27 Jul 2017
July 27, 2017

3 Reasons to Why a Friend or Family Member is Officiating

Being a professional Officiant and having written the Asked to Officiate workbook (a guide to help non-professionals officiate), I get asked many questions by both couples getting married and other professionals in the wedding industry.  And, one of the main questions is, “why has it become so popular for couples to ask a friend or family member to perform their wedding ceremony?”

From talking to couples, and the friends/family members being asked, I find it comes down to these 3 main reasons…and sometimes it is just one of the reasons and sometimes it is a combination of the reasons.

  1. The couple can’t find, or doesn’t even know how to go about finding an Officiant that will fit who they are as a couple and what they want from their ceremony.  Many couples getting married are non-religious, or inter-faith, or spiritual, or some combination of it all.  Also, some want a fun ceremony and having never seen a professional Officiant do a fun ceremony, they don’t know who to go to and if it is even possible.  To add to the confusion, most professional Officiants have, even if they are not very religious, the title of Reverend or Pastor which to young couples doesn’t “say” non-religious or fun.
  2. Similar to the above, the couple wants their ceremony to be personal and they feel that a friend or family member who knows them will give them a much more personal and fitting ceremony.  This can be true if the couple doesn’t want to spend the time and/or money to find and get a professional Officiant who makes sure to personalize the ceremony.   However, it also has to be noted that a friend or family member, although knowing the couple, may not understand how to make the wedding ceremony personal without making it embarrassing to the couple and uncomfortable to the guests.
  3. The couple wants to save money.  A friend or family member is free which, when on a small budget, can seem pretty appealing.  And to be honest, a friend or family member who is willing to use our ceremony workbook can probably deliver a more personalized and fitting to the couple ceremony than a $150 professional Officiant you find on Craigslist or Thumbtack who is just going to insert names into one of five ceremony options.

I didn’t write this trying post to dissuade anyone from a friend or family member, or a professional Officiant.  Just know that there are great professional wedding Officiants out there to fit almost any style.  But you have to be willing to start the search early and take the time to find one that fits…and be willing to pay what their services are worth.   If you still want to go with a friend or family member, just make sure you give them a well written tool like our Asked to Officiate workbook to help reduce their stress, and yours, while helping them create and deliver a beautiful and meaningful wedding ceremony.

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