Ask Me I Dare You: Part 2

We’re off to quite a rousing start to the answers of Ask Me I Dare You! It was so much fun I’ll just dive into the second question earlier than planned, asked here by Jon Trouten (whose wedding I recently attended in Iowa and has written a guest blog for me and it’s one of the most read posts we’ve had):

“Here’s my nosey question that I keep forgetting to ask you :)

You’ve officiated at the weddings of three friends. You wrote earlier that those will be the only weddings that you’ll ever officiate at. Why is that?”

This answer is actually pretty simple:

Officiating a wedding is the most pressure filled thing I have ever done in my life, and it ruins the whole wedding experience for me. I’ve decided I would much rather just go to a wedding and enjoy the heck out of it than to put myself through the terror leading up to the wedding, and the almost unbearable nerves during the wedding. I feel like this because weddings are a huge deal, and if the officiate screws it up, even for one second, it ruins the one day, one moment that both of those people have waited for their entire lives! On top of that, I only agreed to marry three very close friends to me because I refuse to ever perform a “cookie cutter” wedding. I want my sermons and stories in those weddings to not only be legitimately personal (I’m talking about going 3 for 3 in bringing the place to tears!), but I want to literally be vested in their lives forever. And the nice thing is that since I don’t work for a church, I am not forced to perform any weddings. I’m done. It was a great ride, but I want nothing more to do with officiating them.

Oh, ok, here’s the controversial part to why as well—I don’t believe that pastors should have legal rights to marry people on behalf of the State: The State should be the ones to give the legal rights that come with marriage. My belief is that unless a person works for the State in some legal capacity, it shouldn’t count as legally official. This is where the “separation” between Church and State gets all convoluted. I will be doing a three part series on gay marriage and Church/State coming up pretty soon, so I’ll stop there for now. Just know that I’m estatic to never have to feel that pressure of marrying someone again. So don’t ask me to marry you! I won’t do it! :)

The one other thing, the three that I did perform were cool enough to last a lifetime. The 1st wedding I did was in a Chateau in Southern France (picture below)

 The 2nd wedding I did was on the ocean (picture below)

And the 3rd wedding I did was in a nationally historic church (picture below)

Much love.

About Andrew Marin

Andrew Marin is President and Founder of The Marin Foundation ( He is the award winning author of two books and a DVD curriculum, and his new book Us Versus Us: The Untold Story of Religion & the LGBT Community, will release June 2016. Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on issues of bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and Christian involvement in reconciliation. He is currently based St. Andrews, Scotland where he is researching and teaching at the University of St. Andrews, earning his PhD in Divinity. His research focuses on the theology and praxis of social reconciliation between victims and their perpetrators. Andrew is married to Brenda, and you can find him elsewhere on Twitter (@Andrew_Marin), Facebook (AndrewMarin01), and Instagram (@andrewmarin1).

  • Jon Trouten

    Thanks for the answer, Andrew! I was always curious and now I know! :)

    BTW: my official blog address is now I was having difficulty posting original content at the address, so I switched over to blogger, though I still have blog content feed over onto the UCC site.

  • Arezoo Miot

    Andy, I’m so sorry you were under so much pressure at our wedding! But it was the best gift you could have given us and we’ll never forget it. Love you!

  • Andrew Marin

    Thanks Jon, I’ll make note of it!

    And Arezoo, ugh, I was soooo nervous I the few days before and the evening of, that I could have passed out! But it was one of those life changing honors that will forever be one of the greatest things I have ever done. You’re the best! (and for everyone else, Arezoo was the Best Man in my wedding…yes, I know, she is a woman, but “Best” still applies no matter the gender. We just called her my Best Person) :)

  • Jason

    I don’t believe that pastors should have legal rights to marry people on behalf of the State: The State should be the ones to give the legal rights that come with marriage. My belief is that unless a person works for the State in some legal capacity, it shouldn’t count as legally official.

    AMEN!! Only, I’d go so far as to say I think the “state” should get out of the business of marriage altogether. I look at marriage as a spiritual commitment more than a legal one. Imagine how much simpler things would be if the government didn’t sanction marriage and it were left to the church, the temple, the mosque….or tree or whatever “holy” symbol the couple in question chose?

    But, since that’s probably never gonna happen…I like your idea, too!

  • Rachel

    Andrew that’s such an honest and (hope you’re not offended) slightly quirky answer, I love it!

    Here we have a kind of hybrid situation, where either Christian ministers or state officials can marry mixed-sex couples. If you’re mixed-sex but eg Sikh, your religious leader needs to become a state official too and add in a secular part to the Temple service to make it legal.

    If you’re a same-sex couple, only state officials can marry you (it’s called Civil Partnership, but is exactly the same as marriage). For both types of couple, a state marriage can’t include any reference to God or religious things at all.

    It kind of confuses what’s about legal rights and what’s about a life-long committment before God for mixed-sex couples who choose a Christian service, so I might be with you about separating the two! Same-sex couples I know (including us) opt for a small and down-played civil service giving the legal bits, followed by a more traditional church service focussed on being before God.

    Having said that, I love the thought of being able to marry people, I considered becoming a registrar (our state officials who can marry same or mixed sex couples or any faith) just because there’s something so sacred in people moving to being married!