15 May 2016
May 15, 2016

Owning the Mic as a Wedding Ceremony Officiant

I actually had a couple recently who wanted an Officiant who not only could deliver a beautiful and personal wedding ceremony but could also entertain and manage the moment.   Now, you may ask, “isn’t that what delivering a beautiful and personal wedding ceremony is doing?”   And the answer would be a partial yes.   As the Officiant, you also have to own the microphone, which means that no matter what happens you always want to bring the attention back to the couple and the ceremony, and the tone of the moment back to where you want it.

I have had ceremonies on the beach with people shouting non-appropriate things, I have had kids in the ceremony who have not followed the expected plan, I have had a bridesmaid faint, and much more.  As the Officiant, you are in charge when those things happen.  And as the person in charge, it is your responsibility to react as necessary and control the situation.  So, here are some quick tips –

1)      It is not always necessary to do something, other than continue with the ceremony.  For example, I don’t respond in any way (either verbally or emotionally) to hecklers during outdoor weddings because I want to keep the focus on the couple, not the heckler, and I don’t want to lend credence to the heckler.

2)      If the something happening is unexpected but cute, fun, lovey, etc, just ride the moment while still managing the ceremony.  For example, if a child involved in the ceremony is not following the expected plan, I usually acknowledge it with an, “isn’t she so cute” or “aww, he seems a bit shy” but I also make sure someone is responding (e.g. the kid’s parents) so that the ceremony can continue, as planned.

3)      It is sometimes necessary to stop the ceremony but you always want to be moving towards, if possible, continuing the ceremony.  For example, if someone faints, make sure they are being properly attended to and have them moved, if possible, to somewhere other than the ceremony site, check with the couple to make sure they feel comfortable starting again, and then pick up where you left off.

Know that as friend or family member, or a newish Officiant, when delivering a wedding ceremony you need to be able to not only deliver the wedding ceremony but you need to be able to own the microphone.

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