A couple weeks ago when Ryan and I visited LA for the day to check out rentals, we also met with our pastor. He was great, and we'll definitely be having him perform the ceremony. To get to know us better, and to discuss important topics that I assume any pastor would want people to discuss before they get married, we each filled out a questionnaire about the other person and our relationship. Some questions were lighthearted (what is his/her favorite dessert, favorite band, etc...) but others were more serious (how many kids do each of you want to have, how does the other person deal with money, does he/she often keep secrets). We both laughed at some of them, knowing what the other person would write (one question asked if the other person remembers birthdays and holidays...well last year Ryan and I talked on the phone for 10 minutes on my birthday before I said, "aren't you going to wish me a happy birthday!?!" In his defense, we had celebrated twice already with friends and family and he had already given me my gift - a T.V. for my room!), but overall we both filled out our forms diligently and quickly. We've actually read through "1,000 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married," so we've talked about many of topics in depth.
We each filled out our answers and then the pastor took the papers and lead us through the conversation. We started out with the usuals, how did we meet, what were our first dates (the pastor was amazed at our specific memories...Ryan even knew that our second date was on a Sunday), how did Ryan propose, and then we started to make our way through the questionnaire. Ryan and I both have a lot to say, so we only made it through about three questions! But even in that short first hour, the pastor gave his "thin slice" reading of us - we both have really strong personalities, and remain individuals while also balancing each other out in the relationship. Great assessment if you ask me!
I am happy that we were able to find a pastor that we are both comfortable with, who is also open to working through the ceremony program with us. He gave us a copy of the standard layout and wording and invited us to go through and make changes where we see fit. Just a few days later Ryan and I sat together going through it all, deciding which words to insert, change and remove. We both would like to keep things somewhat traditional, but have also decided to let a close friend select a reading that she thinks suits us and the occasion. Should be interesting to see what she comes up with!
I can't wait until our next session to continue through the questions; it should bring up some good conversation in an open, honest and protected environment. Unfortunately, like all of our other appointments that require both of us, this will have to wait until Ryan has weekends off!