Post # 1
I feel uncomfortable at the thought of being married by a stranger, so I’m thinking about asking a family friend to officiate. I’ve known this person for most of my life, and used to babysit his son. He’s a professor, so I don’t think he would have any trouble with public speaking aspect of it. But I’ve been putting off asking because I’m worried that it would be an wanted burden. I’m also wondering if it just might be easier to pay a professional… Can anyone share experiences of having a friend officiate? Thanks so much!
This topic was modified 4 years, 9 months ago by charlie486.
Post # 2
Pros are EXPENSIVE. Go with your friend, I’d bet he’d be honored and love to do it. My dad married us at our legal ceremony and Darling Husband has done half a dozen friend and family weddings. We had a lady friend of ours do our church ceremony. It’s so much more personal. Do you have any specific questions?
Post # 3
- Wedding: March 2015 - On a Cliff Overlooking the Bay, Florida
charlie486: One ogf my co-worders is a pastor and he offered to do ours (we are not getting married in a church) We have been to 3 wedding he has done for other co-workers and they feel more personal because he Knows you.
Post # 4
tksjewelry: Thanks so much for sharing! I don’t have any specific questions… I’m just a bit of worried that it will perceived as more of a burden than an honour. I’m glad it was so in your situation!
Post # 5
It was never a question for us, we knew we wanted my best friend to officiate. He was just made for it, and we wanted him to have a significant role in the wedding. He was touched and honored and took it very seriously! We put the ceremony together over a few dinners and it was just so special and personal. He did a great job!
Post # 6
I’ve officiated for friends a handful of times, always in lieu of a wedding gift. I’m sure he will be honored if he is comfortable with public speaking. Be sure to review the ceremony with him well in advance, not just over email but actually sit down and talk through it. My first time officiating I wasn’t prepared for a few things – the bride’s entrance (half of the guests stood while the others looked to me for guidance), the start of the ceremony (why is everyone still standing?!), and at the end (am I supposed to announce them? Is she taking his name?).
My next wedding was much, much easier so if he’s never done it before, try to cover everything that the average wedding-goer may not be aware of ceremony-wise.
Also cover what you want him to do with regards to children interrupting the ceremony. That was a bad one for me. <shudder>
Post # 7
charlie486: my husband’s cousin officiated our wedding and it was absolutely perfect. I think he was honored (at least that’s what he said!) The best part is that he could actually speak about us as a couple in a meaningful way because he knows us. All of our guests told us they loved how personal he made the service. You can’t buy that with a justice of the peace.
Post # 8
my only advice is to have him write out what he is going to say and make sure everyone is on the same page
Post # 9
charlie486: We had a relative do ours and it was great. It was little burden for him, we exchanged some emails back and fourth creating the script, and had one phone call to finalize. He did have to attend the rehearsal, but as a family member hopefully he enjoyed the dinner after.
Like in your case, he had a career that required a lot of public speaking so he was a natural, he did great. I loved having a family member doing it, it was one of my favorite elements of the wedding. Oh, and yes – it is cheap too!
I say go for it!
Post # 10
We were married by a close friend. She had never done anything like this before and did great. She was super touched that we asked. I wrote most of the ceremony and got her input and she added a bit that she wrote. It meant so much to be married by someone important to us and think it’s awesome we share that now.
Post # 11
- Wedding: Cuvier Park/ La Jolla, CA
We had a friend officiate the wedding. He emailed a sampling of what he has said in the past. It was too generic for me & far too short. Since my husband is more spiritual than religious, I researched and wrote the ceremony. I included a sand- ceremony as well. It was lovely -as it decorates our family room (apothecary glass jar in picture)
Post # 12
- Wedding: February 2015 - Mount Hermon
charlie486: Fiance has a close family friend who is a pastor, and she is officiating. We’ve had a great experience! She didn’t charge us anything, so we’re getting her a nice gift. And she runs a charity, so well donate to that as a second thank you gift.
Post # 13
My Fiance officiated at his best friend’s wedding. He worked on it for days, talked it over with both of them, and practiced his speech for a day. He did the ceremony with a little notebook of his speech, and did a great job. It wasn’t a huge burden on him, and he still enjoyed the wedding week with our friends. We also asked his same best friend to officiate at our wedding, and she said she’s more than happy to do so!
Both my Fiance and his friend are great at performing and public speaking though. This would be the major thing — I have very enthusiastic outgoing friends who I’d love to officiate, but I don’t know how they’d react officiating a wedding. Your friend sounds like they’d be fine since they are a professor!
As long as the person is OK with public speaking, I don’t think it would be a burden. I think it’s important that they’re good with public speaking, especially if there happens to be any hiccups in the ceremony (something falls over or someone is delayed, or a speech goes missing). I’ve been to weddings officiated by friends where the result felt too casual for me (though it was what the couple wanted). Some friend officiants ramble too much and you end up with a ceremony with awkward giggles, pauses, and neverending anecdotes.
I doubt they’d think it’s a burden, but definitely talk it over so they know what you want, and you know most of what they will be saying.
Post # 14
My sister had my uncle officiate – she completely regretted it because he didn’t do what she wanted. He’s an Anglican Priest and she wanted a non-religious ceremony, that didn’t happen.
Post # 15
Since we did not want a religious wedding, one of DH’s best friends officiated our wedding. He was already ordained, so we didn’t worry about that. I wrote up a “script” for him to read, and paid him with a bottle of Jack Daniels afterwards. lol He did a great job, and I even had my moms friend ask me for a copy of our ceremony because her daughter wanted to use some of the readings we had.