Hello, I am Rev. Dr. Stephen King. I thought I could most easily tell you about myself by talking to you about your upcoming nuptials. I am an ordained independent minister. Though I am associated with a ministry, I do not have a local church and prefer it that way. This gives me the freedom to perform my duties as a member of the clergy as I see fit, rather than be limited by the doctrines of one particular religion. Though I perform most of the services offered by other clergy members, I have chosen to make my ministry a Ministry of Marriage. Many times, and it seems more and more, restrictions are being placed on couples to become members of a church, or to sit through classes or counseling sessions in order to become married. While church membership and counseling are of great benefit and should be considered, the choice should be up to the individual couple and be of their own free will.
The divorce rate in America has skyrocketed in the last twenty years. This can be attributed to a variety of different reasons, depending on which expert you listen to. Whatever the reason, great consideration should be given to the step you are about to take. Getting married for the sake of getting married, usually yields disasterous results. Being single and alone is far less hurtful than being married and alone. Don't rush into a decision such as this without considering all you are contemplating. This seems like contrary advice from a minister with a Marriage Ministry. However, this minister wants to know that the people he joins together in marriage are totally committed to each other and are willing to put in the hard work it takes. In today's climate, that can mean taking on duties as a step-parent, having to deal with custody agreements and former spouses and all that entails. On that subject I can speak from personal experience. It is hard work. But, the results of that hard work can be extremely rewarding. Love does not conquer all. Love, combined with hard work, and dedication and loyalty and forgiveness and a big dose of Christianity can conquer all. Having the love and devotion of your spouse is a feeling like no other.
As for your ceremony, I am a Minister, charged with the duty of joining you legally in matrimony. That can take many forms. Your service can be in a chapel with many guests in attendance, a stable of ushers, a flock of bridesmaids, flowers abounding, beautiful music and candles; or it can be you and two friends in Hawaiian shirts on the beach at sunset, or anywhere in between. Remember, THIS IS YOUR DAY! It is your budget and your choice. I will marry you no matter what you choose. I just want to know that the two of you are committed to each other, that you love each other unconditionally and without reservation and that you will put each other first in your lives. There is nothing else that a Minister can ask for.
If you are reaffirming your marriage after many years or even after a few, I will perform a beautiful ceremony, again either formal or informal that will celebrate the years you have spent together and the many more years to come. The Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere claim applies within reason. I will not go trekking off on a 10 day trip to a mountaintop in the Himalayas, but I will marry you on a mountaintop. I won't be jumping out of airplanes or repelling down a cliff or anything that puts me at risk physically. That is better left to those that thrive on those activities. But I will marry you just about anywhere else.
A final word. You met, you fell in love, you have decided that you can't live without each other and you are willing to give your heart and unconditional devotion to your significant other. You have all the basic ingredients needed for marriage. I would feel honored to be chosen to be a part of the rest of your lives. Thank you.