Another emerging television talent has joined the ranks of celebrity ministers who have become ordained in the Universal Life Church Monastery. Rob Corddry, a former correspondent for The Daily Show as well as the writer, director, and star of Adult Swim’s Childrens Hospital, performed a wedding for his close friends on 6 October in New York City using his ULC ordination.
The ceremony featured a number of offbeat elements reflecting the personal tastes of the bride and groom, Jesse and Raina, as well as their wedding officiant. Eschewing the traditional wedding vow formula, the couple recited their own, unique vows: in a quirky yet inspiring show of devotion and commitment, the two pledged to become ghost lovers in the afterlife in order to scare people. Despite the playful and mischievous exchange–which came just weeks before Halloween–Corddry described his friends as “gracious and generous people” as well as “constant reminders that there is a world outside [ourselves],” and when Jesse was moved to tears during the ceremony, it became evident the couple’s bond was true and strong.
Corddry himself brought a refreshingly improvised twist to the ceremony by deciding against a script for his role as wedding minister. “I didn’t practice my bit because I didn’t want it to feel polished or rehearsed; I wanted to be in the moment,” he said, adding that “[t]he heavy mic I was juggling with my binder was a bit of a trick and I lost my place and repeated myself once. But it just jacked me into the present even more and I think added to the spirit rather than detracted [from it].” Of course many of us will continue to cherish wedding traditions, but as the television comedian’s offbeat style shows, adopting a more spontaneous approach can actually lend greater depth and genuineness to the occasion.
The venue only added to the personalized nature of the event. Ministers ordained in the ULC are known for performing weddings in non-traditional locations–inside New York dance clubs, on live broadcast television, and even at rock concerts. It was no different for Corddry and his friends. Rather than a church, Jesse and Raina picked a speakeasy-themed restaurant in Manhattan’s Lower East Side to tie the knot. Even Corddry’s daughters were present, serving as flower girls.
A lot of people who get ordained online experience undue anxiety over the technicalities of wedding officiation, but as Corddry and his friends show it is OK to be innovative and brainstorm new ways to say “I do.” As long as the officiant knows how to become a minister and register with the local county clerk, the sky is the limit–what ultimately counts is whether the occasion is meaningful and relevant for bride and groom and those close to them.
The Universal Life Church Monastery would like to congratulate Corddry on his new role as wedding minister, and we hope the best for Raina and Jesse in their new life together.