By Stu Chisholm, “The Complete Disc Jockey”
Having arrived at the venue early and finding it open, I had my equipment set up, had changed into my tuxedo and felt unusually calm and collected and people trickled in. Being at a very large, exclusive golf club, I had taken full advantage of their shower facilities after setting up and not one hair was out of place. It was going to be a great reception!
But before the reception was the ceremony, and my ultra-compact ceremony system, with three mics (one for a soloist, one for the scripture reading and another for the vows) was in-place, with an additional lavaliere mic at the ready for the priest.
Friends and family had assembled and been seated by the 4:30 start time, but the Bride and her bridesmaids were slightly delayed doing last-minute tweaks to their hair and makeup, so nobody was too concerned that the priest had not yet arrived, especially since everyone had just dealt with the notorious construction that was happening on the freeways leading to the venue.
The Bride Was Starting to Get Stressed
The Bridal Party was ready and waiting in the “ready room.” It was now 4:55 PM, and I could see that the Bride was starting to get stressed. I wandered over and tried to set her mind at ease, again citing the construction and remarking on what a beautiful day it was. It seemed to do the trick.
At least until 5:15 or so, when the Bride recruited her entire party to get on their cell phones and start calling everyone from the priest to nearby churches in hopes of finding a replacement. 5:30, no priest. 5:45… 6:00 PM… By this time, the Bride was losing her mind!
At last, at about ten minutes after six, the priest walks in, muttering apologies about a previous engagement running long and his cell phone battery being dead. Since the men of the Bridal Party were in a separate room, it was up to me to keep the Bride calm and prevent her from murdering the priest with her freshly manicured bare hands.
I then excused myself so I could “wire up” the priest with the lavaliere and that’s when I caught a whiff of his breath; apparently the “previous engagement” involved copious amounts of wine. Still, to the priest’s credit, when we finally got started, he didn’t slur his words and the ceremony went off without any additional problems. Yet all of this had gotten me thinking…
Preventing a Future Disaster
What if the priest hadn’t shown up? In his apparent state of “$!@* faced,” it was remarkable he hadn’t been in an accident or pulled over and arrested on the way. Was there anything I could do to prevent such a disaster in the future?
Actually, it turns out that there was! A quick online search found a plethora of accredited churches that will ordain clergy over the internet. They all have varying requirements and expenses, and I also had to check to see if my state accepted their credentials.
I chose a secular Humanist church so that I could perform services for any denomination, or even for couples with no religious affiliation at all. Ten minutes and $35.00 later, I was an official clergy member of the Church of Spiritual Humanism.
I have done about five events since then, and although I haven’t had to “pinch hit” for an errant priest yet, I feel much more at ease knowing that I can.
It’s also nice to work even more closely with my couples writing their vows and going to their rehearsals. The extra cash is nice, too. So if you’re a DJ, and already comfortable with public speaking anyway, why not take the time to become ordained and give your couples, and yourself, some peace of mind?
Pictured Above: DJ and Reverend Randy Bartlett, wedding officiant for Mike and Kelly Walter.