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Exorcisms, Flus, and Flat Tires: Backup Officiants are Essential, Especially in 2020

Published Monday, Oct. 19th, 2020

Illustrations by Jessica Levey

Imagine if your wedding officiant canceled on your ceremony at the last minute because of an unexpected exorcism.


Yeah, that’s right, an exorcism! The expulsion of a demon spirit that (rudely) decides to possess an unfortunate person or place. 


Think that would never happen? Well, think again!


It did happen, and not so long ago, to an engaged couple who were later married by a well known AMM Minister (more on this below).


And as wild as it sounds, we bet a spooky supernatural emergency still isn't the most unusual reason a wedding officiant has canceled on short notice. Especially this year.


Wedding officiants are only human. They get sick, break limbs, and have family emergencies and flat tires like the rest of us. And while professionals go to great lengths to avoid day-of disasters and missed ceremonies, sometimes things don’t go according to plan. 


As a couple, you don’t want your wedding to fall through just because your minister can't make it to the venue...


That’s why having a backup officiant is essential!



Illustration of a backup officiant, raising her hand to volunteer herself, while a bride and groom face her with worried expressions on their faces. The bride holds her hands up in a gesture of worry, but the backup officiant is smiling and ready to help.

A backup officiant can step in on short notice to save the wedding day. 





Having a backup officiant is insurance against the unexpected. 


Some wedding vendors are also registered wedding officiants, and will be able to sign the license in a pinch. In fact, we think all day-of vendors — photographers, planners, and even the bartender! — should become ordained with American Marriage Ministries for just this reason. If you're planning on having several professionals at your ceremony, ask if any are authorized to solemnize weddings in your state.


Even better, ask a loved one to get ordained just in case, so that they're ready to step in if needed. Cousin Luke and Aunt Harriet don’t need to do or say anything fancy in order to save the day, they’ll be heroes just by being there to witness your wedding and sign your marriage license!




Long story short, don't leave things to chance! Prepare for the unexpected.




Have a backup officiant!






To the rescue


Hey, want to know what happened with the engaged couple we mentioned earlier? The one whose first officiant had an exorcism to get to? 


Matthew and Valentina knew from the start that they were destined to be married. A renowed psychic and former fashion model, and an astrology fan with a blended family, the lovers were an eclectic match made in the stars. But when they found themselves without an officiant for their wedding day, the future suddenly felt less certain.


That's when the fated couple found AMM Minister Bonnie Sanchez -- an officiant with a flair for crafting ceremonies that are every bit as authentic and vibrant as the couples she marries. 


The ceremony that Bonnie helped Matthew and Valentina create was so unique that it was written up in the New York Times


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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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