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How Filmmaker Nico Raineau Fell in Love with Writing Wedding Ceremonies

Published Wednesday, Sep. 20th, 2023

Officiant Nico in action! Photo (cropped): Sergey Green

Filmmaker Nico Raineau fell in love with officiating while writing a new romantic comedy... about professional wedding officiants 



“Instead of writing something fake, about made up characters, I get to tell real love stories… Everyone has a romantic comedy story, they just might not realize it. And it’s really just in the telling of that story that you reveal how touching and moving and funny and charming everyone’s love story is.” -- Nico Raineau, owner & officiant of RomCom Weddings



Filmmaker Nico Raineau was co-writing a screenplay about professional wedding officiants when something occurred to him... he was jealous of the officiants, in the best possible way.


He’d spent hours interviewing wedding industry experts, asking dozens of questions to get his characters just right. As he listened intently to well-known officiants describe what they loved most about their work, he realized that officiating combined everything he loved most about the entertainment industry, too. 


That’s when Nico realized he wanted a wedding business of his own. He’d been in search of something new to pursue, and officiating was a “Venn diagram” of everything he’d been looking for: Script writing, directing, stage delivery, and most importantly, storytelling. 


And instead of telling a funny love story about made-up characters, he’d have the chance to tell real love stories, about real couples.   


Nico was hooked on the idea, and his officiant business, RomCom Weddings, was born. 


Nico marries a happy couple outdoors near Los Angeles, the bride tosses her head back laughing as Nico holds the mic up and makes a funny expression delivering the funny wedding script

Nico performs a lighthearted outdoor wedding with a view of Los Angeles (Photo: Pamela Tatz Photography)



He’s spent the last year bringing his company to the center stage, officiating dozens of stunning ceremonies in and around Los Angeles, elevating the role of officiant, cultivating valuable relationships, and changing the industry’s expectations of what weddings can be. 


Nico specializes in custom ceremonies that pull out all the stops – cinematic-style weddings that leave guests breathless, laughing, and leaping from their seats for a standing ovation. The couples he marries are the stars of the show – exchanging vows in ceremonies that have been expertly crafted and meticulously written with their personal love story in mind.


And he can find the 'romantic comedy' in any couple's love story. As Nico puts it, "'heart and hilarity' is kind of my brand." 


His weddings are sweet, funny, quirky, and charming… kinda like your favorite romantic comedy movie. A singular event, a meet-cute meets ever after, a wedding that couples and their loved ones will want to revisit and rewatch over and over, and remember for years to come. 



I spoke with Nico last week to learn more about what makes RomCom Weddings so special, why he loves theme weddings, the impact of the Writers Guild of America strike (WGA), and, of course, his upcoming romantic comedy about professional wedding officiants… which we can’t wait to see!  


Here’s what he told us! 

*Interview has been edited for length and clarity


Nico poses with a happy bride and groom, who raise their hands up in celebration

Nico poses with happy newlyweds (Photo: Sam Turchin Photo)


Tell me about your first time officiating. How did that come about? 


“I have a feeling this is probably like a gateway for many folks – I was asked to officiate for friends of mine, and I think my approach was just so unique and fun and entertaining, that it kind of became the thing that people talked about most, about that wedding afterwards.


And I had such a joyous experience doing it…


I was looking for something to do outside of entertainment – my primary career is that I’m a filmmaker, I write and direct movies – and you know, the entertainment business is very volatile. It’s very fickle… It’s based on a lot of external validation and, you know… I kinda started to feel like I was in a toxic relationship with my career in entertainment. (laughing)


…[And then] I started to write a new romantic comedy about a professional wedding officiant…”


Yes! Tell us about this movie you co-wrote, and how it led to the start of RomCom Weddings…


“We haven’t shot it yet, because now we’re on strike... But I co-wrote it with a really talented writer, her name is Amy Huckabay


… The movie is currently titled ‘Marriage Material,’ and it is about a failed comedian who stumbles into doing weddings – officiating weddings – in Las Vegas, and becomes one of the most popular wedding officiants in Las Vegas… But [he] has a personal hang up, you know, he got left at the altar, so he kind of doesn’t believe in love… But now he’s this professional officiant, and he gets this opportunity to take over his boss's company, but it requires him having to get married… (laughing)


