How to Officiate a Wedding with StyleFavorite
It is definitely a high honor to have a friend or family member ask you to officiate their wedding and to have someone close to you officiate the wedding is actually an emerging trend.
With the right tools and words, anyone can learn how to officiate a wedding with style and grace. No one will ever know you were nervous! Here’s what you need to do to be a great officiant.
4 Steps to Officiate a Wedding with Style
Find out what you need to do to make it legal
State laws vary from state to state on who can officiate a wedding. It may also vary from town to town within a state. Make sure you call the county clerk’s office and see what they require.
Get ordained to perform marriages
There are online ordination sites where you can register to perform legal marriages. There are many sites that ordain you free of charge by writing you in their organizations roll book as an ordained minister. Before going through the process, you need to double-check the affiliation. Some simple paperwork may be needed, while others may need you to state your intention; to perform religious weddings, you also need to make clear with official parties.
Schedule some time to talk to your couple
A wedding is a huge deal and you want it to go off without a hitch. Schedule in some time to talk to your couple about what they want for their ceremony. Write the ceremony with them and include any special things they would like.
Practice your ceremony
Read the ceremony out loud and practice any gestures, ring exchange, and other things they want to do. Do this a few times when you are alone and then practice in front of a few people. A wedding rehearsal with the couple and wedding party works well for this.
Knowing how to officiate a wedding for friends or family will make for a very unforgettable event that will be remembered for years to come.
How to Officiate an Actual Wedding Ceremony
A wedding ceremony can be anything the couple wants and they can have you say anything they want. There is only one line that must be included in a wedding ceremony to make it legal and official by state law. The ceremony must include a “Declaration of Intent.” You must include the line for both bride and groom:
“Do you, (insert Bride/Groom name), take (insert Groom/Bride name), to be your lawfully wedded partner?
The couple must answer, “I do.”
Other than this statement, the wedding ceremony can be anything the couple wants it to be. Here is a short sample ceremony:
“We are gathered to celebrate the love of (Bride/Groom). Love is a miracle and today we celebrate it with these words:
(Groom) and (Bride), remember that love, trust, and loyalty are the foundation you will need to have happiness all the days of your lives. The vows in which you are about to take are sacred and not to be entered into lightly. May they bring you a lifetime of joy and love.”
“(Groom) do you take (Bride) to live together as partners for life, will you love, comfort, honor, and care for her as long as you live?”
Groom: “I Do.”
Repeat inserting Brides name.
“May these rings be a symbol of your eternal undying love for one another. See the circle as an unbroken circle that love keeps together. Love is given freely and has no beginning and no end. May these rings be blessed as a sign of your love for each other.”
Groom: “(Bride’s name), take this ring as a symbol of my undying love for you.” (Places ring on her hand.
Repeat for bride.
“(Bride and groom’s names) as you embark on your journey through life together, remember that your love is the key to understanding everything you need to as husband and wife. Love is the key to forgiveness. Love is the key to sharing both good times and bad. Remember often what it was that brought you two together.”
Pronouncement of marriage
“(Bride and groom names) You have consented to this marriage with vows and rings. In accordance with the laws of the State of (insert state name) it is with great joy that I now pronounce you, (husband and wife, partners for life, etc.) You may now seal this commitment with a kiss. Friends and family, I present to you, Mr. and Mrs…..”
In order for the marriage to be legal, you need to sign the marriage license and file it with your county clerk’s office. In some states, you will need two witnesses to sign the license, some states do not require witnesses. Make sure the license is filled out completely and properly. Have the bride and groom check for any mistakes before filing.
Tips for Being a Great Officiant
Ask the couple how they would like you to dress. They may want you to coordinate with the wedding party. If not, make sure you wear professional dress.
Speak clearly and project your voice so the folks in back can hear you. Speak slowly and savor every word. Feel the words you are speaking. Here are some other speaking tips:
Make eye contact with the guests and the bride and groom. Memorize your words and speak to the bride, groom, and the guests. Try not to sound like you are reading.
Smile, it is a happy occasion.
Stand up straight. Stand facing the bride and groom and looking out. Try not to look down at your paper like you are reading from it.
Space yourself and the couple close to the guests. Weddings are intimate and should be close to all involved in the ceremony. Also, make sure you are clear of any flowers or obstacles blocking people from seeing you and the couple.
Pace yourself. Try not to rush through the ceremony and vary your voice pitch. Give a few pauses for contemplation and emphasis. Keep the wedding emotional, but have some fun too. Short pauses between deep words can create a wonderful effect.