Mr. Dragon and I are not affiliated with a religion in particular. I’m more of an agnostic type of person myself, whereas he’s a believer in a higher power without the organized aspect. Add in an outdoor wedding in a town where neither of us has any network, and we might have been looking at a tricky situation when it came to finding an officiant.
In Ontario, there are two ways to get married. You can have a religious marriage, “performed by an official of a recognized religion who has received authorization from the Office of the Registrar General to perform marriages in Ontario,” as the government explains. A civil marriage is the other option, as performed by an Ontario judge, justice of the peace, or municipal clerk. There really aren’t any creative options like you see in some of the States, where people ordained online can officiate.
Enter FFIL Dragon.
Photo by FBIL/GM Jesse
He’s not just a bush plane pilot—he’s on the Religious Officials Authorized to Solemnize Marriage list, too.
FFIL Dragon extended an offer to officiate pretty much the moment Mr. Dragon called to let him know we were engaged. While it was basically a given that we would choose him, we actually just made the official phone call to ask him on the weekend and, lucky for us, he said he’d jump at the chance.
This is a good thing for so many reasons!
First off, having someone we know, and know very well, is going to make the ceremony feel that much more intimate and personalized. And, having someone who we’re comfortable with means less of a chance of panic attacks and fainting in front of the audience! FFIL Dragon was the first of our parents to see us as a couple, and he’s been a big part of our life together ever since. One of my favourite couple-y moments with Mr. Dragon was a canoe trip we did up north at FFIL and FSMIL Dragon’s camp—and, true to form, FFIL Dragon was there on the first day, setting us up, showing us the ropes, cooking us an amazing dinner on the grill, feeding us breakfast the next morning, then leaving us to our own devices.
As much as he’s excited to be the one to marry us, we’re excited to have him up front and center, too.
We haven’t thought too much about what we want out of a ceremony yet, but we do know we want to write our own vows, hit a sweet spot, lengthwise, between Vegas elopement and full Catholic wedding mass, and perhaps incorporate some personal aspects like a handfasting. FFIL Dragon told us to shop around for what we’d like and come to him with our ideas when we’re ready so we can all talk about it and come up with a game plan.
I have never been to a wedding where you can sit down and drink a beer with the minister after, but I’m very excited to see how this turns out!
Did you have a family member or friend officiate? Why did you choose them over someone else?