Asked to be officiant. Seeking advice and tips!

posted 5 months ago in Ceremony
Post # 2
Member
211 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

Remember to tell people they can sit down! Traditionally, everyone stands when the bride comes down the aisle. I have been to many friend-officiated weddings where the officiant launches into the ceremony and forgets to say something like, “please be seated,” which causes a lot of awkward looks and shuffling as people try to figure out when it’s appropriate to sit.

Post # 4
Member
4781 posts
Honey bee

1.  Practice practice practice.

2.  If the couple isn’t already on top of some sort of mic/amp set up for the ceremony make sure you suggest it.  And if they refuse then go back again and practice practice practice making sure you project your voice appropriately for the space and whatever ambient noise there may be.  I attended a wedding in a lovely space on the banks of a river.  Ths groom’s best friend officiated and the word on the street was he wrote a very lovely heartfelt ceremony.  It’s too bad none of us actually heard a word of it because they were trying to cut costs with their venue and additional expenses and no one in the ceremony spoke loud enough for us to hear.  To this day I take it on blind faith they actually said vows and said I do.

3.  Anecdotes are great (especially if it demonstrates a particular time they demonstrated great love and affection for each other or it became apparent they were “meant to be” or even why they are just plain lovely people you are proud to know).  Private jokes not so much. Unless everyone in attendance is “in” on the joke or reference, it usually goes over like a lead and balloon and you get a lot of puzzled looks or mild chuckles to humor you while everyone wonders what was actually so funny.  Also test drive your stories to make sure they aren’t “guess you had to be there” kinds of moments.  I’ve seen this happen in speeches and ceremonies – a lot of people don’t have a good knack for what is actually an interesting story to people not involved or they think they are a lot funnier than they are and it’s just kind of awkward.

Post # 5
Member
1108 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2019

View original reply
hotdoglover :  on this note…. it’s also your job to say “please rise” if people don’t do it…. both of our parents froze and didn’t rise and since they didn’t….no one did. Our officiant was a friend as well and didn’t jump in so everyone awkwardly sat…. and then he still read the “please be seated” part of the script lol

Post # 6
Member
1226 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

I wrote the ceremony for my wedding and I found looking at other ceremony scripts online really helped me with figuring out a structure for mine. I think I found some on apracticalwedding.com and offbeatbride.com.

The general structure I came up with was:

Welcome (i.e. We are gathered here today yada yada yada)

Address (a paragraph about our relationship, how we met, and what brought us to marriage)

Reading 

Address Cont. (a paragraph about what makes a marriage work)

Vows and Expression of Intent (I do’s)

Ring Exchange (Repeat after me style vows)

Pronouncement and Kiss

 

Post # 7
Member
1226 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018

View original reply
hockeybee0104 :  Ha! That happened at my wedding too. The officiant (my BIL) still said “Please be seated” and everyone laughed.

Post # 9
Member
1133 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

Haha I wrote all of our ceremony script and definitely had our officiant say “please be seated!”

Post # 10
Member
7176 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

Yes having them write it in their script to tell everyone to sit down.

As a wedding photographer I cringe whenever a couple tells me they have a friend/family/etc set up to officiate their wedding. Not because I don’t think it’s a lovely sentiment but because basically EVERY.SINGLE.TIME the “officiant” forgets to tell guests to ‘please be seated’ and they end up standing, in front of their chairs, the entire ceremony. It looks horrible in photos and limits what we’re able to capture because we obviously can’t shoot over their heads. While we logically know it’s completely out of our control, weddings are emotional events and when a couple gets their photos back and sees that (because at the time they’re swept up in the moment and often don’t notice) they get upset.

Not only that but it’s not fun for your guests to be awkwardly standing. Plus, for MANY venues (espeically if couples choose to get married in open spaces) those chairs have to be rented at an additional cost. For example, if you have a reception venue booked but want to get married at a nearby park you have to rent those chairs for the ceremony – and in my area they tend to run around $7/chair on the low end for basic white resin chairs. That’s $700 minimum for a 100 person wedding and as a bride I’d be pissed if I spent $700 on chairs that didn’t get used. 

Post # 11
Member
468 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2020 - City, State

How exctiting for you! I had a friend officiate my very small wedding, and there were two tips I had for her from my online reading. One was to know the last line of my husband’s vows so she knew when to refer to me – we did not rehearse due to how small it was. Also, I reminded her to step out of the shot for our first kiss so that she was not in the backdrop (outdoor beach wedding). Good luck to you! 

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