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Attention Couples: Want an Awesome Ceremony? Schedule regular meetings and work closely with your officiant!

Published Monday, Nov. 18th, 2019

Meeting with your officiant doesn't have to be a formal boring affair, it's a chance to get excited about the wedding!

Hey Couples: Whether you are hiring a professional officiant, or asking a friend or family member to officiate your wedding, regular communication is critical.


Your officiant’s job is to lead the ceremony, and the better you communicate with him or her, the more powerful and memorable your ceremony will be!


In practical terms, this means that a certain amount of communication between the couple and the officiant should be scheduled right from the beginning.


Regardless of who you pick, make sure they're committed to regular communication. Make sure they understand their role -- which is helping to translate your vision into words. 



An image of a wedding ceremony script placed inside of a wedding officiant's binder, with a pen sitting on top of it to make edits and revisions

You're going to want to review the script together and iron out the details...



We recommend that at the very least, you have two meetings with your officiant.




Meeting #1:


The first should be an initial meeting to discuss the basics of the ceremony – length, tone, timeline, etc. If you are working with a professional officiant, the initial meeting should occur right when or right after you set your wedding date. (Ideally, at least nine months before the wedding date).


If you've asked a friend or family member to officiate your wedding, then the meeting should happen shortly after that friend or family member says “yes” to performing the ceremony.


The reason the meeting should happen early is so that everyone's on the same page, and if not, changes can be discussed and made with time to spare.


We recommend meeting either in-person or having a scheduled phone call, Zoom, or Skype appointment, keeping the attendance list to just the officiant and the couple (no mothers, planners, friends, etc.). That way, you can freely discuss what you want, without worrying about what people will say. It’s your wedding, own it! 


Both partners have to be on board with this. When we do a meeting with a couple, we require that both the bride and the groom (or both brides or grooms) attend. That’s because the ceremony being created should reflect both partners. 


Have you ever been to a wedding where one partner was obviously not included in the process? It probably just felt like he or she was reciting a script, instead of speaking from their heart. 


An American Marriage Ministries Minister officiates a wedding for a couple that is holding hands and laughing happily, in front of a decorative white backdrop

This is what it looks like when everybody is involved in creating a meaningful moment!



Meeting #2:


The second meeting should take place three to four weeks out from the wedding and should include the officiant and either the bride or the groom, or both. Everyone can meet in person or plan together via a phone call or video conference, and it doesn’t need to be anything formal or long.


This is an opportunity to check in and make sure that the different parts of the ceremony are prepared and that everything is progressing as planned. If the couple are writing their own vows, they need to be ready by this point. 


This pre-wedding meeting is also a time to make sure that the logistics involved in any of the main ceremony pieces are worked out. It’s a chance to ensure that the license has been picked up by the couple, etc.


In our opinion, this is the very minimal amount of communication that should happen -- but we highly recommend more!


For most of you reading, this will be your first (or second) time tying the knot. We realize that many of you are learning as you go along, which is why there needs to be plenty of communication!



Will You Marry Us? Gift Box



The Will You Marry Us? Gift Box helps couples ask friends and family members to officiate their wedding in style, and includes everything they'll need to perform your ceremony! 



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Lewis King
Lewis King

Staff Writer

Lewis loves exploring the space between power, discourse, and material reality where institutions like marriage are defined. He also wears other hats at AMM, like taking out the recycling and restocking the sparkling water.

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