Weddings are all special and they are all different. Some couples choose a friend or family member to officiate the wedding. This is an incredible honor, but because you are close to the couple, you should follow these steps to get it right. While the reception is the most difficult part of a wedding to plan, the wedding ceremony is actually the most important. An officiate must conduct the ceremony and marry the couple. This must be a person the bride and groom get along with, and who will see eye-to-eye with them on the details of the ceremony. Often, the couple to be married will ask a close friend or relative to officiate their wedding. This is a distinct honor and requires planning.
- Get ordained. If you are not already ordained, jump online and get ordained on the web. There are many sites that will ordain you to officiate a wedding for free or a small fee.
- Question the couple. The bride and groom have ideas about their wedding. Find out what is expected of you. Determine their spiritual preferences and ask about the words they want you to use for the ceremony. Get specific. Also, ask the couple if they want to include or exclude any ceremonial procedures like the candle lighting or any type of prayer.
- Dress the role. Unless the couple has picked a particular look for you, keep your dress appropriate for the wedding. For a formal affair, dress in formal attire as though you were in the wedding party. If it is more casual (a buttoned-down shirt and slacks will do), dress nicely as you will need to stand out in the crowd as someone with an important role in the wedding.
- Speak clearly. Unless there is a microphone available for you during the ceremony, speak up and be clear. The guests will want to savor your words, especially if the couple chose them. If the wedding will be recorded, ask if there’s a mic you can wear on your collar.
- Seek assistance from a seasoned minister or get a referral to speak to someone regarding the role of the officiate. There are tricks to every trade, and advice is always a good thing to have if you don’t know how to officiate a wedding.