04 Jul 2017
July 4, 2017

5 Ways to Avoid Issues – Asking a Friend or Family to be Your Officiant

Asking a friend or family member to officiate your wedding ceremony can be a great way to honor them and get you a very personal ceremony.  However, in many cases we have heard that it can also lead to issues between the couple and the chosen friend or family member.  We have heard of ceremonies that were too religious for the couple, too embarrassing for the Officiant, or just too crazy for everyone.  We figure if you follow these 5 rules, your chances increase substantially of getting the ceremony you want without any strife.

  1. When asking, make sure to ask well in advance of the actual wedding date. This gives you and your chosen Officiant plenty of time to discuss and prepare the ceremony.  It also gives you, and the friend or family member, time to change your minds…we have gotten those calls 2 weeks before a wedding from the couple that they now want a professional Officiant and most of the time, the professionals are already booked by then.
  2. When asking, make sure the person being asked understands that you would honored if they would perform the ceremony but it is a big responsibility and you want them to take a few days to think about it before saying yes or no. We have created our Asked to Officiate workbook to lead you the couple and the friend or family member asked through every step and make the ceremony creation and delivery process as easy as possible, but it is still can be daunting.
  3. When asking, make sure the “what” of what you are asking is spelled out so everyone is on the same page. Do you want them to write the wedding ceremony as well as deliver it?  Or, are you, the couple, going to write the ceremony and their responsibility is to deliver it?
  4. If the person you are asking to officiate says yes, make sure everyone (the couple and the Officiant) get together soon after to discuss the particulars of the ceremony. This includes the tone of the ceremony, the amount of religion in the ceremony, the length of the ceremony, etc. Everyone should be in agreement at a point where there is still plenty of time to choose another option if everyone is not in agreement.
  5. If the couple is writing the wedding ceremony, they need to write it and then share it with the chosen Officiant well in advance of the wedding day and if the chosen friend or family member is writing it, they need to share the ceremony with the couple well in advance of the wedding day. Although it may seem like the ceremony will not be as special or “magical” if the couple sees it before hand, it can make them less nervous knowing nothing is going to be said that doesn’t fit them and actually make them more excited to hear the beautiful words that are going to be said on their special day.  Obviously, you wouldn’t share anything they wrote for each other (vows or personal stories) but the rest of the ceremony should be reviewed so that there is time to discuss and agree on changes that need to be made.

We have been contacted many, many times by couples who say to us that they were going to have a friend or family member perform the ceremony, however, it was creating too many issues or they weren’t going to get the ceremony they really wanted.  It is the couple’s day and thus the ceremony should be what the couple wants, not what the friend or family member wants.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *