Weddings – Uh, 13?

I did mention earlier that I perform weddings. Yes, and I did explain how I became ordained by answering an ad in the back of an astrology magazine. I even went into how I obtained “the power vested in me by the State of Delaware”.

I’ve done a few interesting weddings.

A woman in the Air Force I knew decided she needed to get married so she could quit her part time job. You see, in the military, you get extra money if you’re married. Even more if you have kids. I guess she didn’t need enough money to justify having a kid, but being married gave her more than enough to afford staying in her apartment without that second job.

The idea was that she’d get married and pay her new husband $100 a month to be married to her.

They would have no shared property, no shared bank accounts, no shared credit accounts. They wouldn’t live together. She wouldn’t use his name.

In fact, if though some strange twist of fact they actually became involved and fell in love, they would immediately get divorced. If they decided to get married, it would be a “proper wedding”, in a church, with a “real” minister.

She had a friend who was a lawyer that wrote this whole thing into a “Separation Agreement”.

She took this and went to the Air Force’s legal department. She explained that she wanted to get married simply to get the extra cash. She wanted to know if it would be considered fraud. It took them a few days to get back to her, but that according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, as long as it was a legal marriage, there was no fraud. The lieutenant then told her, “The mayor wouldn’t perform such a wedding and you’ll never find a minister to do it.” She just smiled.

She found a mutual friend willing to go through with it. We gathered at another friend’s house for the ceremony. We stood in the dining room. The “bride” handed me the Separation Agreement. I read it silently as they stood there. Once I finished, I looked at them both and said “Are you really going to do this?” They both said “YES”. With that, I signed the marriage license. The bride and groom then signed the Separation Agreement. So did I, as a witness.

Another wedding I did while in Dover involved the Pagan motorcycle club. I really enjoyed this one. It even got press coverage.

It was on the first day of spring 1978. It was at dawn. It was on a pier overlooking the Delaware Bay. It was attended by the bride’s immediate family and the groom’s immediate gang. There was about a 30 chopper wedding procession to and from the pier.

I’d memorized the ceremony, a lovely 20 minute presentation of poetry and customized vows. I wore my black clerical shirt, white color, a black sports coat and black jeans.

Jack Daniel’s was passed around the crowd as I spoke.

I was a friend of the bride, Donna. Her husband and his friends had never met me before.

After the wedding, we all headed off to a reception hall to eat and drink. It was about 7 a.m.

I was sitting at the reception, drinking a beer, smoking a cigarette and trying to score with Donna’s sister. One of the biker’s came up to me, stuck his face in my face and said, “Wow, what kind of priest are you?”

I looked him in the eyes, smiled and said, “I’m not a priest. I’m a minister. Let me explain it this way to you. In my religion, if you want to believe Harley Davidson is God, that’s cool with me.”

At the end of the reception, as I was leaving, the groom and his friends gave me about 12 fat joints for doing the wedding.

It was a lovely wedding.

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