Kate + Coach
Like many before us, when Eric and I got engaged last spring, we wanted nothing more than to celebrate with everyone we know. As we entered the planning stage, we were forced to narrow our scope and determine who among that initial group of revelers would be asked to keep the celebration going on our actual wedding day. It’s a big decision to make—these loved ones are going to be a part of the most important day of our lives, after all. Another big decision—one that I feel is often taken for granted—is selecting the officiant. To us, the choice was obvious. Even though she had no prior experience, even though she was not yet ordained, there was no question: Bonnie Brooke Pipkin. We had never even discussed who could officiate, and yet we both had the same exact thought. So what is it about Bonnie that immediately led us to this shared conclusion?
Bonnie’s jet-black, tattooed, leather-and-lipstick aesthetic belies her deep, unrelenting passion for all things romance—no matter how sublime or ridiculous. While she may pen moving, heartfelt stories of love for a living, that same enthusiasm is likewise channeled into her quest for the world’s best heart-shaped hotel bathtub. For Bonnie, it’s not enough to just read or write about love—she lives and breathes it, appreciates its nuances, and devotes a seemingly inexhaustible amount of energy into sharing this passion with others. Whether it’s through her prose, performances, puppet shows, or public displays of affection, it’s safe to say that Bonnie walks the walk. Not only is she a brilliant writer and a gifted speaker, Bonnie is an adventurous, caring, and passionate human being, and we are lucky to call her our friend.
For those who have not yet come to know Bonnie as we have, you will quickly discover these qualities. It does not take long to recognize her talent, her dedication, or her sincerity. There is nothing trite or formulaic about Bonnie, and it shows in her work. As someone who has attended (and been employed at) dozens of weddings, I have seen the negative side effects of employing a listless, detached, or apathetic officiant, and I certainly do not wish to replicate any of these in my own wedding ceremony. But Eric and I don’t have to worry about our guests getting bored or our ceremony being impersonal—we’ve got Bonnie. We’ve had her as a friend and now we get to have her bless our union and set the tone for the best party of our lives. We couldn’t be more excited, or more grateful.