(Closed) Officiant can't pronounce my name ……

posted 8 years ago in Emotional
Post # 18
9544 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

Aw – that sucks.

So I think part of this depends on why the pastor can’t properly pronounce your name. If she can pronounce all the sounds but is just having trouble getting them all together in order, then it’s just a matter of practice and she should work on it until she gets it right. If, on the other hand, there is a sound that she just can’t pronounce, then I think you have to give her a break. There are some kinds of sounds that, if you don’t learn to make them at a young age you will simply never be able to make that sound. For instance, I lived in Japan for a while and they make this sound that is somewhere between and R and an L sound and I just can’t make that sound no matter what I do.

Either way I would definately try to meet with the pastor before hand to go over the name. It helps a lot to do this face to face. If the problems is just putting the sounds together correctly then I’d just go over the name a million times until she gets it right. You may have to do a littel refresher right before the ceremony as well. If it’s a problem with a particular sound it’s harder. You can either go with the shortened name or you can go with a slightly mispronounced name. Just get as close to the correct sound as possible and go with it. Another option could be to try to not have the pastor use names or use them as little as possible. She could say the vows very quietly just to you and then you could repeat them loundly and you’re going to say your name right.

It does suck but it doesn’t sound like you really have any other options so don’t let it bother you. People will know who you are. And, if this is a common problem, people will understand. Just laugh it off.

Post # 19
5091 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2012

I would be so offended.  I don’t have any suggestions, but I know that our DJ pronounced a few of our bridal party members’ names wrong – even after writing them out phonetically and hiring this guy because I thought he’d get them right – and I’m still annoyed whenever I think about it.  I can only imagine how I’d feel if it were the officiant mispronouncing MY name.  I hope you get it all sorted out!

Post # 21
1769 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Ugh, that sucks. FWIW, I have issues pronouncing FI’s last name. It doesn’t help that any time anyone mispronounces it he never corrects them, so I heard pronouced wrong all the time. It’s so embarrassing, and I hate when I have to say his last name because I’m always worried I’m saying it incorrectly…and we’ve been together for five years! I’m working on it, though, because I’ll eventually be his Mrs.!

Post # 22
2073 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Like a PP, give her a notecard with your full name spelled phonetically on it.

If it makes you feel any better, our minister mispronounced my last name once during our ceremony.  I didn’t mind…it actually gave me a little something to focus on so I wouldn’t be balling my eyes out in front of everyone.  He got it right most of the time though.  

Post # 23
136 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

My mom had a hard time pronouncing fi last name.  I tried telling her over the phone and she never got it.  I had to say it in front of her a few times in a row while she practiced.  I think sometimes its easier to figure out how to pronounce a name or a word when someone is in front of you and not on the phone. 

Post # 24
3771 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@KristenGotMarried:  OMG what is it with people pronouncing Kristen (or in my case Cristin) as Christine or Christian????? THERE IS NO E!! THERE IS NO H!!!!!!! NOT HARD! lol

sorry about that mini rant.

I’m worried about FI’s last name being mispronounced but we shall see! We got a relatively young priest so I’m sure he’ll do great!

Post # 25
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I’m not sure why folks find this so offensive. The officiant made a good faith effort to get prepared, which shows she wants to do a good job for the OP. And there’s been a snag. It’s not like she’s not trying. Sometimes we each have mental blocks with things.

OP- Perhaps invite the officiant out for a coffee and work on it in person. Seeing how the mouth moves to make the sounds can often help push through the mental block. You can also play a word association game, Break your name into sections that sound like some more familiar names or words. I’m having my own mental block so the best example I can give is a friend’s name of Manciwicz. Tell her to pronounce it like a man who needs a key for his wits. Basically the same thing as phoenetic spelling but since you are using words that already have an object associated with them, it may flow more easily together.

Post # 26
98 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I think it’s unnacceptable for the officiant to not be able to pronounce your name. That’s a pretty major part of the job as far as I’m concerned. My only suggestion would be to talk (or have Fiance talk) with the officiant, and maybe instead of writing phonetically, try going syllable by syllable (or sound by sound) like “oh it’s ______ as in <insert common word>, then ______ as in <insert common word>.

I can’t imagine that with enough practice the officiant still wouldn’t be ablet o pronounce the name, or at least close enough to where you will be happy.


If it makes you feel any better, people ALWAYS shorten my name and I cannot stand it. Like to the point where I’ll introduce myself (with my full name) and right away people will call me the nickname of it. It’s like uhhhhhhhhh, do we know each other? No? Oh, well maybe call me by the name I just gave you. It’s to the point where I had to explicitely ask the priest and the dj to please use my name. Rant over.

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