Eight years ago, I was invited by a friend of mine who is a wedding officiant to come with him to an elopement on the beach and photograph the ceremony. I borrowed a camera from a friend and suddenly became a professional photographer. I got paid for taking pictures. That was about 10,000 wedding photos ago. Eventually, I bought my own camera and my officiant buddy and I formed a company and called it Two Guys and a Wedding. Silly name, played off of a moving company franchise. We were both single, die hard bachelors at the time. I eventually started officiating myself.
The other guy turned into a girl two years ago when I met and married my wife and new photographer. We enjoy working weddings together and have found we make a good team when it comes to serving a bride and groom on their big day. The photography has greatly improved and a woman’s touch at a wedding is a must.
We considered it a ministry. I usually suggest a Christian ceremony to my couples. Marriage is hard. Why not invite the creator of the universe to be a part of it. Often times when a couple comes to Charleston to elope or have a grand destination wedding they need among other things, an officiant. Someone to make the marriage legal and conduct the ceremony. Preachers don’t typically travel or the couple just wants a civil ceremony, that’s where we fill a need.
It did not take me long as an officiant to realize I didn’t like marrying strangers. In an early wedding on the beach with about 70 people, I stood there as the bride walked down to her place in the sand in front of her soon to be husband. She was a beautiful young bride; could have been one of my daughters, and I barely knew her name! I introduced myself to her then and there and decided I would never marry a stranger again. It was awkward for us both.
Since then, I raised my fee to cover the time it takes to meet a couple prior to the wedding. We may loose some customers because we cost more than the other guy, but that is ok considering the alternative. I have found a simple meeting prior to the wedding day is a great time to get to know each other, go over the ceremony, and perhaps share some wisdom with the couple that would be of use to them one day. It makes it more meaningful for us all.
The ceremony is the focal point of the whole day, if but for the few moments it takes to get through it. I encourage couples to take the opportunity to say something to one another from the heart. Some take me up on that. Some are too shy. We married one couple that were not interested in the least, in being the center of attention. We married them at sunrise, everybody else was sleeping. I married a big tough police officer once, he stood there in tears as he told his bride in front of his friends a family, how much he loved his woman. A tough guy with a heart. My kind of man. There are many stories to be told about weddings we have been a part of. Each one is a privilege to be a part of. Where else can you have an opportunity to be a part of someone’s best day? What else can be more gratifying than to be a part of a new family being formed.
So…..we serve with gratitude in hopes that our part in your wedding helps make it a little less stressful and a little more special.