I am a life-long practitioner in the Theravada tradition. As I grew up in rural Wyoming, my sangha was my family (the family that meditates together...). After moving to Denver years ago, I continued my practice in solitary as the Theravadin community typically revolved around cultural communities. The Thai temple, for example, offered a translator for teaching but was so connected and intertwined in the thai communtiy that i never felt fully comfortable. While I was very fortunate to have found a meditation teacher (a former respected monk) but he has long ago left town back to Thailand.
My problem now is that The policial situation has changed and i anticipate marrying my partner and we long for a monastic officiant. As I search the Internet, there's no lack of "new agey" officiants that list Buddhist ceremonies but I'd really like taking refuge to be a part of our ceremony. While I know none of this is a necessity and we can clearly do this on our own with any wedding officiant, I'd like one that is at minimum a practicing Buddhist teacher if not a monastic. My lack of sangha affiliation, however, seems to be a deterrent. The local zen center indicated that its resident teacher would happily conduct a wedding for any member of its sangha, which I am not.
Before I search further, I'm hoping members here may offer some advice on which communities/teachers may be open to the idea. The great irony is that I live so close to Boulder, Colorado, a home to a plethora of Buddhist communities and I'm not keen to find rejections based on my lack of membership, my willingness to make dana notwithstanding.
I'd welcome any thoughts. Thank you.