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How to Be Kind: 5 Ways that Wedding Officiants Can Lead With Kindness

Published Tuesday, Aug. 1st, 2023

AMM Minister Kristan poses with happy newlyweds on the wedding day (Photo courtesy of the officiant via AMM's Wedding Wall)

Five simple ways to put kindness at the center of your wedding officiant business 



You know that old saying, “In a world where you can be anything, be kind”? It’s never been more true! 


Wedding Officiants are in the unique position of working closely with engaged couples during one of the most important, most personal, and often most stressful times of their lives. This interaction can feel even more vulnerable and intimate for LGBTQ+ couples and other marginalized couples, who sometimes face discrimination from within the wedding industry.


To make each couple’s wedding experience as special and joyful as possible, it’s essential that Wedding Officiants lead with kindness.


Below are a few simple suggestions to make kindness part of your wedding practice. 



5 Simple Ways to Put Kindness at the Center of Your Wedding Officiant Business 


1. Listen and be attentive


One of the kindest things you can do for someone is to simply be present with them. This means listening to them without distractions, asking follow-up questions that show your interest in what they have to say, and not rushing them while they talk. 


Wedding Officiants can practice this form of kindness by setting aside enough time for each meeting, not over-booking themselves, and making themselves available for any questions that couples might have during the ceremony planning process. Let couples know the best ways to contact you, and set aside ample time during your day to respond.



2. Meet others with curiosity


A curious mindset is one of the best ways to lead with kindness, because curiosity is a natural anecdote to contempt or judgment. When we’re curious about why someone believes and acts the way they do, we’re open to experiencing them in a new way. We’re open to learning something new about them, instead of judging them based on our old ideas or expectations. Meeting someone with this sort of open-minded curiosity can help us understand them better – and accept them for who they are.


Wedding Officiants can practice this form of kindness by tossing out their assumptions about what a ‘perfect’ wedding looks like, and asking couples what they want on their wedding day. A detailed questionnaire is also a great way to learn about a couple. Ask what your marriers what they value, and what their wedding means to them.



3. Pause when you feel upset or confused


It’s hard not to react when someone says or does something offensive, but taking a moment to collect your thoughts when you’re upset is a good way to lead with kindness. Even counting to 5 and taking a deep breath before you respond can help! This pause gives you time to think about what you want to say, or not say, to diffuse a heated situation. When you respond calmly and intentionally, instead of defensively, you meet others with kindness – even if you don’t agree with them. 


Wedding Officiants can practice this form of kindness by taking a few deep breaths anytime a difficult client pushes their buttons. This might mean waiting a few minutes to respond calmly to a text from a stressed out bride or a negative review, or taking a deep breath before answering a rude question from a wedding guest. A well-timed pause is a great way to be kind! 



4. Look for the good


There’s good in almost every situation and every person, even if it takes some effort to see it at first. (And sometimes it can take a lot of effort!) Luckily, a positive outlook based on gratitude is like a muscle – the more you work on seeing the good, and noticing things to be grateful for, the easier it gets. Over time, even the most frustrating people and situations will spark gratitude, and it will be easier to meet them with kindness.


Wedding Officiants can practice this form of kindness by looking for the positive benefits that come from challenging situations, frustrating people, or professional setbacks. For example, a sudden wedding cancellation might motivate you to write a stronger business contract, or leave you open for an even better booking. Or a difficult client might test your patience, but noticing the love they have for their partner (the positive!) will make it easier to meet them with kindness. 



5. Say thank you


Showing appreciation for the actions of others is one of the best ways to be kind! It creates a powerful kindness-loop, where the kindness of others creates kindness in us, and so on. Thank people as often as possible for the countless ways they contribute to and enrich your life, no matter how small those moments might seem. 


Wedding Officiants can practice this form of kindness in many ways: By sending couples a thank you card or thank you email after performing their wedding ceremony; thanking and ‘shouting out’ other wedding vendors who contributed to a great ceremony; tagging other vendors in social media posts to show gratitude for their participation; and mentoring new officiants as a show of gratitude for the opportunities they’ve been given. 


AMM Minister hugs newlyweds on the wedding day during an outdoor reception at night. They are all wearing wedding attire, there are twinkly string lights against the night sky. The officiants back is to the camera as she stretches her arms around the bride and groom in a group hug.

Photo via AMM's Wedding Wall

AMM Minister Cynthia hugs two happy newlyweds after their ceremony

Take time to thank your wedding couples for asking you to be an integral part of their ceremony. 




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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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