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MyWedStyle Blog

​How to Transform a Friend into Your Wedding Officiant

Posted by Sandy D. on

Do you have a close friend or family member who you just know would kill it marrying you in front of a crowd? As weddings have become less and less traditional, more brides and grooms are opting to add a personal touch by having an acquaintance handle their wedding vows.

Often, having someone officiate who knows a relationship well can make for an even more meaningful wedding ceremony. The good news: Making a friend wedding “official” is a lot easier than you’d think! If you’re interested in engaging someone you know to legally officiate your wedding, here are the steps you’ll need to take:

1. Double check the laws at your wedding location

While most areas of the country allow marriage ceremonies to be performed by an “ordained” friend, some still require a marriage done by a religious or legal officiant. Do your due diligence of research and confirm it’s possible before you approach someone else to officiate.

2. Ask if he or she would be interested in officiating

Don’t just assume that a friend or family member would feel comfortable officiating a wedding ceremony, even if he or she is extremely close with you OR if they have done well in front of a crowd before. Officiating a once-in-a-lifetime event can be an intimidating task for even the most social guest!

3. Get your friend ordained

Today, ordination to perform marriage ceremonies is as easy as an online signup through groups like the Universal Life Church. However, once again, double check to see if your friend needs to do anything else to make things legal in your area (such as applying and/or appearing in court beforehand).

4. Discuss your ceremony details

As you would with any other officiant, you’ll need to work alongside your friend to finalize your ceremony structure and vows (you can consult websites or books for sample ceremony formats, as needed). Don’t forget to include ceremony dress and other etiquette you wish to see as topics of conversation.

5. Practice beforehand to get things right

Your wedding rehearsal will be even more important if a friend is officiating, considering this will possibly be his or her first time encountering a structured wedding format and timeline. Allow some extra rehearsal time if possible and expect some learning curves (it helps to have a wedding coordinator or planner alongside to assist!).

6. Have your friend sign and send in your marriage certificate

After the ordination, this is the most important step! Your friend will need to sign your marriage certificate and send it in to the state (within the legal timeline!) for your wedding to truly be official. If your friend is what you might affectionately term a “slacker,” you may have to do some gentle prodding to ensure this step is checked off the list.

Happy planning!

with love & style from: Sandy D. (bridal blogger extraordinaire)

(photos from Pixabay, Pexels)

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