Whether a friend, relative or a hired professional like myself, there are a few things to keep in mind when choosing someone to officiate your marriage…
One of the best resources for all things wedding is The Knot. The Knot recently produced an article called Here’s What You Need to Know About How to Officiate a Wedding. Here, you will find solid advice if you were to ask a friend or relative to officiate your wedding. This article outlines all the details (even what one should wear! I also wrote a previous blog post on this subject here.). Below is my short advice on what this entails! (This is how I started!)
As the article suggests, if you ask a friend or relative to officiate your wedding ceremony, be sure to choose someone who is comfortable speaking in front of an audience, who can take this responsibility seriously and most importantly one who cares about you two as a couple. I’ve heard stories where a couple has asked a relative to officiate their ceremony, who accepted the task, and nervously got through it. They were visibly uncomfortable and unfortunately made the couple uncomfortable as well. Although a friend or relative may be witty and hilarious in conversation, it is a completely different story when in front of an audience.
When asking a friend/relative, this person will have to go through a process to become an ordained minister. Please keep in mind that becoming ordained may not only involve signing up online as some people joke! After you become ordained (especially online), there will be additional paperwork, fees and background checks that will need to be completed before you are legally allowed to officiate a marriage. Please check with your local state laws as to what this entails!
On the flip side – The Knot also wrote a countering article outlining why hiring a professional is your best bet: 5 Perks of Hiring a Professional Ceremony Officiant. And below is my advice (slightly biased, of course)!
When hiring a professional Officiant, all the guesswork is taken out of the equation. This person will always be professional, on-time and ready to speak in front of just the couple and a photographer or a crowd of 400. These professionals are ordained ministers for a reason and should be trusted to carry out this important task for you flawlessly.
For me, personally, my original/current profession and education background provided me the courage and practice to not be afraid to speak in front of a crowd! I’ve had to present in front of C-suites to fellow engineers to crowds of hundreds for a presentation and my focus to deliver is unparalleled. Plus, I have a memory of an elephant (so to speak) – I’ll remember all the little details of how you met, where you got engaged, and I will definitely not mess up your names during the ceremony!
For more information, please visit The Knot, which is a go-to resource for many couples and wedding vendors or contact me if you have any questions!