Stay up to date with the latest wedding ceremony trends, script writing inspiration, tips and advice for first-time officiants, and news that matters to couples and wedding ministers.

Wedding Officiants: Learn the ‘Officiant Creep’ & Step Aside for the First Kiss Photo

Published Thursday, Aug. 11th, 2022

AMM Minister Jimmie Berguin is a master of the Officiant Creep (@officiantjimmie)

How to do the ‘Officiant Creep’ like a pro, and get the heck out of the way during a couple’s first kiss photo 



Let’s face it, although every engaged couple wants a great wedding officiant standing beside them at their ceremony, they probably don’t want that officiant standing in the way of their first kiss photo! 


That’s why so many experienced wedding officiants know to step aside as they announce the couple’s first kiss, following the pronouncement. 


A few quick steps to the left or right at this crucial moment moves the officiant out of the photographer’s way, but keeps them close enough to step back into frame when it’s time to introduce the couple, or to give directions to guests on where to go following the ceremony. 



We call this sweet and stealthy move the ‘officiant creep." 


(A term coined by AMM Minister Jimmie Berguin -- as in, creepin’ out of the wedding photographer’s way!)


Illustrated graphic of a wedding officiant doing the 'officiant creep' during a wedding ceremony. The drawing says "how to spot the officiant creep" at the top, and below is a female wedding officiant walking away as a couple shares their first kiss as newlyweds.

Illustration by Jessica Levey




First-time officiants take note: There’s no need to rush or run out of the way. This isn’t a race. Instead, just take a few careful steps to the side as you say that exciting line…


 “You may now seal your vows with a kiss!”



That’s where the ‘creepin’ comes in. Move slowly and watch your step. You don’t want to trip or stumble as you move to the side.


Some couples will prefer to have their officiant somewhere in the background to show that this is an important moment during the ceremony – they just don’t want you standing directly behind them. (That’s a different kind of creepin...) Others will want you out of the shot completely, and that’s ok! 


Step a few feet to the side to give the wedding photographer plenty of room for a few different photo framing options, to help ensure the newlyweds get the photogenic memories they want.


Related: Making it Click: 4 Ways An Officiant Can Make the Wedding Photographer’s Life Easier





And couples, if you’re reading this – Yes! It’s ok to ask your officiant to step aside for your first kiss photo. This isn’t rude, and most professional officiants are already planning on it. 


However, if you’ve asked a close friend or family member to officiate, they might not know to do this. Just ask! Talk with them about your plan before the ceremony to ensure everything goes smoothly. Then, practice this side-step, aka the ‘officiant creep,’ during your rehearsal ceremony. 


Practicing ahead of time during a rehearsal ensures that everyone knows where to stand, and where to move, on the wedding day. 




Origin of the Officiant Creep


The phrase ‘Officiant Creep’ was coined by AMM Minister Jimmie Berguin, aka Officiant Jimmie, who's labeled this sweet side-step his signature move. He’s definitely got it down!

A photo from Instagram @OfficiantJimmie of Wedding Pro & ordained AMM Minister Jimmie Berguin stepping aside, out of the photographer's way, during a first kiss photo




Officiant Jimmie is an all-star officiant based in Eugene, Oregon. Known for ethereal Pacific Northwest weddings and elopements that send him deep into enchanted forests and undisturbed coastlines, Jimmie’s also had his fair share of Sasquatch sightings. 


In fact, he’s even caught Sasquatch doing the ‘officiant creep’! 


Talk about an epic wedding crasher.





A post shared by 𝗔𝗺𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗻 𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗴𝗲 𝗠𝗶𝗻𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀 (@americanmarriageministries)




You might also like:






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.

How To Officiate By State

Will You Marry Us? Gift Package

Who Will Officiate Your Wedding?

Choose Your Officiant with our "Will You Marry Us?" Gift Package.

Signature Wedding Officiant Package

Signature Wedding Officiant Package

Our premiere package contains everyting you need to officiate like a pro.

The Book of Wedding Vows and Ceremonies

The Book of Wedding Vows and Ceremonies

It's finally here! Timeless scripts and heartfelt vow inspiration to bring life to your ceremony.

Professional Wedding Officiant Certification Course

Learn from the Pros to Officiate with Confidence!

Wedding Officiant Training

Wedding Officiant Training

Everything you need to know to officiate.

Read our sample wedding ceremony scripts online

Sample Wedding Ceremony Scripts

Need inspiration? Check out our free ceremony scripts!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter!


Become a Wedding Officiant with Our Free Online Ordination!