AMM's list of Officiant Do's and Don'ts for first time wedding officiants, and what to pack in your Officiant Wedding Emergency Kit before you head to your first ceremony. We cover local minister registration, rehearsal ceremonies, where to keep your wedding ceremony script and copies of the vows, and other important advice to help you avoid mistakes or disappointments.
Advice from AMM: The essential dos and don'ts of officiating a wedding for the very first time
We’ve scoured our most popular guidance articles and compiled a helpful list of officiant pointers that are frequently overlooked in the hustle and bustle of wedding preparations.
Do have the venue address(es) and a prepared route ready to go prior to the rehearsal and ceremony. (If you’re unfamiliar with the area, this is even more important.)
Do make several printed and digital backup copies of the ceremony script.
Do keep your scripts, credentials, and other important documents like the marriage license organized and in one place at all times. (Our Officiant Folio is perfect for keeping all of your ceremony components together.)
Don’t show up late or push your commute until the last possible minute.
Do check the forecast! Changes in weather can drastically affect traffic routes and commute times, and if the ceremony is outdoors, you’ll need to plan your attire accordingly.
Do check the sound system.
Do check with the Best Man (or the Ringbearer) to make sure they are in possession of the rings.
When you ask guests to rise for the bride, don’t forget to instruct them to be seated afterward.
If it’s an unplugged ceremony, do kindly remind guests to silence their phones and put them away.
Don’t read from a tablet or phone. (Our Officiant Folio isn’t just for keeping your ceremony documents organized – it also looks polished and professional at the altar!)
Don’t wear a large smartwatch or keep your phone in your front pocket. As a general rule, avoid wearing anything that’s flashy or distracting.
When it’s time for the couple to kiss – do remember to step out of the way!
Do get to know your fellow wedding vendors. Networking and building excellent working relationships is valuable and rewarding!
Officiant Wedding Emergency Kit
Do bring a wedding emergency kit! Here's what to pack in this essential kit...
Now it's time to go the extra officiant mile. Gather all of these items listed below (most of them are available in small, compact travel sizes!) and keep them handy in an accessible pouch or cosmetic bag... Show up prepared with your own Officiant Wedding Emergency Kit!
What to pack in your Officiant Wedding Emergency Kit
Spare set of venue address and directions
Ceremony program, order of events, and ceremony script + copies
Our Signature Wedding Officiant Package includes everything you'll need to successfully officiate a wedding ceremony! It includes your minister ordination paperwork, AMM's updated Minister Manual, Getting Started kit, and more.
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.