Wedding Etiquette Forum

Officiating a Ceremony

I will be officiating my first wedding ceremony in August for a friend. Is there anything you wish your officiant had said or didn't say during your ceremony? 


~*~June 21, 2014~*~


Re: Officiating a Ceremony

  • misshart00misshart00 Oklahoma member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    I think it would be best to ask the bride and groom what they want.
  • I wish my officiant had looked at us when we kissed. I was really excited that she stepped to the side periodically so we got some awesome shots without her standing between us. But ditto PP, ask the bride and groom.
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited June 2013
    Well, this relates to a couple of weddings that took place in my family, where the officiant would speak quietly to the couple for a fairly prolonged period of time during the ceremony, during which time they couldn't be heard and I think everyone was going "Huh?"  Make sure everyone can hear you.  If you have to say anything for the couple's ears alone, do it in private-not at the ceremony.
  • I loved that when we got to the alter; our officiant turned off the mic and spoke directly to us for a minute-- he told us to relax and breathe and be in the moment.  And it really did make me breathe and all I did was look directly into my husbands eyes for the next 12 minutes--it was about us--and I never once thought about all the people starring at me.  It was perfect.
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    Anniversary
  • Definitely ask the couple you will be marrying. Things that worked or didn't work for people here might not be the same for them.
  • I have officiated three weddings for friends. I sat down with each couple to talk about exactly what they wanted.
  • I definitely will be sitting down with them...we already have that planned to go over the ceremony plan and vows they will be using.

    Love the tip of just mentioning to them to breathe and relax, also about stepping aside for some photos...I'll definitely do that during the vows and ring exchange.

    Thanks, y'all for your input!
    ~*~June 21, 2014~*~


  • I am going to have a friend officiate at ours and am thinking of having him ask everyone to make sure their cell phones are turned off before we start.

    CheleLyn
  • I would recommend sending some sort of email or phone message with the couple to let them know you mailed their license so they figure out approximately when it should reach the town clerk and they can go and buy a certified copy of it.
    CheleLyn
  • H was bummed we didn't get the "you may now kiss the bride" moment.  I mean, we had the first kiss, but it's not part of the Catholic liturgy to SAY it.  We knew that going in, but he was still bummed about it.  Other than that I asked our priest to make sure his mic was off during our vows b/c I prefer to just hear the B&G say them, not to hear the coaching and repeating.

    CheleLyn
  • One thing I just remembered! Everyone naturally stands when the bride comes down the aisle. Once she's up there, don't forget to tell everyone they can sit. My friend's brother officiated her wedding and there was some awkwardness at the beginning because people didn't know if they should sit.
    CheleLyn
  • Allow your bride and groom's photographer to take flash photos during the ceremony. This may seem odd, but our church just told us a week or so ago that flash isn't allowed at any point during the ceremony. I understand the basic idea behind this, but our ceremony space is super dark and I am terrified that we won't have any usable photos from the ceremony. :( I even asked if we could pause at certain points in the ceremony for the purposes of taking photos if the officiant didn't want to be flashed while speaking. At very least be up front with your couples about anything like this you won't allow...finding this bombshell out a month before the wedding was not something I or my FI appreciated when we had been talking with the church for over a year and a half about our wedding. It was never mentioned in the contract, etc., until just now. Sorry, lol, still a sore subject for me.

    image
    CheleLyn
  • Allow your bride and groom's photographer to take flash photos during the ceremony. This may seem odd, but our church just told us a week or so ago that flash isn't allowed at any point during the ceremony. I understand the basic idea behind this, but our ceremony space is super dark and I am terrified that we won't have any usable photos from the ceremony. :( I even asked if we could pause at certain points in the ceremony for the purposes of taking photos if the officiant didn't want to be flashed while speaking. At very least be up front with your couples about anything like this you won't allow...finding this bombshell out a month before the wedding was not something I or my FI appreciated when we had been talking with the church for over a year and a half about our wedding. It was never mentioned in the contract, etc., until just now. Sorry, lol, still a sore subject for me.


    Most churches have this rule; I'd guess your photos will turn out just fine (do you know anyone who had gotten married there in the past you could check out photos from?)  Our church has a no flash photography rule also and while the photos on my point and shoot always turn out shitty in churches with no flash our photographers were great (pics in bio if you want to see).  Just give your photog a heads up.
  • Good to know! Glad it worked out for you! Maybe it won't be so bad after all. My photographer does know. He was actually semi-nervous about it when we toured the building, but I do trust him. He does great work. Unfortuntely I don't know anyone else who has been married there.
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  • Just looked at your pictures! They are really pretty!

    image
    Kate61487
  • fyrefly76 said:
    I just officiated my sister's wedding.  We live across the country from each other, so most of our ceremony planning was done over the computer on a shared google document.  I found a wedding ceremony online that would work as a starting point and we both made changes as we saw fit. 

