Published: Monday, Mar. 8th, 2021
We’ve all been to that wedding.
The kind that starts off so painfully that within minutes of the officiant’s greeting, you and other guests quickly begin exchanging wild-eyed glances, collectively cringing inwardly at the realization that you’ll have to endure another 20 minutes before the saving grace of the cocktail hour.
Luckily, it’s easy to avoid a rough ceremony start -- as long as you know how to deliver a heartfelt welcome! For some ceremonies, keeping your opening remarks familiar and traditional might be the best approach. As long as your customary words are refreshed by context and stories that are authentic to the couple, you can’t go wrong!
But for the folks looking for something a little different, here are a few offbeat opening remarks for a non-traditional, non-religious, and unpredictable wedding ceremony. We suggest that new officiants use these as a starting point, and then modify them to better suit the personalities of the people getting married.
"Today is a day to breathe a big sigh of relief, and give a huge shout of joy -- because at least two of us here have finally found someone to spend the next thirty years curling up on the couch next to, with a plate of tacos and a set of matching Star Wars onesies. It’s what we’ve all been looking for, and Tamara and Jake have managed to find it.
In a world with so many people -- and yet so few who actually get us on a deep, lasting level -- this is straight up miraculous, and absolutely worthy of our celebration and support.
So before we begin, let’s take a moment to shout them out -- to really show our overwhelming enthusiasm for the perfect fit these two have found in each other.
Can I get a ‘hell yes!’?"
(The crowd shouts out!)
"That’s right, let's revel in the miracle of these two loveable, spectacular, late-night-snack loving misfits finding each other!"
"Alright y'all, before you take your seats, I want you to take a quick look around. All these people standing here today? We’re all here because we love Henry and Mark, and we love the love they share together. Can you feel it? That energy?
Yeah! Smile at each other! Give each other a hug! We’re here to hold up and celebrate the joy that Henry and Mark bring into the world. They bring us together! They’re such a tremendous part of our community, of our families, of our lives -- they don’t stop at loving each other, they love all of us too!
So just take a minute and feel that! You feel it? Yeah, let’s give it right back to them!
You can take your seats, and keep that joy in your heart as we get these two married!"
"You may all settle down and take a seat. For some of you here today, this isn’t the first time you’ve heard me say that, right? -- I’m Bonnie’s mother, Cicely, and I’ll be the officiant today. Now sit down, all of you! We have a wedding to get to.
That’s right. Welcome! Friends and family, all these generations of loved ones -- Bonnie’s great grandparents over here, Calvin’s little nieces over there trying hard not to giggle -- we see you all and we are honored and delighted to all be here today, showing our support of these two as they continue down this road together.
Bonnie and Calvin met almost ten years ago now, childhood friends! And childhood friends with a lot of you all, too. They were best friends from that first day, basically inseparable, and their devotion for one another, and respect and appreciation for one another’s true selves has only gotten stronger as they’ve gotten older!
So it’s a blessing to be here today, loving these two and holding them up, while they show us all they plan to keep right on loving each other for the rest of their lives. Because marriage is about commitment, it’s about showing up, through every awkward growing pain and every new challenge. It’s about growing up together, over and over, and these two have shown they’re in it for the long run!"
The key to crafting creative, non-boring opening remarks is taking the time to understand and relate to the couple getting married. Find out why they work as partners, and you’ll have no trouble finding a unique wedding welcome that works, too.
Sample wedding scripts are a phenomenally helpful tool for new officiants!
They provide the basic building blocks of a conventional wedding ceremony, with simple transitions from one part to the next. Working with their couple, officiants can gather several templates with the tone or vibe they’re looking for, and cut and paste their favorite pieces from each one to turn them into a new, customized script.
This is why we’ve written dozens of sample wedding ceremony scripts of all types and shared them in our Ceremony Script Library! You’ll find scripts for weddings that include children, civil weddings, Christian and Jewish weddings, seasonal weddings, non-religious weddings, and even handfastings!
And for more help creating a custom ceremony that will keep guests tuned-in and on the edge of their seats in the best way, order Asked to Officiate.
Become a Wedding Officiant with Our Free Online Ordination!