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How to Officiate a Same-Sex Wedding Ceremony

Published Monday, Jan. 30th, 2023

Asked to officiate a same-gender wedding? We're here to help you plan the perfect ceremony!



Being asked to officiate a same-sex or same-gender wedding ceremony is an especially joyful honor! AMM got its start helping same-sex couples find wedding officiants that shared their values, and we’re here to ensure that everyone can have that perfect ceremony, not in spite of, but because of their identities.


Here’s everything you need to know to celebrate a couple’s love authentically and create a ceremony they’ll never forget.




Two happy grooms hold up brightly colored fall leaves in front of their faces as they pose for the photographer on their wedding day




4 Tips for Officiating Same-Sex & Other LGBTQ+ Weddings


1. Let couples know you’re an inclusive wedding officiant


Finding clients to marry: Include a statement of inclusivity on your website or social media account to let prospective clients know you support marriage equality for couples of all genders and sexual orientations. 


This can be as simple as saying “LGBTQ+ Inclusive!” or adding the familiar phrase “Love is Love.” A welcoming web presence sends a strong message to potential clients about who you are as an officiant. 


And if you’re asked to officiate by a friend or relative, well, they already know you love and respect them! Get ordained online for free here to officiate their wedding.


While we’re on the topic, remember that ‘same-sex’ isn’t a very inclusive descriptor. It might be useful for gaining SEO traffic or writing marriage laws, but it falls short when describing real people or relationships. Often ‘same-gender’ is better, and other times it’s best to just avoid gender descriptions. Humans move through the world in wonderful ways, and labels can only get you so far. 


Read more tips on using inclusive language here: 



Close up photo of two brides dressed in white exchanging wedding rings during a same-sex same-gender wedding ceremony

The ring exchange!


2. ‘Gay weddings’ are weddings


Gay weddings are just weddings. What we mean by this is that all weddings are about a couple’s commitment to each other, not about their sexual orientation or gender. So there’s no need to make a big deal about those qualities on the big day, unless a couple wants you to. 


As Brooklyn wedding planner Jove Meyer told the New York Times a few years ago, “...the couple is not getting ‘gay’ married. They are getting married. They’re not having a ‘gay wedding.’ They’re having a wedding. You don’t go to a straight wedding and say, ‘I’m so happy to be at this straight wedding.’”


So, unless a couple specifically asks you to say a few words about the importance of marriage equality during their ceremony, or wants you to promote it as the ‘queer event of the year’ (in which case we’re definitely coming as your plus one), you don’t need to emphasize that it's a same-gender wedding. 


Instead, approach the ceremony the same way you’d approach any couple’s ceremony: with love, respect, excitement, and professionalism. 


Related: Wedding Officiant Training: How to Maintain Communication with Your Couple



Photo via Liz Rae Weddings, two men stand facing each other, holding hands with a handfasting ribbon wrapped around their wrists during a wedding ceremony

Happy grooms during a beautiful outdoor handfasting ceremony. Photo by Dannielle Cousin of Shoot and Glo @shootandglo ; via Liz Rae Weddings @lizraeandco 


3. You don’t need a same-sex wedding ceremony script 


As we mentioned above, gay weddings are weddings, and you don’t need to use a specific type of wedding ceremony script for your sweet LGBTQ+ couples. Instead, just make sure the wedding script you choose matches what your couple wants in terms of tone and style. Then, modify it to use the right pronouns, and you’re all set! 


This personal approach goes for the wedding pronouncement, too. The pronouncement is the part of the ceremony when you’ll say, “I now pronounce you…” The best approach is to ask the couple how they’d like to be pronounced married, for example, ‘partners for life,’ or ‘husband and husband,’ or ‘I now pronounce you married.’ And consider these alternatives: 



Some couples might want a gender-neutral wedding ceremony script. This style of ceremony script is just what it sounds like: It doesn’t include any gendered words like ‘bride’ or ‘groom,’ ‘wife’ or ‘husband,’ and uses gender-neutral words like ‘partner,’ ‘sweetheart,’ or ‘spouse’ instead. This style of script might be requested by a non-binary or agender client, but they’re popular with all kinds of couples. 




AMM Officiant Latrice Roman at Put a Ring on it Dallas poses with two brides following their elopement ceremony

AMM Officiant Latrice Roman poses with two happy brides following their elopement ceremony at Put a Ring on it Dallas! @putaringonitdallas


4. But if you do need a same-sex wedding script, try one of these


If a couple does want a fabulously queer wedding, or their religious wedding ceremony requires special wording for same-gender couples, consider using one of these officiant scripts from the AMM Free Ceremony Scripts Library.  


These scripts include references to marriage equality, same-gender marriage, inclusive religious traditions, and gender-neutral or all-inclusive language. And they’re easy to personalize with details from a couple’s love story, or with a couple’s favorite love poem or wedding reading. 













Read next: 


10 Alternatives to “You May Now Kiss the Bride!”


Creative alternatives to the familiar wedding phrase "You may now kiss the bride," for couples and wedding officiants. These simple examples work well for same-sex, nonbinary, and other LGBTQ+ couples, feminist and non-traditional couples, or funny ceremonies with an informal vibe.


Read the full article here.



Close up photo of bride and grooms lips as they are about to kiss







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Photo of an ordained minister performing a marriage ceremony outdoors, holding a wedding ceremony script and gesturing as he smiles

Learn how to become and ordained minister and marry people for the first time! Read the full article here. 




AMM's Professional Wedding Officiant Training Course 



Asked to officiate?  


You only get one shot to deliver a perfect wedding ceremony.


There’s no ‘take-two’ when it comes time for a couple to say ‘I do’--  Wedding officiants only get one shot to perform a perfect wedding ceremony. 



Learn more on the Course Page. 






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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