28 Oct 2015
October 28, 2015

Wedding Ceremony No-No’s and Taboos

Wedding Ceremony Setup - Ready for a Great Ceremony

Wedding Ceremony Setup – Ready for a Great Ceremony

A wedding ceremony can take many forms since it should reflect the couple and their relationship.  However, having performed over 650 ceremonies and heard about many more, we thought we should help out first time, or newish, officiants with some overall no-no’s and taboos when preparing and delivering a wedding ceremony.

Don’t make the ceremony too long.  Although we personally shoot for 20 minutes, you can make it a bit longer, but remember, no matter how good the ceremony is, most people will tune out after 30 minutes.   The guests came to see the couple get married, they didn’t come to see wedding ceremony theatre.  If in doubt on this one, ask anyone who has sat through a 45 minute plus wedding ceremony.

Don’t make the ceremony too short.   Although we personally shoot for 20 minutes, you can make it a bit shorter, but there is no possible way to celebrate the couple, and their relationship properly in an 8 minute wedding ceremony.   Obviously, there could be an exception if, for example, it was a quick elopement or one of the couple could only stand for a short period of time.  If there is any doubt on this one, ask anyone (including us) who has sat through an 8 minute or less ceremony.

Don’t ad-lib the wedding ceremony (or any part of it).   Ad-libbing is fine for improv comedy, but not for a wedding ceremony.  Write the entire wedding ceremony in advance and bring it either printed out or on a tablet, or similar electronic device.  Even if you memorize it, good idea to have it at hand in case you forget a piece since there will be lots of emotions and nerves during the ceremony and you don’t want to find it necessary to ad-lib.

Don’t share anything embarrassing about the couple.  It is okay to share a light-hearted story about how they met or when they first said they love each other, but if the first time they said they loved each other was after a wild night of sex, probably best to keep that to yourself.   We recommend the Grandma filter… if something you are thinking about adding to the ceremony would embarrass the standard Grandma, then don’t share it.

Finally, don’t make the wedding ceremony the (insert your name here) show.  The focus of the ceremony should be the couple.  It is absolutely okay to be a dynamic presenter and to do a great job when delivering the ceremony, but the ceremony should be about the couple.  Think of it this way, as the officiant you are the couple’s storyteller and the guests are there to hear the couple’s story.

This is the couple’s special day and they have given us, the officiant, the honor of celebrating who they are as a couple – let’s make sure we do it right.

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