I was totally stressed out over the last week……
Someone had ‘hired’ me to officiate a renewal of vows. I talked to her on the phone over memorial day weekend and everything seemed good to go. She wanted it to be a subtle pagan ceremony and didn’t want God mentioned. No problem. I told her i’d send her some copies of scripts and then if she would send me back the pieces she liked, I’d tweak them and send them back to her to tweak again. I’ve done this many, many times and it’s why I’m ok with charging a bit for these ceremonies. I put a lot of time into them.
Well, after I got back from my trip, I sent her a couple samples of scripts, the amount of the fee and directions on how to send me the money. I told her I needed all this done soon so that I could reserve her day and start tweaking the scripts. …I waited for a reply. Nothing.
Last Monday, I sent her the into again and told her I needed everything as soon as possible. Again….nothing. No reply.
Thursday, I message her and ask her if the ceremony is still taking place. She said yes and that she would get me the money that day. Midnight rolls around. Nothing.
I send her a message Friday morning and tell her that I absolutely have to have those scripts that day as I won’t have time to work on them before her ceremony on Saturday. More of the same. Nothing.
So, this morning…the morning of her ceremony….I send her a message and say that since I haven’t received any scripts, fees or an address, that I’m assuming she is either not having the ceremony or has found someone else to do it. I wished her well.
Then, I turned to my husband and said, “She’ll call at around 2pm, freaking out and wondering why I’m not doing the ceremony.” It’s not that I wanted her to freak out, but I’ve been stressing out about all of this as well. I charge money so that it covers all the time put into prepping for ceremonies. I’ve put in no prep time. I don’t know where I’m going except that it’s an hours drive away and I’ve been stiffed on fees before and don’t want to go through that again. So, it was my way of cutting ties with the stress. Snip. Done.
I was off by an hour. She messaged me at 1pm (the ceremony is at 5pm with an hour drive involved). She needed me to reply that I was coming. Once again I explained I had nothing I needed. She had me paid within 20 minutes and it took another 30 to get the address and script sent to me.
I had just enough time to attach the script into my clergy book, get dressed, get the address into my phone (which was almost out of power) and gather the few items I needed.
I made it to the ceremony 15 minutes before it was scheduled to start. NOT how I like to do things. But, at least I wasn’t late.
Luckily they were running late….as I had to go over the script with them before doing it. Though, as I’m talking to them, they decide to make changes (removing stuff) and I asked if I could add a blessing. They said yes, and out I go to look up one of my previous weddings from my website to find a blessing.
Then, after I have everything set up, I asked them where the cord was for the handfasting. …..each one pointed at the other….’I thought you had it. No I gave it to you”….they had misplaced it. So, now another 15 minutes looking for it.
At this point I’m just feeling so bad for them. I find out that the ceremony was supposed to have been completely outdoors but then they found out it was supposed to rain a couple of days ago, so they had to find an indoor venue at the last minute. So, that’s where her focus has been. Now, they’ve lost the cord and she’s about to have a meltdown. That’s the main piece of the ceremony and we really can’t do it without it. I offer them my 1st and 2nd degree rope belts that I have in the car as a backup. I tell her we can make this work. She’s freaking and getting ready to cry off all her makeup.
After a lot of frantic searching…they finally ask the right person as to where the box might be that has the cord. Grandma. Grandma put it in her trunk thinking she was helping by cleaning up.
The day is saved.
I’ve forgotten my bell that I always start ceremonies with, so I had cut the one down from my rear view mirror in my car. Instead of ‘ding, ding, ding’ to start the ceremony, it’s ‘tinkle, tinkle, tinkle’.
Then, we get through the reading, the handfasting, and I say you may kiss the bride. No one claps. It’s just all quiet. That’s not normal. So, the bride tells everyone it’s picture time.
What an odd event….
Luckily, they were both super nice and apologetic, which helped with my mood a LOT!