A few years ago, I carpooled to work with this guy. At work, I knew this girl. Guy met girl. Girl liked guy. Guy was shy. I somehow managed to talk to both about the situation–becoming a “messenger”, a go-between; let’s face it–I was their “redneck Cupid”. The relationship blossomed.
About 5 months ago, they got in touch with me and bestowed upon me a great honor. They asked if I would officiate at their wedding. Would I perform the ceremony and sign on the dotted line to make them a legally married couple in the state of Alabama?
I said, “Certainly”
But first, I would need to become a legally ordained officiant for the state of Alabama. As of today, Sept 9th 2015, I applied for ordination online through American Marriage Ministries; and was ordained. Ordination was free. For a small fee, I opted for a package through the website for forms to submit to my local probate office for proper registration with the county.
I also looked at ordination through the Universal Life Church, but chose AMM instead. No particular reason. AMM just seemed right.
American Marriage Ministries Theological Doctrine is simple.
American Marriage Ministries, its members, ministers and congregants, believe that marriage is a sacred union. We believe that marriage is the natural right of all people, regardless of race, sexual identity, nationality, socioeconomic status, or religious background.
Marriage is celebrated all around the world in a variety of ways, each marital ceremony celebrating the values of the couple, their community, and their cultures. The traditions of marriage predate the founding of the United States, the Abrahamic religions, and the emergence of democratic society. We believe that a phenomenon so ancient and revered, and so ubiquitous throughout the ages, can only be defined as sacred.
Our faith is one that is universal. Marriage is an institution that crosses cultural boundaries and unites peoples. We believe that marriage is of a higher power.
We believe that every couple united in marriage has the right to choose how they will observe, and who will conduct, their sacred rite.
My first wedding ceremony will be October 24th, 2015. After performing the ceremony for these two dear friends, I am making myself available for other couples wishing to get married.
And with recent legal rulings, I am happy to perform same-sex marriages. I am also comfortable with non-religious, secular ceremonies. If a couple desires a religious or spiritual ceremony I am willing; so long as it is considered proper by their existing faiths.
This is an interesting and enlightening path to pursue. The opportunity to develop new friendships and participate in such an important event in people’s lives will not be taken lightly.
To that first couple, those dear friends; Thank You.
UPDATE: FEEL FREE TO VISIT “DOWN THE AISLE WITH DAVE”
Photo © by Alisha Satterfield