    A couple things she added was a moment when I directed her and her husband to just take a moment to look at the guests assembled and make a memory not associated with the later viewing of a photograph.  Another thing I liked that she added was asking both sets of parents if they would support the couple in their marriage, so the parents got a special place in the ceremony.

    One thing I wish I had done, was prepare what to say AFTER the kissing at the end.  There was a quick awkward pause while everybody wondered how to end it, then I said something non-descript like "The Couple!" and they raised their joined hands and walked back down the aisle.  I don't think anybody noticed but me, but it still bugs me.
    The bold...LOVE THAT! I'm going to have that added to our ceremony, too.

    I have a "I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Name of the Groom" added to the end 

    Y'all have some great things, thanks so much! I'm so excited to get to do this for them...and the few others that I have lined up for this year :)
    ~*~June 21, 2014~*~


  • SKPMSKPM member
    250 Love Its 100 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    CheleLyn said:
    fyrefly76 said:
    I just officiated my sister's wedding.  We live across the country from each other, so most of our ceremony planning was done over the computer on a shared google document.  I found a wedding ceremony online that would work as a starting point and we both made changes as we saw fit. 

    A couple things she added was a moment when I directed her and her husband to just take a moment to look at the guests assembled and make a memory not associated with the later viewing of a photograph.  Another thing I liked that she added was asking both sets of parents if they would support the couple in their marriage, so the parents got a special place in the ceremony.

    One thing I wish I had done, was prepare what to say AFTER the kissing at the end.  There was a quick awkward pause while everybody wondered how to end it, then I said something non-descript like "The Couple!" and they raised their joined hands and walked back down the aisle.  I don't think anybody noticed but me, but it still bugs me.
    The bold...LOVE THAT! I'm going to have that added to our ceremony, too.

    I have a "I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Name of the Groom" added to the end 

    Y'all have some great things, thanks so much! I'm so excited to get to do this for them...and the few others that I have lined up for this year :)
    This is probably obvious, but PLEASE be sure to ask the couple how they would like you to "present" them. I didn't change my name and I would have been mortified if we had been introduced as "Mr. and Mrs. Name of the Groom." (Our officiant just used our first names.)

    photo fancy-as-fuck.jpg
  • SKPM said:
    CheleLyn said:
    fyrefly76 said:
    I just officiated my sister's wedding.  We live across the country from each other, so most of our ceremony planning was done over the computer on a shared google document.  I found a wedding ceremony online that would work as a starting point and we both made changes as we saw fit. 

    A couple things she added was a moment when I directed her and her husband to just take a moment to look at the guests assembled and make a memory not associated with the later viewing of a photograph.  Another thing I liked that she added was asking both sets of parents if they would support the couple in their marriage, so the parents got a special place in the ceremony.

    One thing I wish I had done, was prepare what to say AFTER the kissing at the end.  There was a quick awkward pause while everybody wondered how to end it, then I said something non-descript like "The Couple!" and they raised their joined hands and walked back down the aisle.  I don't think anybody noticed but me, but it still bugs me.
    The bold...LOVE THAT! I'm going to have that added to our ceremony, too.

    I have a "I present to you Mr. and Mrs. Name of the Groom" added to the end 

    Y'all have some great things, thanks so much! I'm so excited to get to do this for them...and the few others that I have lined up for this year :)
    This is probably obvious, but PLEASE be sure to ask the couple how they would like you to "present" them. I didn't change my name and I would have been mortified if we had been introduced as "Mr. and Mrs. Name of the Groom." (Our officiant just used our first names.)
    That part has already been clarified :)
    ~*~June 21, 2014~*~


  • Whatever you do, don't mention giving, receiving, having and sharing more than once. Or make the ceremony ALL about that.




    image
    Married as of June 22, 2013!!!

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    CheleLyn
  • Kate61487 said:

    H was bummed we didn't get the "you may now kiss the bride" moment.  I mean, we had the first kiss, but it's not part of the Catholic liturgy to SAY it.  We knew that going in, but he was still bummed about it.  Other than that I asked our priest to make sure his mic was off during our vows b/c I prefer to just hear the B&G say them, not to hear the coaching and repeating.

    At a friends wedding their officiate did this, and it sounded really nice only hearing the B&G say their vows.
    image


    Anniversary
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston member
    Tenth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    fyrefly76 said:
    A couple things she added was a moment when I directed her and her husband to just take a moment to look at the guests assembled and make a memory not associated with the later viewing of a photograph.  Another thing I liked that she added was asking both sets of parents if they would support the couple in their marriage, so the parents got a special place in the ceremony.

    The first part of the bolded, about a non-photographic memory, is great, but if there is ever any reason to believe that any one parent in all sets of parents present is not supportive, the second part should not be done.  It will inflame what is already not an ideal situation.
    CheleLyn
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