So, it’s a bit of – it feels kind of like a 90s comedy, something that’s just really designed to be fun but heartfelt…


…Throughout the process of doing research for the script, I started reaching out to professional wedding officiants, and interviewing them about their experiences and the business, about their sort of approach, just kind of gathering material and ideas for this new project…


And the more conversations I had, with really talented pros, like Marie Holzer, like Alan Katz, I was just like – and I had in the back in of my mind these couples that I officiated for telling me, ‘maybe you should do it professionally’, and I’m writing a script about a professional, it all just – I was like, you know what, I think I actually really want to do this! 


Like, I started to get very jealous of the officiants I was speaking with. (laughing) Because I felt like they were kind of doing something that I could see myself doing, that I would have a lot of fun doing, and that did cater to my skill set [and] which is kind of in the middle of the Venn diagram of all the things I was looking for. 


I started my officiating business while we were writing the screenplay, and I was doing, essentially, both at the same time.” 



Los Angeles wedding officiant Nico Raineau performs an outdoor wedding ceremony for a couple

Los Angeles wedding officiant Nico Raineau specializes in finding the romantic comedy in every couple's love story. (Photo: Stewart Marcano)


How has the writer’s strike impacted you – both your new film and your wedding officiant business? 


“Right before the strike happened, we attached really wonderful producers who are going to help me get it made. So as soon as the strike is over, we’ll get back to the project, and hopefully making it soon.


…[And], yeah, I mean, I haven’t been writing anything, obviously, that’s the whole point. And the projects that I have are mostly sitting on ice until we get a new contract with the AMPTP. 


But that has allowed me to really focus on RomCom Weddings... I’ve fairly exclusively been a wedding officiant [this year] and it’s been really wonderful. 


…This year is actually my first full calendar year in business. And I’ve just kinda been working nonstop, it’s just really taken off this year, and fortunately, (laughing) for my wedding business, you know, I haven’t really been able to work on my film business, so it’s given me a lot of time and space to really dig in, and grow.”’


What do you love most about being a wedding officiant? 


“The thing that I love about officiating weddings is that, it appeals to the same joy I get as a storyteller and a filmmaker, which is, curating an emotional experience. And creating memories for people that will hopefully be long lasting. And really giving someone a unique experience – that is kind of unlike anything else they’ve taken part in before. 


And what I love about cinema and the idea of these movies that we all grow up with is, if you make a truly touching film, it can become a part of someone’s life. It becomes a touchstone, it becomes something that you keep coming back to, and that you remember. 


And that’s essentially what a very good wedding ceremony can do as well. It’s something that that couple will remember forever, that their loved ones will remember. 


And instead of writing something fake, about made up characters, I get to tell real love stories, and cater them to the people who are getting married. And I always tell everyone – you might, everyone has a romantic comedy story, they just might not realize it. And it’s really just in the telling of that story that you reveal how touching and moving and funny and charming everyone’s love story is. 


You just sort of have to ask the right questions and tell the story in the right way. But it’s all there. Everyone has a funny and romantic story of how they arrived at their wedding day.”



A funny pose with the newlyweds during a sweet outdoor wedding ceremony

Nico says that "Everyone has a funny and romantic story of how they arrived at their wedding day.” (Photo: Pamela Tatz Photography)


Is there a question you ask couples during the interview process that usually surprises them? 


“There’s one question that I don’t always ask, but that I think kinda stumps people a little bit… I ask if there’s anything their partner doesn’t know about them yet. (laughing) 


That kinda gives people pause. And very rarely do people ever think that there is something that their partner doesn’t know about them, but, throughout our conversation I usually find at least, like, different takes on things, that maybe they haven’t expressed to their partner before – that can be really fun.”



You co-wrote your own wedding ceremony, with your wife. Tell me about that! 


“So, my wife and I are both filmmakers and screenwriters, and we got married in a small town where our wedding venue had a sort of site rep who was very much involved in planning everything, and we had a really terrific caterer, who was also really involved in helping us. 


