Most people probably start reading American Weddings after asking a friend or family member to perform the wedding ceremony -- or, after being asked by the couple to officiate their wedding. If you and your significant other still haven’t popped the question, and you are considering a certain uncle, a college roommate, or perhaps even your college professor, here are some important points to keep in mind:
Don’t just ask a friend or family member to officiate your wedding because they have experience speaking in front of people, or because they are “funny.”
You want an officiant who is compatible with the ceremony you re planning. That means someone who is articulate, who is not afraid to speak in front of an audience, and who understands the honor of being asked to deliver your ceremony. This isn’t a toast or a roast -- they can do that in the reception if they want -- this is your ceremony.
Do ask a friend or family member who is going to create and deliver a wedding ceremony that fits you.
There may be family pressure to ask “Uncle Bob” because he’s a great public speaker, but if Uncle Bob is a Baptist preacher and you are non-religious, that is not a good fit. It’s likely that the ceremony will not be meaningful or personal to you. Instead, consider “Cousin Sally,” who has known you since you were both kids, has grown with you, and who shares your vision and spiritual disposition.
Officiants, the unsung heroes of weddings!
Do give the family member or friend time to think about their answer, and (this is a tough one!) don’t take it personally if they say ‘no.’
Being asked to officiate is a great honor, but preparing for and/or delivering a wedding ceremony requires work, and doing it right requires being comfortable in front of an audience. Not everyone is cut out to do this, and plenty of folk get cold feet along the way. If you start early, your officiant will have time to get comfortable with the idea of performing a wedding ceremony -- and you will have time to find a replacement if they back out.
And remember, try not to feel offended if the person you ask opts to decline. Perhaps they do not feel they are an adequate public speaker, or are afraid of disappointing you. No matter the reason, respect their decision to say ‘no’ and understand that it’s for the best!
Do seek guidance and assistance, especially if this is the friend or family member’s first time delivering a wedding ceremony.
AMM understands how new the idea of officiating a wedding ceremony can be to first time officiants. Our Asked to Officiate workbooks are the best place to start -- we guarantee that they will lead to a better ceremony. And even if you are sure you’ve got this on your own, we still recommend starting preparations early! Even professional officiants start the process a few months before the ceremony. Nobody wants to be caught unprepared. Spend time learning about how to create and deliver the ceremony, or talk to an officiant who has done this at least a few times before.
By using the advice above, you can make sure that you ask the right person and end up with a wedding ceremony that fits you and is delivered well.
We spend so much time making sure that our wedding party is a good fit that we often forget how important it is to choose the right officiant. And when we do, we struggle to find a way to express our appreciation for their contributions. Now, AMM has created the “Will You Marry Us?” gift package that you -- the couple -- can give to your wedding officiant!
Priced at just $95, this package includes the most robust ordination available, full credentials and documentation, training and writing tools, and everything else required to create the wedding ceremony of a lifetime!
Your boys all got these sweet matching socks, but what did you do for your officiant?
Here’s how it works in three easy steps:
1. The couple purchases their “Will You Marry Us” Gift Package, which is shipped to them. Then they give it to their officiant (AMM can also send it directly to the officiant if that’s easier).
2. The officiant gets ordained online through theamm.org and enters his or her unique code that is included in the package. AMM sends the officiant their ordination documents, along with all required legal forms and instructions.
3. The officiant and couple can then use the tools and instructions included in the “Will You Marry Us” gift package to prepare and deliver a memorable and legal wedding ceremony anywhere in the USA.
By gifting the “Will You Marry Us” gift box, couples not only have a meaningful way to ask their officiant and show their gratitude, but also empower their officiant to deliver a personalized, memorable ceremony that people will be talking about for years to come.