You’re ordained! (We’ll imagine handfuls of confetti falling all around you while we say that.) Congratulations!
Now what? If you want to work as a professional officiant, an important next step is writing a compelling bio to add to your AMM minister profile or personal website, and other wedding services websites like The Knot and WeddingWire.
(Visit our Minister Directory to view examples of minister profiles to help you write your own.)
Get started by jotting down various details you want to include, then organize them into a great couple of paragraphs. Here are a few questions and tips to help guide the process.
What are four words you or a friend would use to describe your personality?
How would a friend describe you to a stranger? What qualities do you like most about yourself? Are you laid back? Energetic? Open minded? Imaginative? Highly organized or efficient?
Remember that you’re helping people to get to know you, not someone else. You want to present the best version of yourself, but being honest will help couples find the best fit for their ceremony.
What are your professional goals?
Think about where you’d like to be in a year or two. What are you working toward professionally, and why? What do you love most about weddings, and what do you hope to contribute?
You might want to establish yourself as a full time wedding officiant, or just help friends-of-friends and family craft their perfect ceremonies. Think about whether you’d like to specialize in a certain type of ceremony, work with a specific demographic, or build a wildly diverse portfolio of weddings.
(Looking for inspiration? Visit our Wedding Wall to see examples of real wedding ceremonies by AMM ministers!)
What are your personal values?
Make a list of qualities or principles you value most. A few common examples of personal values are equality, determination, loyalty, respect, hard work, teamwork, commitment, personal growth, and honesty.
In many cases, our personal values carry over into our professional lives and help us find satisfaction and connection in our working relationships. It’s useful to know what your top three are.
What kinds of work experience do you have?
Every job we do teaches us new skills, whether we’re waiting tables, managing employees, or building cabinets.
Make a list of the jobs you’ve benefited from the most, and then jot down two or three skills you honed at each. Skills can include attention to detail, adapting quickly to change, chatting casually with a wide variety of people, or showing up each day ready to learn something new.
If you have direct ties with the wedding industry or previous experience officiating, this is (of course) especially valuable. But if not, don’t worry. You’ll gain experience, and can update your profile as your portfolio expands.
(For more insight into how professional officiants can make the most of their skills, read Are First-Time Wedding Officiants Hurting Professionals? Here’s How to Adapt to Online Ordination.)
What unique talents do you have that other officiants don't?
Are you an experienced rock climber, or fluent in another language? Are you able to travel out of state to national parks or haunted ghost towns to perform ceremonies? Are you knowledgeable about Celtic history or modern dance? Do you have a degree in theatre, or can you captain a boat?
Your special abilities can help set you apart, so think about including them.
Open with a short summary paragraph.
Every great profile starts with a hook. If your profile is mid-length or longer (3 short paragraphs or more), you’ll want to lead with an engaging first paragraph that succinctly summarizes your strengths, experience, and the key elements and values you’ll bring to every ceremony.
Next, describe your skills and experience in more detail.
Now’s the time to showcase strengths based on your previous work experience and to share any unique qualifications that will be a draw for couples.
For example, let couples know you work well under tight deadlines or have experience as a public speaker. Let them know you’d love to lead their bilingual ceremony, or travel to their hometown, or that you’ll bring authenticity to their Klingon wedding that other officiants never could.
It’s helpful to understand the role of officiants when tailoring this part of your profile, and recommend reading What is the Role of the Officiant in a Wedding Ceremony?
End on a personal note.
End your profile on a warm, personal note. This is one more chance for a couple to gain some insight into your personality and values, and what you’ll bring to their ceremony.
You might share a little about what brought you to officiating in the first place, and what you love most about weddings and engagement ceremonies. You might add a sentence or two about your respect for the role of officiant, and the types of couples you hope to work with.
Include a photo!
Photos are still worth a thousand words!
Include a high-resolution headshot or a photo of you ‘on the job.’ Make sure it’s in focus, fairly recent, and sends an accurate message about your personality and approach.
Color photos are usually more engaging than black and white photos. Don’t over edit or use too many filters… Polished, candid shots will look the most authentic.