Post # 1
- Wedding: June 2010 - New York Botanical Garden
for those who used/are going to be using a non-traditional officiant (i.e. online-ordained family member/friend for whom this is his or her first time officiating):
in addition to planning my june wedding, i will be officiating one of my best friend’s weddings in september. i want to do everything i can for her but i’m just curious – if you used/are using someone like a family member or friend, how did you prepare together beforehand? on recommendation from weddingbee, i have already purchased “the wedding ceremony planner” by Judith Johnson for her and myself, so we have that but on the personal level – i’m interested in hearing the role that your “officiant” played prior to your wedding.
Post # 3
I have officiated a few weddings for friends. They were both secular ceremonies that were highly customize so I just did a google search for “modern wedding ceremony” and then sat down with both couples so we could customize the wording, etc until it was exactly what they wanted. I thought it was a great experience and am considering branching out and doing more weddings – it’s fun!
Post # 4
that book is great! i wrote our ceremony and my good friend was ordained online as well, and was our officiant. after a few drafts, i sent them to him, he made a few suggestions and we took it from there. i am so glad we went that route!!
Post # 5
For our Canadian wedding, we’ll already be legally married, so we don’t have to worry about getting an ordained officiant. Most likely my friend, who does youth/music ministry at her church but is not ordained, will be our officiant. Her husband is a minister, so he’s been able to perform several ceremonies, but she hasn’t because she can’t do it legally. I’m writing the ceremony (finished the first draft on Sunday!), and she’s going to add a short homily to it.
I’m a bit of a control freak, so that’s why I’m writing the ceremony. I also wanted it to be very ‘us’. I’ve been searching the Internet for various ceremonies, readings, and prayers for a couple of months now. There’s sooo much out there, so I suggest doing some searches to see if there is anything others have used that can inspire you. In my area, there is a good website for an officiant business that was helpful for understanding the general structure of a ceremony. http://www.kettlecreekweddings.com/ceremony_samples/ceremony_samples.htm
My friend and I live in two different countries, and we won’t be able to meet until probably the day before the wedding, so once I go over my first draft, I’m going to send it to her and see if she has anything to add/change/suggest. Other than that, I’m trying to make it as easy as possible for her, and then trust her to lend some wisdom of her own for the homily. She’s been married for 6 years, has two kids, and was a constant source of thoughtful advice when we were in university together, so it was a really easy decision to ask her to give the homily.
Post # 6
my brother used a family friend for their wedding. they used a lot of jewish traditions in their wedding so they made sure to discuss all of those with her ahead of time. also, even though we have known them our whole life and my brother’s wife had known her for a few years, she made sure to discuss their relationship and talk about them before the ceremony so she could make the ceremony more personal, which is one of the best parts about having a friend do it. and it was an awesome ceremony, she told some great storys about them!
Post # 7
- Wedding: June 2010 - New York Botanical Garden
thank you guys for your responses so far…another question – did you do any “counseling” or anthing, or was it really all ceremony prep? did your non-traditional officiant have you do any activities before the wedding (i.e. write letters to each other) that you really liked?
Post # 8
Some states, and even counties within states vary on the ruling for this. Be sure to check first with your county clerk office to be certain you are legal in having a friend ordained online. Also, some areas request that the person be licensed by the county and pay a fee.
Post # 9
I’m a professional officiant / celebrant now, but I started off because my best friend asked me to do her wedding!
First, make sure that it is legal, and take care of the legality (registering, ordainment, etc).
Talk to your friends and see how involved they would like you to be. Do they want you to write the entire ceremony? Do they want to write the entire ceremony themselves? Do they want to construct the ceremony, but let you perform an address or speech during the ceremony itself? Being upfront and discussing this options early will make sure that the ceremony itself is taken care of and perfect prior to the big day.
To get detailed information on some specifics, I gave them (and all of my couples) a homework questionaire, with lots of questions for them to start telling me their story and express their love for each other. I use aspects of this to personalize their entire ceremony, and it includes questions like “What do you love about your partner? What does your partner do that always makes you laugh? When did you fall in love? How did you know? What has your family contributed to you as a person?”
For my friend’s wedding, we worked together to constuct an outline. Based on that, I wrote the whole ceremony, but showed it to them before hand, for their approval and to make sure I had included all of the elements they wanted (handfasting, performances, readings, etc). They also sent me their vows, which I printed out and brought for them on the day of the ceremony. We discussed other logistics, such as the processional and recessional as well.
You might want to check out some of my blog posts on WeddingbeePRO for some more info on writing your own ceremony.. and it’s never too early to start figuring it out! It’s a lot of work, but it’s well worth it in the end. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need help along the way!! [email protected]