This week's etiquette post is brought to you by the wonderful, Jenn Bean. She is the owner of Marry Me Ceremonies, a wedding officiating service. In the third installment of her guest post, Jenn discusses the in's & out's of who should officiate and how to go about it. Here is what Jenn had to say...
Your wedding ceremony is what the big day is all about and should set the tone for the event! Thinking about a wedding Officiant and wedding ceremony details are often one of the last wedding planning activities couples address. Unfortunately, if you are not associated with a religious institution you may not have many options for someone to write and perform the actual wedding ceremony.
Did you know almost anyone can get ordained online to officiate your wedding? There is no better way to make your big day even more special and personal than having a friend or family member play such an important role! One of the services I offer is to write a professional, personalized ceremony that a friend or family can use to officiate your ceremony. While I love officiating, I offer this to all my clients. Here are some things to consider about having a loved one act as your Officiant:
1. The Officiant should be comfortable speaking in public, using a microphone and being videotaped. It helps if they are also loud. Even with a microphone outdoor weddings can be tricky with wind, wildlife, etc. You want all your guests to hear your ceremony and not miss any of the special or fun elements.
2. The Officiant should be fun but appropriate, which sometimes is a fine line. Keep your audience in mind and remember your ceremony should reflect you, not the Officiant. Your parents and grandparents may have a different sense of what is appropriate and funny than your closest friends. The rehearsal dinner and after ceremony speeches are better suited for more colorful stories.
3. The Officiant should be responsible. You have enough details to worry about, you need to trust they will be prepared and perform a ceremony that reflects you and sets the tone for the day. They are also responsible for making sure they are legally ordained (and licensed if required in your state) and completing and mailing your marriage license for processing. If you want your union legal and official please follow this advice! One additional consideration, getting married out of the country is often more complicated and expensive to make legal. I recommend getting legally married in the US first. No one has to know you are already legally married, your guests are there to celebrate you love and witness your exchanging of vows.