With more couples choosing to have non-religious weddings there has been a surge in choosing to have a friend or family member officiate their wedding ceremony. Here in Wisconsin this practice is entirely legal, and with a few clicks of the mouse and a monetary donation of anywhere from $50-100 you can become ordained to marry. In fact, here in Wisconsin, you can get legally married without an officiant!
If you choose to have a friend or family perform your wedding it can be very heartfelt and touching, and it can really personalize your vows. Here’s our best tips for you on how to prepare to choose who marries you and some tips on how to make the ceremony unforgettable for you and for the people who attend your wedding.
Choose someone who is comfortable speaking to crowds
Your BFF might know you better than anyone else in the world, but if she’s terrified speaking in front of crowds it’s not likely her love will overpower her fears. Most people admit that they find public speaking even more terrifying than the idea of their own death! Think about someone you know who seems to speak naturally and comfortably in front of all kinds of people, who has a resonating voice, or who routinely speaks in front of crowds or leads a team of people at their workplace.
Invest in a ceremony sound system.
This is especially important if you are getting married outside. If you don’t have someone who speaks professionally, often they don’t naturally know the best speaking rhythms or how to project their voice clearly. Also, they may be nervous and find themselves breathless and speaking more quietly than they normally do so any help they can get to be heard is beneficial! More helpful tips on why you may need to have ceremony sound can be found here.
Choose someone who believes in the sanctity of the vows
Your fraternity buddy may be the funniest guy you know, but if he turns your wedding vows into a roast then that memory is going to be hard to forget. Make sure the person you choose feels honored to be asked and takes the responsibility seriously and doesn’t plan to “wing it” on your day. A little levity is great because you want some personality in your ceremony, but there should also be some reverence of the solemnity of the vows you are making. Kara and Christian’s officiant provided this fun moment for the crowd after the vows!
Make sure they understand how a wedding ceremony is run
The officiant is the person that both of you, your bridal party and your audience will be looking to for clues throughout. This includes when to stand, when to walk, when to hold hands and how to process in and out of the ceremony. They also liaise with the person who is doing the sound, or running the music. Make sure you are all on the same page as far as how the wedding is run and be sure to have a run through the day before.
Gift them a nice book to read out of
Three ring binders are for the office, not for a wedding. Gift them with a nice book or notebook so they can put their notes and your vows in it. iPads seem tempting, but paper never fails and technology can. A classic leather notebook that looks great in their hands and in your pictures will never look out of date.
Did you have a friend or family member marry you? We’d love to hear how it went!