G is a good friend and a great gal that possesses many talents. Organization, manners and tact aren’t any of them. When she and her boyfriend decided to tie the knot I was happy to be the some-what coordinator as my gift to her. My abilities begin and end with being a decent list maker but I had the internet to guide me! Everything told, it would cost about $250 dollars, the bulk of it being paying the pastor. She seemed happy with what I cooked up seeing as she didn’t have much better planned.
G was going to have a potluck reception in her backyard. Friends jumped at the chance to help provide food in lieu of gifts. A dish to pass wasn’t a requirement though. We knew we had a handful of ladies we could rely on that could feed a small army and were excited to do so. I had no problem with the potluck considering our friends were very supportive of it but it just makes the end of the evening that much worse.
We used some of my old dresses, hair clips from when we were in grade school and chairs borrowed from everyone. Friends came with curling irons and did everyone’s hair It was so eclectic, intimate and beautiful. It was truly the best ceremony I have ever attended because everyone in attendance made it happen. We all had a hand in seeing G and her husband start a life as one.
The reception, by contrast, was the worst I’ve ever attended. G and I had a small argument at the beginning over paying the pastor. Despite our long talks and the lists I had her look over she was under the impression the $250 she set aside was for their honeymoon. “What honeymoon?” I asked. She answered, “The one Husband and I decided we should have this morning.” She wouldn’t budge and the pastor that drove 30 miles to marry them went home empty handed. It was, as she said, his job that the church pays him to do.
Both bride and groom proceeded to get so drunk they were rolling in the grass, fighting with each other and acting like, well, drunken idiots. She upended her last beer for the night and passed around the cup she drank it from. When it came my way I saw bills stuffed in it and asked a guest what it was for. “Oh, G and Husband need honeymoon money and they asked us to pitch in”. Yes, the very people she asked to bring chairs, food and various other things she was now asking money from. On top of the money she refused to pay the pastor.
The kicker? She blacked out at the hotel they rented for the night and doesn’t recall much other than the ceremony and some of the reception. The guests paid for her to have a romantic night she can’t remember. 0503-10
The pastor/officiant is the “vendor” that most often gets stiffed of his honorarium or fees. Considering this is the person who has the final authority to sign and mail in the marriage license (like the pastors I have worked with), it doesn’t seem prudent to deny him a token of your appreciation for taking the time from his family to conduct a ceremony.