Whether you are the couple who is asking or the friend or family member who has been asked, we wanted to provide you a few helpful hints and some necessary warnings in regards to preparing and presenting a wedding ceremony. We don’t want to scare anyone away from this option but we understand the importance and want everyone to be prepared for the undertaking they are agreeing to.
Picking someone close to you to officiate your wedding sounds great when you first ask, or are asked, but there is a reality to be faced. Being asked to officiate a friend or loved-one’s wedding is a great honor but in all seriousness, it is actually a great responsibility.
As much as we all love a good party, the ceremony is the most important part of the wedding day. Look at it this way, when someone goes back and watches their wedding video 2, 5, even 10 years later, they are watching the ceremony.
The task of preparing and presenting a ceremony involves writing skills, public speaking and project management. A smoothly orchestrated and beautiful 15 to 20 minute ceremony which happens in front of a large group of people is something that will require time and effort. And remember, there are no “do-overs”; it has to be right the first time.
These helpful hints are going to sound a bit like common sense because they really are… however we have seen them not followed way too many times.
You want to start early. We always say we are going to start early on a project but usually don’t. And unlike that homework assignment you wrote the night before it was due, a wedding ceremony deserves more than a B- grade. To help with this, the first thing we recommend (covered in the workbook) is for the couple and the person asked to get together and prepare a list of all the tasks involved with due dates for each one.
You want to communicate. The couple and the person asked should be communicating in regards to all the tasks involved in the wedding ceremony. By communicating often, everyone is on the same page and there aren’t any misunderstandings that “pop-up” at the last minute. Could be a weekly phone chat or morning coffee but over communicating is better than under communicating.
You want to practice. This helpful hint is more for the person presenting the ceremony but it is an important one that we mention multiple times within the workbook. Preparing the ceremony early and practicing it many times is the best way to make sure that even if you are nervous, and most likely you will be, you know what you are going to say and will make less mistakes.
You want to enjoy it. By asking a friend or family member to officiate you are sharing the love and fun of the moment and it should be an enjoyable experience for everyone.
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