We had some early discussion about who would marry us and some set backs, but eventually we settled on a person who made perfect sense. My Aunt Nancy. She was already legally able to marry people, she'd performed a few weddings already and she's known and loved us both since we were children.
For me two things were extremely important: 1)Making sure Mike and I were comfortable on our day and 2)Making our promise in our own words. It's a huge deal to me that we vow in the sight of God and our loved ones to be together forever. I can't allow "supposed to's" to unnerve either of us. I want my future husband to be "of sound mind" when he utters this huge promise to me. He doesn't have a relationship with a priest and the one I knew from childhood had disappointed me. Picking a religious figure at random seemed as meaningful as going to the courthouse. So, why not his "other Mom" growing up? Perfect.
The other issue is I don't want to say anything I don't agree with. What use is a promise you don't intend to keep? Love, honor and obey, no thanks. I want to promise each other things we can work on fulfilling together everyday for the rest of our lives. I need to believe in this union going the distance. I don't believe in one size fits all vows, at least for us.
I don't believe only marriages performed by priests/in churches are blessed by God. Any believer lives with the holy spirit inside them. I also don't believe that only a Christian can perform a Christian ceremony. My Aunt is a wonderful person who will perform the ceremony we choose with love and without judgment. It's a wonderful gift to have such an important person in our lives leading us through our ceremony.
It's going to be a beautiful day and a heartfelt exchange of vows. There are no guarantees in this life, but moving forward with the ones you love around you always seems like a good next step.