Wednesday, November 12, 2008


As I mentioned in my last post (all 5 minutes ago), Mike and I knew from the start that we were looking for a secular ceremony that would be deeply meaningful to the both of us. We knew that we wanted someone who could take our long history and blend it with the prospect of our long future together. We wanted someone who would, of course, give the day the appropriate gravitas but still understand that it was me and Mike, and well, gravitas isn't our forte.

Half-heartedly and half-serious, we mentioned to our friend DJ how wonderful it would be if he could officiate our ceremony. I met DJ about 2 weeks after I met Mike, and Mike's known him even longer. DJ has been with us for the good times (he was our roommate in Nashua) and the bad (he was my roommate in Nashua after Mike moved out). It's funny to think, but he is one of both Mike's and my closest and dearest friends. Both of us. Pretty much equally. Before we had asked DJ, when we were considering our bridal party, I was considering fighting Mike to get DJ to be on my side instead of his.

DJ is one of the most spiritual and religious people I know. His faith is deep and a significant part of who he is. I was worried, when I first asked him, that he wouldn't consider officiating for this reason. You see, in order to officiate our wedding, DJ had to become ordained with the Universal Life Church and I was a little hesitant to ask him because I didn't know if it would conflict with his faith.

After we asked, DJ did quite a bit of research into what would be involved, how the process would work, etc. When he finally got back to us, he explained that he would be honored to do it but there were a few hoops he had to jump through.

So for those considering this option, here are the steps.

Step 1. Become Ordained.
Seems complicated, no? Actually it's really not. The Universal Life Church provides free ordinations over the Internet with the catch being you pay to get all the paper work and all the extra goodies. After a few minutes, DJ was officially Reverend DJ.

Step 2. Get your paperwork in.
Once you've ordered the necessary paperwork, it's time to wait. For DJ, it took a few weeks.

Step 3. Ask for permission.
In NH, an in-state ordained minister may marry any citizen. Well, any citizen looking to marry someone of the opposite sex, but that's a post for another day. If you're an out-of-state minister, you have to apply for a special dispensation to marry a specific couple. In DJ's case, that's us! (actually, it's us and another couple. The weekend after our wedding, DJ's marrying another couple friend of his!)

Step 4. Wait for permission.
Like all bureaucracy, getting the permission takes time. But a few weeks ago DJ got this in the mail!

I don't know if you can read that, but the gist of it says that Rev. DJ is authorized to marry us! Woo Hoo!!!

We are so honored to have someone so close to us solemnize our marriage (sounds so darn official). DJ is so special to both of us and having him perform the ceremony will make it so personal and meaningful to us. Our ceremony won't be too long, but what it lacks for in length, it will more than make up for in meaning, sentiment and love. We are so lucky not only to love each other but to love the person who will be marrying us!

Where It's At

Neither Mike nor I are particularly religious people. When we first started talking about getting married (umm... about 10 years ago or so...), we both knew we didn't want to be married by a priest in a church. For me the decision was based on a lot of things. But most importantly, I want to stand by every single word I am going to say at my wedding, and not fudge anything, even a little bit.

So Mike and I always knew that we'd be married in a secular ceremony in a not-particularly religious place. Growing up in Londonderry, we often drove past this little stone chapel in Hudson. It's surrounded by a wrought iron gate and set back from the road. It is just the perfect little chapel. Whenever we talked about where we were going to get married, Mike always picked the Alvirne Chapel as the place.
Isn't it so cute?? A visit to the chapel was the first order of business when we began wedding planning. And we even visited the chapel before we were ever engaged! Like a whole YEAR before we were ever engaged. Once we were officially engaged, we went back and booked our date right away!

The Alvirne Chapel was built by Alfred Hill for his wife Virginia (Alvirne is a portmanteau of their name). The Hill's were a prominent Hudson family in the late 1800's and early 1900's. The chapel fits about 115 people (including the standing bridal party) so our day might just be standing-room only!