We hear all of the time that one of the main reasons couples ask their friend or family member to perform their wedding ceremony is because they want the ceremony to be personal. And many couples figure that no one can make their ceremony more personal than a good friend or a close family member who knows their story best.
In many instances this is true, however, some couples and their officiants still find it hard to get that “personalized” feel when they sit down and start writing the wedding ceremony. Here are some pointers for finding the elements of a ceremony that will make it yours:
The officiant needs to remember that the ceremony should not be written and delivered like a toast, or worse - a roast. The ceremony should provide guests with insight into the couple’s relationship, and their story -- without embarrassing them. It can be hard to transition between funnie stories and sincere ones during a wedding ceremony, so we advise that you don’t even try. (Save it for the dinner toasts!)
A perfect way for the officiant to get this important insight is by asking the couple to each answer questions about their relationship. For example, as them both, “How do you describe your partner to others when they are hearing about him/her for the first time?”
When developing the ceremony script, we recommend having the couple answer the same questions separately, as that allows the officiant to bring both “voices” into the ceremony. Then, the officiant can weave these stories into the ceremony along with the other pieces to create a narrative that resonates on a personal level with the couple and the guests.
Oh, and along with the mushy/lovely parts of the couple’s story, it’s okay to use parts of the stories that are light-hearted and humorous, but you just want to make sure it doesn’t cross the line.
When in doubt, refer to what we like to call "the grandma filter" and think, "If I shared this, would grandma be upset?”