Confessions of a Gay Wedding Officiant: For Butter Or Worse
Mark Stenabaugh is an actor, television personality, host and one of the most fabulous wedding officiants you may ever have grace your special day. If you missed the first post about what a wedding officiant is, you can read it here.
As the ringmaster of the ceremony, your officiant can make or break your special day. As Mark notes, “trying to have couples understand that the process to receive their marriage certificate following the ceremony is not a fast procedure. The government is a very slow moving machine and there is only one office for the whole province of Ontario, and that is located in Thunder Bay! After the wedding ceremony is over your officiant has 48 hours to complete and mail the signed license to the Registrar General’s Office (RGO). Even if there is a mail strike, it is up to your officiant to ensure these documents are received in this allotted time. For some strange reason couples believe that officiant’s have direct access to speeding up this process. Truth is, even when we call the RGO we have to wait on hold for information just like everyone else.”
There are some things wedding officiants can’t do much about, like ensuring people know their vows. Mark explains that at a recent ceremony, “the groom had just repeated his vows and said for butter or for worse and we continued the ceremony. When it came time for the ring exchange he couldn’t get the ring on her finger and he was really struggling, so I said ‘I think we need some of that butter you were just talking about.’ The place broke up!” Says Mark.
Photo: Mark and the bride after hearing the groom mix up his vows.
About the Author
Raymond Helkio is an author, director and award-winning filmmaker. As a graduate from the Ontario College of Art & Design he cofounded The Reading Salon and is a Canadian Ambassador for the Moral Courage Project. Find him on Facebook.