Their Officiant Is Just Out Of This World!

by admin on July 29, 2009

“Nancy” and her intended “Jeffery” decided on the spur of the moment to get hitched during the last part of her senior year of high school. No, she was not pregnant, they just decided to marry. Jeffery was a couple of years older and her “knight in shining armor”.

So the ceremony was to be planned ASAP and Nancy asked me to be her MOH, as she had no sisters and I was her closest friend. In response Jeffery asked his best friend “Keith” to be his best man. (By the way Keith and I were dating at the time.)

 I began helping Nancy and Jeffery with planning the wedding. Since they wanted to be married quickly, the plans were to marry at a small local chapel that also had a facility on the grounds for a nice reception area. Nancy and I did a lot of work trying to arrange a nice simple ceremony with a respectable reception to follow for immediate family and close friends.

 About 3 weeks later it all changed. There was really no money in which to have any sort of wedding and reception becasue she is in high school and Jeffery is a enlisted soldier with little spare change to spend on a wedding. I had wrongly assumed that their parents were offering to pay for the wedding costs only to find out that not only did the groom’s parents not know about the upcoming marriage (red flag #1!) but that her parents refused to cough up a dime based on the fact that she was not marrying a fellow Catholic man.

 So now Nancy and Jeffery decide to scrap it all and instead of possibly waiting a few months and save up for a decent ceremony, call up a local Justice of the Peace to marry them. This is where it gets bad.

 On a Friday at school (remember I am a senior in high school with Nancy) she informs me to not make any plans that night, as she and Jeffery are to be married at 7pm that evening! Oh, okay? So I get home from school that evening and let my mom know what is happening, and she just rolls her eyes and says okay. I can’t say as I blame her for her thoughts on this scenario!

 So Keith and I meet up with the bride and groom to be and go in search of the home where this Justice of the Peace they found in the phone book lives. On the way over Nancy informs us that she had contacted the JOP the day before and informs her that he is an elderly gentleman who for health reasons only performs ceremonies in his home. But he assures her that he and his wife have tastefully redecorated the front parlor of their Victorian-style home to accommodate a lovely ceremony. So we figure not all is lost to provide them somewhat of a nice ceremony.

 After getting lost for about 15 minutes we finally arrive at the home. Mind you this is in January and at this hour it is already dark outside. But once we arrive we are pleased to find ourselves in front of a lovely home in the historical area of town. Thankfully the bride to be’s family has relented in having a non-Catholic son-in-law and arrive for the ceremony too.

 We are greeted by the JOP and his wife on the front steps and welcomed in. They ask if anyone would like to use the Powder Room to freshen up before the ceremony and both Nancy and I request to do so to check our makeup and hair. We are lead down the hallway by the wife while the JOP escorts everyone else to the front parlor.

 After a few minutes of “girly primping” and nervous giggles we head back to the front parlor. Here is where the fun begins.

 As soon as we walked in the look on everyone’s face is priceless. It was a mix of horror and being uncomfortable. It was then we began to look around the room and realize the “tasteful décor” is old dusty furniture (and I don’t mean antique furniture, more like 1970’s Brady Bunch style) and old peeling wallpaper. But the cherry on top was that literally on every wall was at least one oversize painting depicting a UFO scene! Then we noticed in the bookshelves stacks of books on the subjects of aliens, space crafts, UFO sightings, ect. It was beyond bizarre! And for Nancy’s very religious family this was almost more than they could stomach!

 But at this point there was nothing to be done and so the ceremony was to proceed. Then the wife of the JOP insisted on playing music as the ceremony was to begin. Of course we were expecting something romantic and “wedding-like” to be played , but oh no, it was very weird music that I honestly had to say would be something you would hear at the beginning of a horror movie! Thankfully she only played it for about 30 seconds before turning it down to barely audible level.

 The ceremony was just as strange. Instead of the usual, “Do you Jeffery take Nancy to be your wife….,” type of vows, it was all about being one in the universe together and living in the harmony with all that the planet Earth would produce. I was floored at the words I was hearing and several times looked over at my boyfriend/best man, only to see him straining to keep from laughing at this “ceremony”.

 Thankfully it was over quickly. Pictures were taken outside (to obviously have some non- Star Trek theme going on in the background!) and we all departed for dinner. There was some tension as we left, but thankfully once we arrived for the dinner everyone was in a better mood and the weirdo wedding was not discussed.

 Let that be a lesson to all brides to be, no matter how little time you have to plan your wedding, NEVER book a ceremony site without checking it out first!!!

Oh by the way the lovebirds may have been cursed by this strange wedding and all its kookiness, as they divorced less than 2 years later.   10-14-08

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

jenna February 15, 2010 at 12:39 am

OK, the UFO pictures and ’70s furniture and weird vows are, well, strange if you are not into that sort of thing (I’m not but I am sure some people are).

But there is nothing wrong with NOT having a normal wedding. There is nothing wrong with deciding not to spend that kind of money and just going to a JoP. I wish we were doing that, honestly, because the wedding we are currently planning is way too big for its britches. It doesn’t make it less of a marriage if you don’t have an, ahem, “decent” ceremony. I actually find that comment a little offensive.

Music does not need to be “weddingy” either. Why should one have to stick to certain tunes that people have decided are weddingy? You can have the processional to something you like. It’s not tacky. Now if the couple also thought this was weird and creepy that’s one thing and makes for a good laugh, but in every other way, “kooky” does not = “bad”.

