“A wedding is often the culmination of a lifetime of dreams compressed into a flickering moment that will be etched into people’s memories for years to come,” says Reverend Chris Castle. But hey, no pressure, right? Don’t worry—if you’ve got the party planned but the ceremony has you a little bewildered, Chris is here to help. Not only is he an ordained minister who has officiated at more than 85 weddings in his 16-year career, he also happens to be senior waiter and manager of retail concepts at one of the area’s most romantic spots for weddings, the Inn at Little Washington. “Not only will I marry the couple, but I will pour their champagne and then serve their dinner. It is quite a stunning contrast to your average minister,” Chris says.
After graduating from Tennesee Temple University and Seminary in Chattanooga, Chris spent more than 14 years as a pastor in Southern Baptist churches. When an opportunity presented itself at the Inn at Little Washington, Chris left the congregation behind and began ministering to first-class restaurant-goers. At the Inn he watched wedding after wedding take place, officiated by a Justice of the Peace or another minister, before he finally he spoke up. “By the way, I am an ordained minister and I do weddings, if you ever need someone.” That was 73 weddings ago. Having done weddings as small as two people to as large as 500, Chris says couples tend to focus a lot of attention on the music, the flowers, and the attire—but they’re stumped when it comes to the ceremony.
From what’s required to what’s expected to what’s unique, Chris has answers to almost every question. Submit your questions now, and he’ll answer them from 11 to noon on Thursday.