stick to United Methodist. You could say that I have been raised in three different churches in a way. I respect all three, but I am more attached to what I have grown up being.
With the pattern of Protestant marrying Catholic already established for us, Mr. Library and I had a few questions when it came to deciding on who would officiate our ceremony. Did we want two people? I thought that would look a little funny, and I wanted a connection with one person, not a juggling act with two. Even if we could decide on having one person, what kind of church would we get married at? Would an out-of-town church let us bring in our own officiant? So many questions, so little patience for different officiants’ egos.
When we found the bridge, I knew Mr. Library was pretty hestitant to get married outside, away from an actual place of worship. I believe that God is all around us, so it would be a spiritual place no matter where we were (with the possible exception of a county jail or Vegas “wedding drive-thru”). Being the amazing man he is, Mr. Library agreed to the bridge, so I left the job of finding an officiant up to him. If the ceremony needed to be more religious for him, he was the man to find our officiant.
And that he did. With a few emails, Mr. Library contacted his priest from undergrad, Father Walter. An aging man with bright blue eyes and an infectious smile, Father Walter has to be one of the most liberal priests to grace our planet, and I love him dearly for that. I have a few complaints about different Catholic rules, specifically having to state that I WILL raise my children as Catholic (or ELSE!), and Father Walter said that was fine. Did it matter that I was Protestant? Nope. When we went to visit one of his services, he made the whole ceremony “Protestant friendly” and explained each tradition as we went. He welcomed me to take communion (a huge no-no at other Catholic churches) and genuinely cared about what I needed spiritually at the ceremony.
When Mr. Library and I went to his parish to have dinner a few months later, Father Walter not only proved to be a welcoming host, but an amazing chef. I was tempted to ask if he could cater the wedding as well! He mentioned that because we were both baptized as Christians, the Catholic church dictated that we had to get married in a building. Well, because our bridge is a covered bridge, he was willing to file the paperwork in a certain way to get the church to recognize it. Oh Father Walter, you scoundrel you!
I am so glad that Mr. Library picked Father Walter to lead our ceremony. Though it was tough balancing our two different backgrounds, the compromises we came to have worked out wonderfully. I cannot wait to see how it all comes out together!
How did you pick your ceremony officiant? Are you from different religious or spiritual backgrounds?