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Tara February 16, 2010 at 11:36 am

I doubt they were “cursed” by the wedding. More likely, they were “cursed” from marrying so young, and apparently without thinking it over since it was spur of the moment. How long had they even been dating?

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MrsAdorkable March 26, 2010 at 11:34 pm

Yes, I am sure it was the ceremony itself that “cursed” this marriage. (Seriously??)

By the way, I’m not getting how its relevant that the JOP and his wife’s decorating, music, and life style choice’s didn’t meet up to your high hopes for your high school friend and spur of the moment fiance’s wedding. If she had maybe bothered to check out the location before hand, and then decided against this, because of her own personal taste, then more power to her! Maybe the extra time would have even given her time to come to her senses about getting married at that age altogether.

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Sarah May 30, 2010 at 1:12 am

I don’t think the poster was complaining about a family making a decision to have an oddly decorated wedding. She clearly states that the moral of the story is to check out the locale that you’ve planned your wedding for – it was clearly not in the taste of anyone there. That’s not to say the JP and his wife should be berated for having different tastes, but the family should have checked out their house first.

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Bethany July 20, 2010 at 1:48 am

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being married before a civil officiant. I belong to a very strict Baptist sect that which, while not strictly forbidding marriage after divorce, frowns upon conducting such ceremonies in the church.

My husband and I decided to marry on the spur of the moment last December. After applying for our marriage license (oddly, in our county courthouse, the same office handles both marriage licenses and gun permits, which caused us a great deal of mirth as to which one we were applying for), we had to wait a few hours for the judge who conducted the civil ceremonies was free.

Civil ceremonies where we live are conducted each weekday at 6 pm on a first-come first-served basis. We were so excited that we got there an hour early and were the first in line. No family or friends in attendance, only us two and a waiting room full of strangers from literally ALL walks of life – from the couple dressed in standard wedding formalwear with families and friends in tow to the Hispanic couple in their work clothes.

Each couple was called back individually to the courtroom, where the judge performed the ceremony in privacy. But as each couple emerged, the entire waiting room would erupt in applause and cheering.

My point? Despite the stigma anyone might attach to the simple “JoP” wedding, I wouldn’t give anything in the world for mine. I had no special clothing (jeans and a sweater), and we didn’t even have time to buy wedding rings prior to the ceremony. It was as wonderful and magical as if we had been married in a cathedral.

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Liutgard July 24, 2010 at 5:44 am

My daughter got married Monday morning. They had a courthouse wedding, with a county clerk as officiant, and the wedding was in the rock garden in the atrium of the public works building. When I say ‘rock garden’, understand that there really wasn’t any ‘garden’ to it. It was a graveled area, with a bunch of Very Large Rocks standing around. But the pictures show very happy faces all around, and that is the important part. Afterwards, we all went out for brunch. I slipped away from our table and flagged down the waitress and told her that David and Lydia had just gotten married, and she brought them a plate of pancakes covered with whipped cream, sprinkles, and candles. It was very sweet. And we all sang “Happy Wedding to you! Happy Wedding to you!”, followed by a round of applause from everyone in the dining room. :-)

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Drunkenatheist October 16, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Call me crazy, but that set up sounds so wonderfully awesome. If I had my way, I’d prefer to be married by either a JOP or have a blowout ode to kitsch. It’s just far more “me” than the white gown, stuffy photos, and Kool & The Gang blaring in an Elks Lodge.

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Izzy December 5, 2010 at 5:18 am

How old are seniors? 17? Can’t the parents step in and intervene? (I supposed they tried to seeing as the man wasn’t catholic, but arent there laws about this?)
Siiiigh, high school isn’t “real” adult life, she’s never had to deal with juggling a mortage, job, running a household and maybe kids before, then suddenly is thrust into the thick of it, that kinda kills the romance at times.
That being said courthouse weddings can be done tastefully – close friends, less fuss, cheap, I had a friend do this for the ceremony but used the money saved to treat the same friends/family to a lovely dinner reception – Definately the sensible type.
I think small/simple weddings are wonderful – if it is the choice of the couple. If it’s because one or both are too young to have savings saved up, or mommy and daddy oppose and they’re going to get married to thumb their noses, or both making an impulse decision, thats a recipe for disaster.
I’ve considered going to a JP/courthouse, but then realised my close family/friends would be deeply offended I chose not to celebrate a wonderous day with them, and also I would probably regret having no photos to show future generations. Eh, to each his own…especially when it comes to UFO decorations (lol!)

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Yellow.Zinnias May 11, 2011 at 9:55 pm

Izzy,

Most seniors are 18. That means that no, there parents have no legal place to intervene.

I am all for a low-key courthouse ceremony. I urge everyone to watch an old Judy Garland movie called “The Clock”. The basic synopsis is that Judy Garland falls for a solider (Robert Walker in a completely different role than his famous “Strangers on a Train” character, Bruno Anthony) on 2-day leave. They want to marry before he has to leave, and they spend most of the movie trying to get a license and get to the judge on time, overcoming many obstacles in their way. They end up having what many would consider the worst wedding ever. After they are married they go for a walk and end up alone in a church. The scene when they are together in the church is beautiful. It puts everything into perspective as far as wedding vs. being married. Seriously people, watch it! lol

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