One of the things I've delegated to Opie is to find the officiant for our ceremony. I initially started researching it myself, but the prices and cheesiness of everything I was finding was just.. toooo much. The average rate for a ceremony in Dallas appears to be around $200, $250. That's ridiculous in my opinion. What all do they do? They show up in somewhat nice attire, read a few lines aloud from a binder, sign some papers, and skedaddle. That's a pretty sweet hourly rate for them, eh?
We thought we had a good solution to this problem. Opie's uncle would make a great officiant! Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons that I can understand, his uncle declined our request. Back to square one. I have a few family members of my own that would probably play the role well, but we think the wedding is probably already a little too focused on my family, so we're exploring other options first.
Opie's mom suggested a pastor from her church, with the recommendation that he's really good with young people. That kind of scared me off a bit. Despite my lack of religious affiliation, I've attended a lot of churches of numerous denominations over the years, and I normally can't stand youth ministers. Nevertheless, since we have no other recommendations, Opie called the guy up today. Apparently he's actually the minister for 30 & 40-year-olds. I didn't even know they had specializations like that, to be entirely honest. I haven't talked to him yet, but Opie laid out our requirements (no premarital counseling, at most only minimal mention of God in the ceremony, respect for our personal beliefs, no church ceremony) and he was pretty pleased with the guy's openness to our wishes, so we have a meeting with him on Tuesday. We don't know yet what he charges, but at least we've found a possible contender.