Tips for Your Friend Officiant..
If you are planning to have a friend or family member marry you and it's their first (or second!) time officiating, we have some helpful tips to help them with your dreamy ceremony. Pass this on to your officiant and get ready for the most perfect ceremony.
Photo by Studio KH
If you haven't already, get some inspiration. Watch a few ceremonies on YouTube and gather some things you think will be meaningful.
YouTube has tons of wedding videos, watch a few and get an idea of the flow, things you liked, and things you didn't like. The ceremony should uniquely fit the couple your officiating for - pick up on ways others have done that.
Remind everyone to sit, sometimes after the brides come down the aisle people keep standing so ask everyone to sit.
It's easy to assume everyone knows when to stand or sit for weddings but sometimes they don't, as an officiant it's your job to help that flow. If people are standing and it's a portion of the ceremony they should sit for, add that to your script so people are seated.
Don't feel like you need to stand between the couple. they should be able to hold hands or whatever they'd like during the ceremony.
Be mindful of spacing! Most officiants stand on the side of the couple opposite the guests seated. Make sure to remind the couple to come together. It's always a little awkward when the spacing is off so make sure to practice!
Move out of the way for the kiss, don't make it awkward but take a couple of steps out of the "frame" for the kiss photo.
You want your friends to have the very best, that's why you're officiating! So, do them a favor and when it comes to the kiss picture, take a few steps to the side. Take these steps where it's least awkward but try to step to the side of the gender you identify as if possible. If there is a mic stand, try to take it with you. All of this important note - avoid making it awkward.
After the recessional - let everyone know what's next. For instance, "Drinks are waiting - let's celebrate." Ask the couple if they have something, they'd like you to say to sort of "dismiss" everyone.
Often this is the best time to let people know what happens next and what they can expect. Keep it brief but informative.
Finally, make sure to sign the license with the couple and the witnesses. Keep it safe through the night and send it in as soon as possible following the wedding.
This is a common item we hear is forgotten when a couple does not have a planner, build it into the timeline. You also want to make sure your photographer and videographer are present for it.
Now you're ready to be a fantastic officiant.