Stay up to date with the latest wedding ceremony trends, script writing inspiration, tips and advice for first-time officiants, and news that matters to couples and wedding ministers.

Right Before You Step on Stage: A Wedding Officiant’s (Very) Last Minute Checklist

Published Thursday, Feb. 11th, 2021

Illustrations by Jessica Levey

This is it, the day of the wedding. You’re about to stand in front of the couple’s loved ones and deliver their wedding ceremony! 


It’s a momentous occasion, and all the hours you spent planning and practicing were worth it, because today two wonderful people are getting married. The guests start to arrive and you move to take your place front and center. 


Suddenly, the thought hits you: am I forgetting something? 


Right before you step ‘on stage’, use this last-minute mental checklist to collect yourself and avoid any embarrassing mishaps. 


- Is there anything in your teeth? 


That poppy seed bagel with lox was delicious*, but your breakfast choice isn’t the memory you want showing up in wedding photos. Double check your smile with a quick glance in a mirror before you start greeting guests. 


*always eat before the ceremony! You need nutritious energy to stay focused before, during, and after. 



- Do you have your reading glasses?


If you need glasses to read, make sure you have them before you step on stage! Or if you wear contacts, keep a tiny bottle of solution nearby, lest an eyelash or speck of dust go rogue and attack.


Few things kills the mood like an officiant winking awkwardly for 20 minutes, or moving a script back and forth trying to make out the fine print.

Illustration of cat-eye eye glasses ready for a wedding officiant to wear!

All of your wedding-day winking should be intentional.



- Bathroom break! 


Yep. It’s hard to concentrate on anything when you’re trying to hold it -- let alone speak charismatically in front of a crowd. Do yourself a favor and make a quick trip before you step up front.



- Check your zipper! (Or make sure your skirt isn’t tucked into your tights…)


Is your zipper up? Is your dress or skirt smoothed down, and covering everything it’s meant to? Great! The only show the guests are here to see is a wedding.  


illustration of a zipper that's pulled down, left open, as a reminder to check your zipper before you step up to perform a wedding in front of a crowd!

Let's keep everyone's attention on the happy couple, ok? 



- Where’s your script?


We know you just had it, but where is it now? Find it, put it in your hands, and if it has multiple pages, make sure they’re in order (and numbered!) before you say your opening remarks.



- Water and Tissues?


A common symptom of anxiety is dry mouth, and you don’t want this slowing you down. Keep a water bottle within reach!


And while you’re at it, keep those tissues close too. Set them off to the side or keep a packet in your pocket. Someone’s going to cry, it’s just a matter of time. It’s a wedding after all!


illustration of a water bottle and a pocket pack of tissues to bring when performing a wedding.

Dry eyes, not dry mouth. 



- Posture Check


Don’t clench. Don’t freeze. Don’t lock your knees. Don’t slouch. Don’t hide behind the bride. Don’t curl up into a ball. 


You’ve got this! Stand up straight, face the audience, relax your shoulders, and breathe!



- Are you breathing?


But seriously, are you? Take a deep breath, and let it out slowly. Then, do it again. This is going to be fun! You’ve got this. 



Next, read Attention Officiants: 4 things you might forget the day of the wedding (and what to do about it).




Signature Wedding Officiant Package



Our Signature Wedding Officiant Package includes everything you'll need to successfully officiate a wedding ceremony! 



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.

How To Officiate By State

Will You Marry Us? Gift Package

Who Will Officiate Your Wedding?

Choose Your Officiant with our "Will You Marry Us?" Gift Package.

Signature Wedding Officiant Package

Signature Wedding Officiant Package

Our premiere package contains everyting you need to officiate like a pro.

The Book of Wedding Vows and Ceremonies

The Book of Wedding Vows and Ceremonies

It's finally here! Timeless scripts and heartfelt vow inspiration to bring life to your ceremony.

Professional Wedding Officiant Certification Course

Learn from the Pros to Officiate with Confidence!

Wedding Officiant Training

Wedding Officiant Training

Everything you need to know to officiate.

Read our sample wedding ceremony scripts online

Sample Wedding Ceremony Scripts

Need inspiration? Check out our free ceremony scripts!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter!


Become a Wedding Officiant with Our Free Online Ordination!