pastoring personal

Pastoring a Wedding


I’ve really grown to enjoy the role of officiating weddings as a pastor.  I’ve had the opportunity to perform a half-dozen weddings over the last year–some for old friends, some for new friends–and I am consistently reminded of God’s grace in my life to bring me such an amazing woman.   Additionally, the symbolism of the wedding ceremony only gets richer with each iteration, and I am consistently finding myself dwelling on different aspects of Christ’s character at different points throughout the typical weekend.

There’s always a little bit of awkwardness that goes on too…I tend to get some strange looks as I am introduced to parents as “pastor”.  They’ve got the “I’m pretty sure you just graduated high school…how can you possibly be performing a wedding?!?” face on, and it is generally an fun interaction.  It’s also a little strange to perform “pastor” duties like praying for meals and such, and I still don’t know what the proper protocol is when I just want an ice cold fermented beverage at the reception.

The best part, hands down, though, is watching the groom catch the first glimpse of his bride as she walks down the aisle.  Maybe it’s because I wept like a baby at my wedding, but I’m always hoping the groom sheds a tear in that moment when he locks eyes with his gorgeous bride.

Sorry to be sappy, but I’ve got a wedding tomorrow…

By Todd Engstrom

Although I was raised in the church and had a knowledge of God, I didn’t embrace Jesus until I heard gospel preached and lived out by some Young Life leaders. God has proven faithful and good to me since that day, even in great suffering and loss. I have learned to treasure Romans 8:28 as a wellspring of hope and truth.

God has blessed me with an amazing wife (Olivia), three sons (Micah, Hudson and Owen) and a daughter (Emmaline). Growing up in the northwest, the thought never crossed my mind that I would have four children who are native Texans. Despite landing in the south, I still watch Notre Dame games with my children every Saturday in hopes they will land at my alma mater.

3 replies on “Pastoring a Wedding”

things I’m sure will happen at the wedding tonight:
1) Travis and Liz will cry (a lot)
2) there will be a lot of dancing at the reception
3) you will make an awkward joke during the ceremony that half of the congregation will think is hilarious and half will just sit there with their arms crossed
3) you will get your hands on that cold fermented beverage, one way or another…

things that may happen, but probably won’t:
1) Olivia could go into labor
2) you could say the wrong names

it’s going to be a great night!!

p.s. Olivia IS amazing, so it was only fitting that you cried when you saw her at your wedding….

Let’s hope I don’t say anything stupid. It’s going to be hard to call her “Elizabeth” instead of “Liz” the whole time…

It can’t be that much harder than calling me “Johnny” the entire weekend…

..and don’t worry, I wept like a baby too.

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