A few months ago, I received a phone call from my cousin asking if I would perform her upcoming wedding ceremony. The request was so completely unexpected that a storm of thoughts immediately came tumbling wildly into my head:
Thought #1: It was so flattering to be entrusted with one of the most important moments in someone’s life! If I were actually the kind of person who’d ever scrawl out a bucket list, performing a wedding ceremony would probably be on it! Yes, officiating a wedding would be sandwiched between skydiving (I’m lying – I would never) and taking a walking tour of Athens where I’d politely request that the guide not take us near any statues of hybrid creatures with wings because it would probably be in very bad form to die from shock whilst crossing something off a bucket list.
Thought #2: Did I need to get ordained? I could do that online, right?
Thought #3: How fucking cool is the Internet? Seriously, sometimes I can’t even believe there’s an invention that allows me to order sushi in one moment and then apply for a certification that permits me to marry people in the next. And I can do both without even having to get off my couch!
Thought #4: Was my cousin aware that I could be ordained not just as a wedding officiant, but as a Jedi wedding officiant? I know – it seems very Comic Con-y and I am so not a Comic Con girl – but it could be a sweet way to honor the memory of Wookie, my dog who passed away just a few months prior.
Thought #5: Sasha and Adam’s wedding would not be the appropriate time for The 1st Annual Wookie Memorial Celebration, though I should get started on putting one together because that dog was phenomenal and she deserves to be remembered at a event where I give out bits of rotisserie chicken in gift bags like she would have wanted. But Sasha had never once – not in her entire life – mentioned Star Wars to me. And a light saber would really pull focus from my dress.
It turned out that all of those thoughts were for naught; I didn’t need to get ordained. Since Adam is from Toronto, the two of them headed to City Hall a few months before the wedding to get legally married in an effort to push along his visa because, despite what this administration is telling you about how easy it is to get into this country, it’s actually really fucking difficult and takes a very long time. With the two of them already husband and wife in the eyes of the law, it would be my job to officiate in a non-legal way, and as flattered as I was to have been asked, I suddenly became really nervous.
“We thought of you because you’re a writer,” Sasha explained. “We figured you’d say something great.”
The gauntlet was thrown and I took it all very seriously. Writing what I’d say at their ceremony wasn’t at all similar to the way I used to write term papers, in that I did not wait until the last second or get high at any point during the process. I started to work almost immediately. I figured out a snappy intro that also had some heart. I called my aunt to make sure Canadians speak Sarcasm. (They do.) I contacted both Sasha and Adam separately and asked them to tell me what it is they each love about the other so I could include authentically personal touches into what would be the most publically personal moment of their lives.
The night of the wedding was crisp and cool, odd for a New York June. Arriving at the beautiful townhouse my cousin had chosen for the event, I felt anxious. I kept checking my clutch to make sure I had my notes and I sort of wished I did have a light saber to give me some strength. (That’s what light sabers do, right? I mean, I named my dog Wookie and all, but I really just liked the name.) I kept reminding myself to take deep breaths to stay calm, but I tried to do it quietly because this moment wasn’t about me. As for Sasha, one of the two people this moment was about, well, she was absolutely composed and utterly breathtaking as she glided down the aisle in a beaded Jenny Packham gown. From the front of the room where I stood, I heard my seven-year-old niece Mackenzie turn to her mother where they both sat in the fourth row and exclaim, “I’d say ‘yes’ to that dress!” (She’s a reality TV watcher, my Mackenzie. And I’d sooner lock her in a closet stocked with only wire hangers than expose her to Kristen or James on Vanderpump Rules while she is still in such an impressionable stage. I believe exposure to those kinds of allegedly-human monsters could scar her in a way that could legitimately fuck her up until the very end of time.) But back to the wedding! Sasha looked stunning, Adam looked handsome and happy, and the ceremony went off without a hitch, except for the moment I was supposed to place the covered glass beside Adam’s feet at the very end so he could smash it – a traditional Jewish custom that was still being done even though Adam’s not Jewish – and as I went to do it, I had to look up at him and say, “Um, I can’t bend in this dress. You have to put it on the floor, okay?” He smashed the thing in one heavy slam, they kissed in front of a crowd, they were married (again), and I needed myself a drink or twelve.
I couldn’t help thinking about that beautiful moment when I saw the previews for this week’s Vanderpump Rules episode and watched Lisa’s reaction to being asked to perform Schwartz and Katie’s ceremony. I was nervous about being asked to do such a thing because it’s just not the kind of request you get every day, but Lisa didn’t look nervous. The woman has performed wedding ceremonies before. It appeared instead that Lisa would rather take shots of urine-spiked hemlock off Brandi Glanville’s concave tummy than actually have to stand up in front of a crowd and pretend that this particular union is bound to be anything but a hideous mistake.