Sometime last year, my good friend Shirley asked me if I would marry her (as in, perform her wedding ceremony…the state of California won’t let me marry her, per se). I remember being in my office at the bankruptcy law firm where I was working at the time when she asked me. On gchat. Hey, I got my work done.

Sounded crazy to me, but it’s Shirley, and who am I to judge what the bride-to-be wanted? Brookie has performed several weddings (she had actually just married our good friends Erika and Julian), so I knew it was doable. I did a little research online and found out it cost $8 (plus $13 for the actual certificate, sneaky sneaky), plus about five minutes of your time to type out your name and email. Five minutes and eight dollars later, probably during the same initial conversation I had with Shirley, and I was an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church Monastery. Done and done, son.
Shirley is probably the best client I’ll ever have. “Whatever you want Alex, just keep it short.” We literally worked out the script to her wedding about a week before her big day. And I gotta say, it was pretty darn good. I was a little nervous right before the ceremony, but it helped that they had a small ceremony, and maybe those $120,000 I spent on law school taking courses in trial practice and participating in competition teams helped too. Anyhow, the ceremony went without a hitch, and I didn’t do half bad. Paperwork was signed, and hopefully everything was done right and they should get their marriage certificate soon-ish. I even dressed professional!
TBM (The Boss Man, for those who forgot already) is getting married next month, and he got wind of my minister’s license. I wish I could say he asked me to perform his ceremony because it would mean a lot to him to have someone that he knows perform it, or because he appreciates our friendship and wants me to be a part of his special day, but the reality is that he’s trying to get married as cheaply as possible (second marriage, FYI), and I’m about as cheap as they come. So, I’ve got my second wedding booked! By “as cheap as they come,” I mean that he hasn’t offered to pay me anything. Which is fine. Jeff and I will get a free dinner at the Montage. And maybe the day off from work (he’s getting married on a weekday to make it cheaper…not like on a Friday…more like a Monday or Tuesday). As I see it: a little more experience, a little more confidence, and maybe I’ll start trying to make money off of this!
Let’s shift gears to Jeff. Abby and Paul got married last July, they had an intimate courthouse wedding. They asked Jeff to take some pictures for them, and the pictures turned out really nice. Not crazy professional, but he captured some great moments. Since then, Jeff’s been experimenting a lot with Charlie’s camera (buying Jeff his own camera is at the top of our list…when we have the money for it), and he’s gotten really great, in my humble opinion. I was talking to a friend earlier this week about her wedding planning, and she mentioned how they weren’t going to have a photographer because they don’t have the budget to pay someone $2,000 for ’em. *lightbulb* “Jeff took pictures for Abby’s wedding…he’s no professional (yet), but he’d be super cheap and you’d have some pictures of your wedding.” And just like that, Jeff has a paid gig for October.
I think TBM is looking to hire a student photographer for his wedding. I’m gonna throw Jeff’s name out there tomorrow. Who know’s, maybe Jeff and I are gonna become the new powerhouse for Orange County weddings: minister AND photographer for super cheap!
I like, strike that, LOVE, the idea of being able to work for ourselves. I’m not naive enough to think that a couple wedding gigs that pay way under market value are going to provide us enough to survive, but it’s a start. And you gotta start somewhere.