…We’re used to leading sets of a hundred, two hundred, three hundred people, like, the thing about making movies and putting on a wedding, is that structurally they’re not all that different (laughing), right? 


Like, they’re kinda both putting on a production… You know, your casting is your guest list, your location scouting is your venue, catering is catering…


It’s all kind of the same basic idea, so we felt very comfortable planning our own wedding and managing that, in collaboration with some of our other key vendors. 


And then when it came to the ceremony… I will be honest with you, at the time, I didn’t know that a professional wedding officiant was a thing. Like, I didn’t even know that was an option. 


So it was pretty much like, ok, I guess we’re gonna ask someone we know to officiate for us, because I didn’t know that there were professionals who did this! Which is part of – I’m trying to create that exposure now, for myself and many other really talented pros, so that couples know that this is a viable option. 


But at the time I didn’t know, so we wanted something really special, that felt very unique, so we actually asked both of our sisters to co-officiate for us. And, because they weren’t professional writers, and we were, we wrote our own wedding ceremony! Like, we wrote them their script, to basically perform for us, on our wedding day. 


And… instead of a special reading, we had two friends from our wedding party who are actors, perform the final scene from When Harry Met Sally. (laughing)



Los Angeles wedding officiant Nico Raineau officiates a fun Alice in Wonderland theme wedding, he's wearing a mad-hatter style top hat

Nico in a top hat during a fun Alice in Wonderland themed wedding ceremony earlier this year. (Photo: Robbie Snider)


You recently officiated an Alice in Wonderland theme wedding… It was gorgeous! What do you love about themed weddings, and is there a theme you’re dying to do? 


“Oh man, in general I would just love to do more theme weddings, whatever the theme is. 


You know, I found my way into entertainment because I thought I wanted to be an actor, so there is a certain degree of officiating weddings that does feel like a performance, right? 


You have a captive audience, you’re standing up there like you’re on a stage, and so, theme weddings really kind of lean into that, and I think theme weddings in particular, the couple also knows that it feels like a performance, because it is very much a production. 


I think that’s part of what they enjoy about it, they like that there’s a bit of theatricality to it, and for me as the person who is basically the one, speaking and creating the experience for the ceremony, it just makes it a lot of fun. 


It’s also a little, it’s a departure from the norm, which is entertaining for me, and I think what makes a theme wedding – for me personally – more fun to write and perform is that it gives me a very specific sandbox in which to play. 


So, the theme wedding I did this year was an Alice in Wonderland, fantasy film, sort of medieval fantasy theme… The theme of the wedding itself was kind of Alice in Wonderland, into the rabbit hole, but then the couple are big readers and big movie watchers, and wanted all the fantasy movie references. So like, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, like the more I could put in there, the happier they would be. 


Then the more I was doing that, the groom was like, ‘I also love 90s movies and comedies and how many of those references can you make?’ (laughing) So suddenly it’s like everything’s being thrown at the wall and I’m just having fun. 


…And if there’s also room in the couple’s budget for me to have a costume or dress up, and make it fun, then, it makes it even better, it makes the photos from the ceremony even better…


Yeah, there’s no specific theme wedding I would like to do, I’m just, so down to do more.”


Related: Game of Thrones Themed Wedding Ceremony Script



Officiant Nico walks down a sidewalk outdoors at a wedding ceremony, smiling at the camera and holding a microphone and his wedding script, credit Pamela Tatz Photography



Nico Raineau is a non-denominational minister and wedding officiant based in Los Angeles, California, and the owner of RomCom Weddings. He's also an award winning film director and screenwriter with a career focus in romantic comedies!


Nico crafts custom wedding ceremonies that capture and celebrate a couple's love story, with a delivery that's worthy of the big screen. He's been an ordained minister with American Marriage Ministries since March of 2019. 


(Photo: Pamela Tatz Photography)




Connect with Nico:  


Instagram / Facebook /


Read more about Nico in the press: 


THE NEW YORK TIMES: Hooking Up’ Review: Why Don’t We Do It on the Road?


FIRST POST: Cannes 2019: Nico Raineau's directorial Bailey and Darla set for worldwide premiere




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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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