Have you ever gone to see a Notary Public? You know, when you need your signature verified – you might need a notarized copy of something? I’m a Notary. It’s not hard to become one. And normally I don’t even consider it to be a big deal. Until…
Monday last, after my latest trip to Canadia, I was back in the office, thinking about how much I wished I was somewhere, anywhere, else. Then the local Director of Foreign Affairs asked if he could talk to me in the conference room. My first thought? “Oh, goat. Now what??”
The DFA never, NEVER, talks about his personal life at work. Ever. So we sit down and he says, “You may know that I got divorced 5 years ago.” No, how would I know. YOU NEVER TALK ABOUT YOURSELF. He went on: “I have been with my girlfriend for about a year and a half and we are getting married.” Me: Okay. Congratulations? Him: “You are a Notary, right?” Me: OMG! Can I marry you?? Him: “That’s what I was hoping you would do. It will be a very small ceremony. It will be at ___ hotel, then we’ll have champagne. No one here knows.”
Side note: only 3 states allow their Notaries to perform marriage ceremonies. I happen to live in one of them.
What happened next? In true MagandMoo fashion, I proceeded to freak out. Why? Because this is a HUGE event in someone’s life and what if I screw up? I knew that this was in no way about me. At all. But I kept thinking that if I didn’t do a good job, the focus would then shift to me and take it from the bride. I didn’t want that. It was their day. I was just given the honor of being a part of it.
I found some non-religious based vows online and made a few tweaks to them. Then I printed them out so that I could practice on the cats. (They were so no interested.)
So, yesterday, I went to ___ hotel at the appropriate time. I was the first one there – which was fine, because I totally thought I would be late. The DFA and his friends showed up and proceeded to give everyone a glass of cognac. At 10am. Sure. Why not.
Everyone milled around a bit for about 30 minutes. Then we hear the elevator ding, and the bride was there. We got into position and the bride came in – so lovely, so young, so giggly – in a beautiful dress, elbow length gloves, hair all pretty.
After I read the first part of what I had down-loaded, I looked at the groom – normally very serious and business-like at work. He had tears in his eyes. It was so sweet. So touching. And I knew I had found the right things to say.
We did the intentions portion. Then the exchange of rings. The groom started cheering. I had to stop him to get to the part of “You may kiss your bride”. She kept giggling.
The whole ceremony took about 15 minutes. It was his 2nd wedding, but her first. She looked so happy. Even the DFA looked happier than I have ever seen him. There were lots and lots of photos – I believe I was fortunate to avoid most – if not all – of the lenses. I was hugged and thanked and told it was an honor that I had done this thing for them. But to me? *I* was the one honored to have been part of it. No one else from the Gas ‘n Sip was there. And I can’t tell anyone! It’s not my story to tell.
When I got my Notary license, I always thought it would be fun to marry people. But then when the time came? I really *got* what a big deal this was. I was able to make this young bride’s dream come true. I changed the lives of these 2 people. Forever.
I don’t know if this union will last – I hope it does. They are certainly adorable together. But I do know that I will forever thank them for granting me the honor of being a part of their day in such a personal way.
So what did you do this weekend?