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5 Surprising Book Recommendations for Wedding Officiants This Winter

Published Sunday, Nov. 22nd, 2020

Illustrations by Jessica Levey

Spend some time this winter bundled up with a good book and learn new ways to become an even better wedding officiant.


It’s no secret that most of us at AMM are booklovers. Heck, we’ve even written a couple of books ourselves. (Start with Asked to Officiate and AMM’s Minister Manual to learn the essentials of conducting wedding ceremonies and to ensure your weddings are legal.) So when the opportunity arose to talk with AMM Minister and fellow booklover Liz Rae about what’s on her bookshelves, we couldn’t pass it up. 


Liz works as a wedding officiant in the Chicago area and has a knack for capturing the essence, substance, and quirks of a couple’s love story through custom ceremonies. She credits authentic connections with couples — and her voracious reading habits — for much of her storytelling superpowers and marketing savvy. 







Here are 5 (surprising) books that top her list for winter reading. 


(We’ve linked to, an organization that helps you support the local, independent bookstores in your area by ordering through them online.)





1. Wired for Story: The Writer's Guide to Using Brain Science to Hook Readers From the Very First Sentence 

by Lisa Cron


“This guide reveals how writers can utilize cognitive storytelling strategies to craft stories that ignite readers' brains and captivate them through each plot element.”


(For fast help writing ceremony scripts, start with our free online Wedding Ceremony Script Library.)





2. How to Win Friends and Influence People

by Dale Carnegie


“With an enduring grasp of human nature, it teaches his readers how to handle people without letting them feel manipulated, how to make people feel important without inspiring resentment, how to win people over to your point of view without causing offence, and how to make a friend out of just about anyone.”


(Start with our online article How to Work Best With Your Wedding Officiant.)





3. Bird by Bird

by Anne Lamott


“Superb writing advice... hilarious, helpful and provocative." -- "New York Times Book Review."


(Start with How to Write a Wedding Ceremony Script in 9 Steps in our free officiant training guide.) 





4. This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See

by Seth Godin


“A game-changing approach to marketing, sales, and advertising.”


If you’re planning on officiating more than one wedding, you’ll want to get your message in front of the right couples. Us officiants might not all be Don Drapers, but there’s always something to be learned from the sales folks. 


(Start with our online article, Putting Yourself Out There, How to Build Your Portfolio and Gain Exposure as an Officiant.)





5. A Natural History of Love

by Diane Ackerman


“Following the triumphant success of her book "A Natural History of the Senses," Diane Ackerman has turned her formidable gifts to that greatest gift of all -- the elusive, eternal, and endlessly interesting matter of love.” 


(Learn about our philosophy on marriage and why we believe every couple has a right to marriage and to choose who marries them.)





To build a strong foundation, we recommend you start your officiant journey by reading Asked to Officiate, a comprehensive and easy to understand step-by-step guide on how to write and conduct wedding ceremonies. It will unlock the mysteries of performing marriage and help you prepare for anything along the way. 



You can follow AMM Minister and wedding officiant Liz Rae on Instagram: @lizraeweddings and @vowswelltraveled


Updated March 2021



More articles featuring Liz Rae: 




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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