Wednesday, October 27th, 2021

Shopper Client Stories


Marriage officient helps couples celebrate love and life on their big day

by Candance Moore

Chaplain and Marriage Officiant Ricky Mayhue

Chaplain and Marriage Officiant Ricky Mayhue

I'm getting married in the morning, so get me to the church on time."
So go the words to a popular song from the 1950s. But over the last few decades, weddings have changed and now look quite different. More often than not, the bride and groom are not heading to a church but to a scenic beach, park, resort, or luxury hotel. Backyard gardens, family living rooms, and other places that are personally meaningful for couples have also become the venues of choice for weddings.

What hasn't changed is the need for a marriage officiant-typically a minister or clergyperson who is legally certified by the state to perform marriages. While some states might legally certify individuals with online ordinations to perform weddings, Virginia and North Carolina are not among them. In both states, only individuals who have been ordained by a duly organized religious congregation with a physical address can be given the legal authority to perform marriages. Who can a couple turn to if they are not active in a particular church or faith community?

Enter Chaplain Ricky Mayhue, a certified marriage officiant. Any couple feeling anxious about approaching a minister to marry them will be instantly put at ease by Ricky's warm, welcoming smile and his laid-back, friendly demeanor. "I'm here to help others," he says. "I meet people where they are. Whatever they are open to receiving at that moment, that is what I offer."
Helping people has been in Ricky's blood since childhood. He's a preacher's kid who grew up attending many a wedding and funeral in his family's church. As he watched his father shepherd confused souls, Ricky felt called to that same work.

"Each family has a calling," he explains. "When we discover what God put us here to do, we're successful in it. For my family, ministry was always the calling."

Being an extrovert who enjoyed interacting with interesting new people and lifting others up, serving as a pulpit pastor didn't feel quite right for Ricky. After attending Emmanuel College, he took a day job at Paramount Builders, which enabled him to raise a family while prayerfully considering his options. In his free time, he served at his church.

Ricky discovered that he had a gift for listening. When it came to supporting a person through major life changes, ministry came to him effortlessly. Coworkers confided in him as they drove to job sites together.

"People came to work with their mind on other things," Ricky explains. "Maybe they were going through a divorce, dealing with a cancer diagnosis, or concerned because their kid was having trouble at school. Those types of personal situations could really impact their job performance. When they had someone to talk to, it changed their whole mood."

When Paramount Builders officially appointed him to serve as the company's chaplain, Ricky knew he'd found his calling. As he carried out his usual workplace tasks, he made himself available to his coworkers, reaching out to them in tough times, offering counseling sessions, marriage advice, and sympathy visitations.

"In this crazy world, no one can be happy all the time, but we can have peace during times of storm," Ricky says. "The work of a chaplain is to bring light during dark, challenging times so that people can make the best decisions moving ahead."

Ricky offers his services to hospitals, offices, and churches, as well as through in-home visitations. Businesses that experience a traumatic group event-such as workplace violence-are encouraged to contact Ricky for trauma counseling. Face-to-face time with a chaplain can dramatically accelerate the healing process. Being familiar with local funeral homes, Ricky is an excellent choice to officiate funeral services. Sometimes he begins ministering to a family while their loved one is hospitalized; at other times, he gets involved only for the funeral. Either way, he's glad to step in and assist in any way he can.

"I stay humble, I stay available, and I stay gracious," Ricky says. "What people need during challenging times is a friend, so that's what I am for them."

Any couple feeling anxious
about approaching a minister
to marry them
will be instantly put at ease
by Ricky's warm, welcoming smile
and his laid-back,
friendly demeanor.

After two decades of ministry, Ricky has learned what works in addressing his clients' spiritual and emotional needs. An estranged tough-talking adult son, perhaps uncomfortable around his family, must be approached differently from a devoted daughter. Young starry-eyed couples about to be married might require a more fatherly approach, while an older couple may not. Ricky utilizes his professional experience-along with a dash of divine inspiration-to show him how to best address an individual's needs.

After years of service at Paramount Builders, Ricky recently retired to focus on serving the broader community as a chaplain and marriage officiant.

Because many believing couples don't belong to one particular church, Ricky finds himself being asked by a growing number of them to perform their marriages. He enjoys meeting couples, listening to their plans for their big day, and learning about their hopes and dreams for their life together.
A big believer in proactive planning before starting something new (especially something as important as marriage), Ricky has a policy of offering marriage counseling before agreeing to officiate a wedding. Covering the basics of a healthy marriage in just a few sessions, this short program is surprisingly effective at preparing people for the challenges of married life.

"I've worked with some couples who rushed into their engagement," Ricky explains. "When I invited them to go through the program, they were a little surprised at first. But later, they realized that in the rush to get engaged and married, they had never really talked to each other about some very important things that could have become major issues later on. In the end, they thanked me for offering them the counseling.

"My goal in life is to give people hope," Ricky concludes with a warm smile. "If there is anyone out there who needs a bit of hope, I want them to know that they are welcome to call on me at any time."

Ricky's commitment to offering hope makes him the perfect choice as a marriage officiant. After all, hope for a fulfilling life together is what marriage is all about.

Chaplin - Katzac, LLC.

1204 Hillwell Road
Chesapeake, VA 23322

(757) 647-9342