We aren't getting married in a church. Initially when we started planning I was dead set on having a church wedding. Probably because 98% of the weddings I've been to have been in a church so to me weddings = church. Well we ended up deciding to have our ceremony in the gardens of our reception venue and I'm pretty stoked about it. However this meant that we needed to find someone to marry us.
Kristian suggested using a friend or family member and having them ordained online. While I think the sentiment is sweet I personally feel like it just wouldn't feel real to me the same way as having some sort of religious figure do it whether it's a Minister, Pastor, Reverend, Priest or even a Rabbi for that matter. I wanted someone who does the God thing for a living.
Fortunately for me after my mother retired from the Government she got a job as an office manager for a small Methodist church up in Maryland. I've met her boss Pastor Steve a few times and he's very nice and also on the younger side (late 30's I believe). My mom asked him if he would be willing to perform the ceremony and he agreed. I was very grateful especially since it means he has to get his license to perform weddings in VA just for us.
One of the requirements to having Pastor Steve marry us is doing a few pre-marital counseling sessions. I have no problem with this and I'm actually looking forward to it. I really believe that all couples regardless of their relationship could probably benefit in some way from pre-marital counseling. I think there are a lot of issues that many couples (including us) probably haven't talked about in depth and doing the counseling can help bring some of these topics to light.
We have our first session this Saturday. The way Pastor Steve does it is that he first will give us each a questionnaire/compatibility test. He uses the results of this to help guide what our sessions will be about. For instance if the test shows that we aren't as compatible when it comes to bills/finances we'll spend more time on that topic. If we score perfect on the topic of children than we may not need to focus on that quite as much.
I have to admit I'm a bit nervous. While I believe K and I are very compatible (I wouldn't be marrying him otherwise) what if we do poorly on the test and Pastor Steve decides not to marry us?! My mother said this happened with one couple that came to see him! I would be horrified. I'm not gonna lie I did ask my mom if she could sneak me a copy of the test since she's the one that orders them. She said no.
Wish us luck! I'll be back with a full report on Monday.