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How to Officiate a Group Wedding Ceremony

Published Friday, Mar. 4th, 2022


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The more the marrier, with group weddings! 

 

 

A whirlwind wedding season awaits us! Experts say that more couples are getting married this year than ever before – nearly 2.5 million of them. 

 

That’s a whole lot of lovebirds scrambling to book wedding officiants and wedding venues, all on the same weekends. Demand is so high that a few AMM Ministers tell us they’re already scheduling wedding dates well into the 2023 and 2024 season. The wedding boom is real, and it’s here! 

 

With a limited number of wedding officiants, weekend dates, and wedding venues for engaged couples to choose from, group weddings are becoming an increasingly appealing option. 

 

Related: Mass Weddings Might Be the Biggest Trend in 2022

 

Group weddings offer community, affordability, and a big dose of quirky charm. So why not take advantage of the rush and officiate a group wedding or two this year? 

 

Here are a few tips to help you organize, promote, and officiate a group wedding.

 

What is a group wedding? 

Group weddings, also called ‘mass weddings,’ are ceremonies where more than one couple gets married at the same time. Each couple brings their own marriage license to be signed by the wedding officiant, just as they would for a traditional wedding. When only two couples marry during the same ceremony, group weddings are often called ‘joint weddings’ or ‘double weddings.’ 

 

 

Everything You Need to Know to Officiate a Group Wedding 

 


Ceremony basics: What usually happens during a group wedding? 

 

A wedding officiant leads the couples through each part of the ceremony together as a group, and then signs each marriage license individually.

 

Depending on the ceremony, this might include: 

 

  • A traditional greeting to friends and family, 
  • An invocation or wedding reading, 
  • A blessing or prayer, 
  • The Declaration of Intent, 
  • An exchange of wedding vows and rings, 
  • A unity ceremony, 
  • And the Pronouncement. 

 

(Note that even simple ceremonies require a Declaration of Intent and Pronouncement, but the exact wording of each part is up to you.)

 

In this way, group weddings can feel as traditional or non traditional as the couples and officiant wish. They can be religious or non religious, short and sweet, or include multiple romantic readings and blessings.

 


Paperwork: Handling the marriage license(s)

 

Each couple that wants to participate in a group ceremony will need to purchase and present their own marriage license. The wedding officiant will complete and sign each marriage license individually.

 

Related: Completing The Marriage License

 

Depending on your state, the officiant might also be required to return the license to the clerk’s office. Other states require the couple to return their license. (Contact your local clerk for specific instructions in your county.)

 

As a sweet gesture, provide each couple with a decorative marriage certificate to remember the day.



Sample marriage certificates sold on the American Marriage Ministries online store

 

Visit Our Store

To browse decorative Marriage Certificates & Vow Renewal Certificates

 

 


Organize and Plan : Make a day of it!

 

One of the best ways to ensure your group wedding is a success is to make it a special event. 

 

First, choose a popular calendar date. Palindrome dates ( 2/22/22 was a real crowd pleaser this year), weekends, and always-in-demand holidays like Valentine’s Day, Beltane, Halloween (Samhain), or Christmas, are great choices. 

 

Related: Valentine’s Day Group Wedding in Sweetheart City delivers Big Feels, in Bulk!

 

(If you’ve already booked larger weddings on these traditional dates, consider alternative times that might appeal to people with nontraditional work schedules, such as mid-day or mid week/ weekday weddings.

 

Then, ask couples to invite guests, or keep things simple with a festive group elopement.

 

Follow the ceremony with live music, a festive banquet or feast, and any other creative elements you can dream up! 

 

Hosting your event in a large community room or outdoor setting will make it easier to transition from ceremony to reception – and an unforgettable party! 

 


Promote: Get the word out

 

Choosing a popular calendar date will make it easier for you to promote a group wedding package. You can sweeten this deal by offering a reduced rate (if you wish) for couples who choose to book together and share the ceremony experience. 

 

Post photos and information about your event on social media, a personal website, and in wedding planning forums online. 

 

Related: How to Start a Website for Your Wedding Officiant Business

 

Consider contacting established wedding venues, or offbeat alternative venues like cafes, bookstores, zoos, and arboretums, and work together with the venue’s staff to curate and promote a one-of-a-kind event. 

 


 

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Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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