THIS IS NOT A TEST
One of the many wonderful things about my job is that I get to meet with people in love and ask them questions that we don’t normally ask in casual conversation. Why do you like each other? What are the foundations of your relationship? What do you like about each other? What does it mean to you to get married? People are occasionally worried that if they answer incorrectly I may not be able to marry them. Nope! There are definitely no right or wrong answers.
As someone who has never been a big fan of smalltalk, I love that these questions often lead to fascinating conversations, stories and, often, more questions. I don’t just ask because I’m nosy and infinitely curious about the workings of deep and intimate relationships (although I definitely am!) I ask in order to get to know the people I’m marrying so that I can craft a ceremony that is unique and personalized, so that I can share words during our short time together that represents who they are even when they’re not all dressed up and standing in front of so many of the people who love them.
I have met hundreds and hundreds of people who have entrusted me with the honour of marrying them. And had almost as many conversations about love and marriage. And I continue to be astounded at how often my questions are met with surprise. “That’s a good question! I never really thought about it!”
Perhaps it is because I am queer, married to a trans person, and polyamorous, that I have had both the challenge and the gift of needing to think about the things that so many others simply take for granted. How we marry, how we have children, how we love…all of these things have required intentionality, discussion, thought, and care. And I am so grateful that they have! When things don’t just happen automatically, we have the opportunity to examine all of our options and make informed choices. Queer or not, this is a great human privilege that anyone can benefit from.
So if you’re thinking about getting married, or making any other major life decision for that matter, take the time to ask yourself the interesting questions, and continue to ask them throughout your lifetime. Why do I want this? Where did I learn that I want this? What does it mean to me? What would it mean if I didn’t do it? What could it look like if I did? How can I make sure this is in alignment with who I am and who I want to be in the world?
…and on and on. I’d love to hear some of your curious questions to add to the list!