Many people are under the illusion that performing a wedding ceremony involves just writing the ceremony and then showing up on the wedding day and reading it. Although a few might be that easy, almost every ceremony is going to involve more than just those two pieces.
1. TAKE CARE OF THE LEGAL STUFF
The first piece is to figure out the legal and administrative part of it. How does the person become legal, if even possible, in your state? How is the license handled (both in filling out and who signs it, and then filing afterward)? Is there a specific pronouncement that needs to be made? This piece is usually pretty easy and can be accomplished by going down to a county or city office ahead of time in the place the wedding is taking place.
2. COLLABORATE WITH THE COUPLE
The second piece really should be the couple and their chosen Officiant sitting down to discuss the ceremony. Even if the couple is writing the ceremony, the Officiant will need to feel comfortable reading it. Have you ever been asked to read something you don’t agree with or find out of character? Have you ever asked someone to write something for you without giving them guidance?
3. WRITE THE WEDDING CEREMONY SCRIPT
The third piece is writing the wedding ceremony. This is the part everyone worries about and rightfully so. How long should it be? What should be included? How should it be structured? What is the tone and feel that will fit this particular couple the best? How can you make it yours and different from every other wedding the family and friends have attended? Do enough searching online and you might figure most of it out, but it can be pretty overwhelming and definitely not structured nor easy.
4. PRESENTING THE WEDDING CEREMONY
The final piece is presenting the wedding ceremony. This is almost as important as writing the ceremony, since how the ceremony flows can affect the feel of the ceremony for both the couple and the guests. The presentation piece involves both the actual presentation (does the officiant understand about how to present to an audience, as it’s not just reading out-loud) as well as the ceremony director aspect. Have you ever been to wedding in which no one rises for the bride, forgets to sit down afterward, the rings are exchanged poorly (or the rings weren’t even there to exchange), or the flowers were left behind in the recession? Or how about when an entire section of the ceremony was skipped? Yeah, we’ve heard that one too. We’ve heard more than you can know. Maybe future blog posts will be about some of those…
At Asked to Officiate we not only understand what goes into a ceremony but we have mastered it, over the course of writing and officiating weddings for over 450 great couples personally, as well as helping others through it. Through our products and services, we can help you with any of the pieces by offering quick guides on specific aspects, a workbook that covers all the pieces, or we can even write the ceremony for you. Let us know how we can help make yours great!
For a more detailed guide on how to prepare for a wedding ceremony, check out AMM’s page “How To Prepare for Performing a Wedding Ceremony“.