Wedding Day vs. A Dental Appointment Day
This blog is a little late in coming but a thank you is always better late than never especially when you are thanking someone who has created a highlight of joy in your life. I want to thank two couples who honored me by asking me to officiate at their weddings, giving my second career as a wedding officiant a significant boost. Actually it has been over a year so happy belated anniversary to both. Every couple I have married remains married to this day. I might even start charging but it would be hard to charge for being given such an honor; an opportunity to share in so much joy, so different than being a dentist. Although we try to make it different, we know that few look forward to their dental appointment day. The emotions surrounding getting a filling or crown are entirely different than the emotions of a wedding day. I love being around young people who are making the commitment on the day their life changes, no matter how long they have lived together. All of the couples I have married have been young people I have watched grow up, and helping them make the most important commitment of their lives is a privilege. If you want more information on the other weddings go to Lantz Wedding and King Wedding
A Dentist as a Minister
Why they would entrust me with one of the most important moments of their lives is beyond my comprehension. Who would think of asking their dentist to marry them? Perhaps because whenever they come in the dental office I always ask them when they are getting married; not the most subtle marketing program, but it appears to be working. I of course collude with their parents who are also patients and want to see their children happily married…probably a HIPAA violation: Sue me. They do know I am committed to perfection and making sure everything goes smoothly.The ceremony for me is a labor of love and I take weeks writing it, individualizing it for each couple and meeting with them in pre-marriage counseling. I always warn that they get what they pay for, and they are not paying. So far everyone seems to feel they got their money’s worth. In addition, I have helped more than one wedding planner get their act together when I felt their disorganization was going to impact the ceremony. I have even begun helping others write and edit ceremonies for weddings they are going to perform.
Spontaneous Free Spirits, Scotti and Bryan
The first marriage was at the end of last year between Scotti, who was a star on the CHS women’s water polo team. A real competitor she recently won a body Surfing Championship in Oceanside. She attended Stanford on a sports scholarship where she met Bryan, a creative genius and thinker. What he exactly does is a mystery but I know he surfs, creates art, writes books, shapes surfboards and thinks outside the box way ahead of most of the rest of us. He is one of the reasons we have been successful on the internet. They are one of my favorite couples because it is so obvious they are meant for each other and enjoy life together completely. They are non traditional free spirits whose spontaneity I at times envy; You never know what their next adventure will be. Being a father of a daughter and following my clerical marketing plan every time I would see Bryan in the dental office I would ask him when he was going to marry Scotti: after all they had been together for over 7 years. Of course my wife and all the assistants were mortified that I would have the audacity to ask but as many of you know I have very few filters between what I think and what I say. I even went so far as to offer to marry them, (part of my clerical marketing program ) never thinking that they might actually take me up on it.
So two weeks before Christmas, Scotti is in the office for her dental cleaning and informs me that Bryan is supposed to ask me if I would marry them in two weeks before the end of the year, as it was a good time tax wise. Like the Christmas Season isn’t chaos enough with office parties, family and everyone wanting their teeth for Christmas. Scotti and Bryan’s life is founded on this kind of spontaneity and freedom. But, for a rigid old dentist who usually takes over two months to write a ceremony, this was pushing my comfort envelope. We were able to have our discussions about marriage, and write and plan the ceremony all before the end of the tax year. On a beautiful sunny day on the bluff at La Jolla Cove, overlooking one of their favorite body surfing beaches, they exchanged vows. A permit is probably required but in true Bryan and Scottie spontaneous fashion we just went and did it.
To my surprise Bryan who I have never seen wear anything but flip flops wore a suit. The hardest part of the ceremony was getting grandma in her wheel chair down the cliff without her falling off the cliff into the ocean. Even though their life is dedicated to fun the seriousness of their vows and the depth of their commitment reflected a love eternal. Every couple I have married remains married to this day and seeing the way they looked at one another on that sun drenched cliff I know they will be together forever. So thank you Scotti and Bryan for forcing a little spontaneity into my life. Given that Scotti is now pregnant the spontaneity in their life may also be soon changing. Congratulations!
A Traditional Carlsbad Wedding, Stacie and Eric
The second wedding was more traditional, A true Carlsbad wedding, permit and all. I even had time to prepare. Eric Brown, who I have known since before he was born, a Carlsbad native who attended Carlsbad schools from Magnolia to CHS, and achieved his goal of becoming a Carlsbad firefighter, marrying Stacie, a Hawaiian princess he met at college in Hawaii. Eric is honored to serve his community and Carlsbad is a safer place with Eric watching over it. You can say hi to him on the beach in Carlsbad as he is one of the lead firefighter/paramedic lifeguards. Stacie and her family brought the Mahalo spirit of happiness and gratitude from Hawaii to the ceremony. Stacie is a flight attendant and her smile has probably tamed more than one irate passenger. The wedding was a Carlsbad/Hawaiian family affair with everyone pitching in to help decorate and make the event a success: the groomsman stayed at the Carlsbad campground and surfed until they had to change, Leis made from foliage picked from sacred Hawaiian mountain tops adorned the wedding party, Eric’s fellow fireman helped to construct the arbor, the bridal party rode out to the bluff in in a golf cart borrowed from Tim Wrisley (editor of the Carlsbad Magazine) the antique Carlsbad fire engine carried the bridal party, sirens blaring all the way from the bluff at Ponto to the reception at the barn in the the Flower fields.
The ceremony was perfect with music by John Bennett and Jim Volkert, a beautiful sunset and the joining of two people who were destined for one another. I like to have a surprise in the ceremony so I arranged for my daughter, Julene, to call my cell phone near the end of the ceremony. Her timing was perfect and my phone rang loudly and obnoxiously in my pocket to the surprise of all the guests. You could hear them all groan and , proclaim, ” You have to be kidding” “Really.” I answered the phone and spoke for a minute. I then told the audience it was God calling and I always answer his calls. I explained that God just wanted to let Stacie and Eric know that when he created them he knew they would be perfect together. Thank you Stacie and Eric for honor of being part of your special day.
Although officiating at wedding ceremonies is a highlight of my life, it will never replace my first passion, dentistry which in spite of all of its challenges is still the most rewarding career I can imagine for me.
Brandon, my son also has a dual career a a dentist and wedding officiant and just performed his second ceremony this May. I let him tell you about it.