Monday, October 13, 2008

JoP Update

A few days after the last debacle, I finally got in touch with JoP #1 (the recurrent amnesia guy), and he told me to just call him a couple days before we wanted to meet, and he would meet up with us. So a late last week, I gave him a call and left a message telling him when I wanted to meet. He never -- and still hasn't -- called back.

JoP #2 called me back a few days after the first time I talked to her and was super-excited about meeting us for a consultation. For a $50 fee. I accepted, but immediately planned to cancel. I know $50 isn't THAT much, especially for these kinds of things, but this one keeps adding fees (the rehearsal is extra, too), and it just doesn't seem right.

We met with JoP #3 last weekend, when Eric was in town, and he has an interesting demeanor. He called me earlier that afternoon to confirm our meeting, which I appreciated. When we got to the courthouse, though, he met us in the lobby and asked, "Do you have your witnesses?" Immediately understanding what he thought, I quickly said, "No, no, we're not here to get married, we're here to meet with you." He apologized, asked us our names (which he had already done on the phone), and started walking us up to his office. He was chit-chatting with us, and, in the course of telling a story, asked our names again. Less than 2 minutes after the first time. I was not happy.

JoP #3 ended up being very nice, but I just don't think he's the guy for us. On the plus side, he adamantly sticks to the JoP-agreed fee of $75, while JoP #2 has raised her price to $125 for the ceremony, $75 for the rehearsal, and $50 for a consultation. JoP #3 doesn't believe that's right, and told us that if money is the hurdle preventing us from getting married, to be honest with him, because he has given discounts and performed ceremonies for free before. To him, the important thing is the marriage, and $75 shouldn't stand in the way.

Not that the $75 is what's standing in the way of us using him, but I like that this guy's heart is in the right place. He's a Baptist minister in his outside life, and serves as chaplain for the city jail. He gave us his card, to use or pass on to friends, to be used if we ever find ourselves behind bars. In that case, he would take care of us, "and get you a sandwich so you don't starve." I repeat: a good heart. His mother-in-law was also Wilma Rudolph, the track star, which is pretty cool.

I was also able to get him to dish on the other two JoPs. He told us that JoP #1 is a retired police officer, and is known for being difficult to reach. "He's retired, so he doesn't have the drive" to keep up with his marriage ceremonies, JoP #3 explained. I don't know what JoP #2 does for a living, but JoP #3 said he was aware of her fee tables, and disapproved. Apparently, when they were all elected, they all agreed to the $75 fee, and are supposed to stick with it. If I cared more, I would call JoP #2 and attempt to hold her to it, but 1) I don't think I want an officiant who I have to bargain down to an apparently previously agreed-upon fee, and 2) Maybe JoP #3 isn't teling the truth, so I wouldn't want to confront JoP #2 without some proof.

So here's where we stand:
JoP #1 is dead to us, since he won't return phone calls.
JoP #2 is pretty much dead to us, since she wants (comparatively) exorbitant fees.
JoP #3 is a nice guy, but his initial forgetfullness still bothers me, and something about his personality just didn't click with us, so we probably won't be using him.

Where does that leave us?

  • I have the name of a non-denominational minister who comes highly recommended from the local Knotties who charges $250 for the ceremony (consultation included) and $75 for the rehearsal. I don't like those prices, and I really don't want a religious ceremony, even if it is non-denominational.
  • The father of a med student in the class below me is a judge, and he apparently does weddings sometimes for people he knows. The student enthusiastically told me to let her know if I want her to ask her father for us, but I don't know how sincere the offer really was. I guess it can't hurt to ask, though.
  • My paternal grandfather is a retired minister. I don't think he can legally marry us in Kentucky, and there are a lot of emotional issues I need to work through to get to the point of asking him, plus there's the whole I-don't-want-a-religious-ceremony thing, but at the same time, it would be nice to have my grandfather marry us. And JoP #3, when I broached the subject, said that if we wanted my grandfather to marry us, he would just do the paperwork and let my grandfather do the whole ceremony, which is very generous of him. So it's an option.
I'm going to forget about it for a few weeks and maybe an answer will come to me in my sleep. Any other ideas would be welcome.


Blablover5 said...

Is there any chance you could have someone ordained enough that they could just do the ceremony?

It might save you some of this trouble.

PCJ said...

Do you know about civil celebrants? Most probably charge a hire fee than a JoP, but their whole job is to work with you to design the ceremony you want with nothing (religious or otherwise) required. Here's one organization:

PCJ said...

Oh man. A higher fee, of course.

hwong14 said...

blablover: One of our best men (we have two) IS actually ordained to do weddings. The problem is that neither he nor we want him to do the ceremony (not that he wouldn't do a good job) -- actually, he really doesn't want to do the ceremony, and that's OK with us. I also can't think of anyone I'd want to have ordained specifically to do our wedding. A sibling is too close (and we have too many to choose from), pretty much all of our friends are already in the wedding, and everyone else, I really can't imagine doing it. Other family members are too distant. I don't know, I just can't come up with a good candidate.

pcj: I've never heard of civil celebrants, but I just sent an email off to find out more info!