The Reverend D will do a whole lot of things for a wedding, but as a feminist who won't back down when it comes to equality, there are some things she just can't bring herself to do. Let's hear what she really won't do at a ceremony.
I am often asked about what I won't do for a wedding. My response is usually that I have no pride and no shame, so it isn't an issue, but once or twice I had to think it over. The first time, I was asked to wear nude lipstick. It doesn't sound too horrifying until you read about it here. (The funniest part is that, to this very day, the bride apologizes about asking me to do it. Ha!)
The second, I was asked to do a wedding barefoot. It wasn't a demand or a deal-breaker or anything, it just kind of went with their theme. Again, doesn't sound so bad until I mention the fact that NO ONE sees my feet. Ever. I've had friends for 20+ years who aren't even sure I have feet. As far as they know, my legs end in two stumps that I stuff into my combat boots. And that was before my work-issued boots fucked up my toes, and before the surgery that was supposed to correct the problem left them mangled and hideous. (Thanks, FDNY!)
At any rate, both times I managed to man up and just get ‘er done. (Ironically, people have asked me to dress as a zombie and a pirate and Catwoman and Elvira and The Fourth Doctor or whatever and I never hesitated. But nude lipstick… ?)
So again, this begs the question: what won't I do?
Well, right off the bat, most of the weddings I would turn down outright are not those of people who would want to hire me in the first place. For example, I am quite confident that the local White Power chapter would rather shoot me in the face than ask me to perform one of their weddings, and I am beyond fine with that. (Although I prefer to not get shot in the face, generally speaking.)
Ditto with very, very traditional couples. They get to my website, hear Nine Inch Nails playing and click off immediately. And probably any religious zealot does the same. Similarly fine with that. So I am pretty sure that the question of “would I?” in those instances will never come up.
However, there are a few things that can happen during weddings — even offbeat ones — that I steadfastly refuse to do, even if asked.
For one, I will never, ever utter the words, “Who gives this woman away?” Is someone exchanging a goat and a flock of geese for the hand of a couple's nine-year-old daughter? Women, you are not property, and you are no one's to give away. You want your dad or mom or brother to walk you down the aisle? Totally cool. But you don't belong to them, and you never did. Period. I was asked to do this only once, and I reworded it as, “Who gives their blessing for this couple today?” and everything was groovy. (Turns out that most people hate that stupid, outdated expression anyway, but are somehow under the impression that it's supposed to be said. Nope!)
And for another, I will never, EVER introduce a couple as Mr. & Mrs. [Dude's Name], even if you ask me to. If it has been your lifelong dream to get married, and now that you've found your Prince Charming you want to change your name, that's fine. Take his last name, by all means. BUT YOU DON'T LOSE YOUR IDENTITY JUST BECAUSE YOU GOT MARRIED. You're not “Mr. & Mrs. John Smith.” You are “Mr. & Mrs. John and Jane Smith.” Because YOU MATTER. I will NEVER leave your name out of the equation. You can do whatever you want when you sign those thank you cards after the wedding; just know that it is NOT happening in any service that I perform. Sorry. Other than that, I think I'm good.
Huh. So I guess I do have some pride. But cut me some slack; it's not just for me. It's for all of womankind.