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Asked to Officiate a Wedding for Someone You Don’t Like? Try This.

Published Friday, Mar. 11th, 2022

Uh oh

What should you do if someone you can’t stand asks you to officiate their wedding? 



Once word gets out that you officiate weddings, all sorts of people come out of the woodwork, and you won’t always be so fond of them. But we’re in the business of love, and there’s always a way to respond that’s loving and respectful. 


If the request comes from a distant cousin you’ve never really bonded with, it will probably be easy to simply say no thanks. But what if the request comes from a grandchild, a sibling, a niece, or a nephew? Or for the professionals out there, from a much needed wedding client? 


Not so clear cut now, is it? 



An older blonde woman stands in the foreground, rolling her eyes at the young couple standing behind her

Remember... We're in the business of love. 



Under many circumstances, the best course of action is to politely decline. If you dislike confrontation, you might offer up a small white lie about a scheduling conflict or incurable stage fright to soften the ‘no.’ And you can always recommend another wedding officiant better suited to the role and the couple. 


Related: When should officiants say No to a ceremony?

But under other circumstances, you might put aside your personal feelings and officiate the wedding anyway. 


After all, some family dynamics are too difficult to get around, and many professional officiants simply can’t afford to let contrasting personalities interfere with potential income.


In these cases, how should you approach the role of wedding officiant? 


It’s all about your attitude and perspective! 


Try these simple tools to shift your focus when working closely with an engaged couple that's rude, not your cup of tea, or otherwise hard to get along with: 



  • Keep your planning meetings brief and straightforward. Show up prepared with everything you’ll need to avoid delays and distractions.


  • Ask the couple to complete a detailed questionnaire. This helps you see them more kindly by getting to know them through their partner’s eyes. 


  • Be aware of your tone and communication style, and the energy you’re bringing to the meeting. 


  • Practice compassion and patience, and take short breaks if needed. 


  • Practice ‘emotional detachment.’ Don’t take the other person’s attitudes or behaviors personally, or try to change them.


  • Focus on AMM’s 3 Tenets, and the right of all people to marry according to their values. You’re here to serve! 


  • Dig deep through meditation to find your calm, and practice simple breathing techniques. 


  • And finally, remember this marriage is about the couple, their love, and their future, not you.




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